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Make-up Brushes

I'm passionate about decent make-up brushes. A good-quality brush will make cheap eye shadow go on like silk and allow Superdrug blusher to pass for Dior. They're like kitchen knives: while they're often expensive, you'll keep coming back to your favourite few.

I'm never without powder, blusher, eye shadow, liner, slanted brow and flat concealer brushes (controversially, I rarely bother with a lip brush) and, as a rule, I use synthetic bristles for anything waxy or liquid (concealer, highlighter) and natural bristles for powdery products (eye shadow, blush).

Bin immediately those small brushes that come with make-up (they are always useless) and instead shop for separate make-up tools from a brand that specialises in them. Be prepared to invest – cheap brushes are rarely properly weighted, giving you less control; and the bristles are often flat-edged rather than domed, making blending impossible. There are some notable exceptions below.

Brush hygiene is important. I clean mine every four-six weeks with mild shampoo (do not condition – you'll over-soften the bristles, losing precision), then reshape before lying flat on a clean towel to dry. Here are the brands I use every day.

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