It's been a long time coming (almost three years in fact!) but finally L’Oréal Paris Makeup Director and best-selling author Rae Morris' brush collab with Crown Brush is about to hit the Australian market. Before embarking on her whirlwind trip to New York Fashion Week, we were lucky enough to catch up with Rae, who gave us the lowdown on what we can expect from her range of brushes and a few hints and tips for applying makeup correctly.
BellaSugar: How did you come to be involved in collaborating with Crown Brush for the Rae Morris Brush Range?
Rae Morris: Crown Brush approached me to do brushes with them and to be really honest, I wasn’t a makeup artist that wanted to start making products or create a brand, so they asked me what would it take, so I said "the brushes I use are like $400 a brush, and if they aren't as good as they are, if not better, then I'm not interested." So I thought they wouldn’t come back — and then they did. I tried to put it off because I was so busy. And they still came back and asked what it would take. And I said (off the top of my head) "I want them to be $35, the handles have to be recycled bamboo and they've gotta be animal-cruelty free," and they agreed to all of that. With my own brushes I had shaved them into a particular shape to make them the perfect point, so I thought there's nothing like them on the market, I won't compete with anybody, they’ll be the best brushes and if they sell, great, if not, I'll use them myself. And that's how it was all born.
Keep reading for more on the Rae Morris' Brush Range and her makeup tips . . .
Bella: Tell us about the production behind creating the Rae Morris Brush Range.
RM: It's an extremely slow process, but it's worth it. To even qualify to make the brushes you have to complete a three year apprenticeship and currently there are only three people in the world who can make them. I wanted to go and watch where they were made so I went to the factory on the Mongolian border in China and I sat there for a week with one of the world's best brush designers. I wanted to make sure every single part of the process was humane. So I sat with them and said "no, firmer, no, softer, no pointer, " and then when they completed one I tested it for a month and when they replicated it, they weighed the hairs to the exact weight and then hand-shaved each brush. I gave my samples to some of Australia's top makeup artist at 2011 RAFW and said use it — I didn’t even tell them it was mine. Most of them now say they can't do makeup without them and they were beyond the best makeup brushes ever used. At New York Fashion Week, I'm going to give Pat (McGrath) a set.
Bella: How important is it to choose the correct makeup brushes?
RM: If you look at professional makeup artists and you look at the average woman, the difference is the amount of brushes we use — if makeup artists need the amount of brushes they use, then regular women need that many, too. The other thing is so many brushes available make doing makeup impossible — for example, 90 percent of makeup brushes have a rectangular shape so they leave a hard edge, meaning you have twice as much blending before your even start. I always wondered why women struggled so much, then I realised that they're not using rounded, pointed, really ultra-silky smooth brushes, and when they do, I'm sure their lives will completely change.
Bella: What are the makeup brushes that we should all own, the ones that should be a staple in our makeup bag?
RM: A really good eyeliner brush, a foundation brush and a metal eyelash comb. With an eyeliner brush, there are three sizes in my brush range because women like different sized eyeliners — fine, medium or thick and my brushes also contain a wax, meaning they glide across the skin. Definitely a foundation brush, because a foundation brush can make even thick foundations look airbrushed if it is blended properly. My ultimate brush, though, would be a kabuki brush for cheeks, for contouring, shading, for absolutely everything, really, and they are really, really soft. Lastly, a metal eyelash comb — I actually put mascara onto the metal comb and then comb that through the lashes — you get a clump-free, right-to-the-lashes reach with a metal comb.
Bella: How often should we be cleaning and/or replacing our makeup brushes?
RM: If I use $5 brushes then I just throw them out, but it depends how you look after them. If you use them only on yourself, I would say wash them once a week, but there is two ways of cleaning your brushes. You need something that's going to really clean them, so I use Morning Fresh Dishwashing Liquid and really hot water, but then it's a little annoying because you have to wait for them to dry. If you have a good, strong brush cleaner, you spray it on the brush and then rub it on a white tissue, it's bone-dry in five seconds.
Bella: What's the number one makeup error women make when applying their makeup?
RM: Foundation application. Women get spray tans and we are different colours in Summer and Winter but they only buy the one colour foundation. If you have a spray tan, you might be four shades darker and it's so important to match your foundation to your décolletage and your chest area, not your jaw line. You want your body and your face to be the same colour. Also, any white and frosty products — it ages women. My friend is actually a makeup artist on Kath & Kim and the first thing he was told was that they wanted white, frosty eyeshadow. It just not good on anyone. The only place it should be applied is in the corner of the eyes.