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Whether you're an artist, interior designer, or chef, the right tools are essential in helping you achieve the results you want. The same goes for using and investing in makeup brushes. While we sometimes shy away from purchasing costly brushes, the truth is they make a huge difference when blending and applying makeup. But how do you know exactly which type of makeup brushes to buy? And do you really have to clean them every week? Below are the answers to those common makeup brush questions and more.01 of 05
What's the Difference Between Synthetic and Natural Hair?Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
The difference between synthetic and natural hair is something that is important for you to know when debating on what kind of makeup brushes to invest in. Natural animal hair (usually goat, squirrel, or even sable) contain what are called cuticles. This enables the brush to work more effectively when it comes to grabbing pigment from powder products (such as eyeshadows, blushes, bronzers, and face powders). Synthetic brushes are made of materials such as polyester and nylon, and help blend liquid items on the face best (вЂ‹such as concealers, foundations, and liquid highlighters) as the merging of the brush fibers doesn't create any type of streaking on the skin.
Top Product Picks: Too Faced Kabuki Brush, Tarte Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush02 of 05
Do You Really Need to Wash Them?Dr. Bronner
Yes, washing your makeup brushes weekly is key to keeping them clean and germ-free, not to mention, it ensures that product doesn't build up, making the application much easier, and enhancing the quality of your brushes. Fortunately, the washing process isn't difficult and there are plenty of tools to help you get very clean results. We recommend using the Sigma Spa Express Brush Cleaning Glove with castile soap that's chemical-free to get all the makeup out of your brushes. Massage the soap into the hair, move it back and forth on the mat to really work the product into the brush, then rinse under water until it runs clear and there's nothing left to get out. If you don't wash your brushes and take care of them, you will start to see over time that they become very stiff in texture, usually resulting in them just needing to be thrown out.03 of 05
Why Do They Cost so Much?Bobbi Brown
Makeup brushes can become costly when the ingredients and processes used to make them are of higher quality than brushes that run cheaper and tend to fall apart faster. Some key things to look for when shopping for brushes are noticing how sturdy the handle is and how soft the brush hair bristles are. If the handle is made of plastic versus wood, it's a cheaper quality brush, and if the hair feels rough on the skin, you know they didn't use a quality synthetic or animal hair fiber to construct the brush head. Do your best to invest in makeup brushes that will withstand a lot of washing, as you want your brushes to last you for a long time.
Top Product Pick: Bobbi Brown The Classic Brush Collection04 of 05
Do Makeup Brush Companies Test on Animals?Artis
Most makeup companies follow suit in not testing on animals, but this question does come up a lot when wanting to know where the natural animal hair in makeup brushes come from. Most companies outsource animal hair that naturally sheds and then is collected and used to make brush hair, so no animal is harmed in the process. Always ask beauty associates when shopping in department stores about the process that goes into making the brushes they are selling, and research what companies don't test on animals to make sure you are playing your role in keeping our animals safe and happy.
Top Product Pick: Artis Fluenta 5 Brush Set05 of 05
Do They Really Blend Makeup Better?Matteo Valle/Getty Images
The key to gorgeous makeup is making sure it's properly blended. Streaky blushes and heavy eyeshadows are not ideal, so using brushes that help you in the blending process are best when wanting to fix any kind of makeup mistake, and help your product last longer too. Brushes are always better to use than fingers when applying foundation and concealer, as they are able to evenly spread the makeup on the face versus it collecting more in certain areas than others. Eyeshadow brushes have angles and cuts that help target specific areas and create special eye makeup looks. so all of these qualities enable brushes to be the best blending tools at your disposal.