Makeup Favourite: Fibre Optic Blush Brush

   You know that I'm not one to throw the words "must-have" around lightly, so you can imagine that I really love this brush. It's a life saver for anyone who has trouble applying blush lightly and evenly and often looks like a clown. I can't get the hang of a proper blush brush -- it's ok if I'm using a bronzer or a very delicate blush colour, but anything else and I end up with two very uneven blobs on my cheeks. However with my fiber optic brush I can easily apply blush that looks very subtle and natural -- even if I am using vibrant fire-engine red!

    Fiber optic brushes (also called skunks -- though they are not made of skunk hair) are made differently than normal brushes: the black bristles are very shorter than the white ones, and their job is to separate the long white bristles. So, the only thing touching your skin is the very thin and flexible white bristles that are spaced pretty far apart. The brush picks up really teeny quantities of the blush, and applies it very lightly on the skin. The result -- soft, diffused colour with no streaks or harsh outlines. My brush is angled, which means that the colour is applied a bit more precisely than in a round one (where the colour would go all over the place). Fiber Optic brushes are also very soft, great for sensitive skins.

    Fiber optic brushes can also be used for blush, finishing powders, highlighters, bronzer, shimmers, etc. -- anywhere you want to use minimum quantities of product. They work with powder, stone as well as cream products. Obviously the size and shape of your brush can make it harder or easier to use it for all these purposes. Some brands also do fiber optic eye-shadow brushes or all-over brushes -- I haven't tried them yet but am very much tempted to do so!

     I apply blush with the Fiber Optic Angled Blush Brush in "stippling" or "dabbing" motions (lightly touching the cheeks several times). If the colour is not very vibrant, I do several layers. I usually contour my cheeks with a bronzer first (I apply bronzer to below the cheekbones to create slight hollows, because my cheeks are very round), and apply a light touch blush just above this. I never contour my cheeks with blush because it always looks very "makeup-y". I often add a very slight sweep of blush to the bridge of the nose, forehead and my chin -- it's almost invisible but makes the blush on the cheeks look more natural (because the colour of the blush is reflected in several parts of the face, and not concentrated just  on the cheeks).

   Fiber optic brushes won't work with very low-pigmented blushes in pale colours. (Low pigmented means that the pigment is thinned out with a lot of filler -- usually talcum powder, so that the blush never looks as saturated on your face as it looks in the palette). However it is perfect for more intensive colours, and mineral brushes (which are pure pigments).

     I recommend every make-up rookie to get a fiber optic blush brush -- it is an amazing trick to getting natural-looking blush, and will allow you to wear dark and vibrant blush colours with ease.

    I got my Fiber Optic Blush Brush from Lumiere cosmetics, however the company doesn't exist any more. Other good fiber optic brushes that I know of are the MAC 187, the one from Meow Cosmetics, and the one by Silk Naturals but such brushes are also made by many other brands. Do look up online reviews, as some brands have issues like shedding hair or bleeding colour. Also, not all fiber optic brushes are cruelty-free.
   Do you own a fiber optic brush? Or do you have another trick to apply blush lightly and evenly?

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