Hey guys, I want to talk about makeup brushes today. If you read my The Makeup Gospel According to Ricci Post, you would have gotten some insight to how important I feel good brushes are. While that is one thing, another is actually knowing your brushes or what brush to buy. From my observation most people including some “makeup artists” don’t know the difference between an eyeshadow blending brush and a shading brush they just use any brush anywhere and its really affecting the way their makeup turns out. While it is true that you don’t have to use what a brush is made for for the exact same purpose, I think a basic knowledge of what each brush is supposed to do is a good place to start. Now there are countless brushes out there with different shapes, sizes and names and its just hard to keep up but I dare say you can’t hold out any brush to me and I won’t be able to give its name an purpose right away because I already taught myself the basic ones. That is what I’m going to be discussing with you guys today.
I believe every beginner needs a brush set that contains everything before you begin to buy single brushes. This would make you familiar with the different kinds of brushes and help you practice so you could handle bigger and more complicated brush set. The affordable brand with complete brush sets I can vouch for are Bhcosmetics, Bobbi Brown, Elf and Morphe. They have the cheapest and best brushes and I would recommend for both non makeup artists and makeup artists. I’m about to go to the basics now. Here are some brushes you might come across in a set or alone and are very vital in creating makeup looks you can almost not do without them.
This is also called mascara wand because it is shaped like one. It is used to brush out the eyebrows before filling them in or after filling in to make the hairs flow in one direction and keep the eyebrows neat. You also use it while you shape your brows. So this right here is a spooly guys, never again miss that.
DUAL SIDED BROW & LASH BRUSH: This consists of two sides. One side has dense bristles like a toothbrush, while the other is shaped like a small comb. The former is used to brush out the brows just like the spooly and the latter is used to comb out lashes.
ANGLED BRUSH: As the name implies, this is a brush whose bristles form an angle in a slanting manner. They range from big to small size, dense to scanty bristles and they all serve different purposes.
Angled Eyebrow brush: This is used to FILL IN the brows either using cream or powder products. The bristles are neither too thick or too thin and should be a bit stiff for more precision.
Flat Angled Brush: This can be used for detailed application such as cleaning out the eyebrows or applying eyeliner. The bristles could be stiff or soft. The softer ones can easily be moved and are excellent for cleaning out the brows while the stiff ones can also be used to clean out brows or lips and apply eyeliner.
Angled Eyeliner/small angled brush: This is usually smaller than normal with very stiff bristles. They are used to apply gel or cream eyeliner with precision.
It should be noted that these variations are there for a reason. Trying to use an angled eyeliner brush to clean out your brows won’t do the work of a flat angled brush. The knowledge is needed to bring out the best in your makeup.
This is used to apply eyeshadow mainly to the lid. It is perfectly shaped to pack on lid color and can also be used in the outer V. I would rather use this on the lid anyways. The bristles could vary in density, length and so on but the shape is always the same.
Eyeshadow blending brush: This is used to blend different eyeshadow colours together both on the lid and on the crease. It is fluffy and dome shaped and not necessarily made to layer colors but can be used to apply shadow on to the crease.
Crease brush: This resembles the blending brush only it has a pointed end for precision in application. It is used to apply darker shadow to define the crease. Some come in an angled shape for more definition.
Pencil brush: This is a small eye brush that has a pointed end like the shape of a bullet and it is used for precise eyeshadow application like cut crease or outer v color. It can also be used to smudge color on the lower lash line to smoke out the eyes.
SHADER/SHADING BRUSH: Usually like a shorter thicker and stiff version of the eyeshadow brush, the uses vary from eye shadow application on the lid, inner corner, lash line and is very useful in smokey eye looks to spread color all around the lower lash line and outer V.
EYELINER BRUSH: This a general name given to any makeup brush designed to apply eyeliner. Eyeliner application is all about precision and there are several brushes for that purpose.
Skinny Eyeliner Brush: This is usually straight with tightly packed few bristles which mimick the thin, felt tip or straight applicator that can be found in liquid eyeliners. It can also be used for both liquid and gel/cream eyeliners. They also line the water line very well because they are really thin. This is my favourite type for its precision.
