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Just as you wouldn’t expect to paint a masterpiece with a box of crayons, you can’t achieve cosmetics perfection without the proper tools. This guide can help you make all the right strokes.

 
Choosing the proper brush for the job can really give your makeup application that professional polish. Kristi Fuhrmann, Hollywood makeup artist and spokesperson for Sally Beauty Supply, gives some insider tips on selecting the right brush.
 
The brush you use is just as important as the cosmetics you choose. The shape and size of each brush is designed to help the makeup go on smoothly and make perfect makeup easier to achieve. Just as you wouldn’t use mousse instead of brow gel to tame unruly eyebrows, you wouldn’t use a shadow blender to apply foundation.
 
Makeup brushes should be cleaned regularly to avoid bacterial growth and to prevent product buildup, shortening brush’s life. Regularly wash your brushes in warm water with a mild detergent and let them air dry on a clean towel. Or, if you like, use a product such as Face Secrets Professional Brush Cleaner that will sanitize your brushes as well as provide conditioning for the bristles.
 

GIRL ON THE GO

TRAVEL BAG: There’s nothing like a purse-sized set of makeup brushes to keep you looking good-to-go while on the road.

The Face Secrets Makeup Artist’s Brush Set is the perfect accessory for travel. This professional-quality makeup brush set contains five essential travel-size brushes in a convenient travel portfolio with a magnetic closure. The selection includes the deluxe powder brush, angled blusher, eye contour brush, small shading brush, and a brow groomer. The brushes are a perfect selection for complete makeup application. The line’s brush-cleansing towelettes make it easy to keep these brushes in top shape.
 

HINTS FOR A FLAWLESS FACE

When applying makeup, you can end up with smudges where you don’t want them. The quick and easy way to fix these smudges without having to start over is to dip a cotton swab in makeup remover and gently wipe the area. Blot the area with translucent powder and, presto, the mistake vanishes.
 
Many cosmetic lines offer cream blushes and eye shadows. The best way to apply these is with a foundation brush or a wedge-shaped cosmetic sponge. For blush, dab a small amount on the cheekbone and then blend it well. For shadow, put a small amount on your brush and apply it in thin layers until you have reached the desired look.
 
Ernie McCraw is director of beauty education for Sally Beauty Company, the world’s largest distributor of professional beauty products. A licensed cosmetologist for more than 30 years, he is a frequent contributor to fashion and beauty publications nationwide.
 
 

Type of Brush

Description/Use

Usage Tip

Lip

A synthetic lip brush holds its shape for lining as well as filling in.
Line lips, then fill in, starting in the middle and blending outward.

Dual Brow

Synthetic bristles blend powder and groom brows. Lash comb separates lashes and removes excess residue.
When combing lashes, close eyes and gently comb lashes downward.

Smudge

Sable blended oval pointed brush is perfect for blending or smudging pencil or shadow liners.

Use for thicker application of dark shadow to lash line. For deeper color, apply wet.

Shadow Blender

Soft natural bristles for applying shadows and highlighting under the brow bone.

Apply base shadow on lid, then contour in the crease and blend.

Eye Contour

Soft natural-hair brush designed to contour and define eyes.

Can be used to “erase” makeup mistakes.

Liner

Pointed oval brush is perfect for precision lining.

Slightly extend eyeliner beyond corners to lengthen the eye.

Foundation

Synthetic-fiber brush ensures flawless liquid and cream makeup application.

For an even finish, start at the center of the face and work outward.

Angle Blush

Dense natural-hair brush contours and defines the cheekbone.

For a more natural look, use a one-stroke motion.

Deluxe Powder

Larger natural-hair brush is an oval shape for applying loose powder to set foundation.

Apply loose powder generously to face. Shake off excess powder and then brush face with long, gentle strokes.

 

Additional Makeup Articles

 

Read More Makeup Tips

Makeup: how to, step by step, cool makeup, modern makeup application, prom makeup, fashion makeup.

 

Winter 2013

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire

Take your personal glamour to a new level with the “Smoldering Eye” look that can be perfect for your beautiful evening gown or a night on the town.

By Sommer Isdale

 

Fall 2013

Toning it Down

By using a wider range of colors, including orange and gold, this season’s makeup styles can make a fast and smooth transition from day to night.

By Shantell Tavarez

 

Summer 2013

Be Simply Stunning

This summer’s biggest makeup styles are all about standing out by keeping your colors and accents basic.

By Shantell Tavarez

 

Spring 2013

Vintage is SO IN Right Now

Some of the best makeup looks for spring will involve combining popular looks from the past, present and even the future.

By Shantell Tavarez

 

Winter 2012

BE BRAVE, BE BOLD

By accentuating either your lips or your eyes, you can create a simple, lasting look that will blow people away at any occasion.

By Shantell Tavarez

 

Fall 2012

Smoke gets in your Eyes

Your days and nights are both set this fall when you take advantage of the alluring looks of dark, intense colors.

By Yahaira Rosario

 

Summer 2012

Find Your Passion for Pink

Skin tones can be kept basic this summer by simply sticking to a familiar rosey foundation.

