The Right Tools for the Right Job: Makeup Brushes

By Ariane Gagnon

If there's one secret to getting everything you can out of your cosmetics, it's having good brushes. Sure, you can use your fingertips to apply your makeup, but if you really want to simplify your life, improve your technique and stretch the value of your investment, a quality brush is a must. But how do you go about choosing the right one?
Know what you need
Why go out and buy a set of two dozen brushes you'll never use? Focus on your specific needs. Ask yourself which products are an indispensable part of your daily beauty regimen. Your answer (eyeshadow, powder/liquid foundation, etc.) will inform your choice. Then make a detailed list of the kind of brushes that go with each item. You may even want to bring your products with you as you shop so you can ask the cosmeticians for advice.
PinceauxLanco?éme.Select what you want
What are your personal priorities? Do you want to make sure your brushes are as green as possible? Do you prefer to stick to upscale brands? Do you have a specific budget to keep in mind? There are brushes to suit any and every profile. For the environmentally conscious, you may want to check out the bamboo models available at Pharmaprix. If you're in the mood to indulge yourself, Murale carries several luxury brands, including Guerlain and Chanel. On the other end of the spectrum, QUO has a value-priced line that is hard to beat. Look for it at Pharmaprix and Murale.
Care for what you have
Now comes the part that far too many people ignore: maintenance. Regular cleaning is essential to keep your brushes germ-free and in good condition. You can either spray them with a cleansing solution after using them or wash them monthly with a specially formulated shampoo. A word to the wise: when rinsing them out, hold your brushes with the bristles facing down so that the moisture doesn't soak into the base and dissolve the glue holding the brush hairs in place. Then simply lay flat to dry and, voilà: squeaky clean and ready to use again!