Have you ever looked at the brushes in your make-up kit and thought, what the heck are these for? While using your fingers may be handy (excuse the pun), nothing beats the flawless finish you get from a high quality, appropriately used make-up brush. So read on to find out exactly how to use these must-have brushes.
As the name suggests, foundation brushes are ideal for applying liquid or cream foundation to the face. Choose one with an angled head and densely packed bristles, as these build coverage and deliver a smooth, airbrushed look. Dab some foundation on the t-zone to start with, and then use sweeping, downward strokes to stretch the liquid/cream to other areas of the face.
bh loves: Manicare Foundation Brush
A concealer brush is used to apply – you guessed it – concealer. It’s great for covering up imperfections and dark circles under the eyes as well as camouflaging problem areas, such as broken capillaries. A soft-bristled, flat brush with a rounded edge is best for ultimate coverage and precision.
bh loves: MAC #195 Concealer Brush
A kabuki brush has a short stem, a wide, rounded head and dense bristles. It’s a great tool to keep in your kit, as it can be used for many different purposes. Our advice? Use a kabuki brush to apply mineral powder, bronzer or finishing powder to your face, or sans product to buff or blend severe lines for a flawless face.
bh loves: Mineralogie Kabuki Brush
Use a powder brush to apply loose or pressed powders. These brushes are usually quite large, with a rounded shape and loosely packed bristles. To avoid applying too much product (and looking like a clown), shake off any excess before sweeping the brush across your face.
bh loves: Designer Brands Powder Brush
A fan brush is best for sweeping a light dusting of powder onto the skin. The soft bristles and flat, fan-like shape of this brush help to achieve a soft-focus effect.
bh loves: e.l.f Fan Brush
This dome-shaped brush is great for adding a flush of colour to your cheeks. Similar to the powder brush but with denser bristles, the blush brush defines, contours and shades cheeks. When applying blush, smile to locate the apples of the cheeks, and use short, upwards strokes to dust powder toward the temples.
bh loves: Real Techniques Blush Brush
A contouring brush is a medium-sized brush with an angled head that is used to sculpt and lift the cheekbones. While soft, fluffy brushes work with blush, bronzer and highlighter to draw attention to the cheeks, for more controlled contouring, your best bet is to use a brush with more densely packed bristles.
bh loves: QVS Angled Blusher Brush
A stippling brush features feathered-out bristles for the light application of foundation, finishing powder and blush. Grab a stippling brush whenever you need to apply cream blush – simply press it onto the cheeks in a stippling (or dotting) motion for a natural flush of colour. To learn more about how to use a stippling brush, check out this article.
bh loves: Artiste Popping Duo Stippling + All Over Shadow Brush. The small end is also nifty for applying eyeshadow. Bonus!
This is a long, angled brush with tightly packed bristles. The slanted bristles make applying shadow a breeze. Just close your lid and follow the natural crease of the socket, blending back and forth.
bh loves: Clinique Eye Definer Brush
This brush features small, fluffy and rounded bristles. It is used to blend eye colours, particularly in the crease of the lid, and to highlight the brow bone. Use long, fluid strokes to diffuse the powder evenly.
bh loves: The Body Shop Eyeshadow Blender Brush
An eyeliner brush is handy for applying gel or cream eyeliner. Its short, stiff and angled bristles help with drawing precise lines, as well as softening and blending eyeliner to create a smoky eye. Eyeliner brushes come in many different sizes, but we recommend going with one that’s about the width of your index finger so you can use it for all eye make-up looks.
bh loves: Eco Tools Eyeliner Brush
A spoolie is a mascara wand-style brush that tames unruly brows. The stiff bristles smooth and comb eyebrows into place. Keep one in your handbag for great brows all day every day.
bh loves: Benefit Instant Brow Pencil. It’s a brow pencil with a spoolie on the other end, so you can fill in and tame brows all at once!
A lip brush features a fine, sculpted tip and firm bristles. Say goodbye to shaky hands and imperfect lines, because it helps you to apply lip colour with perfect precision. Once you use it, you’ll never apply colour straight from the tube again.
What’s your favourite make-up brush? Do you have any must-have brushes to add to the list?