Guest Blogger: Elise Marquam-Jahns
Recently I heard a woman say: “I woke up one morning and realized my makeup just wasn’t right. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. My eye area has started to droop and change, but my eye makeup routine is still what I did when I was 25. What can I do differently? I want a more polished look!”
Well, one of the things we can do differently that can make a big difference in how our eyes look may surprise you: it’s using the right eyebrow and eye shadow brushes. I don’t know about you, but for many years throughout my 20s and 30s, I simply grabbed just about any old brush to apply my eyeshadow. And frankly, it seemed to work (at least pretty well).
Well, as my eyes—and my client’s eyes–have gone through just a few changes (O.K., a lot of changes), I’ve come to appreciate and rely on the right brushes to not only create the most polished, natural and lovely looks but to also make eye shadow application quicker and easier. Who can argue with “quicker and easier”!
Here’s a rundown of some of the best types of brushes for our eye area. (And be sure to check out some good makeup brush brands at the end of the article)
The Most Helpful Eye Area Brushes
- Small angled brush
Works beautifully for applying powder eyeshadow or cream pomade. Can also work very well to apply eyeshadow as eyeliner.
This is a small spiral brush that looks like a mascara applicator. (In fact, you can clean and sanitize an old mascara wand and use it for your eyebrow spoolie.) Brush the spoolie through your eyebrows after applying powder or a pomade. It removes any excess product and makes your eyebrows look their natural best. Some angled eyebrow brushes come with a spoolie on the other end or spoolies can be purchased individually.
Eye Shadow Brushes
The amount of space you have between your crease and your eyebrow will determine whether you purchase bigger or smaller eyeshadow brushes. If you don’t have a great deal of space, you’ll want to purchase smaller brushes and if you have a good amount of space, go with larger brushes.
Below are the major types of eyeshadow brushes which can be most helpful and make applying eyeshadow far easier and faster. The good news is that there are some less expensive brushes that work very well such as Morphe and Real Techniques brushes.
- Eyeshadow Blending Brush
A good blending brush is essential. The brush hairs should be soft and flexible so they blend out powder and create a sheer, diffused finish with no hard edges.
How to Use: Swirl the brush around and above the crease area in small, circular motions to softly blend out eyeshadow. The circular motion (rather than a windshield wiper motion) will ensure that all the skin is covered with the color. Swirl it around the edges of your eyes when blending multiple shades on top of one another.
- Eyeshadow Shader Brush
These brushes are usually flat, dense and rounded at the end. They are used to pat or pack eyeshadow onto the lid area to get an opaque, even layer of color on your eyelids.
How to Use: After rubbing the brush over your eyeshadow and tapping off (not blowing) any excess from the brush, pat or press the product onto your eyelids. Then gently swirl the brush around the edges to blend them out. You can also put setting spray onto your brush, press into the eyeshadow and pat the product onto your eyelids. If the eyeshadow has a shimmer or pearlescent formula, it sometimes works best to use your finger to apply the eyeshadow to get the most color payoff.
- Eyeshadow Pencil Brush
As the name implies, this brush is shaped like the end of a pencil. It’s usually a stiff, dense, tapered brush which can be used for many different things: to smudge out eyeliner, precisely blend shadow beneath your lower lashes or push eyeshadow into your lash line.
How to Use: After you’ve applied eyeliner, use the pointed tip of the brush to gently smudge it out. Or, you can use the tip to gently blend out your eyeshadow underneath your bottom lashes. It can also be used to apply shadow around smaller areas of the eye like the inner and outer corners.
- Short, Dense Eyeshadow Brushes
These brushes can be used to gently “push,” “pat” or “stamp”eye shadow into areas such as the “outer V” or “backward 7” outer area of the eye. The shape and density of the brush helps to apply more eyeshadow onto a specific area of the eyelid and the outer edge of the eye.
How to Use: After tapping off excess eyeshadow, gently push the color onto the area of the eye which you wish to cover with the eyeshadow color. Often your next step will be to blend out this concentrated area of color with a blending brush.
Note: Less expensive, but good brushes include those made by Morphe, Bh Cosmetics, Real Techniques and Elf. Other good, but more expensive brands, include Sigma, Zoeva, IT Cosmetics and Wayne Goss brushes.
About The Author:
Elise Marquam-Jahns is an author, speaker, radio host and makeup artist. As a makeup artist, her passion is helping women 45+ get their glow back. In addition to her work as a makeup artist for a major cosmetics line, she founded Boomer and Beyond Beauty which offers makeup consultations, applications, classes and makeup parties. As host of Normandale Community College’s monthly Learning Well Blog Talk Radio Show, she interviews a wide cross section of health and wellness experts.