The ULTIMATE Guide to Makeup Brushes and Their Uses : Makeup tools are the most important thing in a makeup kit. For once I can manage without a particular product but I cannot imagine not having my essential makeup tools, for the simple reason that tools make all the difference. So today we will talk about makeup brushes, though there are other tools as well which are important today we will only talk about makeup brushes.
First we will talk about what your favorite brushes are made of.
Makeup brushes are either natural or synthetic.
Natural makeup brushes
The bristles of these brushes are made of animal hair and fur taken from squirrel, mink, sable, horse or goat. Natural brushes are very soft, difficult to wash as they hold on a lot of pigment, have a tendency to shed bristles and are generally more expensive. These work best with powder products, the reason behind this is natural hair have pores in them. These pores help to hold on the product and apply it evenly on the face which allows more control in the application. These free movement brushes help in picking more product per swipe and help in blending more effectively. This is the reason why natural makeup brushes are so famous and commonly used in the makeup industry. One drawback of these brushes is that they might cause allergies to some people. If the case is such one has to use synthetic brushes.
Synthetic make-up brushes
The bristles of these brushes are of synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon. They aren’t as soft as the natural makeup brushes and hence are less expensive as well. They are easier to wash and mostly do not shed at all. These work best with cream and liquid products as they do not hold on to the product pigment as much. Unlike natural brushes, they do not attract bacteria and germs and hence, do not cause allergies as well. These brushes are cruelty-free and approved by PETA.
Now we will talk about the density of makeup brushes.
There are a lot of brushes available in the market. Many brands, different shapes, different types and different density as well.
There are fluffy brushes and flat brushes….fluffier brushes and precise application brushes….it all depends on for what purpose you are using a particular brush. The brushes which have more bristles packed in the ferrule are denser than the ones which have fewer bristles.
Which brushes are essential for your kit and how to use them?
This brush is used to apply foundation all over the face. Different type of foundation brushes are available in the market these days depending on the use/
- Tapered foundation brush – this is the classic foundation brush available in the market. It has bristles arranged in a C- shape.
- Square foundation brush – this is D- shaped flat foundation brush. It is thinner than the classic brush, which makes the application better.
- Pointed tapered/ triangle foundation brush – this is a V- shaped brush. Since it is pointed it helps in reaching the tough corners easily like the corner of the eye, sides of the nose, hairline, around the mouth.
The concealer brush is a small brush which is used for aiming a small problem area.
- Flat concealer brush – is a small tapered square brush. This is useful to conceal bigger areas like forehead, chin area, cheek pigmentation.
- Precision concealer brush – is a small pointed brush. This is useful in reaching tough to reach areas like inner eye corner, under the eye and around the nose.
- Buffer concealer brush – this small pointed fluffy brush. This best used for hiding pimples.
- Round powder brush – This is big fluffy brush used to powder the entire face.
- Pointed powder brush/ Tapered Face brush – this one has a pointed tip for easy application under the eyes, around the nose, and around the mouth.
Fan brush –
This brush has the shape of a hand fan. There are different fan brushes available in the market which has different densities.
- Thin/small Fan brush – the thin fan brush is best used to apply highlighter on the cheeks or highlight the brow area.
- Thick/Big Fan Brush – The thick fan brush is best used to remove excess product and blend the contour blush and highlighter.
Stippling/ buffer brush
This brush is a very useful brush. It comes in different sizes…small…medium…large…personally, I use the big size and small size. The big one is used to stipple the foundation or you can say blending the foundation and the small one is used to blend foundation in smaller areas. I sometimes use the small stippling brush to apply highlighter and blend it all over the face.
Flat Kabuki/ buffer brush –
This brush is used best with cream or liquid foundations. This one gives the best results in the application and blending of cream and liquid foundations.
Cream Contour brush
This brush is either rectangle shape or angle. It has small bristles which are not free flowing. It best used for cream contour. Used for application and blending of cream contour. U might be thinking how can one brush be used for application and blending as well…here is the answer…it all depends on the pressure you put while using the brush. More pressure to deposited/ apply the product and less pressure for blending the product.
Application of blush on the cheeks.
- Round blush brush – personally I prefer using this brush for blush application as it does not deposit the product at one place like a blob. It helps in the scattered application of blush which can later be blended.
- Angled blush brush – it helps in precise application of blush on the cheeks. Though you also get fluffy angled blush brushes. They are not that precise in the application and are good for blush application.
