Can’t tell your blush brush
from your lip brush?
Anna Price reveals the multi-tasking tools you really need for autumn’s
new precision makeup.
We all cut corners with our makeup (most of us have been getting by with just our fingers and a cotton bud for years), but to get this season’s immaculate finish for eyes and lips, plus the new contoured cheeks you need the right tools. It’s not as complicated as you might think; invest in a few basic brushes that are versatile enough to cover all of your bases.
The Flawless Face Brush

Our one-stop skin brush and the key to an “airbrushed” blusher, bronzer, highlighter and foundation. The pro’s love it because the flat, fanned shape delivers a really sheer application, letting you build up colour gradually (it should look like your skin, only better, not heavy, caked on makeup), plus it works just as well with both liquids and powders. Lisa Potter-Dixon , head make-up artist for Benefit suggests using “a feather-light touch and a short, flicky motion to get that flawless airbrushed finish.”Try: The Vintage Cosmetic Company Fantail Blush Brush .

Tip: Get one brush for liquids and another for powders, or at the very least, always wash and dry your brush before switching between the two.
The Skin Perfecting Brush

Think of this as your hero brush, your go-to tool for covering spots, scars and red patches. The stubby hairs have just the right flexibility for blending so concealer won’t turn out blotchy, while the flat edge lets you target hard to reach places like the sides of the nose. Plus, you can use it to apply eyeshadow on the lids and the lower lash-line.Try: Lily Lolo Concealer Brush .

Tip: Get a professional red lip and prevent colour from bleeding by using the flat edge to lightly trace concealer just outside the lip-line.
The Easy Eyeliner Brush:

Makeup artists use this brush to get that elusive flick which makes it the only tool you need for perfectly lined eyes. Propping your elbow on a table will help you to keep a steady hand when applying liquids and gels close to the lash-line. Use one long, smooth movement, never lifting the brush from the skin. At a pinch, try this brush on your eyebrows using short, sharp strokes (as if you’re painting on individual hairs) to fill in bare patches.Try: bareMinerals Eyeliner Brush .

Tip: Perfect eyeliner is all about control. Lisa Potter-Dixon says, “Hold your brush in a way that feels natural. The handle should be comfortable, like you’re using a pen.”
The All-in-one Eyeshadow Brush:

The real secret to great eye-makeup is blending and that’s where this brush really shines, but it’s versatile enough to use on any look. For that tricky contoured eye, apply a light shadow on the lid and a darker colour in the crease (this stubby, angled shape will fit perfectly), then blend gently to soften the contrast.Try: Benefit Powder Shadow Brush .

Tip: Place your darker, contour shade slightly above the crease instead of directly inside of it to make eyes look lifted and brighter.
The Mascara Must-have Brush

Even the most artistically challenged can get a boost from this tool. It’s one of the simplest and most effective brushes in your kit. Comb through lashes to remove mascara clumps or use the bristled side to tame wayward eyebrows.Try: Kent Eye Groomer Brush .

Tip: A quick comb through the lashes before reapplying mascara in the evening will give you a smooth base so mascara looks as good as new.

Keep Them Clean

Makeup artists wash their brushes daily, but be realistic and aim for a thorough scrubbing once every two weeks for liquids and once a month for powders. Treat them gently by washing with baby shampoo and don’t splay the hairs when cleansing or rinsing (it distorts the shape), then simply lay them down on a towel to dry naturally. Above all, never share brushes with anybody. It’s not sanitary and (trust us on this one) it’s not worth the risk.

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