Beauty is in the Brush

Beauty is in the Brush
Rows of makeup brushes can be intimidating, but never fear! One local makeup artist breaks down the brushes to let you know what you'll need in your makeup wardrobe.

Fat brushes, skinny brushes, natural brushes, synthetic brushes. It almost feels like Dr. Seuss' One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, but not knowing which one to get makes buying makeup brushes a lot less funny.


Well, knowledge is power, and while you might not be laughing at the end of this story, we hope you have a little more confidence in facing your makeup brush purchases.


An 11-year makeup artist, Martin Lopez has done work for Ed Hardy and Universal Studios. In addition to having worked at MAC Cosmetics and Estee Lauder, he has been the makeup artist for several magazine shoots and hundreds of weddings.


Now, Lopez offers his tips on what brushes to buy to make makeup more of an art form than a frustration. To start, Lopez consolidates your options to four types of brushes for everyday use: powder, lip, blush and eye brushes. Then, he explains what to expect to accomplish and what to look for in each:


Powder Brush


This brush will serve as the foundation for the face to make a clean canvas for the rest. "With the powder brush, I prefer natural hair because actually it's going to grab more powder and is going to make an even swipe all over the face and is going to cover the face entirely," Lopez says.


While Lopez prefers natural hair powder brushes, synthetic brushes are fine for everyday use, he says. As a rule of thumb, if you need more coverage or want to splurge for special occasions, go with natural, but if you have a nice complexion, stick with synthetic.


Lip Brush


"The essential use of the lip brush is to have even coverage on the lips," Lopez says. "The reason is that the lips naturally have little tiny lines, so when a woman just puts a lip gloss or just regular lipstick, it does not cover and define the whole shape of the lip." As far as natural and synthetic goes, Lopez says that either will do the job just fine and will be a relatively inexpensive investment.


PhotobucketBlush Brush


For blush brushes, you have a couple different options: an angled or a rounded brush. Lopez generally uses an angled brush for women with longer, thinner faces and a rounded brush for women with more rounded faces. The key, though, is in using the blush brush properly.


"A woman needs to find where the apple of the cheeks are, and the blush actually goes about 1/4 inch underneath that, not in the middle of the cheek," Lopez says. Applying brush in the middle of the cheek can give a porcelain-doll effect, he says.


From there, you should use your brush to apply a thinning line toward your ear so that you have more color at the beginning of the stroke and less at the end. The angled brush helps make this happen, so Lopez recommends an angled brush for any beginner even if she has a rounded face.


Eye Brush


Lopez recommends splurging a little more on the eye brushes. "If you're going to invest money on a brush, other ones can be synthetic, but this one it's better if it's natural hair, on the eyes. Why? Because it's going to grab more pigment," Lopez says.


Like the blush brush, the eye brush gives you a couple different options. The difference is that Lopez recommends have each of these options cater to create your makeup masterpiece.


Highlight: This is a little thicker eye brush at about 1/4 inch thick and is used to apply a lighter color to the brow bone, Lopez says. Generally, this brush should be flattened at the base of the bristles.


Basic: This brush is a little smaller at 1/8 inch and is used to apply the basic eye shadow colors. If you're looking to cut back on the number of brushes you can use, this also can double as the blending brush, Lopez says. If you are buying the basic and blending brushes separately, look for a basic brush with a flat base of bristles, but if you want to multi-task with the basic and blending, choose a brush with a round base.


Blending: As Lopez recommends everybody to use at least two colors on their eyes, this brush is used to blend those colors together to give a more natural, less harsh look. "Blending is always a round brush," Lopez says.


For a more individualized lesson, Lopez offers one-on-one consultations. To learn more or to set up a consultation, check out, e-mail Lopez at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call him at (513) 485-6075.



Photographer: Neysa Ruhl
Model: Martin Lopez
Location: Cincy Chic Offices

Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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