Brushes were the least of my concerns when I first started playing with makeup.
My thought process was more along the lines of “how can I get this makeup off before I get home without mom noticing?” I mean, can you really tell the difference between makeup applied with chintzy versus high-quality brushes? Or even just your own fingers?
Yes. I’m here to tell you that you absolutely can tell when even the most luxurious makeup is applied with low-quality tools. This reality is a bummer when you love to buy luxury-brand cosmetics, which are already quite the investment. The good news is that you don’t have to pay high-end dollars for high-quality brushes; you just have to know where to look. Morphe delivers.
Welcome to this Review Edit: Morphe Brushes (and How to Clean Them). I’ll show you in a few strokes how the right brush can take your look up a notch.
First, let me start by saying you can own all four brushes I talk about today for $28. That is a great price point if you’re piece-mealing brushes. Even cost-effective brushes will be pricier if you’re buying individuals, so try and get a brush set with the most useful tools to really save.
I wanted to start with a bang, as this brush is my favorite from Morphe—and in my entire brush collection. M444 is a dome-shaped foundation brush. Her bristles are densely packed and synthetic, so you’ll get that airbrush blend without losing as much product as you would to natural hairs. I will say I have never tried this one for foundation. I love M44 to snatch my contour, personally. This brush, along with many others Morphe has to offer, is cruelty-free.
You aren’t really doing makeup in 2020 if your cheekbones don’t glisten like the finest glazed donut. M143, with her natural bristles, will fan pigments over those highpoints like nothing else. Synthetics are awesome for conserving product and longevity. However, natural hairs deliver an easy-on-the-skin smoothness that synthetics can’t. They’ll also pick product right up; the only downside is that, sometimes, they don’t let it go.
A well-put-together face is all in the details. This brings me to my next absolute favorite synthetic brush, one that’s tried and true: the M421. She’s all about concealer. My favorite purpose for M421 is laying down the concealer canvas that supports a great highlight. You might be thinking “why spend $4 when my finger is free?” The same people asking this question might often wonder “why won’t my concealer stay put, even when I prime and set?” The reason I only apply glitter with my fingers is because those natural oils will mix with your concealer formula in a very undesirable, short-lasting way. Such a truth is especially poignant for my own oily skin.
She’s small, but she’s mighty! M213’s natural bristles are great for detailing an eye look. I love applying vibrant color for a crease that’s been concealed by M421. The flat shape is ideal for making every little stroke count with easy control.
Inspired by my boyfriend’s tie-dye shirt (pictured above), I created this eye with Morphe’s Pride palette. I love the life of vibrance this color story tells. I truly feel it embodies pride, as you have so much room to explore and create your own unique look with so many choices. The only drawback is that many of the fun matte shades need much building before a colorful payoff. Sadly, this limited edition palette is no longer available on Morphe’s site.
My brushes definitely need a cleaning after this session! Proceed with caution when washing Morphe brushes. My experience with them, as much as I love them, is that they have a common defect of cheaper tools: weak adhesive. Do not let your brushes lie flat after running them under water. Water sitting on cheaper brush adhesive corrodes it, and may cause the brush head to detach from its handle. It happened with a few of mine—no big deal, just apply some high-strength glue and be on your way. You can avoid this entirely by drying head-side down.
Worldly Tip: Wash your Morphe Brushes, particularly the natural hair ones, with shampoo and conditioner. It’s less harsh than regular soaps. You’ll also save on the expense of special brush soaps this way. Shampooing and conditioning the natural hairs will combat fraying (where brush hairs push apart from each other). It also helps to tightly wrap them in paper towel while wet.
Don’t throw your money at expensive brushes when you could by buying that new, luxury eyeshadow palette! Let us know your affordable high-end alternatives—we’re always on the hunt, and might feature it in the next Review Edit.