Buying make-up brushes can be a daunting task, especially if you’re just starting out or you want to add to your existing collection but don’t really know what brushes you may need, what they’re used for, or what they look like. This is where a brush guide comes in handy.
There are a few essential brush ‘must haves’ that should be in your make-up kit. If used correctly, these brushes will help you create flawless, beautifully applied make-up: powder brush, blush brush, eye shadow brush, blending brush, angled brush, eyeliner brush, mascara wand and a lip brush.
To help you decide which brushes you may want or what you still need to get, here’s a make-up brush guide, showing what each brush looks like, and what it’s used for.
Foundation Brush. A flat brush usually with two-toned bristles. Can also be round with a flat top. Used for applying liquid or cream foundation, or to smooth out foundation after applying it with your fingers.
Concealer Brush. A narrow, flat brush with a slightly tapered edge. Used for applying colour corrector and concealer to problem areas.
Powder Brush. A big, soft, rounded brush. Used for applying loose or compact powder. Gives a more even finish than a puff.
Kabuki Brush. A large brush with wide, round or flat bristles and a short handle. For apply mineral powder or loose powder by using a circular motion to buff it onto your skin. Can also be used to apply liquid foundation.
Angled Brush. A firm, angled brush. Used for
filling in eyebrows with brow powder or eye shadow. Can also be used to apply gel eyeliner for a thicker line.
Eyebrow Brush & Eyelash comb. Narrow row of long, stiff bristles with a comb on the opposite side. The bristled brush is used to groom or brush eyebrows. The comb is used to remove mascara clumps from eye lashes.
Eyeshadow Brush. A small, soft brush with a slightly rounded or angled tip. Used to apply powder and cream eye shadows.
Eyeliner Brush. Narrow, pointed tip. Looks like a small paint brush. Used for applying liquid or gel eyeliner or shadow as a liner.
Mascara Brush. Clean, dry mascara wand. Used for brushing out mascara clumps and separating lashes after mascara has been applied with wand in mascara tube. For more info, see post “Mascara: How to be clump free“.
Contouring Brush. Angled blusher brush. Used for applying a darker blush or contouring powder along the hollow under your cheekbone. Also used for bronzer.
Blush Brush. Soft, rounded brush, smaller than a powder brush. Used to apply blush to your cheekbones.
Lipstick Brush. Small, flat, firm brush with tapered tip. For applying lipstick.
Other useful make-up tools:
Cosmetic sponge or wedge. Used to apply foundation, but will absorb lots of product. Rather run wedge lightly over foundation (if applied with fingers) to blot excess. Use to tidy up under eyes after applying eye shadow, eyeliner or mascara. Can also be used to correct blusher. See post “Beautiful Blusher”.
Beauty Blender. Similar to a cosmetic sponge or wedge. Used damp for applying liquid or cream foundation.
Powder Puff. Pat powder over concealer on blemishes and problem areas, this will set the concealer. Can be used to apply powder to an oily skin. For more, see post “Powder: Loose or Pressed?”
Good brushes may be expensive but if you take good care of them, they can last for years. If you’re looking for a great starter set, check out Real Techniques’ Core Collection Set, also be sure to read my next post: “How to clean make-up brushes”.