21 Types Of Makeup Brushes You Need And How To Use Them

Confused?… No More

sets of makeup brushes

Makeup brushes are the secrets to flawless makeup (maybe just my opinion but I feel it’s super right). The right brushes give the right look. It may seem silly, but it is essential to have basic good brushes to get a quality makeover. With the long list of makeup brushes with different styles, different bristles and different looks, it’s okay to be a little confused. I’m here with an easy guide to the 21 types of makeup brushes you might come across, how to use them and also with their pictures so you can easily match them to the ones in your makeup sets (Super helpful)…Let’s go!

1. Concealer Brush

Concealer makeup brush

This brush has a soft, flat, pointed tip and a wide base. Whether you want to apply concealer under-eye or cover up a dark spot or red blemishes, this brush is ideal for targeting small specific areas you want to conceal. You could use the doe-foot applicator that comes with your concealer, but having a separate concealer brush is more hygienic and offers a more natural and even finish.

2. Foundation Brush

Foundation makeup brush

Though I’m a fan of using sponge for my foundation, there are certainly brushes you can use to apply your foundation. A foundation brush has long, flat bristles with tapered tip. These brushes are the best for liquid foundation and can also be used for other liquid products. 

To use, guide the brush along your face in even strokes. Ensure the makeup is blended in with no harsh lines. It’s best and easier to start in the middle of your face (i.e your T-zone) and work your way outward.

3. Powder Brush

Powder makeup brush

This brush has a full, soft, fluffy and rounded bristles. This ubiquitous makeup brush (you can hardly find a makeup set without it) gently dusts loose powder products across your face.

It can also be used to apply your blush when you are opting for a more natural look. Thinking of lightly rosy cheeks instead of clowned, deeply-hued look, then this powder brush is your go-to.

4. Blush Brush

Blush makeup brush

The blush brush has fine, natural and round bristles that give youthful rosiness. It’s similar to a powder brush but just a little stubble since it’s only covering a smaller area than a powder brush.

To use, use with little blush and lightly apply to the apples of your cheeks, if the color isn’t enough, then you can add more (bit by bit). Don’t add too much color at once (you don’t want to end up looking like a clown). It’s much easier to build color than it is to wipe it away after it’s being applied. 

5. Bronzer Brush

Bronzer makeup brush

Although you could use your powder brush as a blush or bronzer brush, since the three are similar, it’s always best to have separate brushes as each brush does its job better, and also you don’t want to use a blush stained with blush or bronzer to apply your setting powder (you might end up ruining your makeup, that won’t be good).

A bronzer brush has fluffy bristles that apply bronzer beautifully. It distributes the product on the skin evenly.

6. Fan Brush

Fan makeup brush

The only brush that looks like its name (lol). This brush has the shape of a fan (180 degrees) with natural bristles. It works exceptionally well as a mistake-corrector. When you want to brush away makeup mistakes, then think of this brush.

Maybe you’re applying your eyeshadow and you’ve got flecks of pigment on your face, gently brush away these extra flecks of color using the fan brush.

This impressive brush has a lot of uses, you can also use it to apply your highlighter on the highest points of your face. Use it to gently buff the product onto your cheekbones using a sweep motion. It can also be used to diffuse color, mellow out too intense blush by fanning away the intensity.

7. Kabuki Brush

Kabuki makeup brush

This is one impressive-looking brush, with a short, chubby handle and densely-packed fibers. It is used in applying liquid foundation and provides full coverage. Opt for it when you want full-body coverage. It’s also perfect for applying superfine powders and mineral foundations for fuller coverage.

To use, use the tip of the bristles to pick up the product, then gently swirl and buff to diffuse across your skin.

8. Duo-fiber Brush

Duo-fiber brush

This fancy brush contains different kinds of bristles with two different lengths. It has a flat circular and feathery head.

To use, gently blend your products to your face in a circular motion. Try not to press too hard, if you do, the longer bristles will spread and leave the streak marks on your face. It can be used to apply powder products.

9. Contour Brush

Contour makeup brush

Contouring is a makeup application skill every beauty lover wants to know, but one that takes practice to perfect. Sometimes, you might end up with dark unblended streaks when attempting a good contour. So you don’t leave the house a two-toned nightmare, I’ve got something for you – a contour brush. 

The angled contour brush allows you to follow the natural curves of your face. Contour brushes give you fine precision control over the angles to blend your strokes naturally thereby achieving a Kardashian-level contour (just like you want -right spot!)

Contouring can be a little hard to get especially if you are a beginner. One easy makeup tip I’ve got for you is the use of “fork” for your contour. (Sounds weird? I know). Here’s how:

Place the fork on your nose, letting the center matches with the bridge of your nose. Use a darker contour in the spaces between the outer prongs (just a thin line, don’t fill the whole gap). Then, add a lighter color to the middle prong (this should be thicker, filling the whole gap). Remove the fork and use your brush or sponge to blend the products. And yeah! There you have it! Your perfect contoured nose in just a few seconds.

