Eyeshadow Brushes: Types and Cleaning Tips

Eyeshadow can be one of the hardest makeup skills to master. Getting the blending right can be quite tricky. If not applied enough, your eyeshadow can look chalky, while applying too much can make it look caked up and messy. It’s a skill that can be mastered with patient learning. Good eyeshadow brushes are essential to get the application right. Some of the commonly-used eyeshadow brushes include the following:

1. Eyeshadow definer/blending brush
These are used to blend cream or powder eyeshadows. A good blending brush makes the eyeshadow look seamless. It won’t make the makeup look too defined, streaky, or fake. Some of the blending brushes are contoured in such a way to use for a specific purpose like applying shadow in the contour lines. It can be used to create precision lines as well.

2. Shader brush
Shader brushes allow for shading the eyeshadow precisely. They are perfect for defining and blending the inner corners as well and can help create a smokey eye effect. You can place the brush at the inner end of the upper eyelid and extend the eyeshadow on the lash line. To make the eyes appear larger, extend to the outer tip of the eyebrows.

3. Smudger brush
This brush helps create a shadow effect so they can be used smoothly on the eyelids to create a smoky look. Smudger brushes are perfect for contouring and enhancing definition around the eye.

4. Cleaning your eyeshadow brushes
Cleaning your makeup brushes is very important. Especially the eye makeup brushes, as they can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which can affect the eyes as they are very sensitive. Layers of oil from the skin combined with pigments from the eyeshadow and dead skin cells combine to form dirt. This can cause irritation to the skin and lead to itchy eyes. It is also recommended to not share makeup applicators.

How to clean the brushes? You can hold the brushes under running water, dip them in a gentle shampoo or soap, and rub it gently to lather it and rinse under running water. If the brushes are used for cream eyeshadow, then you should wash them twice to remove the greasy cream. Spread out the brushes on a towel or a strainer tray to dry them. If you clamp all the brushes together, they may remain damp and start to smell.

Synthetic brushes are low maintenance and easy to clean. They last longer too, with a good quality synthetic brush lasting anywhere between 5 and 10 years. The brushes with natural bristles are, however, high maintenance. Store brushes in a cool and dry place.

5. When should an eye makeup brush be replaced?
If the bristles are out of shape or worn out, they should be replaced immediately. If the brush doesn’t deposit the cream or powder evenly, it should be replaced. Falling bristles are an essential sign of replacement. Storing the brushes well and cleaning them periodically will ensure they last longer.