Find the best makeup brushes and why they’re so great…
One of the most confusing things about makeup, especially when you’re completely new to it is understanding which makeup brush to use and when to use it. And once you get that part figured out, then you need to understand which is the best make up brush and what makes them the best.
Understanding your brushes is just as important as understanding which makeup brand to buy and why. You can have the best cosmetics on the market, but unless you can apply them correctly, the finished look will be, lets say… “lacking”.
- natural makeup suitable for all women at any age and for every occasion,
- the makeup for a special occasion – usually during the night – when the light is different,
- and a bit excessive makeup – for weddings, thematic parties, special photo sessions or else.
This article will explain what brushes are best for each application, and which are the best brands of each brush. And of course why. Here are a few things we’ll cover…
- the type of brushes,
- top cosmetic brushes,
- natural or synthetic brushes,
- make up brush sets/ a collection of makeup brushes,
- cosmetic sets (including make up brushes).
The various types of Make-up Brushes
One of the things I love most about make-up is its versatility. It can be almost anything you want it to be – whether to hide imperfections or show off your artistic flare. Considering that the US alone spends $18 billion per year on cosmetics alone, there is clearly high demand for quality make-up, and there is an exponentially increasing range of both make-up items and brands to satisfy our hunger for beauty.
We are forever in search of the ‘perfect concealer’ or the ‘best mascara’, but a subject less frequently discussed and often disregarded is the brushes we use to apply make-up. Artists don’t settle for anything less than the best quality brushes for their artwork, and if they used their fingers, they would most likely not get the desired result (unless of course they are finger-painting), so why should we spend so little time or money on the tools we use to apply our make-up?
Choosing the right make-up brushes can greatly affect the quality of our finished make-up look, and using brushes instead of fingers prevents the spread of bacteria which causes blemishes. This article will list the different types of make-up brushes and their uses, to make it less confusing when buying them, and will give some suggestions on what I think are the best brushes.[toc]
All about makeup brushes
To offer a flawless look, cosmetic makeup brushes come into a wide variety of textures (natural, synthetic), sizes, colors, and – most important – shapes (pointed, rounded, fan-shaped, flat, angled, mop shaped) which makes the distinction for their uses.
Types of cosmetic makeup brushes:
- Sponge brush/ eye shadow brush – designed to apply the makeup (either powder or cream). The fine sponge and its rounded shape helps to apply the makeup easier, as uniform layer.
- Brush and comb for mascara – helps to separates and gives some distance between eyelashes after applying the mascara.
- Brush and comb for eyelashes and eyebrows – a very useful item 2 in 1 that helps to separate the eyelashes and gives a nice line to your eyebrows.
- Eyeliner brush – helps to draw perfect lines with liquid eyeliner.
- Lipstick brush – helps spreading the lipstick on a smooth layer following exactly the shape of your lips.
- Regular eyelids brush – its rounded shape helps applying the makeup easier even toward the corner of the eye.
- Flat brush for eyelids – with this brush you can apply more makeup and is ideal for night make up.
- Wide brush for eyelids – used especially when the makeup is done from more colors, helps for smoothening and fading the edges from one color to the next one.
- Eyebrow brush – its short and thick hair gives more precision to outline the eyebrows.
- Fan brush – is designed to correct the excess of powder or makeup that covers the cheeks and to fade eventual skin spots.
- Blush brush – spreads the blush on your cheeks while giving an uniform color.
- Powder brush – the biggest cosmetic brush – very helpful when applying the powder (dust of compact).
There are also:
- camouflage brushes
- liquid foundation brushes
- skin treatment brushes (professional antibacterial makeup brush).
Foundation is one of the most important cosmetics item, as it provides a base for the rest of your make-up, so if it is uneven or streaky, it will ruin the rest of your make-up. It is the only make-up product where a brush is not always necessary.
If you are only applying the foundation to your own face, using your fingers warms up the foundation, and provides even coverage, but you must ensure your hands are clean before or you will be spreading oil and bacteria onto your skin.
Therefore, many people prefer to use a brush. If correctly applied, they give full and even coverage, and their tapered shape makes it easier to get into the corners of your eyes and around your nose.
A foundation brush should have densely packed bristles so as not to make your foundation streaky, and it will be quite flat. Try to choose one with soft bristles so it does not irritate your skin, and a wide handle for ease of grip.
Powder seals in your foundation and mattifies your face, so it is important to choose a powder brush which will not smear your foundation or make it look patchy. Your powder brush should be soft, and it should have a rounded end with quite fluffy bristles.
Your powder should be a light coating, and should not be visible; it is purely to lock your foundation in place, so the brush should only pick up a light dusting of powder. The best kabuki brushes are perfect for this.
While blusher brushes are often fairly similar to powder brushes, you should have both so as not to mix blusher into your powder, and so you don’t have to clean your brushes every day. Blusher brushes can also be used for bronzer, if you prefer a golden glow. They are smaller than powder brushes as blusher is generally only applied to the cheekbones, but the bristles should be quite loosely packed to prevent you looking like a clown by applying too much blush.
Body shop blusher brushes are by far my favorite because they are incredibly soft and apply blush smoothly and seamlessly. They are slightly more expensive than drugstore brands (though not nearly as expensive and just as good as high-end brands) but considering how long it will last you, it is a good investment.
