You can always see a makeup brush that belongs to Gucci Westman. It's probably decades old and coated in nail polish. "In the early days, when I could not afford good brushes, I would save my money and get a sixth month. At fashion shows, other makeup artists would take them and I have to start tagging them with nail polish so they would know they were mine, says westman Attract.
You may not be the makeup artist behind Gwyneth Paltrow's wedding day and photo shoot with Jennifer Aniston who uses shoddy makeup brushes. Westman has spent years in the industry thinking about what makes a good makeup brush – the investment, the craft, how to protect them from following backstage etc. Now she channels her wisdom in an untouched collection of makeup brushes as part of her brand name Westman Atelier.
"The final, the application, the sensory – all these things are in place when you have a good brush. It's like a homemade pie, unlike a factory-made pie. That's a difference, she says.
The Westman Atelier Brush Collection should feel homemade as Westman has created the details to "feel like a makeup artist makes your makeup." She designed shorter handles for easy control and an ergonomic feel and chose her own favorite color combination of saturated and shiny black handles with a white brush head. The white, the cruelty, the nylon brush double as an elegant color contrast and a reminder, as they are coated in makeup, to wash your brushes. "When you have a black or even a gray breast head, it's really rough," says Westman. The handles are birch forests, forest planted from a certified responsible forest in Eastern Europe. And the whole package comes together in a Hakuhodo breast shop in Kumano, Japan, where "brushmaking is a real craft".
She has retained the collection for a crucial three options: The Blender Brush ($ 125), meant for continuous and all-encompassing blend, Powder Brush ($ 85), a universal powder brush and Foundation Brush ($ 80) for the base. "Everything was measured at nine degrees, so it would be the perfect application," said Westman.
The blender brush is "exactly that – a mixer," she explains. She designed it to fit perfectly into the Westman Atelier Super Loaded Tinted Highlight. "My intention is to swirl the brush around the compact edge, then you can either use it underneath or on top of your foundation depending on how much light you want," she says. "Start from the bottom of your cheek and follow it. It's very intuitive and it gives you a nice outline and frames your face without a hard edge."
The stylus brush is designed to work with the Vital Skin Foundation Stick. "My preference is to knit it back and forth on the bullet and then smooth the ground of my skin where it is needed," explains Westman. "I'm starting with my worst area, which is the T-zone, and then I'm sweeping out under my eyes and a few small spots and under the forehead." She also uses this brush to apply redness.
The powder brush is the most universal option, meant for some powder. "You sweep back and forth in the compact, and then I always like to sweep it over the cheek. If it's a bronzer, I'll swipe horizontally," she says. "Press the brush and then dust away."
Westman does not rule out launching more brushes down the line, but for now she has chosen these three as her must-have. And if her fans follow her example, it may be the last three brushes you need to buy for a very, very long time. "It's almost like a nice handbag. It's an investment piece," she says. Her protips for healthy brushes are simple: keep them clean, wipe them quickly, do not bend them and do not put them away when they are moist. And when it comes to brush cleaning, Westman is a real professional – she cleans her after each use with a clear Japanese brush cleaner. But for those of us who do not use our brushes on Gwyneth Paltrow one day and Jennifer Aniston next, should once again be good.