SPONSORED FEATUREAsk any makeup artist what the secret to a flawless look is, and undoubtedly they'll tell you it's all in the tools. The products we use will get us only so far, as the tools used to apply them have the ability to make or break the application process. Whether you're a brush fiend or a complete novice, knowing what to look for when making those all important purchasing decisions is incredibly important. Like with anything, you don't necessarily have to spend a fortune to get a great product - it's about understanding what you need and knowing what to look for when presented with a wall of brushes that all look the same from a distance. If shopping for brushes fills you with as much dread as shopping for a new pair of jeans, then I've pulled together some top tips (and expert insight from makeup artist Daniel Sandler) to help you through the process and ensure your toolkit makes you feel like a pro.
2. The ferrule (metal part between the bristle and base) should not be loose, spin or wobble against the handle. Ideally it should be secured in place via a visible indentation in the metal, or glued onto the handle leaving no gap between the two materials. Don't be afraid to wiggle it about and ensure it's a stable tool that will aid your application technique.
3. The handle should feel substantial (not too heavy or too light,) balanced and comfortable when you hold it in application position. Avoid gimmicky handles that don’t enhance the performance of the brush or that might be uncomfortable to hold while working; they may look pretty, but you’ll only regret your decision later on. Daniel Sandler continues: "Consider the length of the handle too. Invest in brushes that easily fit in your bag if you like doing makeup on the go!"
4. The type of hair used is important to note if you're working with creamy textures and liquid foundations. Natural hairs tend to absorb the liquid and waste product unnecessarily, while simultaneously harvesting bacteria that like to live in these warm and cosy environments. Foundation brushes should be synthetic (often described as nylon bristles) to ensure they keep their shape, while powder brushes (used with eyeshadow or blusher) tend to perform better when made with natural hair. Daniel's top tip: "When you apply cream or liquid formulas, use synthetic brushes because natural hair will stick together and you wont get an even finish."
5. The cost of the brush doesn't determine it's quality. Many brands will use materials and designs that look fabulous on a dressing table, but the brutal truth is that they won't have any positive impact on the performance of the product. Don't be swayed by the prettiness of the design - look for brushes that are constructed well and will give you the results you want. Daniel Sandler says: "Always buy from a reputable brand, whatever your budget. Spending a lot doesn't necessarily mean its money well spent especially if you're not using that brush daily."
If you're in the market for new tools but don't want to spend a fortune, then let me introduce you to QVS - the affordable beauty destination. Hailing from Australia, where they've been making waves with their affordable and effective brushes, they're now available in ASDA, Amazon and Tesco where their prices start from only £4.00 - making them a brand you'll want to get to know a little better. All of their brushes are constructed with the professional in mind, providing tools that are hardworking and way above their price band; you'd be forgiven for thinking that these would set you back twice the price. The light, fluffy powder brushes are perfect for buffing in a touch of blush, while the tapered eye applicators make creating everything from a natural daytime look to a smokey eye an absolute doddle. Thanks to their modern simplistic look and the attention to detail, I've no doubt that they'll become as big as some of the more known names over the next year. Over the coming months we're going to be bringing you lots of tips, tricks and advice to help you get the most out of your makeup tools, but in the meantime why not familiarise yourself with the range and pick a couple tools up the next time you run out of milk?
QVS makeup brushes are available online and in store via ASDA and Tesco, as well as via Amazon. There are also a huge selection of beauty tools and accessories available, starting from £2.50.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of QVS brushes; all opinions are my own.
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