Makeup Brushes, for beginners

The one thing that I get asked about most, is makeup brushes. It seems that anyone who isn’t a “makeup addict” is overwhelmed by the choices. But really putting together a useful makeup brush kit is easy! Really! You only need a few functional brushes to do your entire face, and they don’t have to cost a fortune either.

Here are my recommendations:

You only need 2 good brushes for your eyes, 1 small to medium fluff brush for eyeshadow, and one angled liner brush for your eyeliner, and blending shadow under your eye.  My faves are:

  • ELF eyeshadow brush (it’s only $1!), it’s soft, dense, large enough to apply your all-over lid colour, and small enough to get in the crease, if you have a small crease go for the Defining eye brush.
  • ELF studio small angled brush, it’s synthetic, so it keeps it’s shape. Great for lining with gel liners, or using eyeshadow to line your lover lash-line.

You need 2 brushes for your face, a foundation brush, and a blush brush.

  • I love my MAC 116 blush brush, it a little pricey at almost $40 but will last you years if you treat it with love.
  • A good reasonably priced foundation brush is the elf studio angled foundation brush.
  • If you want to get fancy you can always get a concealer brush, elf studio concealer is a good inexpensive option.

The only other bushes you need is a lip brush and a brush for grooming you brows.

  • You don’t have to get fancy with these two, you can pretty much use any stiff small brush as a lip brush, check out your dollar store and see if you can find a small makeup brush (sometimes you can find one that would be used as an eyeliner brush, think outside of the box) if you can’t find a good one I like the elf concealer brush (the $1 one, I find their lip brush a little too “floppy”). You can use a soft toothbrush to “brush” your brows, also if you search your Walmart or Target you can usually find a spoolie (looks like a mascara wand without the mascara) for pretty cheap, while you’re there check out the lip brushes as well they’re pretty cheap too!

When you bring home your brushes, the first thing you want to do is wash them. Then you just have to wash them about once a week. You can use baby shampoo, check out youtube, there are tonnes of recommendations on what soap to use, and how to clean them. You don’t want to get any water down the ferrule (the part that holds the bristles to the handle, usually metal) so remember to always keep the bristled pointing down. Here’s a great video to show you how:

Blush and Contouring, a how-to

Blush and contouring face charts

Top left – Round face
Apply blush under cheekbones.
Contour along jaw, temples, and under chin and jawline (along neck).
Highlight bridge of nose, apples of cheeks and top of forehead, at hairline.

Top right – Long face
Apply blush right on cheekbones.
Contour along your entire hairline at top of forehead, hallows of you cheeks (make a “fish face” to find), and bottom of chin.
Highlight above cheekbones (a little higher than where you put blush).

Bottom left – Heart face
Apply blush on cheekbones.
Contour temples along hairline, and bottom of chin.
Highlight just below hollows of cheeks down to jawline.

Bottom right – Square face
Apply blush on cheekbones from hairline blended to just before apples of cheeks.
Contour jaw and and temples along hairline.
Highlight bridge of nose, apples of cheeks and centre of chin.


How to match your foundation

So winter is really here… aside from the Holiday recovery we have to start thinking about matching our foundation for out winter skin tone. I’ve been having a real struggle this winter over finding my HG colour match. One trick I’ve (finally) learned is to match your foundation to your neck and decolletage. Start my swatching on your neck and decolletage, when you find a match swatch along your jawbone, you will know it matches when there is no line where your jaw meets your neck, and everything looks about the same colour.

Don’t try and fix your colouring with foundation, always try to match your skin colour as perfect as possible. If you think that your are too pale use a bronzer, etc..

Also it is important to try before you commit, it’s best to try the foundation all over your face for at least a few hours. Everybody’s skin causes foundation to react differently. Does it highlight dryness and show your flakies? Is the coverage even? Do you have enough coverage, too little? Does it feel good? Did the colour change throughout the day? Check with your drugstore, or counter about their return policy, if you are shopping at a high-end counter or sephora you can try and ask for a sample.

Don’t forget to check in different lighting, there’s nothing worse than having a perfectly applied face at your vanity, only to check in your car’s mirror in natural light and find that you look like the offspring of an oompa-loompa (been there!)

I’ve been on the endless hunt for the perfect foundation. I love my EDM mineral foundation and my Meow minerals foundation. But, this winter my skin has been really dry, and my winter colour has started to show, so my summer colours aren’t matching at all 🙁 I’ve been trying to find a “dewy” moisturizing foundation with good coverage, isn’t mask-like and doesn’t turn me into a pumpkin. So far I’ve tried:

Clinique Soft finish: I can’t find a colour match, and it seems to turn me a bit orange. I do looove the formulation so maybe I’ll try another colour (crosses fingers).

MAC mineralize liquid: the lightest colour is too dark (it starts at NW20, why?) it’s also a tad orange.

Maybelline dream liquid mousse: so far, so good. I have a decent colour match with the lightest shade, and the coverage looks good, does’t turn me orange (yet)…only time will tell if I break out. I also got this on sale a Pharmaplus for $6.99 so it’s by far the least expensive I’ve tried. Here’s hoping.