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The ultimate guide to makeup brushes

makeup brushes

For any application of a makeup product, there’s a brush to go with it. But which ones go where? Online hair and beauty retailer have put together the ultimate guide to getting your head round all the makeup brushes.

They’ve decoded what you do with each of the eight face brushes and what products you need to use them for. Things like the powder brush, the blush brush and the foundation brush have all been accounted for, as well as the contour brush and stippling brush. There are also six eye brushes, including a crease brush, a blending brush and an angled liner brush.

Joanne Dodds from said: “There are hundreds of beauty products available to you nowadays, which can be very confusing to some. And not only are there different products, but tools to go with them. Things like face brushes, eye brushes and even lip brushes can be hard to get your head around.

“So, we’ve decided to rack up an ultimate guide to makeup brushes, which includes detailed descriptions of all the brushes available to you, and what products you need them for. This should hopefully make makeup application a little easier to understand.”

makeup brushes
Looking for the best brush for contouring? Need a brush to apply bronzer? Our makeup brush guide has it covered

Face brushes

Powder brush
A powder brush is the biggest of the face brushes. It will usually be packed with long, fluffy bristles which are made to dispense loose powder evenly across the face. For setting makeup, it’s best to tap the brush over the face rather than sweeping it. You can also use powder brushes to apply bronzer.

Blush brush
A blush brush is usually dome shaped and will be smaller than a powder brush, with super soft bristles. The fluffy texture of the brush will allow it to pack pigment onto the cheeks, whilst making it easy to blend it out. The best way to apply blush is to swirl the brush around the blusher and use the same swirling notion on the cheeks.

Foundation brush
There are a few different types of foundation brushes, but the most common one is the flat foundation brush. This is thin and flat in shape, but has a rounded tip. It’s is best for applying liquid foundations over the face for a nice, blended finish.

Contour brush
Contour brushes are similar to blush brushes, except they are slightly thinner and the tip is usually angled. The angled tip makes it easier to apply powder and contour into the hollows of the cheekbones, under the jawline, around the hairline and around the edge of the nose.

Kabuki brush
Kabuki brushes are large and soft, with a flat top and densely packed bristles. They are great for applying powder makeup onto the face using circular motions. This will give you a lovely flawless finish.

Stippling brush
These brushes are perfect for applying foundation or cream products to achieve a blended finish. They contain densely packed, duo-fibre bristles (which is why they are always black with a white tip). To use a stippling brush correctly, simply dot your liquid foundation around your face, before blending it in using circular motions.

Fan brush
These brushes look just like a fan, and contain long bristles. They are used for applying a gorgeous highlight to the cheekbones and to also clean up powder mistakes. To use, you simply dust over the face in a back and forth motion.

Concealer brush
Concealer brushes are firm and flat, with a tapered top. They have small bristles which allow you to precisely apply makeup in areas of your face that are sometimes quite hard to reach.

makeup brushes
Everyone loves a makeup brush

Eye brushes

Eyeshadow brush
This brush contains slightly fluffy bristles that are dense. It’s perfect for applying and blending eyeshadow in the crease or all over the lid.

Crease brush
If you’re specifically looking for a brush to use in your crease (that’s the hollow part of your eye, between your brow bone and lid) then a crease brush is perfect. It’s a bit smaller than an eyeshadow brush and it has a more pointed tip, which allows you to get right into the eye crease.

Blending brush
This brush will have longer bristles than an eyeshadow brush and a thinner tip. If you have applied more than one colour to your eyelid, these brushes are perfect for blending all of them together to soften any harsh lines.

Angled liner brush
This brush is smaller than most of the other makeup brushes. It is also very flat and has an angled tip. It’s best used to apply gel eyeliner or eyeshadow on the lash line, but they can also be used to draw on your eyebrows using brow pomade or powder.

Eyeliner brush
Another tiny brush, this one is very fine, with a pointed tip. It’s a great precision brush and can be used to apply liquid or gel liners to create a winged eyeliner look.

This is usually used to shape eyebrows before adding pomade. It looks like a mascara wand and has soft bristles.

Lip brushes

Lip brush
This brush is incredibly fine, but has a squared tip, which makes it perfect for outlining and defining your lips with lipstick. A lip brush also allows you to build on the colour.