Makeup Monday: Brush Break-down

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As I’ve learned more about makeup and makeup application, I’ve grown to appreciate the use of brushes – and I’m not talking about the pitiful plastic jobs that come with your compact. Using brushes to apply your makeup not only makes your products wear more smoothly, but is also more hygienic for your skin.

Pop over to Sephora’s website and search for brushes: pretty overwhelming, isn’t it? It seems like they sell a different brush to correspond with each part of your face, some parts even requiring more than one brush type.

Fear not, luvvies. Today’s article will tell you which brushes work best for each of your basic cosmetics, and which brushes you absolutely need to improve the look and wear of your makeup.

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Before you brush, consider the material:

Makeup brushes on the market will be made with either real or synthetics hairs. The natural brushes are most often made with horse hair, and are better for applying dry, powdery cosmetics. Synthetic brushes are made with plastic or acrylic bristles and are more effective at applying liquid makeup, like a cream foundation or a liquid eye shadow. The synthetic bristles don’t absorb liquid products the way the porous horse-hair bristles do, so they’re much better at applying and smoothing wet cosmetics on to the skin.

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For Face:

Foundation: The ideal (liquid) foundation brush is synthetic, round, and flat-tipped. The bristles should be tightly packed into the brush to hold more product.


To use: The fluffy bristles should be dipped into the foundation and applied using round strokes, buffing the foundation back toward your hairline.

Powder: The perfect powder brush is large, soft, and made of natural-hair bristles. This brush can make your powder look flawless, and it wastes far less product than using a puff.


To use: This large brush will allow you to pick up lots of powder and then buff it (just like we did with the foundation) all over the face and below the jawline.

Blush/Bronzer: This multi-use brush should have long natural bristles. Choose one that is medium-sized and tapered or rounded at the end, so the brush will be ideal for contouring.


To use: The long bristles of this brush allow you to apply your blush and/or bronzer over your powder and foundation without disturbing it. Pack the brush with your cheek color and sweep it over the high, rounded apples of your cheeks and then back toward your ears.

For Eyes:

All-over shadow: You need at least one small multi-purpose shadow brush with soft natural bristles and a fluffy tapered head shape.

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To use: Dip your brush into your shadow, tap off excess product, and apply the powder in the desired area of your eyelid (be it all-over or in the crease) with delicate sweeping motions.

Eyeliner/ Brow: This tiny angled brush should have short, compact bristles (either natural or synthetic, depending upon your product preference).


To use: Load this small brush up with a gel liner and carefully apply from inner corner to outer corner of your eye. These small brushes are ideal for creating a cat-eye look. Also try using one of your favorite matte eye shadows on this brush to fill in or darken your eyebrows.

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Caring for your brushes: Another perk of using brushes to apply your makeup is that they are totally washable, as opposed to nasty sponges or puffs that can hold dirt and bacteria after multiple uses.

To properly clean your brushes, you could invest in a proper brush shampoo such as this; or you could use baby shampoo, which is gentle enough to clean the natural (and synthetic) bristles without damaging or weakening them.

Now that you’re all brushed-up on brushes, throw out your nasty sponges and foam-tipped applicators! Starter kits are available for those interested in just the basic brushes, and of course there are always higher-end brushes that promise air-brushed polish.

Now finish buffing and go put on some lipstick.


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