March 28, 2012

Alternate Eye Makeup Brushes

This week I decided to look into eye makeup brushes which could be possible dupes for MAC ones. Interestingly enough I learned that art paint brushes from your local craft store actually make good dupes for the MAC brushes, and they're pretty inexpensive in comparison. The base price for new pro MAC eye makeup brushes online seems to be $18 and up, while the average eye makeup sized art brushes I bought from Michael's craft store averaged a price of $6.50 per brush with tax. Below you'll see the 7 art brushes which I purchased and I'll go into a bit more detail about why I chose these brushes out of the massive selection at the art store.
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Starting from top to bottom (and the possible MAC dupes to the right)...
Loew-Cornell (American Painter) - 4000-1 Round (MAC 210)
Loew-Cornell (American Painter) - 34400-1/4 Angular (MAC 266)
Loew-Cornell (American Painter) - 4500-8 Filbert (MAC 194)
Loew-Cornell (La Comeille) - 7400-3/8 Angular (MAC 269)
Loew-Cornell - 272-L Dome Round (MAC 286)
Loew-Cornell - 270-1/2 Maxine's Mop (MAC 252)
Loew-Cornell (La Comeille) - 7930-6 Flora (No dupes but an awesome inner eyelid brush)

How I choose my art brushes for eye makeup use...
First of all, i've had enough eye makeup brushes and have applied eye makeup long enough to know what I feel will work best for me... so choose what will work best for you. I mostly tend to lean toward getting synthetic bristled brushes because they allow for a smooth saturated application, while I do prefer the natural bristled brushes for blending purposes because the bristles don't hold as much product and the bristles are a bit fanned out in comparison to the synthetic ones which are more compact (often I find natural bristles tend to loose their shape faster than synthetic ones over time). If you're a person that likes your makeup light or more on the natural side than you'll probably prefer the natural bristles, and if you like your makeup bold and clean lined than you'll probably prefer the synthetic ones. I like to mix up my eye makeup looks and will often end up using both types. Natural bristles are generally best suited for blending out powdered products only, while the synthetic ones are great because you can apply primers, gels, creams, etc, as well as eyeshadow however, they really aren't suited for blending like the natural ones are.

Deciding what to get...
In deciding which art paint brushes I want for my eyeshadow application I like ones that are fairly soft to the touch so that they don't scratch the eyelid during application. I generally don't want bristles that are too flimsy or stiff, I like to have control over where my makeup is being applied and I want easy application so, I choose brushes that have a little give in the bristles. I also avoid the long handled brushes because at too great a distance you'll lose control over where you want your product to go and the brush will probably be too long for most normal makeup cases/bags... so, I stick to the short handled art brush selection.

Looking at Michael's for brushes...
If you're buying your brushes from Michael's you may notice they have a level of 1-3, the higher the number the higher the quality of brush (thus making 3 the pro grade). I looked through all the levels of brushes and ended up choosing mostly level 2 grade, although the two La Comeille brushes I have I believe are level 3 grade. I found that most the level 1 grade were mainly for beginners at painting so, these just didn't seem like they'd be fit as makeup brushes because the bristle shapes seemed a bit limited and of poor quality. You're best bet is also to pick brushes used for mixed media as these may hold up best against the product/s you're using, although I don't think that matters too much.

Art brushes vs. Makeup brushes...
Some people may be asking "are these safe to use for makeup, etc". The answer is yes, and actually a lot of pro makeup artists use these brushes. Art brushes often can withstand time a lot longer than a lot of makeup brushes can and you can clean these in the same manner as makeup brushes. Some may say art brushes have harmful chemicals well, so can makeup brushes, and have you ever read what's in a lot of makeup products?! If you're asking what brand of art brushes to buy well, I've noticed quite a few people seem to go for the Loew-Cornell ones (I think that may be all Michael's carries) but that's not to say that you couldn't go for other brands as well. I find that these actually hold eyeshadow pigment better than my makeup brushes as well.

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