Excellent finishing powder and blush and contouring brush. Pro preferred.
Basic blush application.
Half of all women do not apply blush but it is one of the most useful cosmetics for a healthy looking flush and facial contouring. The trick is to avoid intense coloration that gives clown cheeks. The steps below took longer to write and for you tread than it will to obtain a flattering glow, but stay with me on this. The number one rule is to keep color light and natural looking.
1. Choose the proper color. The idea is to emulate the natural flush of your skin as if you were out in the cold or after exercising. You can be Victorian and pinch your cheeks to see what this looks like. Or you can match your lip color. In general, recommended shades by skin tone: Fair skin: Neutral, peach, sheer plum, or pink shades. Medium skin: Apricot, mauve, rose. Olive skin: Orangey peach, bronze, rose. Dark skin: Raisin, brick, deep rose, tangerine. All skin tones: Bronzer for natural contours. Tired, dull, stressed skin: Use a dusty pink to perk up your appearance.
2. Choose format. In general: Combo, balanced, oily skin: powder, baked minerals, stain (work quickly w/ stains as they dry fast; more unforgiving but extremely long lasting) Very dry skin: baked minerals, cream; powders followed by setting mist All skin: Use combination of formats for increased luminosity. All skin: Experiment using lipstick as a cream blush.
3. Apply blush after foundation, before finishing powder. Caveat: Makeup artists often recommend blush after eye color and lipstick and some apply blush BEFORE foundation as they say it gives a more natural look. Directions that follow presume foundation has been applied.
4. Use a full size blush brush or flat top bronzer (not your foundation brush). Use a light amount of color on tips (tap brush head on tissue to evenly distribute color and prevent over-application of color).
5. Start at hairline, moving along cheekbone with light downward strokes, leaving a barely there contour of color. This gives structure to your face. Starting at hairline is insurance in case you have too much color on your brush as it is easier to correct at the far edge rather than the middle of your face.
6. Smile into mirror. Find the apples of your cheeks and using same color, or a little more vibrant one, dust lightly for a healthy flush. Use your foundation or finishing powder kabuki, without additional powder, added to lightly dust in a downward motion to feather color into skin for most natural coloration. If too much powder has been applied, use the kabuki with finishing powder added to lessen intensity. If using a cream format, dab color on with fingertip and blend with clean fingers to pick up excess color. Keep it light, regardless of depth of color used. Even deep tone blush should be applied with a light hand. When using a powder brush, no swirling. Keep strokes in same direction. For nude or most natural color, use bronzer with a light hand.
7. For a little extra evening glamour, add a little glimmer dust at the corner of the cheek and alongside the outside of the eye.
European capra, wood handle.
Makeup Brushes: The case for quality
What difference does it make? Firstly, it does. It may seem that a brush is a brush is a brush; as long as the shape is the same, the results will be the same. Not so. It isn't the shape but the density and quality of the hair and synthetic strands in a brush that determine the final appearance of your makeup. A quality brush gives the smoothest, most natural results. A quality brush is cost effective in that it is an effective adjunct to any skin care protocol that you so meticulously adhere to, whether at home or in salons. With proper care, a quality brush will last for years. Owning a quality brush will never give you cause for regret. That said, there is the cost factor to justify. Forget right away the plastic brushes often included with cosmetics as they are harsh on your skin and inflexible. Flawless application of makeup in general and mineral makeup in particular, is dependent on the brush. For example, many women still find it difficult to relinquish liquid foundation in favor of mineral powders because they find it difficult t"get it right." There is no question that mineral powders are devoid of so many of the chemicals that we dislike in theory, but have a hard time giving up in reality. I often suggest that the reluctant experiment with powder application by actually purchasing an inexpensive brush at Walmart, but once committed to mineral cosmetics, obtaining the best quality brush maximizes the beauty of the cosmetics. Here at the Abbey, we made an early decision to find and offer the best quality brushes available. We actually were a little shocked ourselves initially to discover the wholesale cost of quality. This led to the second decision to offer the brushes with minimal margins to make the brushes most affordable. Acquiring one brush at a time is a fairly painless way to build a set of makeup tools that will serve you well for years. A quality brush is an investment in yourself and your commitment to put your best face forward. You are worth it.
Makeup Brushes: Natural vs Synthetics Explained
Synthetic hairs are more variable and quality depends on manufacture. Many like the fact that synthetics are vegan. Synthetic brushes can be less durable than natural hair, but high quality synthetic hair will undoubtedly last years with proper care. Synthetics tend to pick up more cosmetic and are especially useful for camouflage brushes for applying concealers and correctors. Quality synthetic hairs are made from taklon or nylon and are recommended for liquid foundations and all types of cream cosmetics. Look for synthetics with soft ends as sharp ends indicate low quality plastic production. Natural hair is used in brushes because it is soft and gets softer with use. High quality natural hair has tapered ends that stay soft on the skin and produce smooth and flawless surfaces. The best brushes use hair from various animals, sometimes in combination, depending on the designated purpose of the brush. While each brush is purposed for enhancing and simplifying application of various cosmetics, there are no hard and fast rules so feel free to experiment and find what works best for you. Below are descriptions of the most commonly used natural hairs.
Goat Hair (capra) Goat hair is a favorite of makeup artists because it is the most effective hair to pick up powder and deposit it evenly and smoothly on the skin. In addition, goat hair brings a natural luster to your skin which makes it exceptional for buffing and blending. European goat hair, known as super capra, is elegant and soft with rounded tips. It is excellent for powder foundations of various formats, finishing powders, and blushes.
Pony Hair Pony hair is similar to goat hair in that it has rounded tips that make it superior for cheeks, bronzers, and blending. It is very fine and soft and most commonly found in brushes made for cheeks and facial contours.
Squirrel Hair Squirrel hair is the softest natural hair used in makeup brushes. This hair is not from your average backyard bird feeder bandit, and it is used in some of the most expensive brushes because of its durability. It is ideal for conical shaped brushes with flat tops. The hair is usually thicker in the middle, tapering ta point at the end. Squirrel hair is ideal for applying eye shadow and heavy pigments.
Sable Hair Sable hair brushes are appreciated because they are considered a lifetime investment and are worth every penny. Sable hair comes from mink found in Russia and China. Kolinsky sable is the highest quality, followed closely by red sable and sable. They have thicker middles with fine pointed tips and are resilient, amazingly soft, and durable. These brushes are especially versatile as they are excellent with wet or dry cosmetics. Sable brushes are excellent for eye shadow.
Boar Hair Brushes made from boar hair are extremely soft making them useful for fine hair which is easily damaged. Cosmetic manufacturers most commonly use boar in brushes purposed for lashes and brows. Boar is most often used to make hair brushes because it is good for sensitive scalps and its absorbency helps redistribute scalp oils through the rest of the hair, adding luster and shine. Straight hair benefits the most from boar hair as its softness is less effective on curly hair.