Your Go-To Guide To Makeup Brushes

When it comes to makeup, some of the most frequently asked questions we get are about brushes – how many do you need, which brands do I buy and how often do I need to wash them? With the recent launch of his makeup course Be Your Own Makeup Artist created with RescuMe Academy, we’ve consulted leading makeup artist Nigel Stanislaus for his tips to brushing with success.

Are more expensive brushes worth it?

I use a range of brushes from both higher end and affordable brands,” Nigel says. “I’ve used affordable brushes from brands such Zoeva which do the job well, but I love Surratt and MAC brushes.”

“Rae Morris’ brushes are absolutely amazing, my favourites being the eyeliner brush and her lip brush, and some of my other favourites are the Tom Ford powder brush and foundation brush. NARS is great also,” he says. “If you’d ask me in six months time my favourite brushes would probably change again, though!”

Where can you afford to skimp in your brush kit? “You can skimp on a fan brush, I don’t use them personally however,” he says. “You can also skimp on eyeliner brushes, spoolies, some foundation and concealer brushes – you can buy great pinpoint concealing brushes at the art store.”

How often should you clean your brushes?

In short, a lot more often than you probably do. “Ideally, you should clean your brushes every time you use them,” he says. “But let’s say I have a celebrity I work with everyday, as a minimum I would clean the eyeliner brush and lip brush everyday because you use more wet product on them, and are therefore more prone to attracting germs and bad bacteria.”

“As for powder brushes like your blush brush, you can leave them for one to two days,” he says. “Sometimes I sneak into my mother’s bathroom and wash her brushes, people generally really need to wash them more regularly!”

How do you clean your makeup brushes?

“Doing events such Fashion Week or a big day where you’re making up a lot of different celebrities, you need to keep your brushes sterilised,” Nigel says. “To do this, I would use a brush cleaner with a strong alcohol content to make sure any nasties are neutralised – I then wipe it on a paper napkin just to make sure all leftover product and bacteria is off the brush.” “Between day-to-day applications, I give them a deeper clean,” he shares. “I use a nice hand wash and swirl it in my palm to make sure all the product and oils are picked up.

“While some people use purely alcohol to clean their tools, I find this dries out the bristles and can strip away the lacquer on the brush and break the handles,” he says. His suggestion? “I give them a thorough wash and if I need to, put on a little bit of hair conditioner to keep the bristles soft. I then rinse the brush, shape it, and leave it drying flat.”

How do you know when to throw out a brush?

“When a brush is out of shape, or the hairs are starting to fall out, that’s the biggest sign you need to get rid of a brush,” Nigel says.

“A brush is meant to help you in your application of makeup and make the experience more wonderful and achieve the result better and more easier than you could with your bare hands, so if it’s not doing this then maybe it’s time to through them out.”

Last, but not least, what are your thoughts on beauty blenders?

“I use both brushes and beauty blenders, as they both have different uses,” he says. I use brushes to deposit the foundation colour, and if I’m in a hurry, I use the beauty blender to do the final blend over a wider area.”

“I think they are amazing because it’s a new age sponge where they have the ability to take a lot of product and apply the product really quickly and evenly,” Nigel says. “There are a lot of girls who put on a lot of foundation, and I think it’s great because it creates a more enhanced blend and takes off some of the excess.

“It’s a supreme way of blending to make sure lots of pigments easily spread out and gives you a beautiful finish.”

Claim your free Foundations on Beauty, Makeup and Skincare ebook here.

Watch what you’ll learn from RescuMe Academy’s Be Your Own Makeup Artist with Celebrity Makeup Artist, Nigel Stanislaus below.

Visit our online Education Hub RESCU Me Academy for our courses, free ebooks and resources.

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