The beginner guide to makeup brushes. All the differences and why you need to know.
Obviously, makeup brushes are something you use on a day to day basis, but does there have to be so many? Why in the world are there so many sizes, shapes, thicknesses? Etc?
THE IMPORTANCE OF BRUSHES
Soooo there are a million brushes in the world. Do brushes even make a big deal?
The short answer is yes! Everyone has a different face, eye & brow shape and the best advice I could possibly give you is to use the right sized brushes for your face. If you have a very slender more petite face you should be using smaller sized brushes. If you have a more square or round face like me you will end up using slightly larger brushes. It’s simple, use a brush the appropriate size for the area you are wanting to apply makeup.
Good quality brushes will distribute product more evenly, keep pigment where it needs to be, last longer, and (as long as you clean them correctly) will hold their shape well. Bad quality brushes often fall apart quickly, shed like crazy and apply product more patchy and won’t blend evenly across your eyes and face.
In this blog post, I am going to break down the different shapes of brushes and what they are generally used for.
I have clients tell me all the time, “ WOW you have so many makeup brushes, do you actually use them all?” Absolutely haha. I use every single brush I own and I am going to teach you how to know which brushes to use for your face!
BRANDS YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT
First off I don’t want you to think you have to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars to get great, quality makeup brushes. Obviously, there are going to be some brands that do cost more but you can find brushes to fit any budget and get great results. These are brands that I personally use every single day on both myself and my clients. I know they work and I also know they won’t drain your bank account.
- MAC Cosmetics brushes run from $16.00-$35.00.
- Sigma Beauty runs from $15.00-$30.00.
- Morphe runs $5.00-$15.00.
- BH Cosmetics runs $3.00-$10.00.
- ELF Cosmetics runs $2.00-$7.00
BRUSHES YOU NEED TO HAVE
There are a couple of basic brushes that should be included in everyone’s collection. I would say start with these and build up from here. I also want to say that all these brushes can be used for a multitude of things. I ALWAYS find myself using a brush for many applications, not just one. If it works great for you do it. This is just a basic list.
1. A packing brush: a Basic application is applying shadow to the eyelid area.
2. A tapered crease brush: Use this brush to add depth to the crease while helping to create soft edges.
3. A fluffy blending brush: Use this brush to blend shadows together and create a soft diffused look in the crease.
4. A tapered face brush: Use this to apply blush, bronzer, contour, and any other powder products to the face or cheeks.
5. A kabuki foundation brush: Use this to seamlessly blend in foundation and cream products while avoiding any streaks.
6. A Powder brush: Whether you like a large puff or a pointed powder brush using a brush to set your face is going to be crucial in keeping things in place all day long.
7. An angle brush: Use this to fill in brows, add liner, or sharpen up lip lines with concealer.
From here, you can add several other kinds of brushes: a highlighter brush, a contour brush, an eyeliner brush, a pencil brush, a detail shader, a small blending brush, a small angle brush and a large angle brush, etc.
Packing Brush: This brush is for packing on color, and applying base shadow. This is a MUST for your collection. You need a brush that will pack shadow well without spreading the powder spreading out all over the place, and you need a brush that will apply your base shadow seamlessly. The base shadow is important because it is the first layer of skin-tone shadow you need to be able to blend your other colors on your eye without patchiness.
Angle Brush: Use this to fill in brows, add liner or sharpen up lip lines with concealer.
Pencil Brush: This brush is used mainly for adding pops of color to the inner corner of the eyes or to smoke out or blend shadows in small areas like your lower lash line.
Blending Brush: Use this brush to blend shadows together and create a soft diffused look in the crease.
Tapered Blending Brush: Use this brush to add depth to the crease while helping to create soft edges.
Liner Brush: This brush is used to apply eyeliner in very small areas.
Concealer Brush: This is a synthetic brush that you can use to spot conceal any problem spots or areas, clean up lipstick or sharpen up brows or liner.
Buffing Brush: If you are into contouring which if you’re not you should give it a try. It specifically keeps any of the cream or liquid product in the hollows of your cheeks to carve it out while blending the edges out to give a more natural appearance. I use this to blend out ALL of my cream contour and I also use this brush to buff out under eye concealer. They also come in a huge range of sizes!
Flat Foundation Brush: I usually use this to apply my mouisturizer. It generally leaves streaks or patches when I use it for the foundation.
Kabuki Foundation Brush: This brush is a MUST MUST. They come in both flat and tapered bristles. I personally love the slight taper because I feel like it applies product into the angles of your face better. Around the nose can be hard sometimes but this brush easily covers it all.
Fan Brush: These brushes are awesome! You can use them with pretty much every powder you could ever want. Blush, contour, bronzer, powder, etc. Its shape sweeps across your face like a dream while distributing the product subtly. If you want the tiniest flush of pink on the apples of your cheeks, this brush will become your new best friend!
Highlighting Brush: There are a million types of highlighting brushes and they all give a different effect. Using a packing type of highlight brush will get you a much more dramatic effect as it picks up and deposits more powder.
Tapered Face Brush: This brush is softly angled and will fit effortlessly into the hollows of the cheeks and around the curves of the face for a perfectly blended contour or blush application!
Tapered Powder Brush: If you feel like you can never set the curved areas of your face you may love the pointed version of the traditional powder brush.
Powder Brush: This large powder brush is used to set LARGE areas of the face.
Stippling Brush: This brush is usually a mixture of natural and synthetic brush bristles. It can be used with both liquid and powder products and is usually used for foundation or cream products.
Flat Powder Brush: Now this is a contour brush! If you like more baking, dramatic or accentuated cheekbones this brush is for you. Because of its flat and dense shape, it allows you to create more dramatic angles while depositing more color.
Things to remember…
- There is not ONE single way to use a brush. Get creative and don’t be afraid to try different techniques.
- The quality and care you give your brushes matters!
- Wash them on a regular basis. Once a week if you apply makeup daily.
- Get your basic brushes first, then add from there.
- Use the correct size of brush for the area you are applying makeup. If you are trying to set your face with powder do not try and use a tiny brush. It will not go on as even and it will take a lot longer.
- If you are trying to do a more detailed look use smaller brushes to keep colors separate and show off more detail.