Wednesday, November 4, 2015

My Stash: Makeup Brushes & How I Care For Mine

Happy Hump Day!

As promised, I have my makeup brush collection post for you today. I will at some point do a makeup collection post, probably next week. 

When I started out back in June, my entire makeup and brush collection fit into a single drawer.

The makeup was years old and the brushes were cheap and never cleaned because what did I know about makeup and makeup brushes back then? 

When I decided it was time to expand the blog to include makeup and skincare, along with fresh, new makeup, I also decided I needed some decent brushes. So, I ordered a set off of Amazon for around $14. 

In five short months, not only has the makeup collection expanded so drastically it now occupies four Helmer drawers and two sets of acrylic makeup organizers, but the brush collection has expanded as well.

My brush collection now includes brushes from Real Techniques, ELF, and Vasanti. The Vasanti brushes came in beauty boxes. I certainly couldn't afford to buy them myself. The ones laying off to the side are some of my favorites and they're dirty at the moment. With the new ones I just got from ELF, I see a brush cleaning session in my near future.

As for storage, I used to have them all in plastic cups until I finally broke down and ordered the three compartment holder from ELF.

I really like it but as you can see, it's already full. I do have the brushes separated into categories - large ones for powder and such on the left side, medium sized, like the ones for blush, contour and highlight, in the middle, and eye brushes on the right. 

For the brushes that are too short to go in that container, this is what I'm currently using.

It's an old sugar bowl I picked up at a flea market a long, long time ago. I have a collection of antique things like this that are still packed away somewhere. There's a box out on the back porch that probably contains the rest of the collection, but I'm waiting until that first hard freeze to open it. Just in case any spiders have taken up residence. 

I do have a few kabuki brushes and they just sit on the top of the Helmer by themselves.

I love the ELF one second from the left. I'll sometimes use that one for applying powder.

An important step in making sure your brushes last as long as possible is how you take care of them. 

For daily spot cleaning, I use the original Pond's cleansing wipes in the blue package.

I keep this in a Helmer drawer to make it easier to grab when I need to do a spot cleaning. I just rub the brush over the wipe until as it's clean as possible. Sometimes it takes more than a single wipe to accomplish that.

For a deeper cleaning, I'll wash my brushes using a bar of Ivory soap in a travel container and warm water - not hot. Hot water can soften the glue holding the brush together.

Not fond of the color of the container but it was all I could find when I was in Walmart. The container works pretty well at keeping a major mess at bay while I'm washing the brushes.

Another tool I just started using is this BrushEgg.

You can find these offered by various sellers on Amazon. This one came from a company called Cityvivo. You put this on two fingers and use the textured side to help scrub away makeup. Works pretty well. There are also mats and gloves and a whole array of tools for accomplishing the same task. Or you can just use your fingers but I would recommend gloves to protect those nails.

For drying, I also started using this brush tree.

I got this from Amazon as well and there are also various sellers to choose from. One word of caution, however. This particular tree comes fully protected by a paper covering that is very difficult to remove. Took me probably an entire half hour to get the paper off.

After washing the brush, I'll give it several hard shakes to make sure all of the water is out then rub and tap it on a clean towel for a few seconds before hanging it upside down on the tree. That way, any remaining water will drain away, but there's usually not any by the time I've given the brush some hard shakes.

You have to be very careful when washing your brushes to avoid getting water in the ferrule - the metal part that holds the bristles to the handle. Any water that gets inside can soften the glue that keeps the bristles in place. That's when the brushes begin to shed. 

I made the mistake of following the cleaning directions for my first set of brushes - which called for them to soak in soapy water for 30 minutes. That only happened once before I learned the proper way to care for them. As it is, one of the shorter brushes now has a loose ferrule. No shedding yet but then I don't use it as often as I used to.

Once they're dry, I put them back into their respective containers ready for action.

And speaking of new ELF brushes, I'll show you that haul tomorrow. Thanks for reading and stay tuned.


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