Beauty Tip: Use a Brush

For almost every type of makeup you apply, brushes are the way to go.  Brushes help eyeshadow go on more smoothly, can help get troublesome concealer exactly where you want it and help you get nicer-looking coverage with powder.  Just throw away anything that came with your makeup and looks like the world’s cheapest sponge on a stick or cut into a circle.

The Trick: Start with good brushes.  I don’t mean those crazy “professional” ones sold at Sephora.  You don’t have to spend $50 on a set of 5 brushes to get something that will work well.

Suggestion:  I recommend Eco Tools brushes.  They come in every variety you can imagine (and maybe some you can’t!) and are very affordable.    I also love them because they’re durable (I wash mine regularly), they’re eco-friendly (made of bamboo and recycled metal) and they’re cruelty-free.  Since they’re sold at Target, they’re also easy to find.  Some “specialty” brushes are only available online and at stores like Ulta, but you can get a good start with a multi-brush set like the Eco Tools 6-piece Eye Brush Set (approx. $8)

Tips:  1.  If using mineral foundation, use a very dense brush (one with lots of bristles).  I like Eco Tools’ Retractable Kabuki Brush ($7.64 at, about $12 at Ulta).  2.  Experiment with using different types of brushes.  You might find that a “concealer brush” is the right one for your eyeshadow, or that you prefer an angled brush instead of a flat one.  3.  Clean them regularly.  I don’t mean when you think of it.  Work it into your schedule somehow.  4.  In between cleanings, make sure to brush off leftover makeup onto a towel, paper towel, or tissue before each use.

Cleaning:  I like Ulta’s brush cleaner.  It comes in a spray bottle for about $12.  It sounds expensive, but it works well and only takes a little to do the job.  Just spray it into the bristles, and swipe onto paper towels or a semi-rough hand towel.  Use circular motions for round brushes.  Once it looks like you’ve gotten most of the makeup out, rinse and repeat.  For dense/large brushes like kabuki and blush brushes, it may be helpful to test the cleaning job by squeezing the bristles from the bottom up to see if any makeup is still trapped in there.  If you have problem skin (acne), you might want to start by sanitizing the brush with some alcohol or peroxide to make sure you take care of any bacteria that may be lurking about.

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