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Exploring Womanhood > Mind, Body & Soul > Beauty Channel > Makeup Tips

Buying The Right Makeup Brush
by Elke Von Freudenberg

As a professinal makeup artist, I rely on my makeup brushes to give me the perfect application that I need when doing magazine work. And while makeup brushes can be quite costly, quality brushes last a lifetime. Here's how to make sure it passes your buying criteria first.


The best brushes on the market are those that are made up of a variety of natural hairs. Want the softest brushes around? Then use Squirrel hair. Though they are the most expensive, they are the softest on the skin and blend the best. Want durability in a brush? Sable hair will last a lifetime and are good for heavier products such as lipstick, creams and frosted/glitter eyeshadows. Need a brush to apply creams and concealers. Try Taklon bristles, a cream colored hair that is strong enough to move the product around without absorbing it. Taklon also lays the product directly on the surface of the skin, giving the most coverage. Natural hairs require care to last, but also last the longest.

Try to stay away for synthetic or man made hair. You can tell synthetic hair with bristles that are super glossy and feel very stiff and coarse. Synthetic hairs also tend to get stiffer with repeated use.

THE 3 CUTS OF BRUSHES - Straight, Chisel and Tapered.

Straight Cuts - are like a straight hair cut, or a bob. All the hairs line up evenly in a straight line. These are the best for when you need to make a straight line, i.e. eye lining, eyebrows, eyeshadow, etc. Look for your Eyebrow and Angle brushes here.

Chisel Cuts - are slightly layered into the ends of the brush. This brush has a rounded look and effect. These are excellent for blending and creating a softer touch when applying a dark color. Stock up in these for blush, contouring, powder and all eyeshadow brushes.

Tapered Cuts - where the ends of the brush are rounded out in a tapered fashion, yet the brush itself is flat. A tapered lip brush is a perfect example of this. Since the lip line is not exactly straight, this brush draws a great curved line. Check out this cut also in concealer brushes, eyeshadow brush or Taklon brushes.


When starting out a makeup brush set, invest in the best quality brushes you can afford with the essentials.

  1. Powder Brush - Go all out and get the largest softest fluffiest Squirrel hair Powder Brush you can find. Your face will thank me for it.

  2. Blush Brush - The most important thing is that it is the right size. Smile, and place the brush against the apple of your cheek. If it perfectly matches, you've got the right one. Too small? You'll end up streaking your blush. Also, chisel cuts are best here for blending and applying blush.

  3. Lip Brush - Sable (for durability) and tapered. In a size large enough to fill in your lips with lipstick in several strokes.

  4. Small Angle Brush - Get a flat straight cut angle brush. Perfect for filling in eyebrows with eyeshadow, and applying eyeshadow on wet for a eyeliner look.

  5. Small Flat Eyeshadow Brush - Perfect to fit the bone of the eye, (the area just underneath the eyebrows to the crease.) Use only to apply light and shimmering colors.

  6. Medium Chisel Eyeshadow Brush - To fit the size of the lid. For applying colors on the lid and in the crease.

  7. Toothbrush - That's right, a regular baby toothbrush. Great for eyebrows and eyelashes.

  8. Eyeshadow Sponge Applicators - Whether you get the disposable ones or the one on the handle, perfect for applying dark colors without spilling, and for blending.

  9. Eyelash Curler - Get the new plastic kind. Works fantastically without crimping your lashes

Elke Von Freudenberg is the Editor of "The Beauty Newsletter" which focuses on beauty, makeup techniques, and beauty tips, and an emphasis on HOW to do makeup and the creator of "The Makeup Video Collection" which shows makeup techniques from the fashion world, in step-by-step format. Ms. Von Freudenberg works in Los Angeles and New York as a top editorial makeup artist for photography, with clients such as Allure Magazine, Eddie Bauer, Neue Magazine, and many more. You can view her portfolio online at: [http://www.portfolio.gq.nu]


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