All you need to know about make-up brushes

Make-up has the power to transform your physical appearance and improve your image, whether it be for everyday business meetings or a glam night out. If applied correctly you can emphasise your beautiful features, drawing attention to them, and disguise imperfections.

Cindy Horton makeup brushes4 Cindy Horton makeup brushes3


Using quality products (not always the most expensive) helps to achieve a flawless make-up application. A quality eye shadow for example, is highly pigmented, therefore applying intense colour to the eye area. They also last a lot longer on the skin and do not settle in the crease of the eye. I also find that you use less product compared to their cheaper counterparts.

The same applies to your make-up brushes, which are a vital part in creating a professional and flawless make-up application. In this post I will explain all you need to know about make-up brushes.

Quality brushes are shaped according to their individual purpose. Domed shaped brushes will allow you to create a blended and even application, where as straight shaped brushes are perfect for precise and bold lines.

Cindy Horton makeup brushes1 Cindy Horton makeup brushes


Make-up brushes are made using either natural hair (Sable, Badger, Goat) or synthetic (man-made) bristles. These are both useful for different functions when applying make-up and both are essential to your kit.

Natural hair brushes are used for dry products such as powder, bronzer, eye shadow and blush. The hair has more texture than synthetic bristles and therefore pick up powder well. Blending is made easier giving you a more natural and flawless finish.

Synthetic bristles are used for cream or liquid products such as foundation, concealer and lipsticks. The bristles do not absorb the product and tend to gravitate towards each other when applying the product instead of spreading out, creating a contained application.

Investing in high-quality brushes, if cared for correctly, will see you through many years. With clean tools you can create a much more even and consistent make-up application.

Cindy Horton makeup brushes5 Cindy Horton makeup brushes6


Cleaning products:

Alcohol based spray – this quick drying spray can be used to clean your brushes after every use

Mild hair shampoo – this should be used once a week as drying time is needed

Washing natural hair brushes
Natural hair brushes that are used for dry products can be cleaned once a week with a mild hair shampoo, this keeps them clean and helps prevent bacteria build-up. Clean brushes with an alcohol-based cleaner (Professional Brush Cleaner Spray R90 available at the Cindy Horton Make-up and Hair Studio) after using dark eye shadow colours. When washing the brushes, wet them in warm water (not hot), then swirl the hairs into the shampoo. Massage through the hair and be sure to clean all of them, not just the tips. Rinse brushes in warm water until the water runs clean. Try not to get the base / handle wet as this may loosen the glue that’s binding the hairs.

Cleaning synthetic bristle brushes
Synthetic bristle brushes that are used for cream or liquid products, should be cleaned every other day. Wetness breeds germs! You should also invest in an alcohol-based brush cleaner for these, like the Professional Brush Cleaner Spray R90 (available at the Cindy Horton Make-up and Hair Studio). For waxy, creamy stuff like lipstick, gloss, gel, and cream liner, you need the alcohol to break down the grease in the product.

*Remember not to over-wash your brushes. In-between washes, tap off excess powders and wipe off extra make-up with a tissue. 

Before you place your brushes down to dry on a towel or on the edge of a counter, return the bristles to their original shape. Never heat dry.


Cindy Horton brush bag interior

Brushes by Cindy Horton, Designer 12 Piece set (pictured above) R850, includes the following brushes:

  • Powder – Sable hair
  • Angle Blush – Sable hair
  • Foundation – Taklon synthetic
  • Brow Groomer – Part Boar hair
  • Mascara Spoolie – Synthetic
  • Large Shadow – Badger hair
  • Medium Shadow – Badger hair
  • Contour Shadow – Sable hair
  • Shadow liner – Taklon synthetic
  • Lip  – High-grade synthetic
  • Flat Concealer – White Taklon synthetic
  • Fine Liner – Taklon synthetic

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