BASE Pro Artists Director Talks Makeup Brushes - What Should We Really Look For In A Makeup Brush
When it comes to buying makeup brushes, how many people are bamboozled by the sheer selection of brands on the market, let alone different types of hair, different colours, various handles and not to mention the shocking price of some and whether they are really worth it?
Today we are going behind the scenes with our company director Natalie Cahill to learn what really makes a great makeup brush?
We know some brushes are synthetic and some are natural hair, which ones are better?
Essentially they are designed for two different things. Synthetic brushes are designed to be used with creams and liquids as they don’t hold onto product like a natural hair brush does and natural hair brushes are mainly designed to be used with powders. Because the hair is natural, it contains porous pockets, which help to collect the product on the brush and mean that it is easier to distribute over your face. There are however, exceptions to this rule, for example, The Buffing Brush, which is designed for liquid and cream based foundations, is made of natural hair. This is done because when you are buffing a product into the face, this a much softer and gentler way with a natural brush.
Does this mean that all natural hair brushes are softer?
No, not always. Natural hair brushes just like synthetic come in all different shapes, sizes and softness. Natural hair comes in grade qualities, just like you find in hair extensions. To find the best hair quality you need to feel the brushes on your skin and you will be able to tell instantly. Good quality natural hair makeup brushes feel incredibly soft, which ensures they will not cause irritation and your makeup will glide over your face.
So we have to feel the makeup brushes to tell which ones are best?
Yes, this always helps, but there are a few tell tale signs that help distinguish better quality brushes. Find out where they were manufactured. The best quality makeup brushes tend to come from Japan and the cheapest from China. In general the makeup brushes from China are bulk manufactured, use cheaper materials and are generally synthetic. The problem with cheaper brushes is that they are manufactured quickly and with cheaper materials and as a result they do not tend to last very long, the brush hairs fall out and can often leave remnants over your face, not to mention issues with working environments for their staff. Makeup brushes manufactured in Japan come from centuries of knowledge, which has been passed down through generations from their origins as fine calligraphy brushes. As a general rule, these brushes are hand made by skilled artists and the materials are better quality, ensuring that they will last and they use much finer grades of hair, ensuring that your makeup brushes are incredibly soft.
I always go to a big brand and just buy their makeup brushes, will they know where their brushes come from?
This will depend brand to brand, but in general, most sales assistants will not know where or how their brushes are produced and this is because most big makeup brands do not produce their own brushes. Makeup brushes come from independent factories and then like celebrity sauces are white labelled and their brand name is put on the product. So going to a big name most of the time is not the best way to the best brushes, or indeed for the best price, going to makeup brush company is by far a better route as they specialise in this area.
So in round up what should I be looking for if I want good quality makeup brushes that last?
Look at where the brush has been produced and if you can afford it, opt for Japanese, they are better quality and will last longer. Consider carefully what you want to use the brush for and then opt for either synthetic or natural. Try to feel the product if you can. If it is online only, look for reviews that state how soft the brushes are and what they are made from.
Why not tell us what you look for in a makeup brush with a comment below.