A Definitive Guide to Every Face Makeup Brush — And Which Ones to Add to CartAugust 02, 2021
Nothing excites us quite like the thrill of brand new face makeup brushes when they’re pristine and have those soft bristles. Excuse us as we swoon. While you may or may not share our same enthusiasm for beauty tools, rest assured, we have you covered if you’re looking for some new makeup brushes. That said, the options are plentiful, so it’s important to know which brush you should be using for every makeup product. To help you with your search, check out our all-encompassing makeup brush guide, ahead.
Do Face Makeup Brushes Really Make a Difference?
Having a makeup brush for nearly every step of your makeup routine can make a huge difference in the appearance of your makeup. Using the correct kind of brush, whether it’s a tapered foundation blush or a flat concealer brush, can change how your makeup applies and help give you a flawless finish. Another thing to note before picking up your tool is if it’s a natural or synthetic makeup brush. Natural makeup brushes are often made of animal hair and are known for their blending and pick-up properties, whereas synthetic makeup brushes are made of man-made materials like nylon and are great for precise and streak-free application.
How to Store Your Makeup Brushes
Don't just throw your makeup brushes loosely into a makeup kit. Not only can the top get crushed and distorted, but also a serious amount of germs live deep in the depths of your bag and can rub off onto anything in close proximity. Instead, stay organized and clean using these guidelines. The simple suggestions will make your brush display accessible, pretty and most importantly, safe.
How to Wash and Dry Your Makeup Brushes
"I suggest using a gentle shampoo like the baby variety to wash the brushes one to two at a time," says Stevi Christine, award-winning celebrity brow and makeup artist. Make sure the word "gentle" is clearly printed on the label to avoid harsh chemicals that can loosen the glue holding the bristles in place. Softly scrub the lathered-up brushes in the palm of your hand and then rinse thoroughly until the water stream runs clear (a sign that dirt and makeup have made their exit). "Then lay them flat on a paper towel to dry overnight. Do a touch test before use, as your larger brushes can take a bit longer to dry," she says.
How Often to Wash Your Makeup Brushes
The golden rule of washing brushes is to do it once a week. However, should you skip a week, don't sweat it. "At the very least, wash them once a month," Christine says. Re-using gunk and dirt-ridden brushes not only causes breakouts, but can also introduce other nasty skin reactions and allergies to your complexion. Plus, the buildup of color on your brushes means that the shade you intend to apply to your face may not be what you actually get. Cleaning them regularly means a clean face and true colors.
When to Buy Replacement Makeup Brushes
You can't generalize about a brush's expiration date. "Look at them as individuals as they need to be replaced at different times,” says Christine. “Some of the bristles are gentler than others and will start to flatten sooner." Though you may be attached to a makeup brush you've had for years, if it smells, sheds, separates or is flat, toss it immediately.
What Face Makeup Brush Is Used for Each Product?
Flexible bristles and gently tapered edges make this brush perfect for applying and blending liquid or cream foundations for a streak-free finish. Start in the areas of the face that need the most coverage and use downward strokes for the smoothest, most natural application.
The densely packed bristles pick up and distribute product evenly. The round, domed shape allows the bristles to blend as they brush. The result is an even, flawless finish for any liquid, cream or powder foundation.
This synthetic-bristle brush is perfect for applying any liquid or cream face primer to your face. It’s constructed with grooves and ridges so you can smoothly cover every hard-to-reach crevice of your face, like around your nose.
This concealer brush is small and comes to a point which allows for more precise application. Use it to conceal blemishes or small imperfections and to clean up the lines after applying a bold lip color. Or, dip the brush in cream highlighter and apply just below the brow bone for a major glow-factor. The flat bristles make it easy to stay close to hairs under each arch.
Loosely packed bristles make for a big, fluffy brush with a rounded shape, and you can use it with loose or pressed powders. Just tap off the excess before using sweeping motions to brush it across the face.
This is a more compact powder brush that can be used to apply cheek color. Smile to locate the apples of the cheek and use short strokes to dust powder out toward the hairline.
The angled shape allows for more precise shading. Softer, fluffy angled brushes are great for applying blush, bronzer and highlighter. Angled brushes with stiffer, more densely packed bristles can be used for more controlled contouring.
The soft bristles and flat, fan shape of this brush make it the ideal tool for gently sweeping on highlighting or bronzing powder. The brush shape allows for a perfect contour, too. Apply concentrated color into the crevice below the cheekbone for a chiseled look or use it clean to sweep away excess product or redistribute powders without disrupting the rest of your makeup.