The brilliant, talented, funny and smart MUA Kay Montano has a must read blog http://www.kaymontano.com/2012/01/27/why-fake-your-lashes-when-you-can-grow-them-nadine-baggott/ and I have contributed an article on lash growth serums in case your lashes are in need of a little love
We all know that a good set of make-up brushes are essential if you want to apply your makeup like a pro, but few of us have the money to splash out on a dozen pure bristle hair brushes. Let’s face it, it costs money to clipper those pesky Japanese squirrels. But instead of wasting your money on a cheap set of nylon brushes, you have two options - you can try to track down great high street alternatives or edit the vast selection of professional brushes on offer and choose just a few indispensable ones.
‘It’s easy to tell a good brush from a bad one,’ Bobbi Brown told me. ‘The bristles should feel soft against your skin, never scratchy or rough. Try out the brush by running it across the area of the face that it’s designed for to make sure it feels right. And then test the strength of the bristles by running your hand over them to make sure that they do not come out on your hand.’
The good news is that high street brushes are, ahem, brushing up their act and leading the way is the new range from Max Factor. There are seven brilliant brushes on offer priced from around £5 to £15, and they are well edited to include all of the essentials. You can tell that Caroline Barnes and Pat McGrath have been involved in the selection because the range is stylish, concise and offers all that you need.
If you are unsure which brush to invest in then your choice should depend on the look you want to achieve; is your focus on your face, eyes or lips? Over the years I have tried an array of brushes and have my collection down to just eight essentials. My Elizabeth Arden Mineral Powder Face Brush, a Laura Mercier blusher/bronzer, a Bare Minerals Concealer Brush, a Bobbi Brown eyebrow angled brush because I use brow powder and not pencil, an Estee Lauder angled eyeliner brush, again because I prefer powder liner and not liquid or pencil, an ancient, so old I cannot see a label, eyeshadow brush, and matching shadow blending brush – and that’s it. But I wanted to know what the real pros consider their dessert island, can’t quite live without, brushes, here’s what they said.
‘I have three favourite brushes a blush brush, as the ones that come with blushers are never round or wide enough; a thin, flat eyeliner brush, and a soft fluffy eyeshadow brush that is large enough to cover about a quarter of your lid. But if I had to choose one it would be the Professional Face Blender Brush because it’s designed to handle powder, blush, bronzer and shimmer.’
‘My all time favourite make-up tool is a special eye liner brush. I helped to design my original Stila number 13 brush which is what I call the one stop liner brush. It has a thin line of short-ish, relatively stiff bristles and you dip the end into your eye colour and simply print the colour onto the eyelid at the very base of the lashes. The technique is simplicity itself and makes one of the hardest jobs in make-up easy. Using eye shadow and a brush in this way you will get a much softer, more natural line than if you use liquid or pencil liner. If you want a more defined look, simply wet the brush before dipping into the colour. It’s guaranteed to give precise colour application in the trickiest of places to make-up, and of course you can use it on your brows too to add shape and colour.’