All About Brushes: Other Brushes & Tools
Now that things have settled down from the holidays, it’s finally time to get back to the All About Brushes series. I’m cheating just a tiny bit on this one, though. Obviously not all of these things are brushes, but they’re still things that are helpful in making makeup be on your face.
Lip brush: Ok, well this particular one is actually sold as a concealer brush, but I like using it for lips. Lip brushes are usually on the small side, and can either be flat or pointed. Since they need to be cleaned pretty frequently they’re made of sturdy bristles like synthetic or weasel.
Brow: Brow brushes have shorter, stiffer bristles that can be used apply liquid or powder product to your eyebrows. The stiffness and angled shape help mimic brow hair. They come in various sizes, but generally are fairly small. Because they’re a little stiffer than most face or eye brushes, they tend to have synthetic bristles or sturdy natural hairs.
Spoolie: Spoolies (or sometimes you’ll see them listed as ‘screw brushes’, especially on international websites) have short, very stiff bristles that wind around the center of the brush head like the threads on a screw. They can be used for coming brow hairs into place, or combing through lashes before and after mascara application. While most brush manufacturers have some version of it, you can also get disposable ones from places like Amazon or Sally Beauty. Disposables can be handy if you need to always use mascara sanitarily, such as for professional makeup artists or if you’re prone to eye infections.
Blending sponge: Blending sponges come in various shapes and sizes, and are usually made of latex or other synthetic materials. They’re intended be dampened before use, and can provide a streak-free finish on your foundation. The coverage tends to be a little sheerer than what you’d get with a foundation brush, and sponges have to be replaced more often than brushes since they’re more difficult to sanitize.
Lash curler: This gadget lets you put your lashes through the opening, and then you squeeze lightly a few times, which crimps your lashes slightly. Different brands have slight variations in size and shape, so it’s important to try out several or look over reviews to find the one that best fits the shape of your eye.
Pencil sharpener: Pencil sharpeners do more or less exactly what it sounds like! Many have two different sizes – one for standard pencils, and one for ‘chubby’ pencils, like eyeshadow or lip pencils. Other handy features to look for are covers on the top and bottom that keep shavings from going everywhere, and removable picks to help with removing any stuck-on product. The most important thing to look for is high-quality, very sharp blades, since dull blades can cause your pencils to break. I haven’t made many specific product recommendations in this series, but I’ll break tradition here and say that I’ve been very happy with the Kevyn Aucoin sharpener and the Urban Decay Grindhouse.
Still have questions about tools, or a favorite you’d like to share? Leave a comment below!