Ultimate Makeup Brush Guide
Don't know a foundation brush from a smudger? There are so many different types of makeup brushes on the market it is easy to get confused!
Many makeup artists swear by certain brands, brushes and tools however I find that works for some might not work for all. After all we have different skin types, some of us aren't very coordinated (I include myself here)! So you might find that using a foundation brush is just not that easy. Personally I really struggle with foundation sponges, don't ask me why! I have tried so many different ones and to me they just leave me with a streaky foundation face I find a brush works best for me. I personally use the Mac 187 to apply my mineral foundation. I never ever apply concealer with a brush, again, I just can't seem to make it work for me! But I know others will not apply it any other way.
Once you know what brush does what at least you can try them out and see if they work for you. This guide to makeup brushes from Just Makeup Artists will give you some basic knowledge and help you recognize some of the many brushes available.
Designed to achieve a smooth and flawless finish, the bristles are tightly packed with a tapered tip for fluid application. Dampen the brush first in warm water and firmly squeeze the excess into a towel or tissue, this will help achieve a more even distribution. You can also blend any brush strokes as you go with a damp natural or wedge sponge. Pictured: Clinique Foundation Brush
A soft bristled, flat brush with a wider base and a pointed tip. Use to apply concealer under the eyes, to spots and to camouflage problem areas such as broken capillaries and areas of discoloration. Pictured: Clinique Concealer Brush
Duo Fiber Brush
Made from a blend of goat and synthetic fibers this brush is ideal for buffing and blending colour. The flat, circular, feathery head provides lightweight and build able coverage of liquid, cream or powder. Use to blend cream blush onto the apples of your cheeks or for a light dusting of shimmer powder to your cheek and brow bones. Pictured: MAC Due Fiber Face Brush
Soft, full and rounded, this brush can be used for both compact powder and bronzer. The bristles pick up the perfect amount of colour and distribute flawlessly onto the skin. Load your brush with the powder and shake away any excess before sweeping onto the skin. Pictured: Laura Mercier Bronzer Brush
Mineral Powder Brush
A thick bundled brush that can sometimes be used both wet and dry. It is expertly designed to buff mineral powder onto your skin for pure perfection. Apply in small circular motions for a faultless finish. Pictured: Elizabeth Arden Mineral Makeup Brush
Fan Powder Brush
Created for use with loose powder, the fine fan sweeps a light dusting of powder onto the skin for a soft, velvety effect. This application technique avoids heavy coverage which can highlight fine lines and imperfections. These brushes are also used to remove excess powder on the face, particularly after eyeshadow application. Pictured: Benefit Fantail Brush
Made with fine, gentle fibers the blusher brush has a rounded head which is perfect for giving a pop of colour to the apples of your cheeks. Sweep and blend along your cheekbone drawing the brush up into your hairline. Pictured: MAC Blush Brush
Face Contour Brush
Slanted and rounded in shape, the contour brush mimics the angles of your cheekbones. This is ideal for highlighting and shading with bronzer or illuminating powder. Use with cream, gel or powder to contour a sculpted finish for a defined and dramatic makeup. Pictured: MAC Face Contour Brush
Eye Shadow Brush
Large, flat, short and brimming with bristles for excellent coverage. The soft bristles have a beveled edge for a smooth application without ‘dragging’ the eyelid. Use to apply all over colour. Pictured: Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow Brush
Angle Eye Shadow Brush
A long, round and tapered brush perfect for shading the eye socket. Just gently follow the natural crease of the socket blending back and forth to build up depth of colour. Pictured: Laura Mercier Angled Eye Color Brush
Blending Eye Shadow Brush
Use this light brush to blend eye colours and to highlight the brow bone. Pictured: Estee Lauder Blending Shadow Brush
Fine Point Eyeliner Brush
The extra fine tip of this brush delivers precise liquid and gel eyeliner application. A perfect line can be achieved in one stroke, or use the point to dot in between lashes for a more subtle effect. Pictured: Laura Mercier Fine Point Eyeliner Brush
Flat Eyeliner Brush
Allows eyeliner to be applied deep into the lash line for a richer and more distinct eye. Gently brush upwards to soften and blend the line for a smokey eye. Pictured: Benefit Hard Angle Brush
You’re most likely to find these doubled ended with an eye pencil. The foam tip is used to soften the harsh line of the pencil giving a smouldering finish. Larger ones can also be used for applying eyeshadow such as The Body Shop's Smudger Brush.
Slanted Eyebrow Definer Brush
Used to define and fill brows for a beautifully symmetrical appearance. The bristles are stiff and angled for precise control. Apply powder, liquid or cream in short strokes mimicking the hairs, fill sparse areas, shape and elongate for a perfect brow. Pictured: Bobbi Brown Eyebrow Brush
Spiral Eyebrow Brush
Ideal for taming unruly hairs, the stiff bristles smooth and comb eyebrows into form. When shaping, use to brush hairs upwards and trim the excess for neatly groomed brows. Pictured: Tweezerman for Benefit Brow Shaping Brush
The sculpted tip of a lip brush is perfect for achieving a flawless line. The bristles are short and firm for controlled application. Pictured: Laura Mercier Lip Color Brush
Finally, don't forget that whatever brush or brushes you buy, you must clean them regularly. Personally I love the Parian brush cleanser. It works! Another firm favorite is the Solid Beauty Blender Cleanser. Our Brushes - The Kitten Set, not only have a cute name but our high quality. Pop over to Amazon and take a look for yourself. Also take a look at our Brand Managers guide on getting a super soft and natural finish with the Makeup Brush Set