What is a Brush Roll?

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  • Written By: Del Sandeen
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 28 September 2019
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A brush roll is a soft case used to store and transport makeup brushes. It can be made of materials such as cotton, nylon, quilted cotton, canvas, or denim. It may fasten with a snap, button, tie or Velcro closure. Brush rolls are sold with or without makeup brushes; rolls sold with brushes are often more expensive than those without.

Brush rolls come in many different sizes and designs, from solid-colored sophisticated styles to brightly-colored, funky patterns. A professional makeup artist will probably have several. It's important to have space to store all of the brushes that a woman uses, including an eye shadow brush, blush brush, powder brush, contour brush, and lip brush. Some brush rolls feature separate compartments for each brush, while others may have one large pocket to hold all the makeup brushes. Separate pockets are often roomy enough to accommodate more than one brush, especially slimmer ones designed for lip use or for eye shadow.

It is best not to use a brush roll as a long term storage option. They're better used for transport, such as when a woman travels. Makeup artists often appreciate the ease and convenience brush rolls offer when traveling from place to place. While a makeup case is normally more stationary and is kept in a bedroom or bathroom, a brush roll is designed for easy transport. Its soft and flexible nature makes it a good choice for packing into suitcases or overnight bags.


A brush roll may need to be washed occasionally if it becomes soiled with makeup. It's a good idea to store clean brushes in it, to avoid getting it dirty. When cleaning, users should follow the care instructions to make sure the roll isn't damaged. Easy-care brush rolls will require little more than wiping down with a damp cloth.

Craft-loving people can design a brush roll themselves. There are numerous tutorials that can be found online; minimal sewing skills are required since this is a relatively easy project. Using a sewing machine is helpful and will make the task go more quickly, but hand-sewing a brush roll won't take an inordinate amount of time. Being able to create a brush roll allows for full creative freedom, from choosing materials to colors to size.

Various cosmetics companies manufacture brush rolls and the prices vary widely. For a basic roll that's used only occasionally, a woman may choose an inexpensive piece. Professionals will probably buy higher-end rolls or cases.


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