Friday, January 31, 2014

All About Brushes Part 1 | The Basics

This is rather a complex subject so I am going to break down this issue in three separate posts. The first thing you should know is the bristles come in two different types- Synthetic and Natural... and you should have both! The main difference between synthetic hairs and natural hair is its capability to pick up and release the product.

Synthetic Hairs

Synthetic are usually made with taklon or nylon, which is what most synthetic paint brushes are compromised of as well, or any other matter that imitates animal hair. As I raved in my Makeup Essentials (<<< Read Me) blog, I am obsessed with Sigma's F80 Flat Kabuki brush (made of synthetic hairs). Because it is not real hair, it does not essentially grab & hold the product within the hairs... it picks it up & releases it directly on the surface. Synthetic brushes are used best with liquids, creamy eyeshadow, or eyeliner. Traditionally, you should avoid powder based products with synthetic brushes. However, some companies are creating synthetic hairs that so closely resemble natural hairs you can hardly tell the difference. (Just know before you buy)

Recommended brushes: Sigma F80 - Flat Kabuki
Sigma  F88 - Flat Angled Kabuki

Sigma E05 - Eyeliner 
Sigma F70 - Concealer 

Natural Hairs

Natural brushes are a little more complex, as they are made from a variety of animals. The most common being goat, squirrel, sable, and pony. ((Don't worry, they are not harmed.. we all get hair cuts)). Adversly from synthetic brushes, natural hairs are best used on powder products. The reason being, the hair is is going to absorb moisture as our own hair does. A powder product is just going to vacuum inside those cuticle scales (below), and when enough pressure is applied (it doesn't take much) the powder will fall off

resulting in a softer application than synthetics.  This comes in handy when blending products. Natural brushes tend to move more generously than synthetics, which is why they are so amazing with blending & buffing out. (<< Does all that make sense?) Avoid using liquids and creams, as they will cling to the hair's texture & will have a difficult time releasing.. resulting in uneven application & cakeyness (ewww).

Recommended brushes: Sigma E35 - Tapered Blending

Sigma E25 - Blending
Sigma F40 - Large Angled Contouring
Sigma F10 - Powder/Blush

(I believe Sigma's Natural brushes are hairs from the belly of a Goat)


And then there are combination brushes.. which consist of both natural & synthetic hairs. You will not come across these brushes as much... as there are few brushes I know of (or at least tried) that is compromised of both. My favorite is MAC's 242 Shader brush. This little puppy is awesome for packing on color and even works with creamy concealers. It's the best universal brush known to man-kind. If you do stumble upon a combination brush, I would choose a very reliable brand, such as MAC so you know you are getting the best quality.

Recommended Brush: Sigma F50 Duo FibreMAC 242 Shader 

** Please Note: I chose to link all Sigma Brushes not only because they are amazing, but it was easier for me to stay with one brand. I am no way affiliated or sponsored by Sigma.

Brushes Part 2 HERE

Brushes Part 3 HERE

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