Makeup brushes are important to achieving a flawless, blended look that’ll help you face your day with confidence. However, the broad selection of brushes available on the market can make the buying experience stressful. If you happen to buy a multi-pack set, you might not even know the names and uses of all the makeup brushes. Using your finger as an applicator is a tried and true way to apply foundation, but if you want to advance from being an amateur to a professional in the beauty world, you need to arm yourself with the right knowledge to make it happen.
Studying all the types of makeup brushes alone is discouraging. So, here is a list of the most useful to the ones that have multi uses. Knowing how to use makeup brushes allows for the accuracy and control you need to achieve a diverse range of looks.
A powder brush is generally a thick, full-fibered brush—either synthetic or natural—that has the versatility to perform a multitude of beauty jobs. This omnipresent makeup brush (you can hardly find a makeup set without it) is an important tool to have in your makeup purse or box. To use a powder brush for foundation, dip the brush into the powdered product—applicable for both pressed and loose powders—and swirl in circles or sweeping strokes until you achieve even coverage. Pro tip: it’s easier to ensure adequate application if you start in the middle of your face and work your way out.
Tapered Foundation Brush:
Tapered foundation brushes are usually flat, less full in form, with a gentle taper. These brushes are best for liquid foundation and other liquid products. To use, start by dipping your brush in warm water then gently squeezing out the excess. If it’s hot and you’re prone to sweating, use cool water for a more refreshing application experience.
The water serves two functions here: one, to ensure an even coat of your foundation and two, to keep the brush from absorbing any of the foundation—saving you money since the brush won’t soak up any of your makeup. However, take care to remove the water by gently squeezing excess water out into a towel; too much moisture will dilute your makeup, making the product’s coverage ineffective.
A stippled brush has a striking appearance—the fibers are of two distinct lengths. The bulk of the brush is full fibered and tightly packed with longer fibers interspersed. Stippling brushes are great for layering different levels of makeup. Primer, foundation, and blush can be seamlessly worked together with this type of tool.
While stippling brushes can be used with powders, its best use is for liquid cream foundation or cream blush products. To use, put cream blush or foundation on the back of your hand, carefully dip the brush into product and stipple onto face.
Kabuki brushes are some of the most impressive looking brushes. They’re often of the larger variety, with tightly packed fibers. They’re best to use with loose powders on body and face. Want to add some shimmer to your décolletage? Swirl your illuminizing product in large circles for a magical, illustrious finish.
Kabuki brushes are also great for powder foundation and blush. Diffuse concentrated product by swirling the brush in makeup, tapping to remove excess and then gently applying by using large, circular motions.
Eye Shadow Brush
A general eye shadow brush is a small, usually stubby brush meant for sweeping eye shadow all across the lid and upper eye area. This is a great tool to use for eye shadow primer, as well. Simply dip the brush into the shadow, tap off excess, and apply to lids. For a more pigmented effect, you can dip the brush in water.
Angled Eye Shadow Brush
For more proficient beauty lovers, an angled eye shadow brush is a perfect addition. Use it to add intense colors to the corner of your eye, for precise smudging, and to line your crease with a contrast color.
Most brow brushes come double-sided—a comb side and a brush side. You can calm even the most unwieldy brows with a duo-brow brush. First, use the comb to straighten and form your brow shape.
Then, use the brush side to apply your brow product whether that’s powder or a gel. Whether cream or powder, use short staccato strokes, making sure to come to a defined point at the ends. And remember, your brows are sisters—not twins. Follow the natural shape of your brows rather than forcing them into unnatural forms. Embrace that extra tuft on your left side.
An eyeliner brush serves multiple purposes. First and foremost for your eyeliner, of course. To use, dip the brush into the eyeliner pot (often, eyeliners will have brush integrated into the product). Starting from your inner eye, draw a line outward, gradually increasing the width of the line and flicking out toward the ends.
Practice makes perfect, as they say, and is especially true for trying any sort of eyeliner techniques. The key to eyeliner is steady hands (don’t drink three cups of coffee before attempting this). Sometimes, a selfie after applying your liner is a good idea to check the similarity of your wings.
A great way to start on building your cat-eye prowess is by using the hash or dot method. Use the eyeliner brush to make small hashes or dots along your lash line and a final dot where the tip of the wing will go. Connect the dots to get to cat-eye perfection.