Free shipping on U.S. orders $90+. Free global shipping on orders $150+

history of brushes

So often we take things in our life for granted. We don’t notice the everyday things, and that means we don’t often question them either. Objects we use everyday are not given the attention they deserve, especially since some of these objects, like tools, bring empowerment to our lives. I would like you to open your eyes and minds, and take a good look at the tools you use to help create beauty. Tools that help professionals make careers, and tools that help the everyday person achieve a higher level of personal beauty. I am happy to introduce you to the evolution of what a makeup brush could be. Makeup brushes that not only enable a professional to master the medium of makeup, but also enable the everyday makeup user to achieve far better results than ever before.

Probably the very first artwork was created by taking a finger and pulling it across the dirt or sand, creating patterns. In fact, hands were the first art tool. And with most mediums, hands and fingers work well.

But when you use fingers to draw on certain surfaces, like the rock of a cave wall, it can take a toll on the skin. So the search was on to find an external tool that might be an extension of the hand, like another finger.

Perhaps a caveman pulled a branch from the fire and saw that the fired end was black with soot. This blackened-tip tool could now make marks on rocks. But of course, ash doesn’t last too long.

So eventually the early artist discovered that certain soils or ground up rock took on a more vibrant colour when mixed with blood from the animal killed for last nights meal, animal fat, or water. And these became the first pigments used for drawing and painting. The Artist could pick up some of the pigment with the end of a stick and use it to mark a rock or other surface.

But the stick end didn’t hold a lot of pigment at one time, so the early artist hit on the idea of wrapping a wad of fur around the end of the stick, because the fur would hold more of the pigment mixture at a time. And so the basic artist brush was invented.….a wood stick with a wad of fur attached to the tip. And hundreds of thousands of years later, we still have artist brushes that are essentially the same. Wood sticks with wads of fur attached to the tip. The key to this tool is that it becomes an extension of the arm and hand of the artist. It was a great way to paint on other surfaces. And this form of the artist brush has remained virtually unchanged for millennia.

Typical artists brushes are rarely, if ever, used to apply powder pigments.. So, the makeup brush is just a replica of the artist brushes used to apply the mediums of watercolour or inks, because artist brushes created for those mediums are the softest and tend to work well with powders. The basic design of these kinds of brushes are really good at applying pigments on other objects. Sometimes the object the early artist would paint on was people. In fact, body painting is probably the second oldest art form known to man. Painting someone could make them look attractive, or scary, or powerful, depending on the design and colours used.

Throughout history, the powerful and wealthy made use of body painting and cosmetics to enhance their beauty and power. They had servants who all specialized in different household skills, and amoung those were the servants who performed the bathing, dressing and the hair and cosmetic or makeup of their masters. The Masses could never afford to buy the cosmetic concoctions, let alone afford a servant to apply them.

So, for the majority of human history, makeup was achieved by one person applying makeup to another, using the traditional shaped artist brushes that had been around for thousands of years. The cosmetic and makeup world changed forever in the 1840s. That is when the first modern day mirror of glass and tin or silver was made, and was finally affordable enough for the masses. For all of human history before that, only the wealthy elite could really afford a type of reflection mirror made of polished stone, metal or metalized glass.

This was also about the time photography was invented. For the first time, the average person could see an accurate representation of themself, and not just depend on someone else’s description of how they looked. It meant that people could apply cosmetics and makeup to themselves without the need for someone else to act as a makeup artist. This was the beginning of the modern era of cosmetics and makeup. Why does this matter? Because, up until that point, makeup could be applied to people using a conventional artist brush. That tool was good for one person applying makeup to another person.

But, now that someone could apply their own makeup using a mirror, it meant the conventional artist brush [which was designed to be an extension of the arm and hand] had to be turned around to point back at the user, and then the user had to look at their reversed reflection in a mirror, and try to apply cosmetics while hoping to not block their view with their hand. People who had the patience and dexterity learned how to use the traditional artist brush on themselves, but many people struggled and still do because the traditional brush is really designed to apply product to something else, or someone else, rather than for self-application.


Artis Brushes are designed to assist in makeup self-application, while still being a great tool to apply makeup to others. They incorporate several key features in the totally unique design to provide this truly ergonomic performance:

• A modern yet classic shape that includes a curved, flattened handle that fits the contours of the hands and fingers

• A fibre bundle that is perpendicular to the plane of the handle to help maximize application of makeup product

• A fibre bundle and cap that is angled down from the plane of the handle to help accommodate the different planes and shapes of the face

• Weight-balanced handles which assist in application and ease of use

• A trademarked man-made fibre [Cosmefibre®] that provides superior application and blending of product formulas, while resisting: chemicals, UV, deformation and excessive wear

• Shaped fibre bundles that reflect the natural contours of the face.