A makeup artist’s secrets revealed!

We’re guessing that Leonardo da Vinci didn’t paint the Sistine Chapel with just the one brush, and apparently the same goes for makeup artists! Don’t worry though, you don’t need so many brushes that you’ll have to invest in a tool belt! According to celebrity makeup artists and Herald Sun beauty columnist, Dean Nixon, a few key brushes are all you need for that flawless finish.

 A bit about Her Fashion Box makeup guru Dean Nixon…

Dean doing makeup2 smallMakeup artist to the stars, Dean works his magic on some of the world’s most beautiful and famous faces. Amongst the A-listers who’ve had Dean’s special treatment include Elizabeth Hurley, Delta Goodrem, Kristy Hinze, Miranda Kerr and Megan Gale, to name a few!

Over the past 15 years, Dean has worked all around the world directing makeup for fashion shows including Gucci, Sass and Bide, Willow, Myer, David Jones and for leading beauty brands including L’Oreal Professionnel, Redken and Matrix.

When he’s not working on editorial shoots, directing runway shows or writing his “How-to” beauty column for the Herald Sun, Dean also represents Dr LeWinn’s Skin Perfect Range as their Brand Ambassador and has somehow found the time to launch his own line of world class, affordable makeup brushes and makeup classes called Master Makeup by Dean Nixon.

Here’s what Dean had to say when we sat down with him earlier this week.

Why did you develop Master Makeup by Dean Nixon?

I was working globally for Esteé Lauder and spending a lot of time on the ground level with their customers doing makeovers and workshops and I kept being asked the same question, “Where can I go to learn how to do my makeup where I don’t feel pressured to buy product?”

It got me thinking and the result was Master Makeup, a simple two-hour hands-on makeup class where everyone brings their own makeup and works from what they already have.

What I noticed next was that it was often not the application ability of my clients that was their problem but the tools they were using.

My clients kept saying good brushes were too expensive, so armed with my belief that good quality makeup brushes didn’t have to be expensive, I set out to develop the perfect range of high quality brushes at an affordable price. Two years on, I am excited to say I have achieved my goal and have had an amazing response.

Why is using makeup brushes so important?

The most important reason makeup artists all around the world use good quality brushes is the control they give. If you want a professional makeup look then you need to use the professionals’ tools of the trade. ie. By using a Foundation Brush, you will get a much smoother and flawless finish. You will also get much better control and even use less foundation. It is proven that using a foundation brush to apply your foundation every day, will save you one whole bottle of foundation a year.

A Concealer Brush will help to eliminate the concealer from caking and highlighting lines.

The Eyeshadow Brush and Blending Brush are the must-have tools for creating the perfect smoky eye, and an Eyeliner Brush will give complete control and help take the guess work out of getting perfect lines.

Why are there so many different types of makeup brushes?

Like any product on the market nowadays, there is an abundance of choice and they all have their own technical use, especially for the professional makeup artist. Too much choice though can be very confusing if you’re not planning to be a professional artist. If you’re only wanting to improve your makeup application and finish, then keep it simple.

How many different makeup brushes would you recommend to the average woman to have in her makeup bag and why? 

If you want to keep it to the bare minimum, all you need is a Kabuki Brush to apply all your powder, blushes and highlighters, a Foundation Brush for flawless foundation application, a Concealer Brush to hide any imperfections and blemishes, and then for the perfect eye makeup, an eyeshadow brush to layer eyeshadow along the lid, a Blending Brush (your secret weapon to achieve a smoky eye) and finally an

What do each of your makeup brushes do?
When I was looking at the types of brushes I wanted to launch, I wanted to develop the bare essentials so I started with my Kabuki Brush, which I call my “one-stop-shop” brush. It has an extended handle for easy application and is the perfect tool to apply powders, bronzers, blushes and shimmers.

The Foundation Brush will give a streak-free application and a more natural flawless finish. It gives better control of your foundation so you can add more where needed and then blend out where not so much is needed. It also is great for applying primers and moisturizes as well.

The Concealer Brush will give you the best chance of concealing under-eye circles and blemishes by allowing for precise application. It’s also great for applying eye crème and crème eyeshadows.
The Eyeshadow Brush is shaped to suit the contours or the eye allowing for easy and flawless application of eyeshadow.

The Blending Brush really is your secret weapon to achieving a perfectly blended or smoky eye. The bristles are designed to pick up eyeshadow, allowing for easy blending and shading along the contour and lid of the eye.

Finally, the Eyeliner Brush is bullet shaped to allow for controlled and precise application of product along the lash line. 

How often should I clean my brushes and why?

If you’re only using your brushes once or twice a day to apply your makeup, I would recommend you wash them once every week or fortnight. If you don’t wash your brush regularly, they will get a build up of product and oils from the skin and this will ruin the brush and won’t achieve as nice a finish. You can use a brush hygiene spray in between uses, which will help to sterilise them, but you must also shampoo them too.

Any final words?

All makeup brushes and product should work for you, not against you, so if you are struggling to achieve a look and you know it’s the product, move on from it and look for one that does the job easier.

For more information on Master Makeup by Dean Nixon brushes or makeup classes, visit www.mastermakeup.com.au.

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