Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Michaels' Loew-Cornell Brushes - How to select the right ones


Hi Bellas,

So you might be thinking “What? Another brush entry?”. Well after posting the last brush entry which wow, took me almost two hours to do…I made a quick stop at Michaels craft store.

After checking out www.Pursebuzz.com, I saw that Michael’s was having a 40% off sale of Loew-Cornell Brushes. For those of you not familiar, these are actually paint brushes. Back in the day, Makeup Artists would use paint brushes and cut off the handles to use for cosmetic application. Times have changed and there is a slew of various makeup brush brands all over the place. Check out enkore makeup on youtube for various videos on him comparing MAC brushes to Loew-Cornell paint brushes. When trying to save money, these brushes are high in quality and low in price. I was trying to not buy anything for a while…but I couldn’t pass up a 40% sale.

Each Michaels craft store has its own selection of brushes. Some hardly have any to choose from, but my location is right across the street from my job and has a pretty good selection. Whenever I browse the aisles I always do a few things. I let my eyes scan the brushes while keeping a visual image of current brushes I’ve seen or own. By doing this, I can find paint brushes that I know will work as makeup brushes. If you’re OCD like me, you’ve spent hours browsing the MAC website brush section, taking notes on various brush videos and other brush websites. From all this research, I’d say I’m pretty familiar of what can and can’t work as a makeup brush.

Picking out Michael’s brushes…My 4 step test
When I find some good candidates, I pull them out and immediately do test #1-the finger touch test. I run my fingers through the bristles testing to see if it is soft enough to use on human skin. If they’re too rough I immediately put them back…if they’re soft enough for my fingers I move to test #2-the wrist test. I brush the bristles on the inside of my wrist, swiping back and forth to feel how it affects the delicate wrist skin. Don’t test it out on your face because you don’t know where those brushes have been. If it passes that test I’ll move to test #3-density test. I’ll check to make sure that the bristles are dense enough for makeup application. I do this by bending the bunch of bristles to the side to see how it holds to the pressure of my fingers. If it is too sparse of flimsy I usually pass since I know it wouldn’t be able to hold product well. Test #4-handle test. Lastly, I check to make sure that I’m comfortable with the handle length, weight and thickness.

Tips I’ve learned along the way
A few things I’ve learned from my various visits to Michaels. Avoid the brushes that come in multi-packs. I’ve found that those are usually of less quality and are not soft enough to use. Oftentimes, you can’t even open the pack to test the brush. I skip those. Also, make sure when you’re choosing synthetic brushes, pick bristles that are not too soft. For example, if picking a concealer brush, you want it to be soft but still firm enough to push product into your face. Some of the synthetic brushes I’ve gotten are a little too flimsy for my taste. Next, check out your newspaper for Michael’s adds. Oftentimes there are 40% off coupons. Lastly, make sure to thoroughly wash the makeup brushes before you use them on yourself or anyone else. You don’t know what chemicals, dust, germs from other people’s hands are on those brushes. I just use generic baby shampoo and conditioner and let it dry. With that said, you’re ready to get shopping!

My Haul
After the 40% discount, I ended up getting 6 brushes for $17.98. Good deal huh?
I'm not going to post them quite yet because I haven't tested all of them out...that will be another entry. Stay tuned!

2 comments:

(g)ezebel said...

very good info for the girl on a budget. thanks for sharing!

Spider Girl (Ana M.) said...

Very useful tips! Keep such tips coming up!