You could have the most exclusive limited edition beauty products in the world but if you don’t know how to apply them, you might as well stick to the drugstore brands. Brushes can be your road to flawless looking skin and makeup, but not all makeup brushes are made the same. Here is a look at the main shapes of makeup brushes and what they should be used for.
There is some debate over whether a brush, sponge, or fingers is the best way to apply foundation, but for anyone who hasn’t tried a foundation brush, I would suggest giving it a go. It is the easiest way to maintain even coverage and work the product into your skin. If you’re worried about streaking, be sure to blend the product well and you can give it a quick sweep with your fingers to clear any remaining creases.
A less common method of foundation application, a stippling brush has a stiff, flat surface that is great for layering higher coverage foundation. A bouncing motion on the skin helps this brush cover evenly and there are absolutely no streaks.
Contrary to popular opinion, when using a powder brush, bigger isn’t always better. A more tapered and directional brush can help you buff powder into the surface of your skin rather than let it sit on top. A tightly packed brush will help distribute the product evenly and quickly.
As with the powder brush, a tapered blush brush is always best. When in doubt, choose a smaller brush so that you can apply thoughtfully. If the brush is bigger than the area on the apple of your cheek, you can guarantee that you’ll have too much product on your face.
A concealer brush is one of the most useful brushes you have in your kit as it can help evenly distribute more opaque products. Concealer, like all other facial products, should be well blended with the skin and this tightly packed and dense brush can do just that with little effort.
A fan brush is another way of distributing powder on the face but works best for illuminating or highlighting powders meant to be worn on the cheekbone or around the eye. A larger powder brush is more efficient if you’re looking for overall application.
A blush brush or smaller powder brush will do the trick for applying bronzer but specially designed bronzer brushes are usually made with contouring in mind so think about how you use the product before investing in a new brush.
Another method of applying foundation, the main issue with sponges is that they, by nature, absorb liquid and therefore absorb product. To keep you from wasting money and makeup, always use a sponge applicator damp so that the sponge has less space to pick up product.
A shadow brush is great for overall application and blending. If you’re applying a big makeup look, going back over your eyes once you’re finished with a large shadow brush can smooth out any rough lines and blend the products together.
A crease brush is perfect for highlighting the socket line of the eye. If you have droopy or saggy lids, highlighting the crease can add depth to your eye makeup look.
As its name suggests, this brush is great for blending cream shadows into the lid. It’s also great for blending shadow into smaller areas of the eye.
A smudge brush is perfect for applying, and smudging, dense bursts of color. Whether you use it to blend in a kohl liner or heavily pigmented shadow, a smudge brush can help you apply color where you want it without a mess.
This type of eyeliner brush works best for applying gel or powder liners. A small, dense brush helps to evenly apply the liner. Additionally, this type of brush also works perfectly for concealer if you have any blemishes or small imperfections.
Most people overlook lip brushes as lipsticks and glosses often come packaged to not need an extra applicator but especially if you’re applying lipstick, a lip brush can help you to work the product into your lips and get that flawless finish, especially in the outer corners. A lip brush is also great for people who don’t like to line their lips as it can get a smooth clean line around the edges.