Specialty Brushes You Can Live Without
Even though I always use them for work, you don’t really need a lip brush. With fan brushes, I normally think they’re a joke—I always end up throwing them out or giving them away, but the exception is this one, which is quite nice and designed to sweep on loose powder: Laura Mercier Fan Powder Brush ($30).
As for eyebrow brushes, I’m a pencil girl. Eyebrow pencils are indispensable and good for grooming your brows. I think eyebrow brushes deposit too much color and then you end up with Groucho Marx eyebrows!
Keep ‘Em Clean
It’s important to clean your makeup brushes, especially your concealer, foundation and eye shadow brushes because you could be spreading bacteria everywhere (conjunctivitis is not sexy!). You don’t need to buy an expensive brush cleaner for your makeup brushes. I use a gentle dishwashing detergent, such as Seventh Generation, Dawn or Palmolive. Clean your brushes once a month, such as the first of the month so it’s easier to remember.
When to Give Them the Brush Off
I’ve had some brushes for more than 10 years. But if you don’t take care of them, especially when you’re traveling, they can get banged up. It’s time to toss a brush if the hairs don’t go back together or lay flat anymore—it’s like when you have damaged hair and your hair breaks. You can extend the life of your brushes by keeping them in separate container rather than with the rest of your makeup in your bag. Or better yet, use travel brushes. Eco Tools makes a great travel brush set ($11) that comes in a natural cotton and hemp bag, which keeps the hairs from getting all jacked up when you travel. The brushes are cruelty-free, synthetic and really soft. You can also throw it in your purse for touch-ups during the day.
Like a good relationship, if you take care of your brushes, they can last forever.
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