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Makeup Brush Techniques

        Health | Skin & Makeup

Excerpt from The Beauty Bible (Beginning Press)

Brushes can be foolproof tools for applying makeup, yet it is definitely possible to use brushes incorrectly. I've seen enough women use their brushes in a rubbing or wiping motion on the face to know how often it can happen. Many women beat at their faces with a wild brushing motion as they attempt to apply their blush and eyeshadows. There truly is an easier and more effective method. When you wipe,beat, or heavily rub the brush against the face, it may be removing what you just put on, not to mention wiping off the foundation underneath, which can result in a streaky uneven appearance. The best technique is to brush in short, light, purposeful motions that glide over the skin.

If there is a distinct line where the brushstroke was placed of if you feel an urge to use your finger to blend what youve just applied, most likely you are not using the brush properly or your brush is too stiff for a soft application. (You may also have applied your foundation too thickly or use a foundation that is too greasy, or the blush color you have chosen is too strongly pigmented for your skin color.) You should not blend anything with your fingers — use your brush or the flat, square, thin sponge you use to apply your foundation. Remember, use your sponge for applying foundation and softening edges of your blush, contour, and eyeshadows.

Something else that is critical to using brushes effectively — even though it may seem insignificant at first — is the way you pick up the powder on your brush before you apply it. Never mash or rub your brush into the powder. Rather, gently place your brush into the powder without moving the bristles. You don't want to see the brush hair bend or splay. Always stroke through the powder evenly and always knock the excess powder off the brush before you apply it to the face. This prevents applying too much color to the first place your brush touches. When it comes to makeup, it is always easier to add than subtract!

Makeup Brush Mistakes to Avoid:

  1. Do not use hard or stiff brushes.
  2. Do not use a brush that is too big or too small with bristles that are too sparse, they won't hold up over time.
  3. Do not forget to knock the excess powder off the brush before you apply the color to your face.
  4. Do not wipe or rub the brush across the face; instead, gently brush on the color with short even strokes.
  5. Do not forget to use your sponge to blend out hard edges and soften your color application.
  6. Do not forget to gently wash your brushes every month or so, unless you are using them on a variety of people, in which case you should be washing or disinfecting them every day.

For more on the proper makeup application techniques, visit Paula online at