There are thousands of cosmetic brushes from which to choose. What makes one brush than another? How do much should you spend on a makeup brush? Does it really matter what you buy?
There are powder brushes, blush brushes, brow tools, eye brushes, crease brushes, smudgers, concealer brushes, foundation brushes and more. Let’s simply your cosmetic brush kit with the top ten brushes you need.
The Importance of the Cosmetic Brush
The key to flawless makeup is the brushes used for application. We’ll start with the basics and cover the 10 best cosmetic brushes that will keep you looking fresh, young and flawless.
Liquid or Powder Foundation Brush
The first brush in your arsenal is a liquid foundation brush. A large brush with tapered tips is usually best for this. It will also be a bit thick and wide to apply foundation evenly to the face. Ditch any sponge that comes with a liquid brush. It encourages oils and germs to be spread from your hands to your face. A brush will look more airbrushed and lessen acne breakouts.
A Classic tapered stick with natural hair bristle brush is perfect for applying liquid makeup. It is also my favorite choice for powder makeups. I can easily stipple my forehead and smooth the coverage with the smooth rounded edges for a natural finish (Coastalscents, $12.95). This one comes with a bonus Kabuki style brush for smoothing powder, applying translucents or bronzers.
A few years ago I would have applied a translucent, smoothing powder with my foundation brush; never again. I like Mary Kay’s short translucent powder brush (Mary Kay, $16). It’s just the right size to smooth over any rough spots and set the foundation. It’s fluffy and blends well.
A bronzer brush is much like a powder brush. Look for a bulbous contour and soft bristles to effectively apply bronzer. I like Sephora bronzers, so I naturally turn to them for the best bronzer brushes. Look at the #44 bronzer (Sephora, $28).
If a blush brush came with your blusher throw it away. It is probably a narrow, synthetic brush that will paint on blush like you belong in Moulin Rouge. You need a blush in a tear drop shape that allows you to work blusher onto your cheeks to the desired color. Estee Lauder has a perfectly contoured brush, #25, which allows you to tap off excess makeup and blend colors perfectly into the cheek. This is an all-natural brush with a comfortable handle (Macy’s, $36). For a smaller face, choose a smaller brush.
Final Face Blending Brush
The last brush you need for your overall face is a perk many women do not enjoy. You will use this brush to smooth and blend everything if necessary, but most importantly, blend down into your neck so you don’t have a ring of makeup under your chin. This brush can also be used to apply a little bronzer or sparkling powder to your arms. I’ve abandoned the large powder puff brush for the Becca One Perfecting Brush. It is so soft; it’s luxurious. It’s designed for everything, but I use it only as a finishing smother. It has nice even application, but it is a very soft brush. Use with a gentle touch to prevent shedding (Sephora, $49).
After that painful hot wax you don’t want to forget about your eyebrow tool. A brow tool is made of a plastic thin tooth comb on one side and a synthetic bristled brush on the other. Separate lashes with the comb, bully them into shape with the brush. Mary Kay’s eyebrow brush provides both tools and an angled brush on the end to accentuate and dramatize the brow line (Mary Kay, $10)
It’s finally time to focus on the eyes. A good eye brush is about the size of your thumbnail, no larger. It is a short bristled brush designed for all over color of the eyelid before adding secondary or multiple colors. The short bristled brush allows for even coloring of the eyelid. Jane Iredale has an ideal contour brush (Beautybar.com, $18). A good eye brush can be used to smooth and define the bottom eye, as well.
A crease brush adds the extra accent to the eyes that can cause them to sparkle. Use to apply a dark, neutral, or playful tone to the crease of the eye. This brush can be used like the eye brush to add multiple colors, but is generally a much thinner brush it may be used to pull the eye color just beyond the eye to accentuate the eye line. Japonesque has a Travel Eye Shadow Crease brush that is perfect for the job (Beautybar.com, $16)
An eye smudger is the last essential eye brush you need. The very short, synthetic bristles of an eye smudger are about the width of the tip of your index finger. Use an eye smudger to start at the base of the lashes, using an upward motion to smooth color. My favorite is the Becca Eye Smudge Brush #37 (Dermstore, $29).
We all have those dark circles beneath our eyes we are not proud of. A concealer brush made of synthetic fibers will help spread the cream base in cosmetic concealers. I use MAC’s 195 Concealer Brush will smooth out concealers and other skin emollients ($24).
Rose Mauldin – Mary Kay Consultant
Khol’s Cosmetics Department
Macy’s Cosmetics Department
No products received in the writing of this article. All opinions are those of the author.