Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Makeup Brush Essentials

I have gotten a couple of requests to do a post all about brushes, so here it goes. I will be using e.l.f. brushes as an example because they are extremely affordable and have some fantastic options. They are available online or at a lot of Targets (but not all). Most makeup junkies will tell you to invest in good and expensive brushes, like ones from MAC. But, I am a college student, and at the moment cannot afford $20-40 brushes, and am quite pleased with the ones I own as of now. Another good place to look for professional-grade, cheap brushes is Crown Brush (they manufacture for a lot of companies that have the same brushes but jack up the prices). The only thing about Crown Brush is that you have to make an order of at least $30. Ecotools is another great brand with affordable brushes.

There are MANY other kinds and shapes of brushes out there than those I am mentioning- I am just talking about the essentials, or what kinds of brushes you should buy if you're just getting into makeup


foundation brush
Flat-top dense brush
Standard Foundation
There are many diffferent brushes you can use to apply foundation. To the left is a standard foundation brush. It kind of looks like a paddle- it's great for applying foundation evenly. 

Stippling Brush
Other options of applying foundation include a stippling brush and a flat-top dense brush. The stippling brush will apply foundation (or whatever you choose to apply with it) lightly, while the flat-top brush will do the opposite. It gives you heavy coverage, and is one of my favorite brushes to use when I'm breaking out or have a lot of redness. 

Blush and Powder

Standard Blush Brush           
Angled Blush Brush

A stippling brush can also be used for blush (pictured above). Other brushes are your standard blush brush, which is round and soft to blend your blush. Another is an angled blush brush, in which the bristles are angled to glide more naturally along the angles of your face. 

Powder Brush
Kabuki Brush
For finishing powder, you can use a dense flat-top brush like the one above, a large powder brush (usually looks like a blush brush just bigger), or a kabuki brush. All of these have denser bristles and a wide area to gentle sweep over your face. 



Blending Brush
Paddle Eyeshadow Brush
There are really hundreds of kinds of eyeshadow brushes, so I will just be highlight some essentials. First is a dense paddle brush. The denser the bristles, the better the brush will pick up color. This is for packing color onto the lid.  Another brush is a blending or crease brush. It has fluffy, yet somewhat dense bristles. It places color into your crease and blends in your shadow so there are no harsh lines. I believe one of the keys to a good makeup look is proper blending. 

Pencil Brush

It is also good to have a pencil brush, which is named for its shape and purpose. It is precise, to "draw" color in small areas, like a dark color at the very corner of your eye, or to sweep shadow underneath your eye. 


Angled Liner Brush 1
Angled Liner Brush 2
For eyeliner (and brows!) you need an angled liner brush.  A good one will be thin (I actually do not suggest the e.l.f. one for eyeliner but it's great for brows- the pic just shows you the shape to look for. Try ecotools for a great angled liner brush!) and will give you control.  (Left)          Another eyeliner brush essential is another type of angled liner brush, only this one looks like a small paint brush that some came and bent the top of. This is fantastic for gel and creme eyeliners, because you can actually see the line you are making every stroke of the way. (Right)


What I have found is that often I do not use lip brushes on myself unless it is a bright color and I need precision. In that case, I turn to Angle Liner Brush 1 found above. The angle gives a nice edge of the lipstick. Other than that, there is the standard lip brush. It looks like a a small painting brush. 

Well, those are what I would call the essentials of makeup brushes! Thanks for reading!

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