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mikazuki
03-04-2004, 12:57 PM
Yea! So good to see the forum I suggested come to reality! Thanks admins!

I LOVE makeup. I love the textures of makeup and how you can transform yourself into anything with makeup. Hopefully some of my tips will help the serious cosplayer apply their makeup easier and better as well as other people posting their own tips and tricks.

So lets talk about brushes in this thread. Regardless if you use stage makeup or normal makeup two of the essential things anyone should have (cosplayer or not) are quality brushes and sponges to work with. Sure you can buy the cheap nylon brushes that loose hair quickly but in the end you'll spend more money then you should.

First thing any person should have a box to store their brushes in. I use, at home, normal school pencil boxes since they are large enough to hold my brushes yet flat enough to fit in a drawer.

When I travel I have a train case that my brush box and makeup can fit into. NEVER store your brushes at an angle or crush the bristles. It ruins the shape of the bristles and your brush is ruined. I tend to wrap my brushes in tissue paper when not using them so that the bristles are even more protected but that's just me.

Types of brushes:

There are all types of brushes one can use but I'll go over the basic ones you should have.

Foundation brush - Typically this is a large flat rounded brush. If you use a cream or liquid foundation then this is a must have brush. Instead of blending your makeup with your fingertips or sponge use this brush to acheive a more natural looking finish. Of course this does not mean you dip the brush into the makeup and use it like a paint brush. No, no, no. You apply the foundation with your fingertips or sponge but BLEND the makeup using this brush. I use the brush after I applied my foundation completely in order to remove traces of application.

Powder brush - This is a big fat typically round brush used to set powder on the face or remove excess powder. There are also large flat brushes that work well. I apply my powder with a puff pad but use the powder brush to remove the excess. I have three different types (goat, sable and pony) of powder brushes but found that I like the sable brush the best.

Tickler brush - It's a feathery brush used to apply glitter or shimmer powders. Never use a powder or other brush to apply glitter or shimmer powders since it will deposit too much causing you to look cheap.

Blush brush - Similar to the powder brush only its smaller. There are MANY types of blush brushes ranging from medium round ones to angle ones to fan types to short fat stubby ones. I use, when I use blush and that is rare unless the character requires it, is a squirrel fat top brush in order to blend the blush. To apply the blush I use a dome shaped blush brush made of pony hair.

Concealor brush - When you need to do highlighting or shadowing or even apply a concealor under the eye you really need this brush especially since the skin under the eye is tender. Typically this brush is flat and domed shaped like a paint brush. I have three - one for highlighting, one for shadowing and one for concealor.

Now I'll go into the brushes used around the eyes. Note that these brushes look similar to paint brushes as they are typically flat brushes.

Eye primer brush - Used to apply a base primer or cream to your eyes. Typically flat dome shape brush.

Smudge - a short round, sponge type brush OR a very short rounded brush made of pony hair. This is used to smudge or soften the eyeliner under the eye or to create a smokey look with shadows.

Brow brush - VERY VERY important brush. Too many people do great jobs on their makeup EXCEPT for their eyebrows! These brushes can come as a double with the brush on one side and a comb on the other OR it can look like a short angled brush. It's very important to brush the brows for a more refined look.

Brow grooming brush This looks a like a mascara wand. I use mine not only to groom my eyebrows but also to remove excess mascara from my eyelashes.

Eyeliner brush There is the typical thin brush that looks like its only a couple of bristles and then there are the thin flat brushes. I use the more traditional brush that looks like its missing bristles to apply my liquid eyeliners. Usually my eyeliners come with its own applicator that tend to over deposit eyeliner so I use my own brush to pick up the amount I want to use.

Eyeshadow brushes - Ok here is where it gets tricky since there are dozens of types of brushes. There are large flat brushes, medium flat brushes and small flat brushes. There are angled ones, fluffy ones, domed shaped ones and round ones. I have practically every type of eyeshadow brush shape there is because really what you want to do with the eyeshadow does require the proper brush. I use the flat brushes to apply shadows when I'm doing daytime makeup, angled ones to apply smokey makeup, fluffy ones when I want a simple look or apply a glitter/shimmer to my eyes and domed shaped ones to do contouring or shading. I would suggest getting one of each type of eyeshadow brush and experiment with them since there are so many types of eyeshadow brushes.