By Yahaira Rosario

 

Spring 2012

The Season to Sparkle

Glitter is this season’s key to giving your eye lashes a look that will make everything about you sparkle.

By Yahaira Rosario

 

Winter 2011

Let Your Diva Shine

The winter season can seem bleak and colorless, but simple tones and styles can be your eyes’ best friends.

By Yahaira Rosario

 

Fall 2011

Pulling it off

If you think this season’s makeup styles won’t fit your look, there’s only one way to find out—just try it.

By Emily Saunders

 

Summer 2011

Chic Chic Boom

By focusing on your face’s more subtle features, you can really add an impact to your eyes this season.

By Summer Posey

 

Spring 2011

Check your Head

Turn your day makeup into a sophisticated, dramatic night look by following a simple list of helpful tips.

By Myriam Fux

 

Winter 2010

Evening Things Out

The right color combinations can give you an enhanced dramatic look to master your formal evening affairs.

By Myriam Fux

 

Fall 2010

Be so Dramatic

By recognizing your skin’s undertone, you can choose the right colors to give your face an electric charge this fall.

By Myriam Fux

 
Summer 2010

Bronze is Beautiful

This summer's ideal look is about creating a golden tan palette to display your light makeup style for any occasion.

By Myriam Fux

 

Spring 2010

Redefining Perfection

Taking advantage of your own unique facial features allows your makeup style to set you apart from everyone else.

By Myriam Fux

Playing the Match Game

Even if your eyes aren't your best feature, choosing a successful makeup style only works if all of your features are in sync.

By Myriam Fux

 

Winter 2009

Living in the Shadows

Using the right angles, your favorite colors and subtle shading, you can turn your eyes into an artistic canvas to display your fun side.
By Myriam Fux
 
Fall 2009

Watch Your Tone

By recognizing your skin's undertone, you can choose the right color makeup to give your face an electric charge this fall.
By Myriam Fux
 
Summer 2009

Becoming a Golden Goddess

Pucker up, because beach season is coming and you're about to be kissed by the sun.
By Myriam Fux
 
Spring 2009

Prom Night Makeup Magic

The greatest trick you can perform is making it look like you're not wearing any makeup at all.
By Myriam Fux
 
Winter 2008

Backstage Beauty

Soft feminine is the style for the new year, and we've got the inside scoop on how you can achieve it easily.
By Christina Kane
 
Fall 2008

Purple and Polished

How the right colors can give you the hottest face in this cool season.
By Christina Kane
 
Summer 2008

Beating the Heat

You don't have to sacrifice your perfect look just because the summer sun is sizzling.
By Christina Kane
 
Spring 2008

The Pampering Touches

5+5= A Perfect 10! These 5 foundation steps + 5 skin color choices add up to big improvements.
By Christina Kane
 
Winter 2007

What's My Celebrity Makeup Style?

What's My Style? That is the question.
By Christina Kane
 
Fall 2007

Your Fall-Back Position.

Get ready for football season and add a clean, crisp look to your cosmetics playbook by using classic accent colors.
By Ernie McCraw
 
Summer 2007

Putting the SUN Back in Your FUN

UV rays are bad for you—bad for your skin, your hair, and even your manicure. Chill out with these simple summer tips.
By Ernie McCraw
 
Spring 2007

The Pampering Touch

These manicure and pedicure guidelines will turn your prom look from normal to knockout. For added glow, try the home spa treatment, too.
By Ernie McCraw
 
Winter 2006

Makeup 101

Anatomy of Timeless Classics
By Ernie McCraw
 
Fall 2006

Makeup: Beautiful Skin

Beauty IS Skin Deep.
By Ernie McCraw
 
Summer 2006

5 Summer Lifesavers

The balmy season promises a good time to those who know how to avoid a makeup meltdown.
By Ernie McCraw
 
Spring 2006

Perfecting Your Prom Look

Tips for glamourizing and smoothing your look for prom--the biggest night of your life.
By Ernie McCraw
 
Winter 2005

Brushes To Satisfy The Artist In you

Just as you wouldn't expect to paint a masterpiece with a box of crayons, you can't achieve cosmetics perfection without the proper tools. This guide can help you make all the right strokes.
By Ernie Mccraw
 
Fall 2005

What Cosmetics Labels Are All About

Deciphering the scientific terms for makeup ingredients can be the first step toward a more effective skin-care regimen.
By Ernie McCraw
 
Summer 2005

Let the G-Forces Be With You

We're talking glistening, glowing, glossy, glimmery, glamorous, and gorgeous... from the face to the fingernails.
By Ernie McCraw
 
Spring 2005

Turning Day Into Nighttime Dynamite

To achieve a dazzling makeover for evening, start with your usual polished look, then add some drama.
 
Winter 2004

Smoldering Shades of Awesome

 
Fall 2004

SunlessTanning: Easy as 1-2-3

 
Summer 2004

Nails Like a Pro

 
Spring 2004

Freshen Up Your Makeup

 
 

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