Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Oh brushes, how I adore thee

Does this look like too much?
I remember when I very first started wearing makeup.  It was such an exciting event for me...I'll never forget it.  My mom wasn't too pumped, it took A LOT of convincing for her to let me get a compact of powder and some lipgloss.  "You don't NEED it", I remember her saying.  I was in 6th grade, in my mind I absolutely needed it.  I had shine on my nose by the end of the day and desperately wanted to keep up with the girls in my class that had already moved onto the "I love eyeliner phase" that also closely resembled a judgement, I think every girl goes through that phase at some point.  It might not be with eyeliner, maybe blush or lipstick in a horrid shade.  Anyway, I was excited.  I ripped open that compact as soon as we got in the car and swiped some across my "shiny" nose.  My best friend at the time, Noelle, was with us.  I turned and said, "can't you see the difference?!" to which she shrugged and said, "eh, not really".  Oh, but I could totally tell.  

That might have been a defining moment in adolescence for me, but my journey with makeup had just begun.  I studied (and still do) magazines, since blogs weren't really a "thing", yet.  Anything that I could get my hands on that showed me how to create the best look for me, I devoured.  I discovered I was a "deep winter" at a woman's expo and what color coordinated best with my skin...are you old enough to remember the seasons?  (the principles are still around, check out The Chic Fashionista for your coloring)

Fast forward about 9 years.  I had graduated from that little compact and was in full-blown makeup mode.  I had mastered eyeliner and blush and the smoky eye was slowly becoming something that wasn't just for prostitutes ladies that weren't very respectable.  I visited the MAC counter on a regular basis, just to look.  So many pretty colors.  So many options...and WAIT, so. many. brushes.  Brushes?  I had't even really thought about that.  I had a few from the drugstore and, of course, the little cheap brushes and applicators that came with some drugstore makeup.  After having my makeup done with the soft little brushes from heaven (another way I learned tricks), I knew they would be my game changer.  Boy, were they ever.  I asked for brushes for Christmas that year.  My mom delivered.  I now had the basics, but I craved more.  Needless to say, over the years, I've found my tried and true faves.  The blush brush I bought about 10 years ago is still kickin'...I may be replacing it soon for a fluffy, uber soft option...not because it's busted- I'll still hang onto it in case of emergency.

How do I still have a blush brush that's 10 years old? Actually, it's closer to 11 or 12, but doesn't really look a day over 2.  The answer is two part.  First, I invested in a quality brush.  The MAC 116 blush brush is a $35 brush.  I want to say, it was $28 when I bought it.  Why I remember that, I don't know.  Ask me what I had for breakfast yesterday...I can't tell ya.  Second part is I take care of my brushes.  They have their own place in my travel makeup bag and their own place on my sink in a cute mason jar.  They also get a bath at LEAST once a month.  This isn't as often as it should happen, but it happens and that's the important part.  

I used to use baby shampoo on them, but have since moved onto using castille soap.  I use castille soap for everything (homemade foaming hand soap).  Dr. Bonner's is my favorite, but there are a few emerging brands that might be just as great.  I don't like to soak them in a glass like you may see on some blogs.  I prefer to use my hands and work the soap into the brush and lather it up like a tiny little person.  Warm water works best for me and I rinse till the water is clear.  Typically, I make a whole ritual of it and lay out a nice clean hand towel for them to air dry on.  I washed my new IT foundation brush today and "shook" it out in the shower after I washed it, to try and get as much water off of it as possible.  It's now ready for tomorrow and I know that it'll work even better now that it's clean again.  

One way I know that I need to clean my brushes is if I start to get little breakouts that have no explained reason.  Brushes can harbor bacteria and then you're just spreading that all over your face!  Ew.  Keep 'em clean ladies!  Thank you for humoring me as I rambled on about makeup brushes.  Do you have a favorite brush?  Have you cleaned it lately?? hehehe...I bet you will now!