10. Blending Brush

Blending makeup brush

Thanks to their rounded smooth shape, sponges won’t leave behind any weird lines or stray bristles. It is usually used to apply liquid foundation or other liquid products.

To use, don’t swirl, it can lead to smeared makeup. You can use either wet or dry. Preferably, I’d use wet. Soak the sponge with water, then squeeze it out. Then wrap in a clean towel and squeeze out again. Now, you can use it to apply your foundation. When used wet, it blends smoothly and gives your makeup a more natural finish. It also prevents the sponge from soaking up your foundation (as it is damp).

11. Mascara wand

Mascara wand

It’s also known as spoolie brush. It’s a tool that somehow does everything. With a round tip that has 360 -degree synthetic bristles (just like a pipe cleaner) and sometimes a bendable head, this multipurpose brush does almost everything.

You might think you don’t need an extra spoolie brush since your mascara comes with one, but once you realize how multipurpose these little guys are, you’ll understand why they are an important piece in the makeup brush collection.

It can be used to apply mascara (Yeah, that’s obvious), declump your eyelashes after you’ve applied too much mascara, brush out your brows, tame hair flyaways, exfoliate lips and any other thing you think it fits for (lol!)

12. Highlighter Brush

Highlighter makeup brush

The tapered but elongated natural bristles males it perfect to apply a highlighter on the highest points of the face. The tapered bristles while applying to make it evenly distributed on the skin.

13. Flat shader eye brush

Flat eyeshadow makeup brush

This brush has a flat shape with natural or synthetic bristles. It is used to pack on powder and cream eyeshadows evenly on the lid area. Simply dip the brush into the shadow, tap off excess and apply to the lids.

14. Angled shader eye brush

Angled shader eye brush

This brush is made out of natural fibers and has an angle to it. It is used to apply darker shades on the outer corner for a more detailed look.

15. Crease Brush

Crease makeup brush

These brushes are made up of or synthetic bristles. They work well on the crease. They beautifully blend out the crease color without moving it too much. It has a gentle taper which gives a tight precision when you’re adding final touches to your smoky eye.

16. Pencil Brush

Pencil makeup brush

This brush is usually made of natural fibers. It has a tiny tip for precise color application. This made it perfect to add colors to smaller areas and blend them in without spreading the pigment too much. It is ideal for drawing precision lines on the lid, along the lash line and in the crease. It’s also useful for blending your eyeliner. This beautiful brush helps you finish your makeup in style.

Moreover, if you love wearing liner and shadow on the bottom of your lashes, then you definitely need to add this brush to your collection.

17. Eyeliner Brush

Eyeliner makeup brush

This brush has a tapered end with barely any bristles. This feature makes it ideal for creating the sharpest and most perfect winged eyeliner.

To use, dip the brush into the eyeliner pot starting from the inner eye, draw a line outward, gradually increasing the width of the line and flicking out towards the end. If you are not that perfect with your winged eyeliner, you can use the dot method or spoon method.

Dot method: Use the brush to make small dots along your lash line and a final dot where the tip of the wing will go. Connect the dots to get your cat-eye perfection.

Spoon method: Place the handle of the spoon to the edge of your eyes to draw the wing. Then, use the curved part of the spoon to complete your look on the upper lashes. (Perfect!)

18. Stippling Brush

Stippling makeup brush

A stippled brush has fibers that are of two distinct lengths. It is similar to a duo-fiber brush. While the duo-fiber brush is best used for powder products, the stipple brush is best used for liquid foundation or cream products.

This brush is great for layering different levels of makeup. Your primer, foundation and blush can be seamlessly worked together with this brush. To use, put the liquid blush or foundation at the back of your hand, dip the brush into the product and stipple onto the face.

19. Duo-ended eyebrow Brush

Duo-ended eyebrow brush

This brush is made of synthetic fibers. It has a double end to it – a spoolie end (eyebrow comb) and a brush hair end (eyebrow brush).

The spoolie end helps with the blending in the brow product to make it look as natural as possible. The brush hair allows for a smooth and even product application. This makeup brush is great for creating different beautiful eyebrow looks. It’s perfect for taming and styling your brows.

20. Lip liner Brush

Lip liner makeup brush

This tiny brush has flat tapered bristles. It works by blending out your lipliner for a less harsh look. With this brush, you can beautifully line your lips and gracefully shape your mouth. To use, hold it at a slight angle (rather than straight), when you draw to make the line smoother, straighter and less shaky.

21. Lip Brush

Lip makeup brush

A lip brush might seem like one of those extra beauty tools you don’t need, but once you uncover its benefits, you’ll want one in every size, shape and color (Trust me!).

Your lipstick comes with a lip brush (Yes, I know) but it is not the best bet. Using the lip brush in your lipstick can get bacteria from your lips to your lipstick. Your lipstick then keeps on harboring bacteria which you will get on your lips every single time you use your lipstick (Yuck! You know what that means).

It’s best to use a lip brush to apply your lipstick, it won’t get in direct contact with your lipstick and also you can wash it regularly, (no bacteria).

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