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How to Shop for Makeup Brushes: Exclusive Tips From Beauty Pros!

You’ve finally found the right pale pink blush (out of hundreds of pale pink blushes), but finding the right tool to apply it is another story. The endless sea of makeup brushes — synthetic versus real, cheap versus pricey, big-name brand versus no-name brand — is almost as difficult to navigate as the Nordstrom beauty department on a Saturday.

“Makeup brushes are an essential part of your makeup routine,” says Annie Mayo, a makeup artist who has lent her beauty skills to the Miss Universe Pageant and more than 25 feature films, “so take the time to get good quality brushes that last.”

What else should we be looking for when choosing the best brushes for the face, cheeks, lips, and lids? Loop du Loop spoke with more top-notch beauty experts to get their tips!

Bare Necessities
New York City-based makeup artist Sharon Becker suggests only buying what you need. “Take stock of the makeup you wear now,” she says, “and be realistic about what you will and will not ever put on your face.” Becker notes that holiday gift sets at retailers such as Sephora or MAC are a good way to go to save money and nab multiple brushes at once.

Do Your Research
“Buying brushes is similar to buying a car,” says celebrity makeup artist Amanda Shackleton, whose A-list clients have included Rosario Dawson and Sarah Michelle Gellar. “You want them to be economical and look good, but you also need them to work well and not break down.” Doing a little research prior to shelling out the big bucks will help you save in the long run. Shackleton suggests purchasing three to four well-made sable brushes: a large blush brush, a large eye fluff brush, a smaller blush/contour brush and an eye crease brush. Where to go economical? “You can get away with buying less expensive versions of eyebrow, lip and eyeliner brushes,” she notes. Your best bet: insanely cheap (about one dollar) plastic and nylon tools from ELF.

Inspector Gadget
Kristina Duff, makeup artist and founder of AttaGirl, a non-profit organization for women in need, says to check that brushes are soft to the touch but firm enough to place the makeup pigments exactly where you want them to go. “Sometimes,” she notes, “if the brush is too soft and flimsy it can lead to uneven application.” A quick glance at the brush’s tip should show evenly placed bristles and zero hard edges where it has been trimmed.

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03.30.2013 / 03:55 AM EDT by Lauren Mang
Related: Moms, Beauty

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