If you think about it, makeup is kinda like finger painting for adults.
There’s a lot of makeup that can be applied using your fingers – I do with a couple of products here in there, but I used to even apply liquid foundation with my fingers.
I started experimenting a while back, though, and realized that with the right brush, it’s just as easy AND you get smoother, more even coverage.
Too bad there’s approximately 5,473,182 makeup brushes you can buy.
So how do you know which one is the right one for you and your particular products?
A few months ago I wrote a post on a super easy and quick way to clean makeup brushes (because if it’s not convenient, it never gets done…). Since then, I’ve been wanting to write a post on which makeup brushes are best. This week seemed like a perfect time, because it’s been a while since we’ve talked makeup!
Sidenote: I’m no makeup artist, and obviously there’s always better, more expensive brushes, just like with anything else. These are just my favorites from my experience – they’re inexpensive and do a fabulous job!
1. Flat kabuki foundation brush – if you’re still applying foundation with your fingers, it’s time to make a change. Some girls love applying foundation (powder and liquid) with a Beauty blender (#7 below), but personally, I prefer this kabuki brush. It’s amazing for applying evenly and blending the foundation throughout your face – I’ve never had more evenly applied foundation before this brush.
How I use it: for every day makeup, I use it with Root’s pretty booster in lightly medium- which is like a really light foundation/tinted moisturizer. For a full face of makeup, I use it to apply Root’s pearl powder foundation, after using Root’s pretty booster in clear (with my BB).
2. Blending “sculpting” brush – this brush isn’t sold at Ulta (where I got it) any more, but it looks like you can get it on Amazon. I love this brush for blending out bronzer and blush, and when I contour. It’s perfect for getting a light application of bronzer around the edge of your face, without turning you oompa-loompa like, because it blends so well. It feels so soft on my skin, too!
How I use it: for every day makeup, after applying a bit of blush, I’ll blend it out a bit and quickly brush it over my face to make everything as blended and smooth as possible. For a full face of makeup, I dip it in bronzer and lightly apply it around the edge of my face and down my neck, then blend out blush, as well as where I’ve contoured.
3. Stippling brush – I’ve only used a few of the Real Techniques brushes, but I really like them. This stippling blush is great for blending in concealer and highlighter. It doesn’t smear it into your skin, but instead blends in really well with your foundation – so you don’t look like you have pale patches on your face (we’ve all seen that look before).
How I use it: for every day makeup, I dab a little bit of concealer under my eyes from the bottle and use this brush to blend it in, then apply Root’s pretty booster like I mentioned above. For a full face of makeup, after primer and foundation, I dab my concealer under my eyes and all the areas I highlight (full highlight + contour tutorial), and blend it in with the stippling brush!
4. Brow & liner angled brush – I originally got this brush to apply eyeliner along my lid, but it’s too broad and big for my taste. However – I realized that it’s perfect for filling in my brows! It’s the perfect size for both applying and blending through your brows.
How I use it: I dip it in this brow product (review and more details), then lightly fill in my brows (I don’t like overdrawn brows). I’ll also add a bit of loose dark powder (I like using a brow powder that was too dark for my brows) in the corner of my eye, then blend it out right below my lower lashes. I prefer this over an actual eyeliner pencil because it doesn’t look quite as harsh, and you aren’t getting product on your water line.
5. Blush brush – I like using this brush for blush, because the bristles are so soft, you can shape the brush how you like, depending on how you’re applying. It only needs just a bit of blush to apply it evenly along your cheek bones, and works really well for a natural “rosy cheek” look where you don’t want your blush to be super noticeable.
How I use it: for every day makeup, I barely dab it in blush, and lightly apply it along my upper cheekbones. For a full face of makeup, after I contour, I press the sides of the brush to make it more flat and apply the blush, then let the brush become round again to blend it out. I also really like using this brush to apply a setting silk powder.
6. Contour and blend brush – this one is a little more expensive than the others, but I’ve also used this contour brush and like it. I love that this brush has two ends – one side for applying, one side for blending. It’s perfect for cheekbone contouring.
How I use it: I have a full contour + highlight tutorial here, but how I use this brush specifically for a full face of makeup (I don’t really use it for light makeup, no need to) – I use the small end to apply a contour shade/bronzer on the hollow of my cheekbones, then the wide side to blend out in circular motions (follow up with the big blending/sculpting brush for more blending out!). If I’m going to contour my nose a tad, I just squeeze the small end of the brush as narrow as possible to apply, then blend with my BB since it gets in narrow places better.
7. Beauty blender – not a brush, but I love my BB just as much as these brushes! BB was a Beauty Fave a few months back, so I have a full review and more details on how to use it there. There’s also other brands of “blending sponges”, but I can’t vouch for any, as I haven’t used them. The BB is perfect for blending in those weird angles and tiny corners of your face, like near your nose and corner of your eye. It helps even the most cakey makeup look more smooth.
How I use it: I explain in more detail how I use it in this post, but the products I use it with are – applying primer, blending highlighter and under eye concealer, blending foundation near eyes and nose and any other areas needed.
There ya go – 7 of my favorite makeup brushes/applicators!
Again, I’m definitely not a makeup artist, but I do know an awesome one! Follow @margomcmakeup on Instagram – she does all my senior girls’ hair and makeup and does a FABULOUS job.
I would love to know what you think!
Do you have a favorite makeup brush or tool?
My main eye shadow brush just broke – what do you use? I’m open to suggestions!
Leave me a comment and let me know –