Banter about Brushes
Between a pavement pounding professional makeup artist and a regular human that just wants to put on a little tinted moisturizer in the morning, there inherently lies a universe of difference when it comes to required skills. However, a shared element that is true for both is the useful utility of a makeup brush (or two). Applying your makeup without a brush is a little bit like betting against the house (when the house always wins). Wherever you lie on the spectrum between novice and seasoned artist, there are a few universal brushes most everyone should have in their collection to help make cosmetic application a little bit easier, faster (and hopefully tidier). The right makeup brushes can offer professional-looking results, from a flawless complexion to a beautifully blended smoky eye.
As a fastidiously edited, bespoke brand, Le Métier de Beauté doesn’t employ an arsenal of tools to achieve an elegant makeup. Great technical skill and a train case brimming with brushes are not required to make one’s self presentable -- only a little taste. When making clients up for the red carpet, or even just for dinner out on the town, my general inclination is to avoid invoking the frontstage catwalk looks from a Galliano Show, circa 1997. I love grand and preposterous makeup; it’s the stuff of my dreams. But in my experience, most people simply want to appear like a more polished version of themselves to more easily navigate the wilderness of the world outside their doorsteps. To better achieve this endeavor, Le Métier de Beauté proudly present two fairly fundamental brushes that can truly elevate not only the finish, but also the experience of applying makeup.
1. The Peau Vierge Foundation Brush
A foundation brush is a necessary tool to achieve a polished countenance. Your foundation is the base of your makeup look, so investing in a high-quality brush that works with liquid, cream, and powder formulas will be worthwhile. You'll want a soft brush that's a little bit dense and has enough surface area to cover the face quickly, but also has a little edge or slant to not skip over the delicate corners of the eyes and nose. This is the one crucial brush everyone should have to help create everything from full-coverage to a natural “no-makeup” makeup look. The right foundation brush sets the tone for a beautiful complexion.
The Peau Vierge Foundation Brush was created to be an everything brush. It’s got enough surface space to jet through foundation application quickly, but it’s also angled to blend around all of the delicate contours of the face with ease. The quality of the brush comes to bear in how it blends makeup effortlessly, regardless of coverage level -- how the brush feels on skin, and how tightly the bristles are knotted to resist pesky fallout (nothing could be more annoying than brush hairs falling out)!
I’ve been using the prototype of the Peau Vierge Foundation Brush in the field for about a year. Indeed, all of the looks featured on this past year’s photoshoots (most of which can be found here: Le Métier de Beauté (@lemetierdebeaute) • Instagram photos and videos), were all achieved with the handy assistance of the Peau Vierge Foundation Brush.
I’ve used it with our Peau Vierge Complexe (a light and buttery tinted moisturizer with built-in skincare), thick and very creamy concealer products, heavy foundations, our Crème Fresh Tints (cream blush), contour creams, and even powder foundation. Because of the rich density of the bristles, the brush is able to quickly break down pigment and disperse coverage evenly, diffusing streaks and patchiness regardless of the medium of makeup (liquid, cream, or powder).
Because of time restriction (or inherent laziness), I’ve never been one to use tiny brushes to apply concealer. I prefer a larger brush to zip through the process in a jiffy! This has never been easier because the bristles of the Peau Vierge Brush are contoured perfectly to embrace the undereye area all in one swipe! (And the fibers are soft enough to feel gentle in the delicate eye area.)
Also, I’ve always loved the fact that our Crème Fresh Cheek Tints are so easy to use that applying them with just your fingers will do the trick. But because I’ve got this handy brush, I found myself reaching for it every time I used them. The angle of the brush makes it a dream for contouring cheekbones without even trying, and the bristles do all of the blending. The overall finish is truly superior and much faster than doing it sans tool.
A makeup dream made reality!
After skincare and/or primer, pour a small amount of foundation onto the back of your hand and dip the bristles of the Peau Vierge Brush into the foundation. Begin in the center of the face, smoothing the product outwards to the perimeters of the face. Maneuver the contoured edge of the brush around the tiny corners and edges of the nose as well as above and beneath the eyes. Blending and buffing outwards creates the most natural finish.
