Brush Up! Tools & Tips for Flawless Makeup

“Great cheekbones.” “Beautiful eyes.”  When you notice someone’s best features, you’re probably not thinking about the makeup brushes behind the beauty. But according to pro makeup artists, the secret to enhancing your assets is well-applied, well-blended makeup. And the strategy is in using the right brush for the task.

Form & function

Pharmaca’s new Natural Beauty Brushes have been carefully designed to do specific jobs. “Pharmaca brushes are high-quality, an excellent value and they’re easy to use,” says Jeri Coakley, esthetician in San Francisco. “And, they make a great gift!”  Crafted in the U.S., the brushes are cruelty-free and made of natural goat or pony hair, or synthetic taklon. Goat hair, a premium bristle, is known for its lush softness and ability to provide a smooth, flawless finish. Pony hair, while still soft, has more strength and bounce-back ability, perfect for contouring. Taklon, a polyester material, has smooth, non-absorbent bristles that don’t trap product or bacteria, and is best for “laying down” creams or liquids. 

Choosing & using brushes
Jeri explains why these brushes give you the results you want. “Natural goat and pony bristles are soft and give a lighter, blended effect—perfect for loose and pressed powders, blush and shimmery highlighters,” she says. “Synthetic materials, like taklon, are stiffer and great for applying liquids or gels.” Here’s a closer look at the best brushes for each job.


  • Camouflage Tapered Angle Brush is the one to choose for applying eye and brow liner. The firmer taklon bristles make it easy to apply a perfectly defined line, especially when you want to get close to the lash line or sweep eyeliner up at the corners for a cat-eye look.
  • Camouflage Oval #8 is the right choice for concealers and eyeshadows, particularly cream ones.  The tapered edge lets you smoothly blend product into the inner corners of your eyes, under lower lashes and on your eyelids.

Face & Cheeks:

  • Super Dome Duster Makeup Brush, made with pony and goat hairs, is the one to use with loose mineral powders. The dome shape lets you pick up just the right amount of product, avoiding a cakey or powdery look. The technique? Dab the brush in powder, tap off excess, sweep around the face to apply, then blend by brushing downwards, in smooth strokes.
  • Luscious Dome Makeup Brush’s super capra goat hair bristlesmake applying pressed powder foundation, bronzer or blush a breeze. This super soft goat hair, with the tips still intact, gives medium to full coverage and a flawless finish.
  • Chisel Powder Makeup Brush lets you layer on powders, especially blush and highlighters, to sculpt and contour and get the depth of coverage you want.
  • Deluxe Soft Fan Makeup Brush picks up the least amount of product (and white bristles let you see just how much) fora light, delicate wash of shimmer or blush, perfect for sheer color on the apples of your cheeks.

Finally, to keep your brushes in the best condition, Jeri recommends washing them every week or two with a gentle cleanser like Pharmaca’s Little Pip Shampoo and Wash.

Talk to a Pharmaca esthetician for more tips on choosing and using the right brushes for your look.

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