Rounded eyeshadow brush
There are many different styles of eyeshadow brush, one of which being the rounded brush, which is used for applying eyeshadow on the lid and blending colors.
The brush you choose should be quite flat with dense bristles to give the brightest possible vibrancy of color with the least possible fallout to make it look flawless. There are many eyeshadow brush sets, which often have miniature size brushes that I find difficult to handle as they are so small, so I think it’s worth buying full-sized brushes.
You can buy individual make-up brushes incredibly inexpensively on Amazon, but it’s worth buying a few so you only have to pay for postage once.
The angled brush is one of my favorite brushes because it has a wide variety of uses. You can buy hundreds of slightly different ones labelled as different things, but really, as long as you clean them, you can use the same one for several purposes. Firstly, it can be used for precise eyeshadow application along the crease if you want a cut-crease look or underneath the eye to make it look precise. It can also be used to apply cream or liquid eyeliner, and if often used as an eyebrow brush. An angled brush can also be used for lining lips, but since lip products are generally creamy and will be difficult to clean out of the brush fibers, I would recommend buying a separate one for lips.
If you wear lipstick quite often, it’s a good idea to buy a lip brush, as it allows for much more precise application of lip color. Too often we use the lipstick directly onto our lips, and the line is wonky and it doesn’t extend right into the corners of our lips.
Using a stout, squared lip-brush will make our lipstick perfect and full, and will make your lipstick last longer as you are not applying as much as you would using the lipstick directly. On the right I have a picture of my favorite brush, the DUcare retractable lLip brush. It’s the best retractable brush in my opinion, and I have had mine for years. It’s quite cheap as well.
Our eyebrows are one of most sorely neglected parts of our face, and they are probably the most important feature. They frame our eyes, and therefore our face, and the shape of our eyebrows can really give the illusion of a different face shape, and can make you look immensely more beautiful. Some people have naturally blonde or thin eyebrows, and defining and shaping your eyebrows with an eyebrow brush and eyebrow tint can make them look so much better.
An eyebrow comb can be used to comb the hairs upwards when trimming them, and the brush can be used to define your arch better, and thankfully, these two tools often come, as seen in the picture to the right, as one. My favorite eyebrow tint is the Godefroy professional tint kit, as it defines the eyebrows well without making them look at all fake.
As far as a brush, I love the KINGMAS 3Pcs eouble-ended eyebrow brush set. It’s super economical, and since it is a set, you’re getting all the brushes you should ever need for your eyebrows all at once.
Natural vs. synthetic makeup brushes
Don’t know what type of make up brush to buy and/ or use?
Natural fibers brushes are:
- a bit expensive,
- not very easy to be cleaned,
- used for a long period of time (and not properly maintained) may become a source of bacteria,
- made out from single animal fibers or a mixture,
- more absorbent and porous,
- best used for powders.
Synthetic fibers brushes (Nylon and Taklon):
- convenient price,
- easy to be cleaned and preserved,
- made from long lasting materials,
- are best for creams (lipstick, eye makeup).
If you have allergies or are prone to skin rashes and other irritations, you may want to use a synthetic brush first. Or if you notice that your face starts to get irritated when using an all natural brush, change your brush to a synthetic one and see if the irritation persists. If it doesn’t, then you are having a reaction to the natural fiber of the brush.
Very important – keep your makeup brushes in a dry place and clean!
Always keep your make up brushes in a dry place and take good care of your makeup brushes cleaning them regularly with a special/ antibacterial cosmetic solution.
It is hygienic and helps to keep your brushes lasting a very long time!
Make Up Brush Fibers
Shopping for a new set of professional makeup brushes can be a little overwhelming. The types of brushes available are extensive and the prices vary greatly. One of the key features that determine the cost of a makeup brush is the type of hair used to make the bristles. By knowing what types of bristles are available, you can determine which makeup brush is best for you.
The most common type of fiber used in makeup brushes is goat hair. While the bristles aren’t as soft as some other types, goat hair is very good at holding a large amount of powder. Brushes made of goat hair are good for applying bronzer, blush and face powder. This type of brush provides an even application.
Sable hair is fine and soft. Makeup brushes with sable hair typically have pointy tips. The softness and shape of sable hair is perfect for eyeliners and eye shadow.
Pony hair is durable and strong. This type of brush usually has equal thickness from root to tip. The tips aren’t as pointy as squirrel hair brushes. Pony hair is a versatile fiber, perfect for blush, powder, and eye shadow makeup brushes.
Cheap Makeup Brush Sets to Consider
There are also plenty of inexpensive makeup brush sets to consider. These sets are going to use very basic fibers, so they won’t be as soft as a more expensive makeup brush and it takes more finesse to get a flawless application. But you can definitely get good results if you practice. Just keep in mind that since a less expensive brush doesn’t have the same quality as the more expensive professional makeup brushes, they won’t last as long.And it helps to have great make up too. Preferably an all natural make up.
Some people prefer to spend the extra money on a higher quality brush because it will last for years and years.
While there are many different types of make-up brushes spanning a wide range of brands from drugstore to high end, this lens has hopefully presented some of the most useful brushes we should all have in our make-up bags. Unless you are a make-up artist or have lots of money to spend, the brushes listed in this lens should suffice to create your perfect make-up look. I hope you found it useful, and please let me know if there’s anything you think is missing or a product I should add.