26 July 2015

The Care and Keeping of Makeup Brushes

Despite the fact that I have been too busy (or sometimes unmotivated) to blog, my page views keep climbing and I have now passed 8,500 views! As someone who mostly blogs for myself, it's really awesomely fantastic to know that there are people out there reading what I wrote. Because I haven't been blogging lately, I have quite the backlog of things I want to write about. But, I decided to do a blog today on something much more current.

I never used to use makeup brushes much, but then I bought a few e.l.f. brushes and became a convert. I find that my eye shadow looks better when I use a brush and having nice brushes to apply my face powder, blush, and highlighter makes a world of difference. While I own 15 different brushes (plus extras of my favorites), there are five that I use every day.

My favorite e.l.f. brushes.

  1. e.l.f. Essential Total Face Brush : I use this brush to apply my Physician's Formula pressed powder. It gives me nice, even coverage that is easily buildable. I also use it to help clear away any fallout from my eye shadow.
  2. e.l.f. Essential Bronzing Brush : So it is called a bronzing brush, but I basically use it for everything that goes on my face besides powder. I use it to contour, to highlight, to apply blush, and, if I use it, to apply bronzer. The angle of it makes it great to apply to targeted areas on my face.
  3.  e.l.f. Essential Eyeshadow Brush : This is the brush I use to apply shadow to my upper lid. It's great for a subtle wash of color, or for packing on a lot of color on the outer corner. You will never apply shadow with one of those eye shadow applicator sponges once you use this brush.
  4.  e.l.f. Essential Blending Eye Brush : My other favorite shadow brush, I use this one to dust color over my entire lid all the way up to my eye brow. It is also the one I use to get highlight in the inner corner of my eye and it is great at blending.
  5. e.l.f. professional Concealer Brush : As someone with constant acne, this brush is a life saver. It does it's job marvelously and applies targeted spots of concealer with ease.

Honorable mention: e.l.f. Essential Smudge Brush : I do not use this brush every day, but it is the most used of all the rest of my brushes. I use it to pick up concentrated color and pack it over my liner. Sometimes it's just to reinforce whatever color I put down, other times it's to change it (like putting hunter green over brown).

There are of course so many different companies that make brushes, in every price range, but I love these because they are so affordable and effective (you can purchase all 6 brushes I mentioned for only $8!). Whatever brushes you choose to use, these shapes/sizes I think are highly useful.

As a brush owner, you are supposed to keep them nice and clean. First, because you don't want yesterday's product on your face, but also because over time, bacteria will build up on them, and no one wants to put bacteria all over their face. Now, I will confess that I do not clean my brushes as often as I should. After I use them, I always give them a cursory clean on a tissue or towel to remove the excess product, but I rarely remember to deep clean them. The reason I avoided it is because I found it to be so annoying and time consuming to do. Well, no more! I happened to see a "cheap trick" that absolutely works!

Presenting, Zote soap! It's a Mexican laundry soap and it is AMAZING. You can buy it on Amazon, but go to Walmart- it's only a dollar there! Cleaning your brushes with this is the easiest thing in the world. First, get your brush wet (avoiding the farrow- where the bristles go into the brush). Then swipe it along the soap to get some on the bristles. Swirl it in your hand so that it suds up. You can swipe again if needed. You'll see all the product come out in the suds. Rinse. For my larger brushes, I put a little bit of soapy water in a dish and swirled it in that before getting more soap on the brush and swirling it in my hand. For some of the really, really dirty brushes, I'd swirl, rinse, and swirl again. Once they're clean, gently squeeze the excess water out of the the bristles and let dry. It's best to dry them with the bristles down so that water doesn't get up in the farrow and make the bristles fall out. I solved this by pinning my brushes to a wire hanger with clothes pins. Worked like a charm!

Isn't that so simple?! Get it wet, get it soapy, rinse, dry. Done.

I found this so much easier than the oil + dawn method and much more effective than any of the brush cleaners I'd used. You should absolutely go out and buy a bar. It's one dollar and it will last you a very long time.

Super fancy hanger + clothespins drying rack. Always dry with bristles down.

Warning: It does have a very light fragrance, so if you're sensitive to fragrances, you may want to do a spot test with the soap somewhere before you use it. However, my brushes rinsed very clean, so I don't think much soap, if any, remained on the brush anyways, but better safe than sorry when dealing with your face.

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