I’ve noticed a trend lately: makeup, that has always been very popular, has suddenly, somehow, increased in popularity. Everyone wants to know how to perfect their skills.
I credit this influx of makeup loving to the likes of Samir Khourzami and Huda Beauty, to name a few. With Instagram becoming one of the most popular Social Media platforms, it’s hard to ignore this trend. Makeup workshops are everywhere, and YouTube tutorials are countless.
As a qualified MAC makeup artist for the past 5 years, I’ve always had a passion for the art. I think that beauty is the kind of industry that’s constantly evolving; there’s always something to learn and get excited about.
So with this influx of makeup loving, I’ve decided to create a 6 part series of everything there is to know about the basics of makeup. It’s simple and to the point but informative and intense. Alongside this, I will be answering ALL questions related to that day’s topic via social media. Simply tweet me (@rowenasaloojee) with the hashtag #SNSbeauty or comment on my Facebook or Instagram posts.
The series will consist of the following, in this order:
- Brush basics
- Primer prepping
- Foundation and Cover up
- Everything eyes
- Blush and Contour
- Love your Lips
As the saying goes, “an artist is only as good as his tools”. When I was doing makeup before I became certified, I used my fingers for everything. It seemed logical; the heat of my fingertips would melt the foundation into my skin, and a pinky finger fits so snug into the corner of your eye. This resulted in one thing: my makeup that melted so readily into my skin had also disappeared not to long after. Eye makeup never looked perfectly the same, or even blended well enough.
When I studied via MAC, we realized the importance of simply knowing which tools to use, and that one brush can be used for way more than just one thing, all you need is a bit of rubbing alcohol to clean it in between.
Pictured: the best brushes I own: Real Techniques: rose gold and purple brushes that I purchased from Foschini and from Dubai, and Morphe Brushes: black and rose gold brushes that I purchased from @Musesa on Instagram (highly recommended, service and delivery was quick and easy and prices are reasonable/on par with international prices)
(note: I have a slight rose gold obsession)
From left to right:
Fine liner Brush, Powder Brush, Angled Brush, Pencil Brush, Concealer Brush, Powder/Blush Brush, Contour Brush, Angled Eyeshadow brush, Tapered eyeshadow Brush, Expert Face Brush, Flat Eyeshadow Brush
I will be going through how to use each brush when I cover the next few parts of the series, however I wanted to have a consolidated page for you to have something to refer back to if you’re new to buying brushes, or just need a reminder as to what each brush is about and it’s other uses.
FINE LINER BRUSH
What it’s used for: Gel liner or using eyeshadow to create a line.
I prefer a fine liner brush for eyeliner rather than an angled brush as it gives me better control and creates thinner lines. Practise makes perfect when trying to get that perfect wing, and this brush is definitely a winner in my books.
What it’s used for: To deposit powder foundation or translucent powder onto your skin to set your base or catch fall out under your eyes.
A powder and it’s brush makes all the difference as to whether your makeup will last all day or not. You want a brush that’s firm enough to be able to actually deposit product, but fluffy enough to not be streaky or make your makeup look cakey.
What it’s used for: Liner, Concealer, Eyebrows
An angled brush is not something I am very reliant on, but love to have. Its uses are numerous, but it can be replaced by other essential brushes. Angled brushes are great for filling in eyebrows as it fits the angle of the brow really nicely. It’s also great to wipe off that same brush with some rubbing alcohol, and define your brow underneath with some light concealer to give it a lift.
Another great use for an angled brush is to use it to conceal around the mouth area, especially if you’re doing a red or bright lip.
What it’s used for: Depositing eyeshadow under the lower lashline; creating an intense line of eyeshadow, for instance, a cut crease
I love doing cut creases, and find that a pencil brush really helps with that. It isn’t an essential brush, unless you’re moving on from beginner stages to trying out different looks. I also love using my pencil brush to smudge my gel liner to give it a super smokey effect.
What it’s used for: Getting to those hard to reach places such as right under the eye, around the nose and mouth and also to concentrate on depositing product onto blemishes
This concealer brush is by far the best one I have. I love that it’s so tiny so it really gets to those hard to reach places. Concealer also has a tendency to streak, so a smaller brush helps prevent that.
What it’s used for: Blushing up the apples of your cheeks
This brush seems quite massive for blush, but I prefer a fluffier brush, simply because it deposits less product at a time. I prefer to build up on colour with brush, rather than adding too much and having to wipe all your hard work away.
What it’s used for: Contouring the hollows of your cheeks, under your chin, and temples
If you’re onto the contouring bandwagon, this brush is for you. It’s perfectly tapered, so the shape really gets the product to where you want it to be. I’m not a fan of contouring (it’s a bit much and time consuming for me), however I do have a technique of using different shades of blush to create that high cheek bone look, and this brush is perfect for that.
ANGLED EYESHADOW BRUSH
What it’s used for: Creating a cut creased look; helps with winged eyeshadow
I love this brush because it’s so dense, and deposits colour quickly. It gives you a lot of control with your eye makeup, so if you’re looking to do something more dramatic, this is definitely a brush to consider investing in
TAPERED EYESHADOW BRUSH
What it’s used for: Depositing darker colour eyeshadow shades
If you’re looking to do basic eye makeup, you need at least two eyeshadow brushes: one for lighter colours and one for darker colours. I love a tapered brush for darker colours, as you have more control as to where you’re depositing colour and can do a little eyeshadow at a time and build on it.
EXPERT FACE BRUSH
What it’s used for: Applying liquid or cream foundation
I hate those flat foundation brushes; they always seem to leave my foundation streaky rather than blended. This rounded brush lets you brush on your foundation in circular motions, thus leaving you with an airbrushed effect. It’s one of the easiest brushes to use because it’s quite firm but still airy.
FLAT EYESHADOW BRUSH
What it’s used for: lighter colour eyeshadow
This is by far my favourite eyeshadow brush. It reaches the inner corners of your eyes nicely, and deposits a lot of colour at a time. It’s easy to blend with and the flat surface of the brush works well with the contours of your eyes.
That’s it for brush basics for this week; don’t forget to visit my blog next week Monday for part 2: Everything Eyes, and follow me on social media to ask any makeup related questions!