Fine Eyeliner brush: This resembles a lip brush but the bristles are shorter and less flexible. It works well with cream or gel eyeliner and is the kind usually found in cream liners that come with applicators.
Flat eyeliner brush: This contains short, stiff rectangle shaped bristles. This is my least favourite as it doesn’t have precision I want for eyeliner application. However, if you are lokking at smoking out your liner or big bold eyeliner this is a sure bet. It can double as a concealer brush for cleaning out brows and I also use it to apply eyeshadow primer or layer glitter.
LIP BRUSH: This is used to apply and also blend lip color. It has a thin, elongated shape pointy towards the end and is flexible also.
FOUNDATION BRUSH- There are many brushes that can be used for foundation. There is the pointy one, round and fluffy one, stippling, kabuki, etc.
Flat Foundation Brush- This is the classic foundation brush we all grew up knowing. It is shaped like a spatula and is excellent for coverage however I would say it is usually rather small for the whole face and harder to blend with. Using this to apply under eye concealer, small angled areas of the face like the temples and around the eyebrows in my opinion, is better.
Round foundation brush/buffing brush- This resembles a powder brush but is usually smaller and denser. It can be used for liquid foundation, powder and cream foundation. It leaves a flawless finish and is my go to for applying liquid foundation using a brush. Using a patting motion ensures better coverage than swipping motions.
Kabuki Brush- This is a giant, dense brush with a round top that covers a large area. It takes up enough product at a time and blends effortlessly into the face. It could come with or without a handle.
Flat Top Kabuki- This is also a good foundation brush which is dense and has a flat top. It can have an angled shape or just plain flat. It is excellent for layering liquid foundation unto the skin.
Stippling/ Stipple brush: This can be used to apply liquid, cream to powder foundation. It resembles the flat top kabuki only it is smaller and has the same width from ends to roots while the kabuki is wider at the top.
BLUSH BRUSH- This is used to apply blush unto the cheeks. It could be either rounded or angled.
CONTOUR BRUSH- This is used to contour the face. Contour colours could come in powdered, cream or liquid form and different brushes can be used to apply them.
Tapered face brush/ Contour brush – This should be one brush you should never miss and be able to recognise anywhere. It is rounded, with a tapered end and it usually comes in this form in different brush sets. It could range from flexible to dense and stiff. The softer ones are good for powdered products while the denser ones are good for cream or liquid products. These brushes can also be used to apply highlight.
Flat Contour Brush- This is used to achieve a more precise and sharp contour in the cheeks. It is excellent when using a cream contour and sometimes liquid contour.
Angled Face Brush- This is shaped like a powder brush or blush brush but forms an angle at the ends. The shape provides excellent application for bronzers and powdered contour around the perimeters of the face. It could also double as a blush brush.
Angled kabuki brush- This is the rounded top kabuki with angled ends. It can be used for anything from foundation, to face powder to cream or powdered contour to even blush. The very dense bristles along with the angled shape does the amazing duo- sculpt and blend.
POWDER BRUSH: This could also be called an all round face brush, multitask brush or complexion brush. It is used to apply mineral or finishing powder all over the face. It works well with compact or loose powder to set the foundation in place.
FAN BRUSH- This is a face brush shaped like a hand fan. It is used to dust of excess powder or pigment from the face while doing your make up. It is also used to apply highlighter. It comes in two kinds.- The big and dense fan brush and the lighter, smaller kind. You might see both in one brush set. Basically they can be used interchangeably depending on how heavy the powder you need to dust off is and if you want a powerful highlight with more colour, then you can use the big fan brush. Some people use it to contour also.
There it is guys! A perfect breakdown as far as makeup brushes are concerned. Nothing you see out there goes beyond all of these. Even if it is called some other name or has a different design, it would most likely be a variant of one of these brushes. I hope this article has been helpful. If you have any questions and contributions kindly comment. You can also share with friends. Thank you for reading.
You know I’m awesome, xoxo.