Are softer make-up brushes better?
In order to achieve a flawless make-up look, you do not only need quality make-up products, but also quality make-up brushes. This is why, today, we have decided to teach you about how you can choose your make-up brushes, based on the softness of the hairs.
Many people prefer soft make-up brushes, as they do not feel so harsh on the skin. However, the real question here is: are they really better?
The fact of the matter is that the bristles of the make-up brush need to be soft, but not extremely soft. You might want to know why. This is because in order for a brush to be able to catch powder, the brush cannot be too soft. Otherwise, you will not be able to apply face powder all over your face, achieve that sharp contour, or apply that shimmery eye shadow that you love. This is why, you should opt for soft brushes, but not the softest possible.
You might think that brushes that are not soft damage your skin, as they feel harsh. This is again, where you are wrong. The softness of the bristles does not determine how the brush feels when it touches your skin. You can have an extremely soft brush, which can end up causing damage to your skin, because it was poorly made, or it was made out of low quality materials.
So, what actually influences how the brush feels on your face? It might surprise you, but it is actually the tip of the brush. Just think about it. You might have a really soft brush, whose tip was not “polished” correctly, and it might damage your skin, because it feels harsh. In the same time, you can have a harder brush, that has excellent finishing touches for the tip, and it can feel softer and better than any soft brush that you try. This is why, we advise you to look at the tip of the brush, when you decide to buy a new one.
I guess that you are probably wondering if there is a type of brush that does not need to be soft. This is why we are going to talk about which brushes need to be soft, and which not. Let’s start with the face brushes. It is obvious that you would want a powder brush that is softer. The same goes for the blush brush. However, when it comes to applying foundation, you have the flat brush, that needs to be a bit harder in order for the application to be smoother. The same goes for the buffing brush, and the stippling brush. As for the contouring brush, it can depend. Some may prefer a well defined contour (this is where a harder brush comes in handy), while others opt for a more diffused look (softer brush). When it comes to the highlighting brush, a harder one will maintain that fanned shape, and it will help you better achieve that glow.
Now, let’s tackle the eye brushes. It is true that you will need some softer brushes for blending, as they will help you with the color transitions, and help that look better come together. However there are some brushes that need to be harder. For example, the angular brush, which can be used to contour your eyebrows or to apply eyeliner, needs to be harder. Why? Because it implies precision. You want your eyebrows to look in a certain way, and softer bristles means that the color can be diffused if you apply too much pressure. The flat eye shadow brush can be harder, depending on your preferences. It is better for it to be harder, because it helps you pick up more eye shadow, and it makes the look more intense.
We almost forgot to mention the lips. Once again, the lips require precision, because you do not want to end up looking like the Joker. If precision is implied, this means that you will need a harder brush. Otherwise, if you apply a bit more pressure than normal, you might end up making a great mess, which we all know can end up ruining your entire make-up. To be honest, nobody wants to start their make-up all over again, especially if they want to arrive on time.
Now that you know what types of brushes require soft bristles, let’s take a look at what materials the brushes are usually made of, and which ones you should use, and when.
Brushes can be made out of two materials: either natural bristles or synthetic ones. Basically, synthetic ones are usually recommended for liquid products, and they are easier to clean. This is because usually, natural bristles are coated with some substances which are used to protect them. Don’t worry, because we will cover this topic more in detail in another post.
As for natural bristles, they can be either soft or hard. This depends mainly on the animal where it comes from. For example, pony hair is quite hard. However, as mentioned before, you will need some harder brushes, for tasks which require precision, such as applying eyeliner, because we all know how hard it can be to achieve that perfectly winged look. As for goat hair, it can either be soft or hard. Low grade goat hair is not soft. However, you should keep in mind, when you select your brushes that regardless of the material that they are made of, the bristles should be elastic and soft (not extremely soft).
I guess that you have gained enough knowledge on the subject of soft brushes. What we recommend now, is to take a look at your brushes. Try to see what kind of bristles they have. You can also try to compare a really soft brush with a harder one. Which is able to pick up more powder? Does it affect the intensity of the look? You can play around, even try to use on one side of the face softer brushes, and harder ones on the other side.