tarte’s senior graphic designer and avid DIY-er, Erica, is always looking for fun, new ways to incorporate arts and crafts into simple, everyday items. Recently she had an “ah-ha” moment while applying her foundation one morning. She thought why not spruce up her plain bamboo tarte makeup brushes by adding simple materials that can be found in your home and at just about any local craft store?! We promise this DIY takes little to no time and is a great way to add a personal touch to those understated makeup brushes that you use daily!

What you need:

  • Any makeup brushes that you feel need a little accessorizing and beautifying
  • All the embellishments you want (studs, beads, rhinestones, sequins, etc.)
  • Scissors (I like to use fashion Gingher scissors when cutting ribbon, it gives it a clean cut with no fraying)
  • Heavy duty glue for wood (I recommend E600, it’s amazing!)
  • Assorted colors of nail polish
  • Paint brushes (try using thin paint brushes to help you perfect any lines you want to make)
  • Ribbon, any width and color

First, I like to get out all of the makeup brushes that I want to decorate and make sure that they are clean and dry.

I like to start with the thicker makeup brushes first. I started with my tarte golden gal body bronzing buki brush and my tarte buffer airbrush finish bamboo foundation brush.  I glued stud embellishments on both, individual ones on the golden gal brush and then a whole strip of gold studs cut to size and topped of with a band of ribbon on the buffer brush.

When it comes to using the nail polish on your brushes, feel free to get as creative as you want. I kept it simple by painting a few of them one solid color and then adding a pop of color with a few plain lines. I alternated using paint and using ribbon to give my brushes more of a contrast.


Another fun idea for decorating those plain Jane makeup brushes is to incorporate the ombré trend that has been so popular recently. As seen in the pictures above, I used my tarte buffy bamboo face powder brush to try out the ombré effect with different shades of pink. I started with the lightest color and dragged the nail polish from the bottom of the brush to the middle. Your brush strokes should be rough, feathered and uneven to achieve the look. When the nail polish is still a little tacky take the medium shade and paint it on from the bottom of the brush to the middle of the light pink color. Finally take the darkest pink shade and paint it on starting from the bottom of the brush to the middle of the medium pink color. To help blend and streak the colors together you can take a clean stiff paint brush while the nail polish is still tacky and drag it from the bottom of your brush to the top. Don’t be nervous about trying to make this perfect- the whole point of the ombré effect is that it ISN’T perfect!

Try giving your thicker brushes fun effects by using any nail polish colors you prefer. Some other ideas for fun effects and patterns are polka dots, swirls, stars, flowers, herringbone, diagonal lines, zigzags, etc.

The best part about painting and decorating your makeup brushes is that it is totally up to you on how you want to give them some pizazz! Don’t be afraid to mess up, (you can always use nail polish remover to remove any nail polish mistakes) and when it isn’t perfect it seems to always have more character!

So my fellow tartelettes, go grab any kind of crafting tools and knickknacks that you might have laying around the house or make your way to your local craft store and get to decorating those makeup brushes! We promise the next time you take them out of your makeup bag you will be so glad you did!