A Guide to Makeup Brushes

types of makeup brushes


Who doesn’t want a flawless skin, glowing cheeks and eyes that really pop? Gorgeous makeup is not only about the products you apply but also about the tools you use. “ Brushes make all the difference when it comes to getting a professional-looking makeup application”, says celebrity makeup artist Troy Surratt.  It can sometimes be intimidating going into a beauty store and trying to pick up the right makeup brush. With so many options available (and little information of what they are for), you can feel lost. We can totally understand it. Many of us don’t know what each brush is actually for. This inspired us to make a list of which brush you should use and when to use it.

There are assorted brushes available for your face, eyes and brows. To have a perfect look it’s very important to have your makeup tools right. For starters, you should buy makeup brushes a la carte. While brush sets might seem like an easier buy, more often they include one or two brushes you will never use. As Maria Verel, make up artist once said, buying brushes should be like building a wardrobe; you don’t purchase everything at once from the same boutique. Skimp on some, splurge on some and skip others, which you don’t need. Read all about the various brushes here to make an informed choice. Natural brushes are better for dry products while synthetic brushes are best suited for cream or liquid products like concealer or foundation.

Brushes you must have in your makeup kit are-

  1. Foundation brush
  2. Blush Brush
  3. Angled brush
  4. Eye shadow brush
  5. Fan Brush

Read all about the basic brushes and the other defined brushes below.

Fan Brush

fan brush

This multi purpose brush can be used to blend, clean up excess powder and highlight cheekbones. Buy E.L.F Fan Brush, $3 at Target.com)

Brow Brush

brow brush

It’s an important brush for filling in your eyebrows. It has an angled tip for an even finish even in the thinnest areas of your brows. Buy it for $26 at Pauladorf.com. The pointed tip helps in creating a gorgeous line that will help even the beginners to pull off a cat eye.

Blush Brush

blush brush

If you only plan on buying one brush, this should be it. Replace that miniature, flat topped brush that comes with most blushes and shop for a long handled with dome shaped head and medium size. It will help you in contouring your cheekbones better giving a more natural look. The best blush brushes are made with natural hair so that its cuticle helps lift the pigment better for the most streak free realistic look. Buy the silkiest and most luxurious feeling brush you can afford. Buy it at Body shop for $14.40

Powder Brush


It is the most common brush and any makeup completion is incomplete without it. It can be used to apply any type of powder foundation. Skin looks more radiant and realistic when it’s not matte all over. It will help you dust the powder only where it’s needed, like the nose, chin and forehead, while your cheeks remain bare. You can buy it for $10 here.

Eye Blending Brush

eye blending brush

It’s the perfect brush for blending in your eye shadow along the crease of your lids. Buy it for $16 at Sephora.com.

Lip Brush

lip brush

These tiny brushes allow lipstick or gloss to be applied more precisely to the lips. They help in having a control over how sheer or bold a lipstick looks by letting you paint in thin layers while creating smooth edges. Buy it for $5.99 at Walgreens.com.


kabuki brush

It is a short brush with wide round or flat bristles. It’s mostly used to apply powder on the face by using circular motions to buff the powder onto your skin. It helps you achieve more coverage where you need it. You can also use kabuki brushes to give your foundation or bronzer, air brushed look. Buy it at $6 at Drugstore.com.

Angled Eye Brush

angled eye liner brush

For perfectly defined eyes, this is the brush you should use. It can be used with gel, eyeliners or along your crease for better precision. It comes in handy for blending even your pencil eyeliner into your lash line. It gives you a softer and more diffused look than regular eyeliner. You should ideally wash it daily to prevent bacteria build up. Buy Sunday Riley Angled eye brush for $24 at Dermstore.com.

Stippling Brush

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It’s a blend of synthetic fibers and goat hair. It’s used for light powders, liquids or cream products. It can give an airbrushed look when used with powder. Buy it for $42 at Macy’s.

Eyeshadow Brush

eye shadow brush

The densely packed bristles are perfect for eyeshadow application. Use this brush to apply any type of eyeshadow. Buy it for $30 at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.

Concealer brush

concealer brush

This firm narrow brush with a tapered end allows you to brush the concealer in a concentrated area. It should be small and stiff to blend makeup exactly where you need it. It’s mostly made of synthetic bristles. Buy it for $20 at Macy’s.

Flat Brush

flat brush

For contouring your cheeks, this is the brush you need to use. The corners allow you to apply color beneath your cheekbones. Buy Stila Double Duty Cheek Contouring Brush, $45, at Sephora.com

Smudge Brush

smudge brush

For a coveted smokey eye use a smudging eye brush. Its soft bristles let you smudge a concentrated area. Buy it for $32 at Sephora.

Brow Brush and Comb

brow brush and comb

You can use this for both your brows and eyelashes. The brush will help in smoothening your brows and the comb can be use to remove mascara clumps out of your lashes. Its best for making brows look groomed. Buy it for $6 at Drugstore.com.

Blending brush

blending brush

Once you have applied all your makeup, use this brush once. It will blend it all together and will give your face an airbrushed effect. Buy it for $25 at ULTA.

Foundation Brush

foundation brush

Foam wedges are left far behind and now its time to move to a foundation brush with a blend of natural and synthetic bristles for an organic looking finish. The natural hair lifts the pigment while the synthetic bristles prevent the brush from soaking up too much. It has a contoured tip to easily blend your makeup thoroughly even in the inner corners of your eyes and around your nose. You should wash them after every use to prevent breakouts. Buy a foundation brush for $30 at Dillards.com.

Cleaning your brushes is very important. You clean them using an alcohol-free brush cleaner or you can use a gentle bar soap and cold water. However don’t get the barrel of the brushes wet as it will loosen the adhesive and will cause the fibers to fall out.

Now that you know all about the different brushes, tell us what is your favorite of the list.




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