Do you still put on blusher with the stubby brush that comes with the compact? Fiddle with those tiny eyeshadow applicators in an attempt to shade your eyes? Age-defying makeup relies on perfect application – and that means using the right tools. We need a bigger toolkit because it makes for a more natural finish. Here’s the ultimate toolkit for everyone…
- A lash comb. One of the most common makeup mistakes is clumsy lashes.
- An eyelash curler. They really do make a difference to older as well as young eyes…
- An old, soft toothbrush. This is dual-purpose: it’s brilliant for grooming brows into place – and for cleaning your lash comb.
- A nice, fat blusher brush with a dome-shaped head. You don’t want a spindly little one because that can make blusher go on in stripes.
- An eyeshadow blender brush. The right size and shape will help you apply shadow to the socket and soften any hard lines.
- A slanted eyebrow brush. Stiff bristles are less likely to smudge, spread or smear pigment where you don’t want it.
- A smaller eyeshadow brush, for applying color to the brow bone.
- Two retractable lip brushes – one for lip color and one for applying concealer perfectly on broken veins and shadows. Then you can pat the concealer with your finger, warming it and pressing it into the skin.
- A soft, more pointed eyeliner brush, if you like to use eyeliner. (You can wet this and dip it in shadow for a more dramatic effect.)
Invest in real hair brushes, rather than synthetic hair. Artificial hair doesn’t work as well. Synthetics tend to be stiff – and can even scratch your face.
Good brushes are the key to a polished, professional look, but they’re often too big to fit neatly into a compact makeup bag. The solution is either to opt for the travel size next time you buy or adapt what you’ve got. ‘I always cut down the handles on my brushes,’ says Jenny Jordan. ‘They fit into my kit more easily and they’re better for the fiddly application.’
It’s essential to wash brushes at least every two months to get rid of skin-irritating oil, bacteria, and mildew – and to ensure that color glides on smoothly. To clean blusher, powder and eye brushes, gently swish (don’t soak) bristles in sudsy water. (Use a mild shampoo, rather than soap.) Rinse immediately, squeeze out the water and rearrange the bristles in their normal shape. Then lay a towel on a flat surface with an edge and leave the brushes to dry with their heads hanging over the edge. For lip brushes, wipe bristles with a tissue, then dip them into a cup of non-oily eye makeup remover and tissue off the residue.