Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Guide To Basic Makeup Brushes

Beginners may feel lost in a sea of makeup tools and left wondering exactly which brushes they need and how to use them. This guide will explain the basic makeup brushes that everyone needs and how to put them to their best uses.

Makeup brushes can be separated into three categories: Eyes, Face, and Lips.

There are several different types of eye brushes, but I feel the basic eye brushes that everyone should own are a normal fluffy eyeshadow brush, a blending eye brush, and an angled eye brush.

Flat Shader Eyeshadow Brush
A fluffy eyeshadow brush is used to place color all over the eyelid and can also be used to apply the crease shade, as well as the eyebrow bone highlighting shade. Depending on how large of an eyeshadow brush you prefer, it could also be used as an inner corner highlighting brush if it is small enough. Some people prefer a different brush for each of these tasks, but for beginners, I feel a normal eyeshadow brush can be used for all of these applications.

Blending Eye Brush
A blending eye brush is also an important brush to own. Blending eye brushes are often a little smaller, slimmer, and rounder than a normal eyeshadow brush. This is because the brush needs to get into smaller places to blend out the harsh lines of the eyeshadow. It is also used to blend two colors together for a more seamless look. Note.. You may also see them named as tapered eye brushes.

Angled Eye Brush
An angled eye brush is used to line the top or bottom lash line with color. The angle helps to maneuver all around the eye and also aids in making line extensions, like for a cat eye look.

The next group is face brushes. The most important face brushes to own are a flat top powder brush, a blush brush, a contour brush, and a foundation brush or stippling.

Flat Top Brush
A flat top powder brush can actually be used for more than just powder. It can be used to apply blush to the the apples of the cheeks, or it can be used to buff on liquid foundation or mineral foundation quickly all over the face.

Blush Brush
A blush brush comes in variety of forms. They can be large and fluffy, round and dense, and even angled. I find that I liked angled blush brushes because you can use the top to sweep all over the cheek, or you can use the side of the angled part to apply contour under the cheek bone or to apply blush to smaller areas of the cheek. The brushes can also be used to apply bronzer to the forehead, nose, and cheeks.

Contour Brush
If your blush brush is not angled or you prefer a separate brush for contouring and blush, you will need an angled contour brush. Angled works best for these brushes so you can glide the brush down around the shape of your cheek, nose, or chin area... pretty much wherever you feel the need to contour.

Foundation and Stippling Brush
Next, you will need a foundation brush for your face. I actually prefer to use a stippling brush for foundation, which is basically like a flat top powder brush, except it often has an extra layer of less dense white bristles on top. The stippling brush is then used to pat on the foundation, rather than rubbing it on, which results in a more airbrushed look. Stippling brushes are also larger, so the foundation application will be much quicker than using a normal foundation brush. The benefit of a normal foundation brush is that it can get into the smaller areas and curves of your face, such as around the sides of the nose and mouth and between the eye and nose area, which would be harder to reach using the larger stippling brush. Foundation brushes can also be used for contouring the cheeks if they are angled.


Lip Brush
Finally, you will need a lip brush. Lip brushes are good for when you want a really precise application of lipstick. I honestly rarely use a lip brush, but I have found they come in handy when you have almost used up a tube of lipstick. When the lipstick is very worn down or rounded out, applying it evenly to the lips is almost impossible, so with a small lip brush, you can dip it onto lipstick and place it precisely on your lips.

Hopefully this information has helped you understand makeup brushes a little more. Remember, you don't have to use the brushes the way the package tells you, or the way I tell you. If you find that using an eye brush for your lips works, then go for it. If you think a powder brush works for contouring, then use it that way. It's all about finding which brushes work the best for you and your face shape. Good Luck!

If you have any questions about makeup brushes, where to buy them, which ones i prefer, or any other makeup questions or business enquirers, feel free to email me at

Note: Top photo taken by and credited to michellexstar and all other photos credited to their rightful owners.


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