Make Up Brushes 101 – How to Choose and How to Use

Hi Friends! Here’s the second segment to my post on make up brushes. In my last post, I talked about how use make up without using a brush, because for certain types of products, using the fingers are perfectly fine. In this post, I will walk through which brushes I like to use and what purpose they serve.

First, I will say that I spend very little on make up brushes and applicators as compared to the product. Some people are diehards for certain brush brands or types. I purchase almost exclusively from E.L.F (only brushes, I don’t mess with their products because I don’t think they’re good quality). I own the brushes from their Studio collection (the black ones), which are synthetic fibers and better than their standard brushes. I believe they are around $3 to $6 each. I think these are good to great brushes, easy to clean, antibacterial, and they perform well enough for any look I would create. I highly recommend them to anyone who isn’t a make up artist and needs a few tools. Here are my recommendations for the face.

Complexion: When I am not using my fingers, I like to use a stippling brush (below) which is a brush that has different lengths throughout and helps deliver an airbrushed, not heavy finish. It’s nice to use this one instead of fingers so you don’t end up with a hand full of foundation mess. Worth mentioning: a new brush trend I am seeing for foundation is the blending brush, which is larger and has even, longer hair. I haven’t tried this but my only concern would be that it’d absorb more than it delivered. Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 3.42.11 PM

For concealer, I use the concealer brush, which is a moderately dense brush best paired with cream concealer. I like it better than my fingers because you can build easily, and it’s a diffused look. This is good if you have a real chunky pimple that you want to conceal. Nothing is worse than when a pimple has too much concealer… might as well let the zit be if it’s gonna be like that!Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 4.44.27 PM

If I am doing a full face, I like to ‘set’ my foundation and concealer using a powder. All you need is a big fluffy brush that you won’t be using for any other color products. I like the complexion brush to apply a light layer of my pressed powder or translucent loose powder. Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 3.47.11 PM

For bronzer, everyone has their own preference but it’s key to use a brush that has densely packed hair, in order to concentrate the powder in a certain place (under cheekbones, jawbones, temples). For blush and highlighter, as long as it’s the right size, I don’t think it really matters what brush you use. I use the same tapered brush for all three types of products.

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 4.49.39 PM

For eye, this is where you need a few options. The most basic brush for applying a color is the C-shaped brush, and this will allow you to get an even coverage. If you want dimension and to apply more colors, you can use the C brush to pack color in, but you want it to look seamless, so you should also have a blending brush to mix them a little to blur any harsh lines. Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 4.45.32 PMScreen Shot 2015-08-30 at 4.45.55 PM

In all, it looks like these are 6 brushes that cover all your bases. You can get all of them for like $30 bucks, which is a great steal I think, since this costs less than the price of one premium quality brush. Hope it helps you decide which one to buy! Any brushes you like that you don’t see here? Share!



2 thoughts

  1. great post!! makeup brushes are so much fun to invest in 🙂
    Instagram: the_ch1ara

  2. I’ve heard good things about the elf Studio collection but I’ve become a Real Techniques girl 😀 Nic’s Picks is one of my favourite sets and just recently I ordered their sculpting set, hehe!

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