Mascara brushes Besides the little wand applicators that come with most mascaras there are two other types of brushes you can use. Did you know that eyeliner and mascara not only come in the tubes you may typically use but also in a "cake" form? Its tricker to use but frankly its so much nicer then the tube stuff since it doesn't clump up as easily. The two brushes you can use are a large fan brush similar to a the fan brushes used to apply blush. You can use this brush to apply mascara to the root of the lashes that tend not to get any mascara from the wands. Then there is the normal wand shaped brush. You can use the mascara wand to double as an eyebrow grooming brush.

Lip liner brushes Similar to the eyeline brush except its thicker and flatter. You can use it to outline your lips with lipstick before filling in your lips with color.

Sponges Ok so its not a brush but used with brushes to achieve that flawless look. There different shapes - angle, round and square. Typically the angle ones are used to apply foundation and round or square for powder. Always apply makeup with a sponge but use the foundation brush to get the flawless look.

It's VERY VERY VERY important that you CLEAN your brushes & sponges regularly. There are products made to clean them so USE them! You can ruin the brushes, makeup and skin by not cleaning the brushes regularly. ALWAYS air dry the brushes with the brush standing up.

Any questions?

RoxieRocket
03-04-2004, 07:00 PM
No. :D

Shame on me though... I bought some makeup brushes the other day and I got cheap ones, heh.

It's really nice that there's a makeup subforum though... my experience is definitely more towards facepainting but it'll be nice to pick up some tips and techniques from here for when I'm trying to make myself or a friend just look a little more glamorous instead of making them look like an alien. :P

Umi
03-04-2004, 07:08 PM
I have a question. Although, it's not really brush specific. I've never used sponges except to apply foundation. So I guess I have two questions.

1. What other uses do sponges have?
2. What's the difference between using sponges and brushes for foundation application (and in general)? Any difference to the look it gives you?

mikazuki
03-04-2004, 07:17 PM
1. What other uses do sponges have?

You can use sponges to touch up your makeup, remove makeup, blend your powders. Personally I perfer brushes over sponges since I find that sponges leave blotches... but I do use sponges to pick up the excess foundation before using a brush to smooth out the foundation.

2. What's the difference between using sponges and brushes for foundation application (and in general)? Any difference to the look it gives you?

Like I said, I use both. I use sponges to apply foundation (cream, liquid or cake) and use it to remove excess foundation. The brush simply removes the excess sponged on look. If you use your fingers ever notice the finger marks? Same with sponges, you can notice (depending on the makeup very noticeable with weird colors like blue or green skin) the marks. Professional makeup artists will use a sponge to apply the foundation but use the brush to remove the traces of the sponge marks. When you use a brush to feather out the foundation you get a softer, more polished look. That's been my experience with makeup.

I've had makeup training not only through theater but also competing in beauty pageants as well as when I studied cosmetology and everyone I ever worked with used foundation brushes to feather out the foundation.

leilan
03-04-2004, 08:00 PM
Nice. :bigtu:

What brand of brushes do you prefer to use?

Romann
03-04-2004, 09:33 PM
Damn...that was extremely helpful ^__^ I just recently bought a huge makeup brush set from Sephora and I had no idea what was meant for what.

mikazuki
03-04-2004, 11:44 PM
What brand of brushes do you prefer to use?

I use NARS, Paula Dorf, Sephora, Cargo (VERY expensive) and a few others whose names have worn off the handles. I use pony hair, sable and squirrel.

Damn...that was extremely helpful ^__^ I just recently bought a huge makeup brush set from Sephora and I had no idea what was meant for what.

Which set did you get?

Alanna-chan
03-05-2004, 02:09 AM
First thing any person should have a box to store their brushes in. I use, at home, normal school pencil boxes since they are large enough to hold my brushes yet flat enough to fit in a drawer.

