Friday 20 January 2017

Andrea Byrne: brushing up - get to know your beauty tools

Get to know your make-up tools with this easy guide to choosing and maintaining brushes

Andrea Byrne

Published 24/01/2016 | 02:30

Image from Bare Minerals.
Image from Bare Minerals.
Brush shampoo
BB skin detox
Kim Kardashian

The world of make-up can be a minefield, especially when it comes to make-up brushes. With so many products on the market in different shapes and sizes, how do you know which works for what?

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"Often women get caught in a rut with make-up and how they use their brushes. Be more adventurous, try experimenting with different brushes for different product application - for example, eyeshadow brushes make the perfect brush for concealing with," advises Sarah Jane Froome, International Make-up Artist with BareMinerals, adding, "An angled face brush, such as BareMinerals' Blooming Blush Brush, €24, which is a large brush with a slanted edge, is an essential for any make-up bag. This brush is ideal for contouring or adding a touch of blusher to the apples of the cheeks, the angle allows the brush to do all the hard work for you. I would also always recommend a small fluffy headed eye brush for applying eyeshadows - the head fits the lid for the base shadow, plus the point at the end for blending darker shadows into the crease or for creating a 'smokey eye'".

But what's the point in investing in good brushes if you're not going to care for them? It's simple - if you don't wash your brushes correctly, they deteriorate, quickly. Also, dirty brushes means a dirty face. After frequent use, they become lodged with all sort of nasties and therefore are breeding grounds for bacteria.

Sarah Jane recommends that we clean our make-up brushes, especially the ones used for applying complexion products, at least once a week to keep them in the best condition and to prevent bacteria. Allow them to dry naturally with the head of the brush hanging off a ledge to keep the shape. Never place on a radiator to dry. Also, it's best to reshape whilst the hair of the brushes are still damp.

4 of the best hot new products

Orris & Sandalwood Cologne Intense

A powerful floral blend with a difference, from Jo Malone, €130, available from Brown Thomas.

Superdefense Night Recovery Moisturizer

As hard working a night cream as you'll find, €54, Clinique, available nationwide.

BB Skin Detox Fluid

Covers, protects, nourishes and brightens, this new product from Clarins, €41, is the ultimate winter skin pick-me-up.

Blonde Parade

A hair mask from Alfaparf, €14.95, that works to correct, restore and soften every shade of blonde.

How to. . .

clean make-up brushes

Wet the fibres of the brush with warm water holding downwards. Use a penny sized amount of brush shampoo and gently lather into the fibres. Do not stop rinsing until water runs clear. Lay the flower-tip of the brush over the edge of the counter to dry overnight.

Top product

Brush Conditioning Shampoo €12, Bare Minerals

Celeb inspiration

Kim Kardashian


Why: Her fashion sense may be questionable but her make-up is always, without exception, flawless. 

How: Kim uses MAC’s182 Buffer Brush, €49.50, as a final step in her foundation routine. It blends and buffs to deliver a seamless,  picture-perfect finish that will last.

Pippa O'Connor


Why: The successful model and fashion blogger is the source of some serious brow envy.

How: Pippa swears by Blank Canvas' E30 Double Ended Eyebrow Brush and spoolie, €7.95, for applying products and achieving that much sought after full brow.

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