There are three major eye makeup areas – lid, crease, liner – so why so many brushes? Is it a cardinal sin against beauty to use the same brush to apply shadow to the eyelid and the brow bone? Well no probably not, but each brush is designed with a specific purpose in mind. We handed over a horde of brushes (11 total) to professional makeup artist Gabriel Almodovar and asked him to give us the details on the ones he uses. He came back with the breakdown on these seven eye makeup brushes.

eye makeup brushes

Large Shadow Brush: Use it to quickly sweep shadow across the lid or for dusting a light color under the eyebrow as a highlight.

Precision Shadow Brush: The go-to tool for eyelid color application. “I can pack on the color where needed for both the intensity I want and the longevity I need,” notes Almodovar.

Blending Shadow Brush: This brush diffuses and blends colors seamlessly. It’s what Almodovar likes to use to soften shadow in the crease. It can also be used to apply lid color for a more sheer finish.

Blending Tip Brush: This brush can be used to smudge pencil eyeliner. Almodovar also uses it to smoke out the eye by applying a dark powder shadow close to the lash line.

Angled Liner Brush: The angle of this brush is particularly great for creating winged eyeliner and tightlining the water line.

Precision Liner Brush: Use the side of the sleek tip with gel liner to create the perfect, most precise line.

Smudger Brush: Use this flat, rounded smudger to diffuse eyeliner, softening the look. Almodovar prefers this tool for diffusing eye pencil–more so than a precision shadow brush.

There’s one more fundamental brush that’s not pictured here, and it’s a multitasker­: the spoolie. Find out why you need one, here.

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Photos: Lancôme, Thinkstock