2. Le Cushette
Our Eyeshadow Brush, Le Cushette, is a glorious custom creation. Named after the Cushette Diamond, which is cut to more exacting standards for polish and symmetry, the arrangement of the vigorously tightened and tapered precision bristles produces a much brighter result with each placement of color on the eyelid. I use the term “vigorously tightened and tapered” because no such brush could previously be found anywhere on the cosmetic landscape. Every other eyeshadow brush currently available is fluffy (broom-like, if I may be so bold). This is very annoying when one is working with highly pigmented eyeshadows. A fluffy brush that dusts eyeshadow onto the eyelid invariably creates an explosion of powder around the eye (and onto the eyelashes). Getting back to my inherent laziness, nobody has time for such nonsense. 😊 Le Cushette applies the pigment precisely without the dusty mess of needless fallout. The bristles are tapered (meaning they get even tighter towards the tip) for exact color placement.
Because over the last decade, non-broomlike eyeshadow brushes had utterly disappeared from the luxury and fast-fashion sphere, I have been using our Flat Eyeliner Brush as an alternative for applying eyeshadow. The tightness of the Flat Eyeliner Brush, along with the thin, taklon texture, has been able to create clean and vibrant eyeshadow looks. However, it was missing the swiftness that a wider panned eyeshadow brush could employ. Le Cushette was born not only out of necessity, but also as a proper homage to brushes that used to be easier to find during the bygone Supermodel era of the 90’s! In the old days, Red and Kolinsky Sable were considered the highest grade of eyeshadow brush for the fastest product pick-up, softness, and color disbursement. Conversely, synthetic fibers (now more flatteringly referred to as Vegan fibers), were considered inferior. My, how the tide has turned. Today’s Vegan haired brushes are now even more soft and luxurious than the old-style sable brushes, and unlike natural hair, they do not absorb germs. The technology has evolved so that now these are the superior brushes for functionality (and sensuality). The world is changing, so why not brushes?
In a comfortable ratio to the size of the eye, Le Cushette is a small-to-medium sized brush with a tapered, arrow-shaped edge that makes applying color to the lid a cinch as the shape fits comfortably into the inner and outer corners of the eye. It will become your favorite eyeshadow brush! Je vous en prie!
Pack the brush with the desired color, then gracefully reverse the eyeshadow brush upside down so that the tip is facing the eyelashes, and then apply to the eyelid. Pack the eyeshadow along the base of the lid from left to right (or right to left), then begin to pull the color upwards, allowing the pigment to fade and evaporate (like a cloud of smoke). Continue adding layers until you are satisfied with the level of contrast.
Do you recommend using the Peau Vierge Brush with skincare? I remember meeting you at a Neiman Marcus event years ago and when my turn came you applied skincare and my tinted moisturizer with an angled brush. It was such a luxurious experience that I never forgot it! PS, I love your blog!
Regular Human here that just wants to put on a little tinted moisturizer (lol)! I really needed this clarification when it comes to using a flat, poofy, or angled foundation brush. I’m currently using one that looks like a cross between a kabuki brush and a plunger. It’s nicer than it sounds, but it makes a bigger mess than anything else. I’m a big fan of Peau Vierge and I’m so happy that it now has its own brush!
E. Miller —
I am intimately acquainted with what you refer to as “broom” brushes, lol. Some of them even feel like they look! I should have tossed them in the bin long ago, but I keep using them because it’s so hard to find a brush that works!
Your advice is always flawless, and your humor was an excellent partner with my morning tea! – I greatly feel less intimidated about brushes!
Marcella Haro —
This reminds me of the late great Anthony Bourdain stating that a cook only truly needs one good chef’s knife and a paring knife, not all of those redundant and superfluous knives that come in the butcher’s block. These brushes alone can do it all because of the quality and cleverly cut angles! Fits into my new mantra “Buy once, buy well”!