Or better yet, get a set that has a box. Each has a space in it to store them so they don't slide around and get messed up.

mikazuki
03-05-2004, 11:22 AM
Train cases are usually made to hold the brushes but lets face it... train cases stored at home take up way too much room. ;)

Olivia
03-05-2004, 12:34 PM
mikazuki, thank you so much for posting this. I always have troubles with make-up brushes :eeek:

Romann
03-05-2004, 03:24 PM
I got the Sephora Portfolio Collection, and Urban Decay Brow brush and Wonder brush ( which is my favorite!) I already have A LOT of make-up, so I just needed to get the tools to apply it! Before it, though, I used my finger-tips a lot, which you have to be careful not to apply too much pressure...especially around the eyes.

mikazuki
03-05-2004, 04:25 PM
I got the Sephora Portfolio Collection, and Urban Decay Brow brush and Wonder brush ( which is my favorite!) I already have A LOT of make-up, so I just needed to get the tools to apply it! Before it, though, I used my finger-tips a lot, which you have to be careful not to apply too much pressure...especially around the eyes.


That is a nice starter collection... be careful... you can addicted to the different brushes out there. ;) I've never used the Wonder brush, looks like a good brush. The brow brush is a good shape to use.

archangeli
04-04-2004, 11:34 PM
I just found a fabulous brush roll at Shoppers Drug Mart (of all places... ) it has slots for 9 long handled brushes and 9 med handle brushes. It's just what I've been looking for since my makeup brush collection is expanding and I want to keep them all in one place. :)

I shampoo my brushes with regular shampoo (not 2in1) once a week to remove buildup. It makes a huge difference in the texture and application of makeup.

One question though - there are "Brush Cleaners" on the market that are mostly alcohol. Are they worth investing in?

mikazuki
04-05-2004, 02:48 AM
Personally I don't like brush cleaners that have alcohol in them simply because they do dry out the brushes made of animal hair. I use baby shampoo on my brushes on a weekly basis unless I'm using a dark eyeshadow then I wash them immediately.

kitsunered
04-06-2004, 04:17 PM
What would you reccomend for those of us who can't use animal hair brushes? I'm deathly allergic to any kind of animal hair so I'm pretty much forced to use synthetic brushes. I have a nice big powder brush from Ben Nye that seems to work well.

-K

HuongStar
04-08-2004, 12:15 PM
What would you reccomend for those of us who can't use animal hair brushes? I'm deathly allergic to any kind of animal hair so I'm pretty much forced to use synthetic brushes. I have a nice big powder brush from Ben Nye that seems to work well.
Two most common synthetics used in makeup brushes today are Nylon and Taklon. Unlike natural hair, nylon and taklon do not have the scales or cuticle which make them less absorbent and will not 'trap' makeup the way natural hair will. Taklon makeup brushes, which are usually orange or white in color, are commonly used as concealer brush or liquid or cream foundation brush. Taklon is used as a more affordable substitute for sable but lacks durability as it tends to 'fan out' and become stiffer with each use. Nylon, on the other hand, is commonly used for eyebrow groomer or eyebrow brush as it is harder than Taklon. Unlike natural hair makeup brushes, which get softer and softer with each use, synthetic cosmetic brushes tend to get stiffer with use. Ben Nye probably has the best selection of full-synthetic brushes; most companies use a mix of natural & synthetic!

As for cleaning, I've used Ozo-Kleen brush cleanser by Joe Blasco (available at any theatrical makeup supply - $29.99). This great cleaner is enviromentally friendly and pulls out all makeup (even lipstick), instantly sanitizes, and dries within minutes for instant reuse. Two tablespoons can clean your entire brush collection! Even if this liquid appears cloudy, you can still use it if you can still see the color being pulled onto your paper towel or Kleenex. If you prefer high end, I like the Bobbi Brown Conditioning Brush Cleanser ($16.50).

Another alternative is Aveda's Shampure (gentle conditioning shampoo that softens hair and combines the conditioning rinse). Wash completely in warm sudsy water; squeeze out any excess water; and press into shape. If possible, let the brushes hang dry with the hairs facing down. This prevents the water from going into the ferrule and loosening the glue, thus losing your bristles. Let them dry overnight.

archangeli
04-23-2004, 12:32 AM
It's VERY VERY VERY important that you CLEAN your brushes & sponges regularly. There are products made to clean them so USE them! You can ruin the brushes, makeup and skin by not cleaning the brushes regularly. ALWAYS air dry the brushes with the brush standing up.


