If you’ve just embarked on the makeup learning adventure or are a little way into it, you’re probably confused and have lots of questions about lots of things. Reminds me of when I was learning how to swim; it made no sense at all how moving your arms up and down kept you afloat! Thankfully, in your case, you don’t need to learn physics or any of the other boring sciences. Knowing your makeup brushes will do for now, and, to save you from the trouble of going through countless YouTube tutorials, I’ll be giving you a few leads.
As the name suggests, the brush is meant to help apply eye shadow to your brows. The brush is slightly angulated, the only angulated brush for your eyes, so it’s fairly easy to identify from other brushes for eyeshadow. The angulated shape makes it much easier to draw your brows in whatever shape you want and it’s also the right tool for you if you want your winged eyeliners to take flight!
A crease brush is dome-shaped with densely packed bristles in order to enable heavy application on the crease of the eyes. Crease brushes can achieve good color diffusion but you’ll need to hold it as far back as possible while maintaining control, so better hone up on your paintbrush skills for this!
The lid brush is a brush with flat bristles that picks up a decent amount of the product you want to apply on your eyelid. The application of the eyeshadow is also over a small area so a degree of control is necessary for proper application. Good lid brushes will tend to minimize product falloff from the brushes while you are applying the product.
Applying eyeshadow to your lids isn’t always enough. Quite often, you’ll need of these babies, the blending brush, to soften out harsh lines in your application of eyeshadow. These are needed by anyone trying to go for effects such as smoky eyes and it will blend the eyeshadow both on your lids and crease very nicely. Good blending brushes tend to have soft and dense bristles to help blend eye makeup more.
Bronzer brushes are round and fluffy in order to enable a very natural-looking layer of bronzer that mimics a slightly tanned look on the user, albeit with a bright, sun-kissed glow. Bronzers make your skin appear to be radiating. The bristles are somewhat loosely packed so that application is not particularly harsh, so don’t worry about too much darkening! It’s also worth noting that brushes have to be used for powdered bronzers so if you are thinking of using a liquid or gel, then you might be able to get by without getting a brush specifically for applying the bronzer.
As should be apparent from the name, foundation brushes are to make sure foundation is applied very smoothly and uniformly on your face. Foundation is one of the most important things to get right as it will be the foundation for the rest of the makeover so it’s imperative that you get a good brush for this. Foundation brushes have flat tips on the bristles and it’s ideal to hold this brush close to the tip for easier application. Having a good brush will make your face have a natural look after application but a poor quality brush will make your face appear somewhat unsaturated.
The best makeup brush for liquid foundation reviewed here.
Concealer brushes are used to evenly layer concealer products on your skin. As you might already know, concealers are a means of spot reduction or correction and with concealers, its key that you do not blend out or smooth out the product after applying it. Therefore, using the brush, you have to pat the concealer onto the required area. Concealer brushes have very short, small bristles suitable for this kind of pat. With a good brush, hiding all your flaws should be a piece of cake!
Blush brushes are slightly angulated to make it easier to collect the product and it allows for precise transfer of pigmentation to the cheeks. Blush is applied to the apple of the cheeks, the slightly elevated part of the cheeks. Good blush brushes will leave a very soft, natural look on the cheeks. People might keep asking you why you’re blushing so much too!
Contour brushes are flat brushes which are narrow towards the tip to allow you to contour in a way that mimics the natural lines on your face. Contour brushes have firm bristles and are slightly angulated towards the tip. Blush brushes may be used for contouring but contour brushes allow for greater emphasis of the lines on the face.
Powder brushes are made to collect whatever powder product you use to set in your foundation and to apply it on your face in a way that does not overwhelm the foundation or makes you look like a zombie. The function is quite straightforward but good powder brushes will usually let you apply the powder without needing to make alterations to anything you applied already, i.e. foundation.
Despite not being very popular, as most people end up using the brush that comes included with liquid lip product, lip brushes are very useful in applying lip products with a very high precision. Lip brushes let you line lips near to perfection and unsurprisingly, they’re commonly used as parts of full makeovers to add something extra to make the look stand out even more. Mastery over the lip brush will let you really stand out over your friends on a night out, I can tell you!
Stippling brushes are also used with foundation but as opposed to foundation brushes, which are mainly to help apply the foundation product in a smooth and uniform manner. The tips of the brush are very thin and light and it’s meant to appear like it’s been sprayed onto your face as opposed to blended out. Stippling brushes can help you get an airbrushed finish. To achieve this, as the name suggests, you’ll have to use the brush in a stippling motion, i.e. instead of dragging the brush on your face, you have to continuously tap it on your face during application.
Domed Blush Brush:
Unlike its counterpart, this blush brush is not angled and resembles a powder brush more. It picks up more pigments than the angled one and it’s meant to apply blush on a greater area of your cheeks than just the apples. The bristles are densely packed but soft, so they allow for blending and the dome shape means that it does not leave any harsh lines. Use this brush instead of the angular counterpart if you’re applying blush from the apple of your cheek up to the corner of your ear. If you’re indecisive about which to get, just get both!
Highlighter brushes are similar in shape to blush brushes but are smaller in size. They tend to resemble the look of a hand fan, which makes it easy to spread out a small amount of the highlighter. Highlighter brushes are slightly tapped on areas of the face you want to highlight to just highlight those areas. Brushes with light bristles might be more desirable to you because they end up spreading out the highlight more evenly.
Mascara brushes aren’t particularly necessary unless you have a specific look for your lashes in mind. They tend to be disposable and come in packs of several, like 10 or 20. They can be used for a number of different types of looks for your lashes, such as curling or lengthening. Eyeliner on fleek, am I right?!
Now, I know I know, that is a looooot of brushes. Don’t worry about getting all of them. If you’re on a budget, you just have to prioritize the ones that are the most necessary ones, such as foundation, lid brush, etc. And of course, to some degree, it’s also going to be subjective, depending on the kind of look you want to sport going forward. That’s the great thing about makeup; it lets you do what you want and be who you want to become.
The video below may be a great help in brush usage-
I hope with this base of knowledge regarding brushes, you have some idea about what each is, what they look like and what their primary use case is. Figure out which brushes you will actually need and prioritize them over the ones you can do without at the moment. Most great brush sets don’t get assembled in one day; some people have been doing it for years and they still can’t settle on one set! Just get started to begin with and eventually, you’ll get there and build your own arsenal of brushes to fit all your use cases. Spreading your wings is the first step in getting those winged eyeliners, as one might say!