Unless you’re a trained makeup artist or have watched more than a few YouTube beauty tutorials in your spare time, makeup brushes can be a bit tricky to decode. Not only do they come in a wide range of sizes, but also different bristle shapes, lengths, and density. And it doesn’t stop there! Oftentimes brands don’t name their brushes by how and where they were intended to be used, but rather with seemingly arbitrary numbers that only add to the confusion. Of course, who cares what brush is used as long as you reach your desired effect. But if you need a little direction and help sorting out your set, keep reading.
1. Foundation Brush
Use it to smooth liquid or cream foundation for streak-free application. Start in the middle of your face and blend the product outward to prevent harsh makeup lines around the edge of your face.
2. Beauty Blender
The trick to using one of these most effectively is to squeeze it a few times under water first. After the sponge has absorbed a bit a water and expanded slightly in size, roll off the excess on a towel. This wetting process will not only prevent your sponge from soaking up all of your foundation (because it’s already full of water) but will also help blend your makeup as smoothly as possible. Use the sponge’s broad sides to apply the product on your face. Use the tip to reach creases around the nose and to pinpoint small areas.
3. Kabuki Brush
This big brush is perfect for softly applying bronzers and powders, and for evenly distributing product across your face or body.
4. Powder Brush
The long, fluffy bristles evenly diffuse loose powders.
5. Angled Blush Brush
The slanted bristles make it easier to apply products perfectly to your cheekbones.
Alternate use: Apply contour powder (two shades darker than your skin tone) below your cheekbones to emphasize your natural contours.
6. Concealer Brush
Use a small, synthetic brush to pinpoint specific areas that need extra coverage, like small spots and blemishes.
7. All-Over Eye Shadow Brush
Use an eye shadow brush to evenly apply powder and cream shadows.
8. Blending Eye Shadow Brush
Use the fluffy bristles to diffuse eye shadow in the crease of your eye, or use it to blend multiple shades of eye shadow together.
9. Smudger Brush
Use this to soften eyeliner for a smoky, sultry look.
10. Angled Eyeliner Brush
This brush easily lines lashes with cream or gel liner or shadow.
11. Lash/Brow Comb/Brush
Use this duo to comb, tame, and de-clump your lashes and brows.
12. Fan Brush
Use this to clean up fallen product or gently apply powders and highlighters on your cheekbones, temples, and cupids bow.