I though it wasn't good to have your brushes dry standing up because water can run back into the ferrule and loosen the glue. I usually lay my damp brushes on a towel to dry and reshape them as needed when they are dry.

Obviously I squeeze excess water out of them, but I don't mess around with them much while they are wet.

I found a good site with a lot of info on makeup brushes (cleaning, hairs, etc). They advertise their own stuff tons, but there's some good content in between: http://www.a-squirrel.com/makeup-sable-goat-hair.html

mikazuki
04-23-2004, 12:43 AM
Water shouldn't affect the glue since most brushes - well good quality ones - use a waterproof glue.

China-Lilly
04-23-2004, 01:34 AM
Urban Decay makes good animal hair free brushes - however, the powder brush doesn't compare to a natural hair one because the bristles feel quite solid - it almost compares to a buffer brush. There are other lines like this, but I can't recall them right now.

I use Johnson's Baby Wash to clean mine. Or a gentle baby shampoo. Treat your brushes as you would treat your own hair. I tend to avoid brush santizers if I can - unless I need to use them straight away on another person - because these usually have alcohol in them so that they are antibacterial and quick-drying. But in the long term, they will ruin your brushes. I do use MAC brush cleaner on occasion, but that's more for my own brushes after everytime I use foundation or Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner - I'd rather avoid washing them in soap and water everyday because I don't want them to wear out quickly. The best way is just to have enough brushes if you are doing multiple people, or need to switch shades.

I agree with archangeli - brushes should be dried lying flat on the edge of a bench or table with the bristles over the edge (so that the wet bristles are not pressed against the table).

Continued practise of drying the brushes standing up will shorten the lifespan of your brushes by gradually dissolving the glue, even if they are good quality ones. You won't notice it after a few times of doing this - but it does mean your brush won't last as much in the long run.

procrastinator
06-20-2004, 11:17 PM
Sorry if I'm reviving an old thread, but I have a few questions:

I don't have a lot of money, so I bought a few Sonia Kashuk brushes from Target (foundation, eyebrow, and eyeshadow). What are your opinions on this brand? They are claimed to be professional quality, and they work OK from my experience so far...
I don't have baby shampoo, so I use Dawn dish soap (my mom reccommended it) And i make sure to rinse it out very thoroughly. Is this OK? or should i shell out a buck or two and get Baby shampoo?

archangeli
06-21-2004, 01:53 AM
SK brushes get RAVE reviews for their low price and good quality. Since we don't have her line up in Canada i can only paraphrase, but i've heard good things about them.

Dish soap or shampoo is fine because it rinses out without residue which is what you are after. HOWEVER - if the brushes are made of natural hair the harsher detergents in dish soap may harm your brush over time.

--> Think about how your own hair would feel if you washed it with dish soap all the time? Not to nice... Baby shampoos are gentler and pH balanced. The reason is that baby hair doesn't really get as "greasy" as adult hair can in a day so the detergents used in the shampoo are much milder. Since makeup brushes don't really get "greasy" either you should use a milder alternative. Even the stuff you wash your face with would be a better bet ;) You could probably find a bottle of baby shampoo at the dollar store :) it'll last a LONG time..

mikazuki
06-21-2004, 03:36 AM
Sorry if I'm reviving an old thread, but I have a few questions:

I don't have a lot of money, so I bought a few Sonia Kashuk brushes from Target (foundation, eyebrow, and eyeshadow). What are your opinions on this brand? They are claimed to be professional quality, and they work OK from my experience so far...
I don't have baby shampoo, so I use Dawn dish soap (my mom reccommended it) And i make sure to rinse it out very thoroughly. Is this OK? or should i shell out a buck or two and get Baby shampoo?

I've actually not bought the Sonia brushes but I have bought the Target brushes [recently] (under $2 for some, most are under $8) and those are pretty decent. I still perfer my animal hair brushes but ended up putting those away unless I'm going out. I've switched in recent weeks to using synthetic brushes simply because my lovely little children have been using my expensive ones for painting.... (I won't go into how I burst into tears when I saw my brushes covered in permanent fabric paint.)

