makeup theory lesson all about makeup brush how produce brush liz bregel mua professional blogger makeup artist

As a makeup lover and beauty blogger, I always wanted to have more substantial knowledge on the makeup theory subject. The basic knowledge of various makeup techniques and temporary beauty trends is not enough. That's why some time ago I decided to dedicate a few interesting posts and gather them under one rubric of makeup theory. In today's post, we are going to talk about basic makeup brush anatomy, and learn a little bit about the manufacturing process of our favorite makeup tools.

First of all, let's take a closer look at a makeup brush's appearance and the process of makeup brush creation. Basically, all brushes, high-end or cheap drugstore brushes are made in the same way. The only thing that differs from brand to brand is the quality and origins of the materials they use in production. The manufacturing process and even the location of the factory can also increase the final price of the makeup brush.

diagrma showing the makeup brush anatomy, and the parts it is made of

Can you believe that every makeup brush out there is handmade? Synthetic or natural, cheap or high end, high quality or low — all brushes are made by hand, and though they are unique! People who work in the brush factory pay very special attention to every step of the production process. It starts with hair preparation — a worker needs to gather, comb and mound hairs together. 

The next step in makeup brush manufacturing is to carefully insert bristles into the ferrule. Then the ferrule is pressed by a special pressing machine. To make sure that all makeup bristles are going to stay put, they are glued together with glue, After, a makeup brush handle is added to the ferrule, ready to be packed and distributed.

Every makeup brush's anatomy consists of three main parts: a handle, a ferrule, and ahead. These parts can be made of different natural and synthetic materials, but they are always the most important element in the structure, that makes the makeup brush tool work. Depending on the quality of the production, the makeup brush can be made out of more parts, but the most important here is how it is made.

close-up of makeup brushe's head with synthetic bristles

The Basic Makeup Brush Anatomy

Head - the actual hairs or bristles of a brush. Many types of hair are used for makeup brushes. A common makeup brush can be made of special synthetic or natural animal hair. Usually, manufacturers use squirrel, pony, or goat hairs by carefully cutting or even picking the fallen hairs (cruelty-free production). Manufacturers can also use different blends of hair for larger makeup brushes like powder or contouring brushes. 

Nowadays more and more brands prefer to use synthetic materials over natural hairs. Special man-made materials are not worse than natural hair. These materials are nontoxic, have a very soft and smooth texture, and sometimes last longer than natural hair. The most common materials used for synthetic makeup brushes are polyester. nylon and taklon.

The fullest part of the brush or the flattest part (depending on the type) is called a belly. Usually, we use this part of the brush to press powder and eyeshadow on the skin. The end of the brush head is called a toe or point. The toe of a brush can have a different shape and size and the final makeup results usually depend on this part of the brush.

close-up of makeup brushes ferrules laying on a rosy background

Ferrule - a metal tube that holds the hairs and bristles of a brush, and connects them with the brush handle. The ferrule is usually made of light metals: brass, copper, aluminum, or tin. Ferrule should perfectly fit the head and the handle of the brush, otherwise the bristles will fall out. Ferrule`s heel is a part where the tube gets narrower, it presses and holds all the hair tightly together. A special glue is also used to secure the hair in the ferrule. A part where the ferrule connects with a handle calls crimp.

Handle - a part that is used to hold a brush. A handle can be wooden, plastic, or even metal. The size of the handle can be very different, depending on the manufacturer and the type of brush. Usually, eyeliner brushes have longer and thinner handles, sometimes angeled. This allows makeup artists or makeup beginners to keep a better balance while they apply makeup, without shaking their hands.

Kabuki and some contouring brushes have shorter handles and this allows to have better control over the brush. Brands and manufacturers use handles to express their imagination and sometimes they create a real masterpiece on this part of a brush. Of course, the design of the handle does not affect the final result, but it is always nice to have a beautiful brush set.

Next time we are going to take a closer look at each type of makeup brush and learn how they work with the makeup products and what results they provide. Please check out my previous makeup theory blog post and learn more about Makeup Mixing Palette & How To Use It. Until next time guys, please let me know in the comment section what lessons are you interested in and what would you like to see on my blog.

Lots of love,