Makeup Brushes: How to Choose Them, How to Take Care of Them

M.A.C.For years, I had a very nice set of M.A.C. makeup brushes. But when they started getting worn recently, I replaced them with cheapo makeup brushes from Target.

After all, what was the difference, besides price? Both used synthetic bristles, and the cheap makup brushes looked pretty much identical to the expensive ones.

It wasn't long after I started using the cheap brushes that I realized it was taking me twice as long to do my makeup, and I wasn't very happy with the results.

And so when M.A.C. offered free overnight shipping a few weeks ago, I bit the bullet and invested in three nice, new makeup brushes, determined to find out once and for all whether expensive makeup brushes really were worth splurging on. One day later, they arrived and I got my answer.



Oh, yes, yes, yes!

My new makeup brushes have been dreamy. My eyeshadow, brushed on with a luxe new eyeshadow brush, now goes on with ease. My bronzer, applied with a wonderfully soft MAC blush/powder brush, looks completely natural. My powder eyeliner is spot perfect when I use my new eyeliner brush to put it on.

I'll never use cheap makeup brushes again!

I've also sworn to take good care of my new makeup brushes, and with that in mind, I invested in M.A.C.'s Brush Cleanser. Want to know how to keep your makeup brushes clean and in great shape? Here's how...

  • Use a makeup brush cleaner or mild hair shampoo to clean your makeup brushes. If using a cleanser, follow the instructions- Some are alcohol based and don't require water, others do. If using shampoo, run brushes under water, mix in a little bit of shampoo, and rinse.
  • Once you've cleaned your brush, reshape it into the correct position.
  • To dry, lie brushes flat on a towel or hang upside down with clothespins. Do not place upright- water can run into the handle and cause rust or damage to the base.

Other great tips I found:

  • Allow at least 8 hours for your brushes to dry completely.
  • Plan to wash your brushes once a week- once a day (I KNOW!) if you suffer from acne or very sensitive skin.
  • Wash brushes used with creams, lipsticks or lipgloss immediately after each use to avoid buildup.

Choosing the right brush can be overwhelming. M.A.C. alone has dozens of brushes in different shapes and sizes. I recommend going to the makeup counter when you're choosing brushes for the first time, and consulting with a makeup artist about which brushes are right for you. I highly recommend M.A.C. brushes, and have found that the people behind the counter at M.A.C. are only too happy to tell you which ones will work for you.

While M.A.C. brushes are expensive compared to the drugstore versions, they're not prohibitively so, and if you take good care of them, they should last you for years! My cheapo makeup brushes, on the other hand, really needed to be thrown out after just a few months.

Do you use makeup brushes? Have you invested in a nice set, or are you sticking with the discount version?

Image via M.A.C.

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