How To Apply My Loose Powders - It's All About The Brushes

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How To Apply My Loose Powders - It's All About The Brushes

There is a bit of a knack to applying mineral makeup. It’s not exactly a science, just a different technique and believe me it’s simple once you know how.

Applying Loose Foundation

Firstly, you will need a Kabuki Brush – this is a loose haired super soft cosmetic brush especially designed for applying loose powders. They come in a variety of sizes from mini to large and even retractable for those evenings out on the town. Most have a squat, stubby handle for ease of use and bristles that can be synthetic or animal, rounded, angled or flat top - it's a matter of personal preference and possibly ethics as well. Animal hair will generally hold much more powder than synthetic, on the other hand some synthetic brushes can be surprisingly good. A great example of this are Kabukis made from Taklon, synthetic but normally extremely soft and non shedding.  When buying a Kabuki, think quality and this doesn't mean you have to pay a fortune for it. Pay for the quality of the brush not the designer label!

Which Shape Brush Should I Choose?

This is also a matter of personal choice. The round Kabuki is normally used for the bigger jobs such as applying your foundation, bronzer and veil and the angled for applying blushers. However, there are many who will apply their blushers with a round Kabuki because they prefer them, either way you will probably end up with two for convenience sake - one for foundation and one for blusher.

The most important thing about this brush is it has a large surface area and long soft compacted bristles for buffing the powder into your skin.

Little by little is the key to applying loose powder foundation.

  • Tip a small amount into the lid of your container.
  • Take your Kabuki brush and push gently into the powder then swirl, lift, push and swirl again until the powder has disappeared from the lid. Give the brush a tap on the side of the lid to get rid of any excess powder or stand it on its end and tap lightly. The idea is not to have any sitting on the surface of the brush but pushed into the bristles.
  • Start applying by gently buffing the powder into your skin in small circular movements. You’ll be surprised at how far a small amount will go. Keep buffing until you have applied the powder to your whole face.
  • If you want to go over your face again because you feel that it needs a little extra, no problem. Just repeat the whole process.

What Went Wrong?

So you look in the mirror and oops, you look like you’ve fallen head first into your foundation pot - we’ve all been there!

  • You have probably applied too much foundation, try cutting back a little next time. Remember a little goes a long way.
  • The foundation wasn’t pushed into the bristles enough and was sitting as a layer across the top of the brush. This would coat your skin rather than buff into your skin giving you that slightly overdone look.

Applying Loose Powder Eyeshadows

For loose powder eyeshadow application there are a variety of brushes available, most are long handled with short bristles and have various sized heads for applying the eyeshadow in different places on the eye. The application of loose powder eyeshadows is twofold, they can be applied dry which will produce a more subtle colour or with a damp brush which intensifies the colour, increases coverage and the powders are not so flyaway. 

When applying dry, it is the same technique as for Kabukis in that you would load the brush and tap or place a small amount on the back of your hand and work from there. The eyeshadow would then be dabbed/pressed gently on to the eyelid rather than swiping across it . Many professional makeup artists prefer to apply mineral loose powder eyeshadow dry because it allows them to be able to blend different colours on the eye much more easily.

When applying damp, never put a wet brush directly into your eyeshadow container that has loose powder in it or any other loose powder containers for that matter. This cannot be stressed enough, you will contaminate your products and cause all sorts of problems for yourself. Any water used in cosmetics needs a preservative system to keep moulds, fungi and bacteria at bay. See 'The Role of Preservatives in Mineral Makeup'.

So, if you want to apply your eyeshadow with a damp brush, first remove enough  from your container to make up your eyes and then use the damp brush to apply it – throw away any that has not been used, do not put it back into your container. You may want to clean your brush after you have done this.

Once you have mastered the technique of applying loose powder mineral foundation, which won’t take you long, you will be able use the same technique for applying veils, blushers, and bronzers to make your look complete. You’ll never look back and your skin will never look so good!