It’s a little funny to me that I’m writing a makeup brush guide right now when, honestly, I’m only just starting to learn them myself. I was that girl that would put on her liquid foundation with her bare hands (which actually works!); had a one brush for EVERYTHING FACE; and used the little spongy eye makeup brushes that came with the eye-shadow. I used to think brushes were complex, expensive and unnecessary for anyone that’s not a makeup artist. For the rest of us, our hands and whatever little pad/sponge came with the product was fine. That is until my cousin Idil (as I mentioned in this post) made fun of the fact that I had no brushes despite being into makeup. So I had to upgrade myself . . . I got a huge Bobbi Brown set but I use like a couple from that and a smaller BH Cosmetics set of 6 that is more sensible for someone like me who’s just starting her collection.
This brush is typically used to put on any and all types of face powders . . . powder foundation, translucent setting powders, finishing powders etc. Even blushers really. I have this slightly rounded/domed one for even application and soft enough not to prickle at the skin when using them. There are also flat topped ones too. I need to get one of those and a proper Kabuki so bad!
These are usually flat, firm and used to apply liquid and cream foundations. I guess the fact that they are flat means less product wastage. I love using this brush because it feels like I’m painting my face with one of those big paint brushes pro painters use 🙂 It blends the foundation so seamlessly, and with no streaks, it’s unbelievable!
Dual Fiber Powder Brush
I’m not gonna lie, I hardly ever use this one because I’m still learning how to properly work it. Dual fibre powder brushes have flat-topped blended fibres (the short black and the long white) and are used to give liquid and powder foundation “an airbrush finish.” It is also called a stippling brush. Stippling is a style where you very pat the foundation onto the skin using a light hand. Once I get the hang of it, I’ll be able to explain this better 🙂
I just have to say, I really have come to appreciate and love these. Don’t get me wrong, the sponge tipped ones are ok – they get the job done. So I’m not gonna diss & dismiss them. But these eyeshadow brushes . . . they really pick up product so well and distribute evenly and less starkly. This one is slightly tapered which makes it softer and helps me apply my eyeshadow without harsh lines.
Eye-Shadow Blending Brush
Like most of these names, the job has been given away here 🙂 This brush blends eyeshadows, beautifully. the long soft bristles means the blending is smooth and natural looking. No harsh lines. No awkward looking shadow. And creases that actually get attention 🙂 They really get in there and work with the natural curves and contours of the eye surface area.
Angled Liner/Brow Brush
You know all those eyebrow tutorials? These are the brushes they use to line and define the shape of the eyebrow and even to fill them in with pomade or eyebrow powders. They are also used for defining eyeliner and cat-eye shapes. They’re slightly different but I use the one because I usually use a pencil and my own kind of spoolie for my eyebrows. These are nice for perfecting cat-eye skills using a different tool. I don’t end up using this one so much but it is an essential brush to have when establishing a collection.
Angled Face Brush
These are the cutest! They’re angled and tapered to be able to build definition when you use them to apply bronzer or blusher. They pick up a significant amount of product and they can get under and over cheekbones quite nicely. They’re also used for contouring (I’m still perfecting those skills).
Fan-shaped and fun to use! This is the one for the highlighter on the cheekbone light fluffing “fanning” action 🙂 I love using this because it makes me feel like a pro! And I like to use it to sweep away loose eyeshadow that’s fallen on my undereye as well. With the strobing craze you definitely need this one in your makeup bag! It’s slim enough to get the slant of the nose correctly with the highlighter as well.
. . . I confess, I have two but I have no idea where they are because I never use them. I actually love to use my old dried up mascara wands instead of spoolies. These are used to brush the eyebrows into shape and brush dried out mascara off of the lashes. They work so much better for me than teh traditional eyebrow brushes as they are more firm and better maneuvered. Please excuse my lack of an original photo for this, I’ve picked this image from the internet.
Those are the basic brushes I reckon a good starter should have . . . simple and spread out across face and eyes. Don’t be worried about spending too much money on brushes, there are some very good budget friendly ones like my BH Cosmetics ones here. The more my skills and needs grow, the more I’ll invest in them and get some of those top shelf MAC and Too Faced brushes *drool.* If you’re new to all this like me, I hope this helps and we can learn and grow together. If you’re on Nancie Mwai levels of knowledge, keep posting those tutorials, they’re so helpful! Have fun building 🙂