Dawn maybe a little harsh and if you really want save on money in cleaning your brushes try this -- take Ivory bar soap and shave it with a cheese grater. Take the shavings and put it in hot water to melt the shavings. Let the water cool so it's warm and wash your brushes. You don't need a lot of shavings, just a slice or two on the flat side to make slices for cheese burgers.

Target also sells baby shampoo for under $3 and when the Target brand is on sale it's under $2. You can get baby shampoo at the dollar store as well (as mentioned above). Just remember, you get what you pay for so investigate the products you buy.

PorcelainSakura
01-10-2005, 09:05 PM
Sorry for reviving but I have a few....

I've been told to throw away sponges after they get too used. Should I do this or can I clean them too?

I almost live in art stores, and see artist brushes that look exact to makeup brushes and every shape is available in any hair type. With coupons and sales I have a large collection of these, since they're un-used, is there a problem using them for makeup?

Thanks in advance ^_^

archangeli
01-10-2005, 10:07 PM
There is no problem with using artist brushes for makeup at all. Most art brushes are make of nylon/ taklon (synthetic) or sable. Mostly artist brushes are best used for eyeshadow and eyeliner. Nothing can really replace a good powder brush.

(just a funny tidbit - Trish McEvoy designed her brushes by buying art brushes and cutting them this way, that way and experimenting with what worked)

sponges can be washed with shampoo and left to air dry, but i would suggest replacing them after 3-4 washes since it will start to fall apart anyhow. the reason you should use shampoo is to dissolve the oils from products like lotion and foundation (and sebum from skin) which can accumulate on it and promote bacterial growth. if you are very concerned you could use an anti-bacterial soap.

Claireo
03-01-2005, 12:26 PM
That was realy good and helped.Just wondering eye lash curling tongs do they work without mascara or how do they work thanks.

archangeli
03-01-2005, 03:31 PM
That was realy good and helped.Just wondering eye lash curling tongs do they work without mascara or how do they work thanks.

Do you mean an eyelash curler like THIS ONE (http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P8119&shouldPaginate=true) -

or something like the one on the right hand side on THIS PAGE (http://www.lauramercier.com/site/shoponline/buy_accessories.htm)

Both are eyelash curlers. The second one looks more like a pair of tongs.

I use both styles. The "full" curler when I'm at home, and the tweezer-like ones I throw in my makeup bag when I'm on the go. I usually curl my lashes before applying mascara (and sometimes skip mascara if I'm not wearing makeup that day).

Do a board search for eyelash curling. This topic has been mentioned before.
Here's a link to an older thread: http://forums.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=36368 It's titled "Eyelash curler hints?" so you'll probably find some useful tips there.

Mich
03-02-2005, 12:10 PM
For quick,hygienic cleaning of brushes,you can get a small travel spritzer spray with surgical spirit(which you can buy from chemists), and spray your brushes with those... :)

archangeli
03-03-2005, 09:41 AM
Clinique is launching it's own line of makeup brushes (http://www.gloss.com/clq/index.jsp?clickid=hmp_leftnav_img&n-state=http://www.clinique.com/templates/products/multiproduct.tmpl?CATEGORY_ID%3dCATEGORY8564~~shop ping-cart-location!www.gloss.com~G!04616B929482!Sh8A6k4NYYzj ~~ws-nocache) that have an anti-microbial coating on the hairs to make them more sanitary.

This is a nice option if you are incredibly lazy and never wash your brushes... :thumbsup:

angellover02171
03-05-2005, 01:09 PM
The Cvs Near My Home Is Selling Horse Hair Brushes For Much Less Money. I Bought One On Their Brushes And I Liked It Beter Than That Ones I Got Form M.a.c.

archangeli
03-05-2005, 11:34 PM
The Cvs Near My Home Is Selling Horse Hair Brushes For Much Less Money. I Bought One On Their Brushes And I Liked It Beter Than That Ones I Got Form M.a.c.

^ grammar... :eeek:

"Horse hair" = sable. Sable brushes are good quality brushes, but not the softest on the market. If you find something that you like and can work with then that's great. "