Last Tuesday I mentioned that I was starting a new series, Makeup for Beginners, and today marks the first post in that series. I’m starting out with makeup brushes, so if you’ve wondered “What makeup brushes do I need?” Then this is the post for you.
One of the things that I get a lot when I start talking about makeup is “Oh I just use the applicators that come in the package” and hey I’m not going to fault them for that because I use to do it too. Over time though I realized that those applicators didn’t always make for the best application so I upgraded to some cheap makeup brushes. While those were better than the appicators they weren’t the best either. Now I’m not saying you need to go out and buy Mac or Sigma brushes but a nice quality brush will get you better coverage. What level of quality brush you should get would depend purely on how often you wear your makeup. Lets go ahead and jump into different types of brushes.
While there are all kinds of different brushes that can be used I really stick to just four types of brushes for liquid foundation. The first type is the foundation brush (2nd brush, yes I know I’m going out of order) and this one is great for beginners. The foundation brush essentially just paints the foundation onto your face and applies a one dimensional coverage to the face. The next brush is the Expert Face Brush (1st brush) and is good for people who are wanting a more “no makeup, makeup” look. The Expert Face Brush applies a more flawless application than the foundation brush and buffs the foundation into the skin leaving a more natural look to the face. The third brush is the stippling brush (4th brush) which is good for people who need more coverage in some areas but less coverage in others. The stippling brush works by applying the foundation in circular motions in areas that need less coverage and areas that would need more coverage the user “pushes” the foundation by pressing the brush into the face (not hard) in those areas applying more product. The last brush is actually not a brush a different type of applicator (3rd brush) called the Beauty Blender. The Beauty Blender is like a mix between the expert face and the stippling brush as it applies, in my opinion, the most flawless application but gives more coverage when used with a pressing motion. One thing to note with the Beauty Blender is that you if you are interested in this product you should use ONLY the Beauty Blender not one of the knockoffs as they do not perform in the same way and some have found found that knockoffs actually hurt.
For this set of brushes I’m going to start in the bottom left corner and work my way to the right and then up. Starting at the bottom left we have the kabuki brush which is typically used for applying mineral loose powder, I also use it for blending out my foundation lines around my jaw and hairline. Next is the buffing brush which can be used with a pressed powder to add more coverage to a lighter foundation. Next is the powder brush which as you can see is a bit fluffier than the buffing brush but not as fluffy as the Kabuki. I find that the powder brush is good for using either pressed or loose powders as setting powders instead of a more coverage powder. A setting powder essentially means that it just sets and seals the foundation, which will help it to last longer, without adding hardly any color. The next brush is the setting brush and it is just a smaller version of the powder brush, people will usually use this brush to apply setting powder over the concealer right under the eyes. It’s better to use a smaller brush for this instead of the bigger powder brush because you can keep the powder away from the eye makeup that way. The last brush I use the same way as the setting brush but I find that this tapered point allows me to get closer to my eyes without getting powder on my eye makeup, plus it’s super soft.
Ahhh face brushes, these can be interchanged so much it’s not even funny. The first two brushes are essentially the same thing but one is a looser brush while the other one is a bit denser, the angled contour brush. The looser brush, white bristles, allows for less product to be picked up which will apply a lighter, airy application while the denser brush picks up more product which results in a more concentrated application. I personally like these two brushes for doing contouring over the next brush because due to their angled shape it’s easier to follow the hollow right under the jaw bone. The next brush is actually called a contour blush but I find that it works better as a bronzer brush, yes there is a difference between bronzer and contour but that’s a different post, due to it’s shape and how well it blends. The next brush is the blush brush and this works well for adding just a rosey glow to the cheeks without looking like a clown. The last brush is the fan brush and I’ve seen this used for blush and bronzer, however, my favorite way to use this is with a highlighting powder and just lightly sweeping it across the top of my cheekbones.
Eye brushes, whoo-wee there are ton of those on here aren’t there? Well rest assured you don’t need to have all of them if you don’t want. If you’re a one eye shadow only type of person then you really only need one or two. The brush at the very top is a blending brush whether you’re a one eye shadow or four eye shadow person you’ll want to have at least one of these in your collection. These work really well for blending out those harsh lines your eye shadow may give you at the end or in the crease, this brush is also essential in creating a smokey eye look. For those who like to wear more than two shades you’ll probably want to get back ups of this guy. The middle-row-far-right brush is a base shadow brush, this guy is the brush that you use to apply the eye shadow to your lid. Again you may only need one of this guy but if you like to wear different colors then you’ll probably want to get a couple. Middle-row-far-left is an eyeliner brush and as you can see it has a really fine tipped point. With a brush like this it’ll be easy to apply your gel eyeliners but it may take more than one crossover. Middle-row-middle is also an eyeliner brush but you can see this one is a bit different with it’s bentiness near the end. I find that a brush like this allows me to get closer to the mirror (I’m almost blind without my glasses) without poking my eye out, however, it does take some practice to get use to using this one. Bottom-row-right is an angled eye brush and can be used with either gel eyeliner, some people find this kind of brush gives a better cat-eye-flick at the end of the eyeliner, or can be used for filling in brows. Bottom-row-left is the last brush in this section and the post as well. This is a very common eyebrow brush as it has a spooley on one end and an angled brush on the other for filling in the brows, I highly recommend this brush if you know you are going to be filling in your brows.
Hopefully this cleared up what some of these brushes are but if it didn’t, or it just made you more confused, feel free to either email me (cassie (at) southeastbymidwest (dot) com) or leave a comment with your questions. If I get a lot of questions I may do an FAQ type post later in the series. Next week we’ll be learning how to clean those brushes, yes you have to clean them. I’ll be covering how to clean them, what to use to clean them, how to dry them, etc. so make sure to come back next Tuesday!