The application of makeup is an art. It takes skill and technique to get it right.
That is why a person who is skilled at applying makeup is called a ‘makeup artist’. They use the face as their canvas.
Now every girl has tried to apply her own makeup, but some without success. (me included). Perhaps this is because of incomplete knowledge of makeup tools and their correct usage. There are so many types of brushes out there!
The most basic tool is a makeup brush. By learning about types of brushes and their correct usage, you will see a marked improvement in your makeup application.
Here is a run down of basic brush types and their application. You could say that it is mini guide on makeup basics.
Types of brushes and their application:
Brow Brush: This is important when you are filling in your eyebrows. It is angled so that you can get even the thinnest areas of your brows.
Powder Brush: This is the most common of all brushes and should be in every makeup collection. It should be used to apply any type of powder foundation product.
Eye Blending Brush: This brush is perfect for blending in your eye shadow along the crease of your lids.
Lip Brush: These brushes are typically tiny and allow lipstick or gloss to be applied more precisely to the lips.
Kabuki: This brush is typically short with wide round or flat bristles. It is mostly used to apply mineral powder by using a circular motion to buff the powder into your skin.
Angled Eye Brush: This brush can be used to define your eyes. It can be used with gel eyeliners or even along your crease to get a more precise line.
Stippling Brush: This brush is a blend of synthetic fibers and goat hair. It is used for light powder, liquid or cream products. It can give you an airbrushed look when used with powder.
Eyeshadow Brush: Use this brush to apply any type of eyeshadow. The bristles are just right for eyeshadow application.
Angled Brush: These brushes are typically used to apply blush. They are similar to powder brushes in their firmness.
Concealer Brush: This firm, narrow brush is tapered at the end and allows you to brush on concealer in a concentrated area.
Flat Brush: This brush allows you to contour your cheeks (think Kim Kardashian). The corners allow you to apply color right beneath your cheekbones.
Smudge Brush: A smudging eye brush helps to obtain the coveted smokey eye. It has soft bristles that let you smudge a concentrated area.
Brow Brush and Comb: You can use this tool for both your eyelashes and brows. The brush will allow you to smooth your brows down and the comb side can be used to get clumps out of your lashes.
Angled Liner Brush: This thin brush will give you a precise line and allows you to choose the thickness of your liner.
Blending Sponge: Although this isn’t a brush, a blending sponge is a great tool to use with liquid foundations. It gives your face a flawless, smooth finish.
Blending Brush: You should use this brush once you have applied all of your face makeup. It will blend it all together to give your face an airbrushed effect.
It takes skill to finish your look with finesse, but these expert tips will get you there.
Lijha Stewart says, “Where you hold a brush on the handle affects your control. The closer your fingers are to the barrel (the silver section beneath the brush head), the more pressure you put on the brush head and vice versa.
“Like artists and painters, makeup artists have all different sizes and types of brushes. At home, though, you don’t need to have tons of brushes. You need six different types (pictured from bottom to top): foundation/concealer, blush, powder, contour, crease, blending and angle.”Erwin Gomez says.
“When buying makeup brushes, you really have to understand how your face is structured and your skin type — this will help you determine the shape, size and bristle length you need,” Gomez said.
“To clean a natural brush, use soap and water. The best way to clean a synthetic brush is using a hand sanitizer instead of soap and water. Soap and water actually make it damper. If you’re going to reuse the brush immediately, hand sanitizer will dry faster — and kill germs,” advised Gomez.
“The longer the bristle, the softer the application and coverage,” explained Gomez. “Shorter bristles will give you heavier application and more intense, matte coverage.”
“Synthetic brushes are best to cover up dark circles or imperfections, but people have a harder time blending with those to get that smooth, perfect skin. You can never beat natural hair brushes because they’re the best blending tools. They’re also better for your skin — people with sensitive skin may want to stick with natural hair brushes for that reason.”
“You can use the same brush for concealer and foundation,” said Gomez. “People ask me all the time if they should use their fingers or a brush to apply foundation and concealer, but as you can see, the brush gives you smoother application and more coverage. After you’ve applied foundation or concealer, clean the brush and then use it to blend away any streaks.”
“A wider concealer brush, like the one on the right, is thicker and gives more spread and coverage. For a finer application, use a thinner brush, like the one on the left,” he said.
“You want to make sure that your powder brush is not too big,” said Gomez. “You don’t need a big, fluffy brush. A medium-sized brush with a wedge shape (pictured) lets you get to every part of your face — using circular, sweeping motions. A big brush won’t always give you an accurate application in the corners of your face, especially around the eyes or nose.”
“Use a brush with a width that complements your face shape — if you have a wider face, use a wider brush,” said Gomez.
“The first step of blush application is to smile! The part of your cheek that protrudes most when you smile is the apple, and that’s where you want to apply the blush, using round motions.”
“Use the contour brush to sweep the dark shades along the sides of your nose and the highlight along the bridge,” he demonstrated. “This will make your nose appear slimmer and more defined.”
“If your face is very round and you want to chisel it, use an angled brush to create higher cheekbones,” said Gomez. “You’ll also need two shades of matte foundation or powder: One should be a shade darker than your foundation to use under your cheekbone — a natural brown powder, bronzer or darker foundation with a matte finish is a great choice — and the other should be a neutral bone color to highlight the top of it.”
“Never use your fingers around your eyes! Only use your fingers with a cream eye shadow. When using a powder, always use a blending brush. You can use the same brush for the entire eye.”
“Start with a blending brush. If you have smaller eyes, a fine-point blending brush [left] is better. If you have larger eyes, a fluffier, longer bristle option [right] is better,” said Gomez. “Sable- or squirrel-hair brushes are beautiful choices for blending around the eyes.”
“Use a round, circular motion to blend highlight, crease and shadow properly — like how you might clean a window. Always brush in a circular motion, never back and forth. If you’re using a pointed brush, don’t dig — use rounded sweeps. The point of the brush guides the shadow application, and the softer surrounding blushes blend it,” he advised.
“Angle brushes are great to fill in your brows, and they also work to apply eyeliner,” Gomez explained. “Use soft, dabbing motions along the lower lid of the eye or the unfilled areas of the brow — you don’t want a lot movement because the particles go everywhere. Use the flat side of this brush along the lower eyelid for a dramatic look.”
“When your look is complete, use the wedge-shaped powder brush to sweep away excess particles. Again, this shape reaches smaller areas of the face that a more voluminous brush would sweep over.” Says Gomez.
That’s what the experts have to say.
So how many of these brushes do you have in your make up bag?
Have you been using one of them incorrectly?
With Special Thanks To: