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Info on choosing and caring for make-up brushes
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montrealgal
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Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:21 pm      Reply with quote
I've read a number of posts inquiring about caring for make-up brushes and thought I'd share these links which have great info on brushes, especially cleaning them.

http://a-squirrel.com/

Here's what the site has to say about synthetic brushes:

Two most common synthetics used in makeup brushes today are Nylon and Taklon. Unlike natural hair, nylon and taklon do not have the scales or cuticle (see natural hair above) hence are not so 'absorbent' and will not 'trap' makeup media the way natural hair will. As such, taklon makeup brushes, which are usually orange or white in color, are commonly used as concealer brush or liquid or cream foundation brush. Taklon is used as a more affordable substitute for Sable but lacks durability as it tends to 'fan out' and become stiffer with each use. Nylon, on the other hand, is commonly used for eyebrow groomer or eyebrow brush as it is harder than Taklon. <snip>

Unlike natural hair makeup brushes, which get softer and softer with each use, synthetic cosmetic brushes tend to get stiffer with use. With modern advanced technology, the manufacture of synthetic makeup brushes has become more and more sophisticated and may one day give their natural counterparts a run for the money! But for now, natural hair makeup brushes are still the choice of professional makeup artists and other makeup brush connoisseurs or makeup divas at large!

(Also check out the site's info on cleaning and drying brushes.)

http://www.janeiredale.com/janesguide/jg_brushes_care.html

I got these great tips from this site:

To condition the brush hair, follow the same procedures as cleansing or put a drop of conditioner into a beaker, fill with water and dip the brush head in it. This will replace the electromagnetic charge of the hairs, ensure their softness and prevent dryness and breakage. Rinse the conditioner out thoroughly using cold water.

Create a ring with the index finger and thumb. Pull the brush through the fingers while applying pressure. This will remove the excess water and maintain the shape of the brush.

(I've been doing this for a few washing and my brushes do feel softer and have kept their shapes.)

hth
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Mabsy
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:29 am      Reply with quote
Thanks for posting these links Montrealgal! I actually have many of A'Squirrel's brushes and they are lovely and so soft! I wash them on a regular basis but haven't needed to condition them for a while - I will try this though. I used to use hair conditioner to do this but somehow stopped.

Also, before I forget, the #1 "no no" in taking care of brushes is apparently getting water into the ferrule of the brush. This, over time, weakens the glue and makes the brushes shed. So, make sure that water flows down the brush when you're rinsing (i.e. with the hairs) and also don't dip it for too long (or maybe not too deep rather).

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lisaroberts
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:55 am      Reply with quote
Wow! What an informative site. I have bookmarked it for later viewing. The only thing I can add is that I keep a small (toaster oven sized) cooling rack under the sink in my bathroom. After I wash my brushes, I let them "air dry" on the cooling rack. This allows the air to go around the brushes and thoroughly dry. hth someone

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Thu Mar 01, 2007 2:32 pm      Reply with quote
I agree with a lot of the info on the A'Squirrel site, but I disagree with two things:
1) A'Squirrel claims it's normal for brushes to shed the first few times they are used. I disagree--- my high quality brushes like Alima, Urban Decay, BB, etc have never shed a single hair. I consider this to be a mark of a very fine brush, and as such I consider brushes that shed a bit at first to just be lower in quality.
2)A'Squirrel claims that over time synthetic brushes won't hold up like natural hair brushes do. I think this depends entirely on the quality of the brush. I've had my Urban Decay powder synthetic powder brush longer than any other brush and I've washed it more times than I can count, and it's even softer now than the day I bought it. On the other hand, a lot of my cheaper natural hair brushes just couldn't stand up to repeated washings and went straight to the circular file. Again, I think it's a quality issue, not a real vs synthetic issue.

Just my two cents!^-^

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dips18
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:38 pm      Reply with quote
Thanks for posting that info Montrealgal - very helpful and informative.
andaman_gypsy
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Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:31 pm      Reply with quote
I always condition my brushes and I think it really has helped keep them soft. I air dry them by putting them on a table with the actual brush end hanging out of the edge of the table. I find that even my Bobbi Brown, MAC, A'Squirrel and Alima brushes do shed a little bit during initial washing.

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j0g6345
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Fri Mar 02, 2007 12:18 am      Reply with quote
Thanks montrealgal and everyone for the information. I use hair shampoo and conditioner to clean my brushes. I figured if the they are good for my hair, they should be good for the brushes too. Very Happy
montrealgal
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Sun Mar 04, 2007 2:51 am      Reply with quote
You're all welcome! Glad you found the info and links useful.

Mabsy, I agree with you -- that is definitely the #1 rule (not letting water get into the ferrule of the brush). Whenever I read posts about brushes shedding or the ferrule coming loose, I wonder if that's the problem.

Lisa, neat idea about using a cooling rack. But as Mabsy said, be sure the brushes aren't completely flat.

Liz, I hear ya Smile The a-squirrel site does say that one day synthetic brushes will give natural hair brushes a run for their money - maybe that day has arrived! In any case, I'm looking for a second foundation brush for applying mmu (as a back-up) and my top criteria is softness, regardless of whether the bristles are synthetic or natural hair.

So many brushes, so little time <sigh> Rolling Eyes

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daisylondon
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Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:25 pm      Reply with quote
j0g6345 wrote:
I use hair shampoo and conditioner to clean my brushes. I figured if the they are good for my hair, they should be good for the brushes too. Very Happy

The only difference is you don't cover your hair in foundation etc (well I presume you don't Smile
I had never really thought about it and was using shampoo till recently then I saw the comment on the Asquirrel site about not using shampoo with glycerine in it. As I had lovely new brushes (hence the research before I washed them the first time) and wanted to wash them as well as possible, I checked my shampoo and it had glycerine.

So I had to get something new anyway so I went and bought some Trish McEvoy brush cleaner. I used a very scientific basis to choose a brush cleaner - which bottle would fit in my case!

I used this cleaner on my new brushes (and my old ones) and I could not believe it but they really did clean up much quicker and feel a lot better than the shampoos I've used in the past 15 years(and not all would have contained glycerine).

My new method
I wet a brush, put some brush cleaner in my hand, put the brush hair in it then try and get the hair clean with my fingers, then rinse under running water. Then I shake it a bit
(all of the above steps with brush pointing donwards). Then I roll it up in a clean towel to absorb water. Then I reshape the hair.
Then I put it on a net 'sweater rack' which is horizontal (I have one which I put over the bath when I dry jumpers) . The rack gives the head support so the weight of the water does not distort the hair. This sounds like a lot of steps but it only takes a few mins.

Then after I've left a few hours with the bathroom door shut, I move them to a v high cupboard with the brush heads hanging over the edge to dry thoroughly.

The bathroom door shut and the high cupboard are linked to naughty cats rather than any special techinique Laughing
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