We all love a makeup brush, but with so many varieties on the market it’s all a bit overwhelming, you’re often left wondering where to start. There’s no doubt you’ll know what most brushes do, but putting them into practice can be an entirely different story, and also knowing which ones are actually worth the investment can be tough.
If you are just starting out doing makeup, or can’t work out your powder brush from your blush brush, don’t panic, I have you covered. Whether your aim is to perfect that flawless foundation, achieve killer cheekbones or to perfect your brow, follow along as I break them down for you.
Foundation Brush – Probably the most daunting of them all, but without a doubt, the most important. I’m sure you will agree with me when I say your foundation is the first makeup step you need to perfect, it’s your canvas. Now the question on everyone’s lips is – which one should you go for… the traditional flat tapered brush, the buffer brush, or the dense oval brush?
The traditional foundation brush is flat with flexible bristles that are great for blending liquid or cream foundations. You should start in the middle of your face, where you need the most coverage and blend in an upward motion. For flawless, heavier coverage, a buffing brush is ideal. The densely packed bristles will buff product – including liquid, cream and powder – into the skin for a more natural look, without it looking cakey or any brush marks. Now, the one to watch is the dense oval brush. This brush seems to be the tool of choice at the minute and is fast becoming a classic. This type of brush is great for getting the most out of a full coverage liquid foundation creating an airbrushed finished.
Kabuki Brush – Possibly the most underrated brush out there. This short-handled, densely packed brush with rounded bristles is ideal for absolutely everything; from powder/mineral foundations to bronzer and blush. My personal favourite way to use this is with bronzer to warm up the complexion and subtly sculpt the face.
Concealer Brush – If you’d rather use a different brush for your concealer instead of your foundation brush, we’d suggest using a small rounded brush or flat-topped brush to pat concealer into the skin. This helps make blending more precise and allows you to get into the little nooks and crannies of your face.
Powder Brush – We like to call this the obligatory brush, simply because your makeup bag shouldn’t be without it. This brush can be used to apply any type of powder, however, it’s particularly great for pressed or loose powder to set the base you’ve worked so hard on.
Blush Brush – Blusher brushes tend to be either rounded or angled, and on the fluffier side, to pick up just the right amount of product. Swirl the bristles into powder blush and apply to the apples of the cheeks, guiding the product upwards towards your cheekbones. The blusher brush can also be used to apply bronzer if the kabuki brush isn’t working for you.
All-over Eyeshadow Brush – Choose a brush slightly smaller than the width of your eyelid and one that is relatively fluffy, to help blend colour across evenly. There are two techniques we’re rather fond of: the windscreen wiper sweep and the circular motions approach.
Blending Brush – If you find you’ve applied your eyeshadow a touch too harshly, or you’re using multiple shades, go in with a large and fluffy blending brush to smooth lines for a more natural blend.
The nice to have ones:
Stippling Brush – This is a flat-topped brush that helps you build coverage gradually. This brush is suitable for the application of any type of liquid and cream product, while the stippling motion warms up the product to blend it flawlessly for an airbrushed finish.
Fan Brush – For the highlighter enthusiasts out there, the fan brush is a game-changer. This is a great brush for experimenting with your highlight because the bristles lightly pick up product for a softer finish, which can also be built up for a more intense look if desired. Sweep the ends of the bristles across your cheekbones in an upwards motion and rock that glow.
Contour Brush– Whether it offers a flat top or angled tip, the contour brush is great for carving out the hollows of your cheeks for a killer contour. Don’t forget to suck your cheeks in like a fish.
Lip Brush – For those with slightly smaller lips, a lip brush can often be a lifesaver – especially when working with a bold colour. As an alternative to applying lipstick straight from the bullet, use the lip brush to remove pigment from the lipstick and apply to lips for extra definition.
Angled Liner Brush – The one with flat, densely packed bristles that becomes an essential tool when achieving winged eyeliner. Use with eyeshadow or cream liner products for a precise flick that gets right up to your lash line.
Brow Brush – Often similar to the angled liner brush, this small, firm and densely packed brush is the one for brows on fleek. Having a spoolie on the end is an added bonus and you’ll soon find it’s a hard one to live without.
Smudging Brush – This is the one for those of you wanting to master the smoky eye, its rounded tip will help you when transitioning colours, but It’s also great for smudging eyeliner or shadow across the lower or top lash lines.
The sponge – The beauty sponge is not technically a brush, but it’s a great tool to have among your stash of brushes. Sponges are a sure-fire way of achieving a flawless foundation, and they work well for applying any cream or liquid product. Beauty sponges are particularly amazing for when you have more time in the morning as they can take a little longer than a brush to work their magic.