Knowing what you should look for next time you need to stock up on your brushes will make your trip a lot easier and quicker. Here's everything you need to know and how to care for them. Keep reading, it's time to brush up!
1. Natural Bristle Brushes
These are soft to touch and are great for blending to create a natural, flawless application. They are best used for powder based products such as blush, powder and eye shadow.
2. Synthetic Bristles Brushes
These are generally quite stiff to touch and are great for maintaining complete control and a precise, neater application.
They are best used for cream based products such as concealer, gel liners and lip colours.
3. Best Way to Store Brushes
Either keep your makeup brushes in a proper makeup kit with individual slots for each brush (most makeup brushes will come in a kit exactly like this upon purchase, so make sure you hold onto it and use it as storage!) or keep them facing upright in a tall cup, jar or glass.
4. When to Replace Brushes
Brushes can last for a couple of years, providing they are cared for properly and cleaned regularly.
Cheap brush sets are great for saving money but bear in mind they generally aren't as high quality as more expensive kits and will need to be replaced sooner.
As a general rule of thumb, throw your old brushes out and invest in a new set if they aren't in their natural shape or form anymore (e.g. bristles permanently poking outwards) or there's permanent, discoloured marks on the brush due to past product.
This is quite common with liquid consistencies like foundation and concealer, especially if you like to use the same brush consistently for the same purpose, so keep an eye out for that!
5. Easiest Way to Clean Brushes
Simply squirt a tiny bit of mild soap onto the palm of your hand and rub it in.
Wet your first brush in lukewarm water under a tap before swiping it back and forth gently over your palm.
Finally, rinse gently under the tap (you should be able to see product residue running down the drain from your brush) and use your finger to make sure the water gets on all the sides, wherever sneaky product may have built up in the layers.
Dry thoroughly with a fresh, clean towel so there's no moisture and let it dry with the bristles hanging off a counter or table, so that it dries in it's natural shape and form.
6. How Often to Clean Brushes
The exact time you should wash your brush will depend on how often you use them (whether that's every day, a couple of times a week or month) but as a rule of thumb, aim to clean your brushes every month or two, just to be on the safe side.
Aside from giving them a proper wash, you can also purchase an affordable spray brush cleaner. All you need to do is spritz it onto the bristles and swipe back and forth on a tissue, paper towel or soft towel until the residue is visibly removed.
Remember: don't use a spritz spray to replace cleaning them properly! You still need to clean them properly every month or so.
7. Makeup Sponges
Most sponges can be washed many times before they need to be thrown out. On the other hand, you can buy synthetic sponge wedges that are generally quite cheap and get the job done. As a side note, only use these a couple of times before throwing them out.
8. Care for Your Brushes
Just remember to care for your brushes generally speaking and treat them well to keep them in great condition! Another added bonus is that you don't have to spend any more money on new brushes than you have to!