Monday, February 9, 2009

Your Handbag's Most Essential Item

There are many essentials for your handbag, many 'can absolutely not do without' items that must be with you when leaving the house. The three 'L's': lippy, liner and lip sole; chewing gum; mirror; hairbrush; foundation; ipod; mobile; purse; keys; and most important of all, make-up brushes.

Yes, make-up brushes are THE most vital of all stuff and things that a lady keeps in her handbag. What's the point in having your Clinique foundation if you have no brush with which to manipulate the over-priced face-saver with?

And when the weather is so gray, wet and miserable it becomes as much a necessity as bread and water. And oxygen. And the internet. A quick mirror check just to make sure you're looking your best can become an obsessive compulsive disorder and make-up brushes often act like a magic wand - a couple of wafts and your worries are alleviated. Phew! Got to look your best girls!

There's no point choosing the cheapest option when investing in make-up brushes, even if you're prone to misplacing things or losing your handbag after downing too many jugs of Pimms and Appletinis. On the other hand, there really is no point in over spending on make-up brushes. Just because Posh Spice has a limited edition Bobbi Brown brush set, doesn't mean you should splash a week's wages on a set too!

There are many make-up brushes to choose from out there, and it is important to have a decent set of make-up brushes, as they can be the difference between looking OK and getting the look that you desire. In fact, make-up brushes are as important, if not more important than the quality of make-up that you choose to use.

When making that all important make-up brush purchase, bear in mind the actual quality of the product you're investing in. There are few established companies who specialise in make-up brushes but I would advise you checking them out as it is well worth getting your brush sets from those who know what they're doing.

Rather that than buying a brush from a high street make-up line where you're paying for the brand name rather than the quality of design and manufacture and expertise of a company that specialises in make-up brushes.

The longevity of your make-up brushes also depends on how well you look after them. It is important to clean your make-up brushes regularly and although there are many wives tales, tips and tricks as to the quickest, easiest and best way to clean make-up brushes, this is THE definitive guide:

Rinse your make-up brushes in warm water, add a little blob of mild shampoo and rinse through. Then apply soft strokes of the brushes in one direction to remove any lingering dirt and residue. Do not apply brush strokes in more than one direction as this will not get all of the dirt from the bristles. To dry, simply lay the brushes on a towel and leave at room temperature - not in an airing cupboard or by a radiator as this will dry your brushes out completely and damage the bristles.

Make-up brushes are essential, so make sure you don't rush into a purchase, shop around, check out established, specialist companies and take care of your brushes. Oh, and don't forget to leave the house with your brush set in your handbag, otherwise you will struggle to get through the day!

Shaun Parker is a make-up artist with many years of experience making up TV celebrities. Find out more about make-up brushes at