There are many brushes a professional make-up artist may find useful in order to produce unique and beautiful work to a high standard. The choice should reflect the kind of work involved as well as the products used. Good brushes also help to address important professional areas of concern such as speed, hygiene and organization.
Basic Brushes for Beauty Make-up:
A basic brush kit will be adaptable to use for any professional make-up field and can expand once a specialism has developed. Make-up artists working in busy industries such as film or fashion will probably buy multiples of basic brushes for convenience.
- A powder brush is useful for dusting off excess product and for applying setting powder or bronzing powder.
- A cheek colour brush is smaller than a powder brush and places colour more accurately. These can be used for blusher, contouring and for applying large washes of colour to the eyes.
- Foundation brushes are usually wide, flat synthetic brushes which paint on a smooth layer of foundation. They are useful for any cream product, including blusher and shimmer.
- Concealer, lip colour and cream eye colour brushes come in many shapes and sizes. Essentially they all apply the cream product so are fairly interchangeable, and it is best to choose a brush that is comfortable to use. Buy a few so that the lip brushes do not get mixed with the eye or concealer ones causing a mess as well as a possible infection.
- Powder eye colour brushes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, having many uses from blending to smudging and straight application. These are ideal for loose and pressed powder colour and can also be used to powder concealer under the eyes and to apply highlighter to small areas. The best way to choose is to play around with as many brushes as possible, finding the ones that give the most control and best application. As a rule, get a couple for strong application, one for smudging, one for blending and at least one small firm brush for soft detailing.
- Eyeliner brushes are usually square or pointed but can also come in a range of styles. The pointed brushes are excellent for creating flicks and lines, and the flat brushes are good for detailed lash-line work. It is a good idea to have both types. Eyeliner brushes can be used with liquid or gel liners or damp with powder eye shadow.
Special effects can involve everything from casualty simulation to monsters. Anything which makes a mark could consider having a use for the application of such effects. However, there are also many special brushes to look into.
- Stipple brushes are brushing handles with a tiny stipple sponge attached. These are useful for getting clean effects in small areas.
- Body brushes are very large and come in many shapes and sizes. These are ideal for using with body paints and for painting larger areas.
- Good brushes need to look after well. Make-up does not damage brushes if cleaned off, but special effects materials such as latex can damage a brush if left on for too long. Disposable brushes can use for many basic effects to avoid this and always buy the correct removers for each substance to minimize brush wear.
- Synthetic brushes are excellent for liquid and cream products but do not apply powder well. The exception to this would be shimmer powders which a synthetic brush can smooth on to the skin in a light wash.
- Hairbrushes are usually ideal for applying and blending powder products, but some are firm and smooth enough to use wet.
- Do not apply the product with a brush that is too loose or floppy. These are ideal for blending or for informal washes of colour on larger areas, rather than anything too precise.
- Keep a good quality solvent de-greaser to hand like Solvo 2000 and be scrupulous about cleaning. Clean brushes help to stop bacteria from hands spreading to a client’s skin, but dirty brushes are the cause of cross-infection.
- Disposable mascara wands are useful for hygiene.
Make-up artists might find it hard to budget for everything before becoming established, but buying poor quality brushes will make each job harder and mean that it takes longer to build up a good stock of images.
- Professional make-up shops like Charles Fox keep a good stock of professional budget brushes. These are good for students or cheap, frequent replacement.
- Brushes from brands such as Shu Uemura are excellent for make-up artists with private clients as these feel comfortable on the skin and are part of the service. This work is not as hard on brushes as film or television, so a separate brush kit is a feasible investment.