Guide To Basic Makeup Brushes: Face Edition Part 1

By Ann Peter on June 3, 2014

Image via http://styleusup.com

Makeup brushes are tricky. Selecting the right one can be incredibly intimidating because of the dozens on dozens of makeup brushes with different uses and names. Most of the time it’s easier to just let your brushes collect dust and use your fingers.

Although we’re all guilty of using our fingers from time to time, opting for a makeup brush is usually a better alternative because the application itself is not only far more precise, but also makeup brushes allow you to use less product and save money by blending more seamlessly into your skin.

Makeup brushes are more hygienic as well. Your fingers have natural oils and bacteria that increase the risk of breakouts when you apply your face makeup. This series will be broken down in two separate articles providing you with details on how to select the right makeup brushes, the techniques involved and high end/low end products to choose from.

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Flat Foundation Brush– This is a great brush for beginners. Flat foundation brushes can also be used to apply concealer under the eyes or target areas because of its size. Beware – unless applied in small strokes, flat foundation brushes tend to leave streaks and can be hard to blend.

SPLURGE: Flat Foundation Brush Sephora
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SAVE: Flat Foundation Brush Ecotools
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Stippling Brush- Stippling brushes help to achieve an airbrushed finish with any selected foundation. This brush has less densely packed fibers for a softer and lighter application. Stippling brushes allow you to stipple or literally dot your foundation onto your face as opposed to buffing or blending techniques required by other foundation brushes. This brush can also double up to apply cream blushes and bronzers for a similar finish.

SPLURGE: Stippling Brush Sephora
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SAVE: Stippling Brush Real Techniques
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Beauty Blender– This is a classic favorite to achieve a more natural finish and is great for cream/liquid foundations. Beauty blenders are versatile in application – they allow you to use stippling techniques for all over coverage. Additionally its unique shape allows you to reach hard-to-reach places like under the eyes and nose with the pointed edge and the reverse side allows coverage for larger areas like the forehead and cheeks. Although it’s a splurge product (nearly $20 at a local Sephora), there are so many equally great and cheaper dupes on Ebay, Target and other consignment stores.

SPLURGE: Beauty Blender
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SAVE: Beauty Blender Dupe
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Flat Top Brush– This brush is excellent if you want high coverage using liquid or cream foundation. It can also be used to set powder by lightly pressing it onto the face and other desired areas. Although it’s an excellent blending brush, the downside of using these brushes is running into the risk of looking cakey because of the dense bristles as it often emphasizes fine lines and wrinkles.

SPLURGE: Flat Top Sigma Kabuki Brush
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SAVE: Flat Top ELF Brush
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Kabuki Brush– A Kabuki brush is well-known to be versatile in its application of liquid, cream and powder products. Its bristles are densely packed into a dome shape and often feel soft to the touch. It can be used to buff or blend your foundation flawlessly without evidence of streaks. It’s a great brush to pick up mineral powder for a natural coverage, which is very fine in texture. Kabuki brushes can also be used to apply blush.

SPLURGE: Kabuki Brush Body Shop
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SAVE: Kabuki Brush ELF
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Powder Brush– Applying powder is optional to set your makeup unless you want a more matte look and are prone to shine or have very oily skin. Instead of reaching for a huge, fluffy powder brush which deposits far too much product onto the face and can clog your pores, opt for a small, fluffy eyeshadow brush and apply only in those concentrated areas like under the eyes or your t-zone.

SPLURGE: MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush
Image via http://makeupforlife.net

 

SAVE: Soft Dome Brush Makeup Geek
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Blush Brush– Depending on the type of blush you want to apply, there are different types of brushes you can select from. Here’s a quick breakdown: Want to slim down your face? An angled blush brush is the way to go. Contouring is a bit more difficult in terms of makeup techniques. A quick trick to contouring the cheekbones is to suck in your cheeks and locate your cheekbones with your fingers. Right under your cheekbones is where the line of contour should begin. Apply near the hairline first and then blend and sweep downwards mid-face. The idea is to create the illusion of more chiseled cheeks and a slimmer face.

SPLURGE: Angled Blush Brush Sephora
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SAVE: Angled Blush Brush ELF
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Now how about on the reverse side if you have a thinner face? Use a dome shaped blush brush. It’s best to apply on the apples of the cheeks and blend lightly upwards toward the ears.

SPLURGE: Bobbi Brown Blush Brush
Image via http://www.sephora.com

 

SAVE: Blush Brush Ecotools
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If you’re using a cream-based blush or bronzer, use a smaller stippling brush. A stippling brush gives that same airbrushed finish and blends flawlessly into your foundation for a more natural coverage.

SPLURGE: MAC 188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush
Image via http://alique.ru

SAVE: Small Stippling Brush ELF
Image via http://eyeslipsface.co.uk

I'm an English major at UIC; I love cats, thrifting in Wicker Park, and fashion blogs.

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