We all know the saying ‘an artist is only as good as their tools’, right? But did you know this is also true when it comes to your make up application? Whether you’re a professional or beginner, make up brushes are a must when it comes to your cosmetics. Not only do they make the process easy and efficient, but they can also boost MUA-level results – we’re talking everything from carefully curated contouring to beautifully blended eyeshadow and more.
But, like with most of our make up bag must-haves, when it comes to picking your perfect brush set the options are endless. With that in mind, here at Cult Beauty we’ve done the hard work for you and uncovered everything you need to know about the treasured tools.
Keep scrolling to discover, the different types of tools out there, along with how to use them and the best make up brushes on the market right now.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF MAKE UP BRUSHES & HOW TO USE THEM
Make up brushes are a personal investment. They’re each specially designed to target particular areas of the face. So, when it comes to picking the right ones for you, you must consider your face shape and size. For example, if you chose an eyeshadow brush that’s too big for your eyelids, it won’t place the product where you want it to naturally sit. Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve put together a list of all the different make up brush types and how to use them…
COMPLEXION MAKE UP BRUSHES
FOUNDATION BRUSH – Responsible for creating the base for the rest of your make up look, a foundation brush is arguably the most important tool in your cosmetic kit. With that in mind, we suggest investing in one that works well for both liquid and powdered formulas. Think: a soft brush that has a large surface area and is topped with tightly packed bristles.
How to use the make up brush: blend your foundation in a sweeping motion all over face for a seamless finish.
POWDER BRUSH – The formula to remember when picking out your powder brush is – the fluffier and more flexible the bristles the better the blend. It really is that simple…
How to use the make up brush: start by dipping the brush into your face powder (whether that be a pressed or loose powder) before applying it in circle or sweeping stokes – starting in the middle of your face and working your way out – until you’ve achieved even coverage.
CONCEALER BRUSH – Small but mighty, a concealer brush works like the foundation brush to create the ideal canvas for the rest of your products. Shrunken down to get into those hard-to-reach areas (under eyes, we’re looking at you), it buffs and blends those often forgotten about spaces. If you use a liquid concealer, opt for a natural-haired brush to soak up some of the formula’s excess moisture.
How to use the make up brush: start with a small amount of concealer on your brush and build up the coverage as needed. Buff over desired areas and seamlessly blend with patting motions.
CONTOURING BRUSH – Used to sculpt your facial features, a contour brush is available in all shapes and sizes. Most commonly found with small round or oval silhouettes, it’s bristles is densely packed to help position and blend pigment with precision. But, if you’re looking for a more concentrated look, we suggest selecting an angled brush as this will ensure minimal fallout.
How to use the make up brush: use the brush to apply product to areas of the face where contouring and definition are desired with a gentle stamping motion. Diffuse and blend for an edgeless effect.
BLUSHER BRUSH – Similar to your powder brush – but smaller – a blusher brush’s bristles are long, soft and loosely packed to avoid depositing too much colour all at once. But, coming in various sizes, when it comes to selecting your perfect match you must pick it based on how you apply your blusher and what coverage you want. A case in point? If you want a pop of colour on the apples of your cheeks go for a bigger silhouette. Or if you enjoy a natural wash on your cheekbones, opt for a smaller head.
How to use the make up brush: swirl the brush onto the product to pick up the pigment and then dust across the apples of the cheeks and over cheekbones to apply.
BRONZER BRUSH – Sitting comfortably between your blusher and powder brush, a bronzer brush is known for being fluffy and round, covering a large surface area. Designed to add dimension to the sides of your foreheads, jawline and cheekbones, its bristles are super feathered for quick and easy application.
How to use the make up brush: swirl the brush onto the bronzer to pick up the pigment then sweep over the cheekbones, forehead, nose and chin to boost an instant glow.
HIGHLIGHTER BRUSH – Featuring fluffy bristles, a highlighter brush comes to a slight point at the tip. Why? Because this silhouette is primed to blend and diffuse pigment for a soft, shimmering sign off.
How to use the make up brush: brush gently to spread a little highlighter or press firmly to deposit a heavier layer. Then, swipe the base of the brush back and forth to blend the highlighter onto your skin.
FAN BRUSH – Another iteration of your typical highlighting brush, the fan is recognised by its splayed-out, flat bristles that resembles (you guessed it) a fan. Multifunctional, it can be used to apply powdered highlighter down your cheekbones, along with cleaning up powder fallout from other products.
How to use the make up brush: apply the product to the brush before dusting it over the highest points of your face. Or sweep the brush over your face to remove excess powder.
MAKE UP SPONGE – While this technically isn’t a brush, a sponge is a must when it comes to blending. Made from absorbent material, it gives you less coverage than a foundation brush, making it ideal for a no-make up make up look.
How to use the make up brush: start by wetting the sponge with water and squeezing out any left-over liquid. Then, dab your foundation, powder or any other complexion products across the face in small, quick motions.