Welcome to Chapter One of Inside a Make-up Artist's Kit.
Today I will be sharing with you my Must-Have Make-up Brushes*. At the heart of every make-up artist's kit lies a set of long lasting, good quality brushes - these tools will make all the difference to your work! In this post I will talk about the brushes I use, as well as going over brands, personal favourites and my very own wish list - I just love buying new brushes and there are still ones out there that I am dying to have under my make-up belt.
To make this easier, I will split it up into sections: Face, Eyes and Lips.
Brands in this section: M.A.C Cosmetics, Illamasqua, Laura Mercier, Nars and Shu Uemura.
130 Short Duo Fibre Brush: This is a M.A.C Cosmetics brush and I tend to use this for blending and buffing in foundation.
188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush: This is a M.A.C Cosmetics brush and it is great for water based foundation and I also use it to dust on light powder.
Illamasqua Foundation Brush: This is designed for foundation (the name kind of gives it away) but I use it more to apply primer or cream contour. It is one of my favourite brushes as it's a great quality brush, super soft and applies cream or liquid effortlessly.
Chantecaille Cheek Brush: Perfect for applying blush in the apple of the cheek, this one is not in my kit but in my own personal make-up bag. I had to add it as I love it. The Chantecaille brushes are definitely something of a luxury.
Nars Kabuki Brushes: These brushes were inspired by traditional Japanese culture and they are great for blending and contouring. I have the Ita Brush, the Itan Kabuki Brush and the Botan brush. I must say I hardly use the Botan brush as its very large and dense. I would say these are not essential, as they are quite expensive and I bought them just because I loved the look of them.
Shu Uemura Fan Brush: I'm not sure you can even get this anymore as I did a quick online search of this and I cannot find it anywhere, but this brush, as are most fan brushes, is great for dusting very light powder over the face. I also use this as a highlighter brush.
Laura Mercier Fan Powder Brush: This brush was specifically designed for the Invisible Loose Setting Powder. The only setting powder I ever use, therefore I cannot live without this fabulous brush.
Illamasqua Blusher Brush 2 | Illamasqua Highlighter Brush | Shu Uemura Foundation Brush/ Natural 18 Goat brush | Nars Yachiyo Brush| Nars Flat Concealer brush |
Ja-heeb-uss, that was just the face... moving onto the next section:
Brands in this section: M.A.C Cosmetics, Illamasqua, Laura Mercier, Nars and Chantecaille
217 Blending Brush: This is another by M.A.C Cosmetics and has to be my all-time favourite brush. It is by far the best I have used for blending eyeshadow, concealers, and applying highlighter. It is just a really versatile, long lasting brush! This is yet another that clients love as it feels so soft. An essential for every kit.
Illasmasqua Eyeshadow Brush: Great for both cream and powder textures. You cannot go wrong with this brush.
Nars Smudge Brush: Another favourite of mine, this is fab for blending out eye pencil and defining the crease. Without fail I use this every time when creating a smokey eye.
Illamasqua Eyebrow brush: This is really firm so great for when you want to create a really defined shape. I always use this with the Illamasqua Eyebrow Cakes - which can be used wet or dry.
Illamasqua Angled Eye liner brush: Being totally honest, when I first started out doing freelance make-up I still hadn't mastered the art of eyeliner. The "cat-eye" flick was my worst nightmare. I sometimes panic about it now. I am such a perfectionist, when I found this brush it literally saved me. Perfect for using with a gel liner such as M.A.C Fluidline or a cheap alternative Maybeline Eyelasting Drama Gel Liner. I would not be without it.
Chantecaille Eye contour brush: Perfect for those who do not want to mess about with lots of different brushes. The flat side can be used to add colour to the lid where as the edge of the brush can be used in the crease, it is also soft enough to blend. I use this mainly to highlight under the brown bone. I also have the Laura Mercier Angled Eye colour brush which is practically identical to this.
Chantecaille Eye Definer brush: Tapered slightly so great for the crease, but when I cannot find my 217 blending brush this is the one I would reach for next.
Laura Mercier Finishing Eye brush: I use this for blending in concealer most of the time, but I also use it to catch fallen eyeshadow and blend outwards from the crease.
Laura Mercier Dual Eye Colour brush: This was in a palette I think, as I am not too sure where this brush came from. Great for cream eyeshadows. One that I don't really use so I wouldn't rave about it or suggest it is essential.
TOP TIP: For eyes you can simply use your fingers to apply the eyeshadow and use your ring finger to blend outwards.
If you are reading this and you are just after a brush for your own personal make-up bag don't worry about having to have lots of different eye shadow brushes just one simple contour brush will help you create lots of different looks.
Sigma Eyes Kit
All of the Tom Ford brushes
All of the Tom Ford brushes
last but not least...
By Terry Lip Brush: Now I have the old version of the By Terry lip brush but would absolutely love the new one, or any of the new By Terry brushes as they look so expensive and glamorous. I have a niggling bug bare about lip brushes, I find they are the most difficult to clean as silly as that sounds. Especially after layering M.A.C Dazzleglass glosses on the lips, after three shampoos I swear that gloss still clings to the brush.
That is all folks. That covers all of my brushes! I hope this helps! What I would say is invest in the brushes over expensive foundations, eyeshadows etc, and get a good brush cleaner. I personally love the Shu Uemura brush cleaner, and the M.A.C Cosmetics one is okay too. For a deeper clean just use a gentle shampoo.
See you soon,
* See Disclaimer