Powder Contour Brush
This brush is not as fluffy as an angled blush brush for precise application of contour.
Eye shadow applicator
A good eye shadow brush will pick more products in one swipe and help you in depositing the product with the minimum fallout.
- Angled fluff contour brush – this brush is used for application on the outer corner of the eye. It helps in a softer application which makes it easy to blend.
- Crease brush – this brush is not fluffy and helps in a precise application in the crease area. This tricky brush to use but with practice, one can use it easily.
- Small crease defining brush – this a small round shaped brush which is round from one side and little bit angled from the other side. This helps in applying shadow on the crease area with precision and blending it outwards. It’s a multi purpose brush. Personally, I use this brush a lot.
- Petite Crease Brush– This brush is used to create a precise line in the crease area.
- Small Eye Shadow Application Brush– it is small flat applicator on the lid area.
- Medium Eye Shadow Applicator– This is also flat but medium size applicator for the lid area.
- Large Eye Shadow Applicator– This brush is flat again but large for application on bigger lids.
- Petite flat eye shadow brush – it is a flat firm small eye shadow brush used for application in smaller areas like the corner of the eye and brow bone highlight.
- Flathead shadow brush – this is a flat square shaped brush. This one is best used to apply cream eye shadow in the lid area.
Eye liner brush
- Precision eye liner brush – this is the thinnest brush in your makeup kit. This one is best used to apply the thinnest of eye liners.
- Flat eyeliner brush – this is a flat small stiff brush. Best used for application of gel eyeliners. This comes mostly with the gel liners itself.
- Pointed eye liner brush– a thin brush with a pointed tip best used for application of thicker liners with sharp ends.
- Slanted eye liner brush – the neck of this brush is bent for easy application of eye liner. It has the same shape as that of a precise eyeliner brush.
- Angled eye liner brush– this one is angled which helps in easy application of gel or cream liners and allows to create out of the box shapes of liners. It also helps in creating a fine winged eye liner.
This brush is a small angled brush which is used in the eye area. This brush is stiff so is best used for filling the brows or applying shadow under the eyes.
This brush that a pointed shape and is best used to achieve smoky eyes.
Also known as the mascara brush looks the same as your mascara wand. This brush is best used to blend the color applied to fill the brows and to apply mascara or to separate the lashes after application of mascara.
This is a small C – a shaped brush used for a softer application of eye shadow under the eye. Also used to smudge the kohl in the waterline.
Eye shadow blender brush
This is a must have the brush. Used for blending eye shadow. Very useful brush.
Tapered Blending brush-
This brush is also used for blending eye shadows especially blending eye contours and adding final finishes to the blending. It helps in blending larger areas in the eye makeup.
Mascara fan brush
It’s a smaller version of the normal fan brush. This brush is used to remove excess mascara and separate the lashes after mascara application.
- Lip contour brush– This is a U- shaped flat brush which helps in creating lip contours easily.
- Precision lip brush – this a thin lip brush used to fill the corners of lips.
- Flat tapered lip brush – this one broader used to fill the center of the lips.
This is a brush with a small handle. It is a round fluffy brush. Personally, I use it for blending the entire makeup at the end. It is also used to apply bronzer. Some people also use it to apply highlighter but for me, this is not the best brush to apply highlighter.
There are two more variants in this:
- Angled Kabuki brush– which helps in easy application of contours and bronzers to larger areas.
- Flat Kabuki– helps in buffing loose powder and giving a natural shine to the skin.
Brow brush and comb
It is a double-sided brush with a brush on one side and comb on the other side. The comb is used to separate clumpy lashes, remove excess mascara and smooth messy brows, while the brush is used to fix unruly and thick brows and give the filled in brows a softer look.
Lastly, one of my favorite brushes is from BECCA. I do not know what to name this one so I would call it a MULTI TASKER brush. This one does a lot of things, with natural hair bristles can be used with liquids, creams, and powders.
After listing all these brushes I would like to add that the list does not end here as you will still find more brushes in different shapes and sizes but their uses will be more or less the same. Choice of a brush depends on personal comfort in using a particular shape of the brush to create the desired look.
Also, there are new entrants of brushes in the market which are the OVAL BRUSHES.
We will discuss them in another article.
And then you will also find different sponges which can be used in place of some brushes for which I will write in a separate article.
Till then I hope this will solve your confusion. Do share with me in the comment section below if you have any questions. Thanx, a ton. LOVE.