Beauty brushes come in a variety of shapes and forms. And there’s so many beauty brushes nowadays that makes it rather difficult to distinguish the purpose or way to use.
I remember back when the beauty gurus started on Youtube. That was my first intro to beauty brushes. I bought a complete brush kit that I had heard raving reviews about (the Sigma kit – who hasn’t started with this) and explored the use of the different brushes.
In this post I’m going to try and create an overview of the different types of beauty brushes and how to use them. Let’s go!
If you are starting with a new brush kit, chances are the first brush you’re trying out is an eyeshadow brush. You can apply your eyeshadow using one eyeshadow brush. Hell, you could even apply make up with any brushes! But for every beauty queen, there’s usually a minimum of three eyeshadow brushes. The key here is to use the dense brushes to apply eyeshadow and soft brushes to blend.
Shader brush | Starting with the shader brush – usually a round top dense brush. Due to the density of the brush, it packs a lot of product, making it a great brush to apply eyeshadow all over the lid.
Crease brush | A crease brush – usually a dense round tip brush – is used to apply eyeshadow in the crease. It’s perfect for contouring the eyes with a darker shade.
Blending brush | And to avoid any harsh lines or to create the perfect smokey eye, blend all colours together using a blending brush – usually in a fluffy tapered form to help spread colours better.
Eyeliner brushes come mostly in an angled form. With eyeliner brushes it’s all about the type of eyeliner you’re using and whatever works best for your eyes. The key here is to use thin brushes for liquids and gel formulas and tipped brushes for eyeshadows.
Flat tops | Flat tops are easy to navigate with and you can draw small straight strokes before lining the entire eye. Flat tops also come in angled form (my preference). I find that flat tops work best with gels and liquid formulas.
Thin liners | Really thin eyeliner brushes are perfect for creating cat-eye looks. With liquid eyeliners, you can create the most precies lines using a thin eyeliner brush. The thin eyeliner brush is also available with a slanted brush, where the top part of the brush is angled slightly.
Round tip | If you’re using eyeshadow to line your eyes (for less precise but more sensual smokey-eye looks), go with a dense rounded tip.
Foundation brushes are worth the extra splurge. In complete brush kits, the foundation brush is usually of inferior quality, leaving a cakey and uneven application. A good foundation brush has soft and dense bristles and is thick enough to pack and disperse and blend the product evenly across the face.
Buff brush | Buff brushes come in flat tops and tapered/round tops. Flat tops are a popular type of foundation brush. A dense flat top brush can leave an even and smooth application of your foundation all over the skin. Flat tops also come in angled form, making it easier to reach smaller creases. A tapered/round top leaves a slightly more natural finish due to the tapered form.
Pointed tip | A foundation brush with a pointed tip gives you slightly more control over the areas you’re covering. A pointed tip can reach creases better and is easier to use if you’re targeting certain areas.
Flat paddle | Before the rise of buff brushes, the foundation flat paddles were the way to go. A flat paddle is small enough to cover even small creases but dense enough for a smooth application. Nowadays I see a flat paddle used mostly to apply foundation and a buffer brush to actually blend in the product.
Powder and shading brushes
While foundation brushes tend to be dense and thick, powder brushes are super soft (making them my favourite brush to use!).
Powder brush | What you want to look for in a good powder brush is soft bristles and the right form for your face and products. For translucent and loose powders, you can go with a big and fluffy brush to set your foundation all over the face. Or go with a kabuki brush – usually more dense than a regular powder brush – to create a more velvety finish.
Blush brush | A blush brush is a smaller powder brush, usually in a rounded form. With a blush brush you can apply blush on your cheeks and build up color.
Contouring or shading brush | Like a blush brush, a contouring or shading brush is a smaller powder brush, but this time in a more angled and tapered form. Due to the angled shape, it’s best used to contour and sculpt the face with contouring products or bronzers.
Concealer, lip and other brushes
Concealer brush | A concealer brush is mostly a flat tapered brush with dense bristles. With the small size of the top, it’s easier to conceal the dark areas in the nooks and crannies of your face.
Lip brush | Using a lip brush, you get more control over the application of your lipstick. Lip brushes mostly come in two forms – thin and thick. A thin brush is used to line the lips and a thick brush to apply color.
Brow brushes | Last but not least, the eyebrow brush. Brow brushes usually come in a dual brush form – one angled flat top to fill in eyebrows and a spoolie brush to brush and blend brow products.