The Essential Guide to Makeup Brushes

Most women own makeup brushes, but few actually understand how to use them properly. For flawless results, you need the right tool for the job, whether it’s applying foundation or blending eyeshadow. To help you get started, here’s a guide to choosing and using the best makeup brushes.


Foundation Brush

The foundation makeup brushes are primarily used for applying liquid or cream foundation. You’ll want a large, rounded brush head with densely packed bristles—the thicker and fuller, the better. Use your foundation brush to evenly distribute your makeup product. Picking up too much product at once will make it difficult to blend on even, so use small dabs of makeup as you go.


Powder Brush

To apply loose or pressed powder, you’ll want a fluffy brush with a large surface area. This helps make sure every inch of your face is covered without having to use excessive amounts of product. Try a shape like oval, which will help soften any harsh lines or blend colors seamlessly for an even finish. You can find some great options from brands like Shiseido and Sephora.


Concealer Brush

Most of us use concealer makeup brushes for blemishes, but that’s only one of many possible uses. Conveniently sized and easy to maneuver, a concealer brush can be used for everything from smudging eyeliner pencil lines in small strokes to applying lipstick with precision. This affordable tool is easily found at beauty retailers—pick up several so you always have one on hand when you need it.


Eyeshadow Brush

An eyeshadow brush is used for applying powder eye shadow. It is one of two primary brushes used for applying color to a person’s eyelids and comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and bristle widths. Find one that’s dense, rounded, and firm enough to pick up eyeshadow and deposit it on your lids with precision.


Eyeliner Brush

An eyeliner brush is designed to give you more control over a detailed area like your upper and lower lash lines. It’s one of those brushes that might not be essential. But which can make life much easier when it comes to getting precision with your makeup application. One great eyeliner brush is Stila’s Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Liner Brush, which will do its best work with a gel or liquid eyeliner—or even eyeshadow.


Blending Brush

When it comes to makeup brushes, there are many different kinds, but one of those tools that can be used for pretty much any look is a makeup blending brush. This little guy will seamlessly blend out your powder or liquid products into your skin and get rid of harsh lines left behind by other brushes. When using a makeup blending brush, we recommend really going for it. Either buff in circular motions or dab on the product and push it into your skin. You don’t want to miss any spots!


Angled Brush

An angled brush is a must-have in any makeup bag. Angled brushes are used for all kinds of things—contouring, highlighting, shading, lining eyes and lips. And have several different names depending on where you’re looking.


Eye Brow Pencil & Sponge

No matter what kind of makeup look you’re going for, whether it’s natural or bold, a quality eyebrow pencil and sponge can help you enhance your face shape and define your eyes. Make sure that when selecting an eyebrow pencil you pick one that matches your skin tone. Choose a light color if you have a fair complexion and go darker if you have olive or dark skin. When applying pencil avoid applying too much pressure as it will make your brows look too harsh.


Lash Comb / Spoolie

A lash comb, or eyelash comb, is a thin brush designed specifically for brushing and separating eyelashes. Lash combs are typically used prior to applying mascara as they help set your mascara by making sure there aren’t any clumps before it dries. The same effect can be achieved with a regular makeup brush; however, it may not give you quite as much control.

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