Makeup Brushes

Building Your Beauty Kit – Day 6: Makeup!

For years I thought the only way to achieve a flawless face was to buy the correct makeup. It’s also very much about how it’s applied. Any makeup artist will tell you that the secret to their application is what they work with. The right tools can help you achieve your makeup goals precisely and effortlessly, transforming a basic makeup job into a look worthy of a beauty queen.

Therefore the most important tools in your kit are your brushes. A good selection of these essential tools will help you in every part of your application. I’ve discovered brushes can provide endless possibility in my makeup application, and it’s critical for you have the right tools in your kit as well.

But there are so many options available where do you begin? It can be crazy difficult to know what brushes you truly need. But don’t worry, I will help you through the world of brushes and getting you a good basic set of brushes that are best for you!


Makeup brushes will be the most important tools you use, and getting the right ones together in your brush roll requires consideration, investigation, and evaluation. Many artists choose to start out with a prepared brush set available from any number of makeup brands, but in my experience, choosing to assemble your own brush set allows you to tailor choices made to your individual application style. This à la carte approach to acquiring brushes helps you really understand how and why one brush might be a better option for you than another.

In choosing your brushes, it is extremely important to take into account what they are made from and the benefits of that material. You need to remember a few things. 1.) The brush hair 2.) how it is manufactured, and 3.) the name on the handle. All these factors into the price, so you will need to be real about how you spend your money. An expensive tool can sometimes be mind-blowing at first glance, but you need to realize that your brush set is often a lifetime investment. With proper care, you can use the same tools for your entire life.

Natural vs. Synthetic

Traditionally, natural hair brushes were thought to be better for dry products like powder blush and eye shadow. However, for example, sable is a versatile hair that works well with wet or dry product, while badger is perfect for picking up and allowing you to control the pigment.

Advances in technology over the past decade have made synthetic brushes an amazing alternative to natural brushes for almost all your application needs. Many makeup artists choose synthetic brushes over animal hair because of the cruelty-free aspects.

Brushmakers are also addressing the concerns of the green movement. Bdellium Tools Green Bamboo series is ideal for the for those who have concerns about the going green. Bamboo is an excellent green resource and alternative to traditional woods because it’s rapid regrowth makes it one of the most sustainable resources on the planet.

In terms of how it works, don’t worry so much about whether your brush hair is natural or synthetic just as long as it can accomplish the look you want to achieve. No matter the brush, bristles should not be rough or stiff and should have some flexibility to allow you to work with the contours of your face and eyes. A firmer, denser brush will deposit more color than a softer, fuller brush, so when choosing your brushes, remember you will need a combination of many different textures.

Brush Shape and Size

When it comes to brushes, size definitely matters—meaning, you will need small, large and everything in between. When making a choice, think about the size and shape of the facial area where you will be using the brush. For example, you would not use the same size brush to apply foundation over the entire face as you would apply concealer under the eye.

Also, think of your brushes in terms of their uses. For example, instead of labeling brushes specifically for foundation, concealer or lips, just consider them as three firm oval brushes in a large, medium and small size. This allows you to imagine using each brush in the manner you choose. Most of the bigger brands will label a brush for one particular purpose, like foundation, powder, concealer, etc…but I find that ignoring the label and looking at the possibility of the brush itself, you can really use each tool to achieve any effect you need in your application.

So now let’s get started with some basic must have brushes needed for your kits.

Foundation Brush

Foundation brushes have many uses, but the large oval brush has become accepted by many as a must-have tool. Ideal for applying and blending liquid or cream foundation, it is a staple tool that puts the product on the skin without the worry of it absorbing into the sponge or leaving behind fine lines.

Concealer Brush

This medium-sized oval brush is available in a ton of bristle options including sable or badger to name a few. The brush is used to place cream product over blemishes, imperfections or under the eyes. this is a great basic brush for your kit as it allows for detail. Plus, the shape is very versatile.

Powder Brush

A soft, round brush has always been the go-to for applying powder product. These brushes vary in price depending on the hair or fiber that is used and whether or not they are hand made. I use smaller brushes to gain more control, but, nevertheless, the classic powder brush is a staple. Dip the brush, tap off the extra product, and then buff, press, and roll the powder onto the skin to remove shine and set.

Blush Brush

This brush is a soft, medium-sized dome shape or flat brush. The longer, softer bristles allow you to apply powder product without disturbing the foundation underneath. It’s ideal for blushes, bronzers or powder

Shadow Brush

Shadow brushes come in endless amounts of shapes, sizes, and hairs. There are a number of these brushes created for the eye area, but a basic set of three is enough to allow you to create any desired eye. A soft, stiff, flat, natural brush is brilliant for depositing all over shadow because it will pack the color onto the skin. A small, soft, fluffy brush is ideal for the eyelid area and lets you build your product to your desired intensity. Lastly, a dome shaped shadow brush with a soft bristle is great for getting rid of hard edges and blending or spreading soft color into the crease. You will find that eye shadow brushes are unlimited and you will be adding more to your collection, but these three brushes will get you started on your way.

Small Angled Liner

This multi-purpose brush is a great option for eyeliner and eyebrows. The size and shape allow you to mimic natural hair in the brow or bring the product along the lash line like you would a pencil. For use as a liner, place the brush on the inner corner of the eye and press into the lash line, pulling the brush across to create a perfect line. To use it for the eyebrows, fill in sparse brows with powder or cream by making short strokes over your natural brow shape.

Lip Brush

A small, flat, square, round, or oval brush can make a lip application easier. Coat the brush with lipstick. Then, starting at the center of the lips, blend out to the edges. Using the tip of the brush, define edges by using short, precise strokes to blend liner and lipstick together. Finish by applying more lipstick where you think you want depth or impact. A lot of ladies like these, I personally never use mine!

Liquid Liner Brush

An extra fine tip brush that can deliver a precise, even application is great for liquid or cream liners or applying any product where you need accuracy. For eyeliner, sweep the brush across the lash line from the inner corner outwards in an even motion. Let me say this find your perfect liquid liner first a lot of times they already come with an amazing brush.

Brow Comb or Spoolie Brush

For separating clumpy lashes or combing through an eyebrow, this brush is a great finishing tool. This is a total must-have. I totally freak out when I can’t find mine!

Extra Brushes

As your confidence grows, your brush roll will get bigger and you will come to find those brushes that are a must-have in your own application. For me, some of those brushes include small fan brushes, metal lash combs and specific brushes from specific brands. Let me just say that MORPHE X JACLYN HILL THE MASTER COLLECTION brushes are a little high in price but so well worth it!

So now that you know the basics are you ready to go out there and get what you need?

See you in a few days with Building Your Beauty Kit – Day 7 Makeup

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