5 Reasons Makeup Brushes Are Worth the Investment

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The Truth Behind Makeup Brushes

Woman getting her makeup done
Stella McCartney/Antonello Trio/Getty Images

Anyone knows that in order to create a masterpiece you need the right tools. 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. 

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Synthetic Vs. Natural Hair

Rosie Huntington Whitely getting her makeup done
Rose Huntington Whitely/Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

The difference between synthetic and natural hair is that 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 really grabbing pigment from our powder products (such as eyeshadows, blushes, bronzers, and face powders). Synthetic brushes are made of materials such as polyester or nylon, and help blend liquid items on the face best, 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 Brush 

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Do You Really Need to Wash Them?

Dr. Bronner's castile soap
Dr. Bronner

Yes, washing your makeup brushes weekly is key to keeping them clean and germ-free, not to mention, product doesn't build up, making the application much easier. Washing them doesn't need to be difficult at all, and there are plenty of tools to help you get very clean results. I love the Sigma Spa Express Brush Cleaning Glove to clean my brushes and I use this castile soap that's chemical-free to get all the makeup out. 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 they become very stiff in texture, usually resulting in them just needing to be thrown out. 

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Why Do They Cost So Much?

Bobbi Brown Brush Set
Bobbi Brown

Makeup brushes can become costly when the ingredients and processes used to make them are 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. If you're going to be washing your brushes frequently (as I recommend) and a lot of hair is falling out when washing, you know the glue used to bond isn't quality, either. 

Top Product Pick: Bobbi Brown, The Basic Brush Collection 

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Do Beauty Companies Test on Animals?

Artis Fluenta brush set

Investing in makeup, skincare, haircare, and any other products that aren't tested on animals is the best way to ensure this becomes the norm. 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 Set

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Do They Really Blend Makeup Better?

Eyeshadow applied with a brush
Phillip Plein/Matteo Valle/Getty Images

The key to gorgeous makeup is making sure it's properly blended, because the more blended it is the better it looks. 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 several eye makeup looks too, so all of these qualities enable brushes to be the best blending tools at your disposal.