The Goods

These brushes are going to be the stars of your makeup bag

Makeup artist Sheri Stroh shares multi-use brushes you’ll love and how to clean them

Makeup artist Sheri Stroh shares multi-use brushes you’ll love and how to clean them

(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

If you're the type of person who's had the same two dirty brushes in your makeup bag for years, then this advice is for you. Sheri Stroh, a natural beauty expert and makeup artist, stopped by The Goods to share her picks for the top 3 makeup brushes you should own – and how to clean them.

Price doesn't always dictate the quality of a brush. Sheri's had very expensive brushes fall apart or shed every time she used them. That doesn't mean she thinks you should head to the dollar store for your makeup brushes either. Mid-range brushes from reputable companies are the way to go – and beauty stores, drugstores and online are the best places to purchase them. Brushes are very individual and everyone is different, so it can be a bit of a trial and error process to find the best ones for you. If you notice that the testers are falling apart, shedding or feel cheap overall, don't buy them – and always go with your gut. Also look for brushes that can be used for more than one task. Here's what you need to know:

Foundation brush 

(Credit: walmart.com)

This brush is synthetic, so it's cruelty free and it's pretty inexpensive. You can use it for foundation, tinted moisturizer, BB or CC Creams, and even spot concealing. Sheri recommends you start by applying the product with (clean) fingers because body heat helps the product to meld into the skin. Then, you can use this brush to buff your makeup in so that it leaves a beautiful, blended finish. You can also dip it into your foundation and then apply it directly to your face – but this will definitely give you more coverage and use up more product.

This foundation brush is also awesome for when you're finished doing your makeup. You can use it to buff and blend all along the hairline and jawline to ensure there are no harsh lines or concentrated product because sometimes it's hard to see this in bathroom lighting.

Blush brush

(Credit: mac.com)

This is another multi-use brush. Obviously, it's great for applying blush, but it also works wonders when applying bronzer, contour or highlight powder. This brush also great because it can be used to 'spot powder' the face. Sheri's not a huge fan of giant powder brushes that fluff powder over the whole face – instead, she recommends being strategic and only using the brush where needed, which is generally in the T zone. A medium blush brush works perfectly and you can also use this size to apply cream blushes and highlighters. Be sure to use a bit of paper towel and swish the brush across it to get rid of excess product first.

The double ended eye shadow brush

(Credit: sephora.com)

Even though Sheri's a makeup artist, she's not a fan of taking 20 minutes and 27 products to do hers, or anyone else's eye makeup. Instead, she likes to keep it fresh and simple by sticking to one eyeshadow brush to do eyes when it works with the look. With a brush like this double ended one, you can apply colour all over the lid, from lashline to crease, in the crease, as a smokey liner on top, or even a smokey liner on the bottom lash line. It can also be used to apply a highlight shade on the brow bone. Sheri calls it the is most versatile eye shadow brush shape out there as it can do so many different looks. Make sure to use the paper towel trick to get rid of excess product before you dip into another shade.

Brush cleaning

Now that we know what brushes to use, let's talk about cleaning them.

Cleaning your makeup brushes is super important. Most people don't even know they can wash brushes – or they're too lazy to bother, but dirty brushes harbour bacteria that can eventually cause breakouts and even infection.

Washing and taking care of your brushes will help them last for years. Ideally, you should clean your brushes once a week, but if you're really busy, once a month is better than nothing. It's fast and easy.

Here's how to clean your makeup brushes:

1. Put a tiny bit of soap in a cup/glass/mug and fill with about an inch or so of warm water.

2. Put brushes in and swirl around a bit.

3. Take your brushes out and lather them up a bit more in the palm of your hand.

4. Squeeze excess soap out.

5. Rinse your brushes under the tap until soap is all gone and blot them with a towel.

6. Shake them to really get the water out and then lie them flat to dry on a towel.

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