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The best makeup brushes for women over 50

Best Makeup Brushes for Older Women

For every woman over 50 who is still applying makeup with her fingers or bemoaning the curse of bad brushes that shed and streak, I’ve rounded up the top tools of the trade; the best makeup brushes for older women that are essential to a perfect look and should be part of our beauty routine.

How to choose your makeup brushes

Spotting quality

Before you buy brushes, whether purchasing a collection or just a few , make sure you aren’t purchasing tools that shed. Many good brushes may shed slightly during the first use, but a quality brush shouldn’t shed many hairs and it shouldn’t shed with continued use.

To test the brush you’re considering, run your fingers through the brush hair and then brush it on your hand as if you are applying blush. Do this several times. If you see more than 10 hairs on your hand, opt for a different brand.

Choosing the brush hair

Natural bristles such as boar hair or sable usually make for the best makeup brushes for older women. This is because natural hair picks up more pigment, allowing more color to end up on your face where it’s intended. (The exception to this rule is brushes used to apply concealers and liquid foundations which are best if nylon, or a synthetic because it is less likely to cake.) But if you’re allergic to animal hair or just opposed to it, there are some synthetic options that are comparable to high-quality natural hair brushes.

My picks


Opt for a nylon brush such as Jane Iredale’s Foundation Brush, crafted of Taklon Nylon. The shape of the brush allows for even coverage in hard to reach areas such as the sides of nose and corners of eyes.



Don’t neglect face-framing brows; well groomed they really can change the look of your face. Using the right brush, well-shaped brows are easily within reach.

MAC’s 208 Angled Brow Brush is one of the best brow brushes and it is affordably priced at $20 at many department stores.



For those who crave the best of the best, Kevyn Aucoin’s Essential Brush Collection isn’t cheap at $650, but the set has a reputation as one of the best brush collections on the market. The handcrafted collection features 14 brushes with deep burgundy handles encased in lucite. They’re packaged in a sleek black faux leather carrying case with a magnet closure that doubles as a brush easel.



For those of us who would never spend $650 on makeup brushes, there is the Sonia Kashuk 5 piece brush set; $19.99 at Target stores.

Cleaning your makeup brushes is even more important as we get older

Buying the best makeup brushes for older women is pointless if we fail to keep them clean.

Brushes need to be cleaned frequently since they harbor dirt and bacteria that can adversely affect our complexion. To clean, simply run the brush under warm water and then apply your favorite facial cleanser. Work up a lather and rinse with warm water until the water coming off the brush runs clear. Frequent cleaning will also promote some natural shedding; assuring that brushes won’t shed on you! Another option is a professional makeup brush cleaner.

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