EXCLUSIVE: The right way to care for your makeup brushes and tools according to Shahnaz Husain
Flawless make-up depends on your make-up brushes and tools, and your ability to use them. The right tools help to apply your make-up right too. Professional make-up artists use several brushes to apply foundation and contour the face, thus redefining the shape of the face.
A contour brush is shaped at an angle to help apply powder in the perfect place…right under your cheekbone. This brush should be soft, yet firm so that it places the colour on your cheeks gently. If you feel your blush looks too strong, remember you can always go over it with your powder puff that has a little loose powder on it. It will soften it up right away! Then there are the soft-bristled brushes for full coverage. Known as Kabuki brushes, they can be used to blend blushers and also to apply powder to “set” the foundation. Sponges are also perfect for applying foundation. They can be used for either liquid or cream base (foundation). They should be firm and not too flimsy. Try cutting them on the sides, so that there are no harsh edges.
Powder puffs are used to apply loose powder. You wrap the puff around the index finger of the hand that you write with. Sprinkle the loose powder in the palm of the opposite hand. In a circular motion, pick up the powder with the puff. Then, gently press and roll as you apply the powder to your face. This method is so great to use when you feel your make-up is too strong. You can just roll the puff over the area that looks too strong. It diffuses the make-up, leaving a softer look.
Eye shadow brushes are flat at the tip and square. Sponge applicators are also used to apply eye shadow. An eye pencil brush is a thin, flat-tipped brush, as wide as a lip brush. It can be used to blend the pencil and achieves beautiful results. You can also use the brush for applying shadow on top of the blended pencil. Small, but effective, the eyelash comb really does the job of separating lashes after applying mascara and makes them look natural. The other side of the comb is an eyebrow brush that can be used to brush up your brows. This is a great tool to use when plucking your brows because it puts your eyebrow hairs in the right place so that you can successfully pluck them. Eyelash curlers help to define lashes, even before mascara is put on them. There is nothing wrong with applying lipstick directly, but using a lip brush sure makes it a more polished application. It seems easier to reach those hard to get corners.
Storing make-up the right way is of much importance because it can be affected by heat and moisture. For example during hot weather, lipsticks need to be stored in a plastic bag and kept in the fridge, so that the oils do not separate. Dust can also affect the life span of make-up and make-up tools. A drawer in your dressing table can be divided into sections or compartments for different items, so you can find things easily. At other times of the year, when humidity and heat are not high, lipsticks can be kept in a specific compartment in the drawer. If you ever find that an old lipstick has become too greasy, it means the oils have separated. It’s time to stop using it. Sharpen your lip pencils regularly and always keep the caps on.
Makeup experts say that make-up brushes for dry cosmetics like blushers, and eye shadow need to be washed once a week. Dirty brushes can spread germs and bacteria and even lead to acne. They can be cleaned with a mild shampoo or a moisturised soap. Work up a lather with shampoo or soap and rinse thoroughly. Wipe them with a clean tissue. Allow them to dry, preferably in the sun, and then keep them away.
Brushes that are used for creamy, liquid or gel products, like lip gloss, lipstick, cream blusher, foundation, should be washed every alternate day. They tend to attract more dust and impurities. Wash make-up brushes at least twice a month in warm soapy water, adding a few drops of an antiseptic lotion. Rinse thoroughly with water and wipe with a clean towel or tissue. Allow them to dry before keeping them away.
It is also necessary to wash powder puffs and make-up tools like eyelash curlers, eyelash combs and eye brushes.