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To Puff or not to Puff?


To Brush or not to Brush? That is the timeless question makeup artists have been asking since the dawn of the makeup industry...

Ok, maybe not but every makeup artist has their own brush preferences but this week's blog entry features instead when not to brush and use a powder instead, we ask, to puff or not to puff?
Almost every makeup artist, amateur or professional, has a powder brush, but do we really know what it's meant for?  The easy answer would be "to apply powder," but there's more detail to those simple puffs and many good reasons to use the puff over the brush.  
So let's take a look at what each product is designed for and how in the world we're supposed to use the tools available to us.
Powder Puffs

Webster's dictionary defines a powder puff as: a small fluffy device (as a pad) for applying cosmetic powder. Now that's a pretty broad generalized definition and of course we make our own. Puffs are designed to hold powder inside of them and when you tap them, the powder is released where you need it. Puffs are generally used best with either pressed or loose powder, when setting a cream foundation or as a quick way to cut shine. The ultimate benefit of using a puff (in lieu of a powder brush) is that you're setting the makeup where you applied it so it prevents creasing or moving. The powder brush can tend to leave powder specs all over the face or clothes where it isn't wanted and can even leave your makeup looking ashy. The brush isn't going to be as precise or clean for application. A puff, on the other hand, will secure your makeup for a much longer wear-ability time.

Small Pressed Powder Puff

Included with many pressed powder/cake powder compacts, this is probably the most common type of powder puff people use.  You just swipe it across the powder and swipe it across the face for quick touch ups.  Simple and easy, no instruction needed. 
The one thing to keep in mind is to change that little puff out every few weeks.  Bacteria can build up and cause break outs or other skin irritations.  The replacement puffs are really inexpensive (unusually under $3) but we tend to hold onto the original like they're gold.  It's funny how we may be willing to spend a good portion of our hard-earned money on a quality powder but we don't replace the inexpensive little puff.



Using a Puff with Loose Powder

The first time I ever attempted trying to use a powder puff, I simply tapped my loose powder onto it and tried to balance it and twist the puff to get all the powder on my face.  Needless to say, I got powder all over my face, my new black dress, and my new black heels...I try to imagine every young makeup maven does the same thing...

It wasn't until I started training to be a makeup artist that I learned how to properly use a puff.  Of course I had been doing it all wrong...

dramatic-effect-3.jpg With loose powder, the key to using a powder puff is after you tap the powder onto the puff, you fold it in half (like a taco) and rub the powder into the puff (almost like rubbing out a stain).  This way all the powder is inside the puff and you can easily transfer the puff to your face.  Then tap the puff on your face and press the powder into the makeup.  Ta-duh!  Now you and your puff can work together in harmony without a halo of powder dust!

Next time you find someone asking "to brush or not to brush?" you know the answer!