Home Beauty Makeup brushes come in many shapes and forms. Here, makeup artists reveal the most essential types of makeup brushes, plus how to use them.

Makeup brushes come in many shapes and forms. Here, makeup artists reveal the most essential types of makeup brushes, plus how to use them.

by белый

Here are the 13 essentials.

If you’ve ever felt like your makeup doesn’t look quite right or like no matter what you do, your made-up complexion never looks as airbrushed as those that fill your feed, it might not be your face but rather the makeup brushes you’re using to accentuate it. 

“There are numerous styles of makeup brushes out there; they are generally created for two purposes—to apply makeup to a specific area of the face (complexion brushes and eye brushes) or to apply a specific product category (foundation brush or concealer brush),” says Sephora beauty director David Razzano. “Each category has multiple variations to deliver certain results.” 

Meet the expert

    David Razzano is a Sephora beauty director who works between New York City and Los Angeles. Jose Corella is a celebrity makeup artist to stars like Demi Lovato and Kate Beckinsale. George Jones is a lead artist for the beauty brand Morphe.

Bristles and the shape they’re packed in are what set makeup brushes apart. “Bristle shape allows for specific application results,” Razzano says. “A flat bristle shape is usually best to use in a soft ‘patting’ motion, allowing the product to be applied strategically. A rounded taper bristle will deliver a controlled sweeping application. As for bristle density, loose bristles deliver sheer to light coverage, and coverage increases as bristles get denser.”

That’s just the basics, though. For a more in-depth understanding, keep reading for a full run-down on the most essential makeup brushes for every kit. 

Flat Tapered Foundation Brush

According to Razzano, flat tapered foundation brushes are a must-for flawless-looking foundation. The reason? They can be used to create any coverage preference. “The Sephora Collection PRO Foundation Brush #47 is my all-time favorite foundation brush—it’s a flat brush with a unique one-sided taper, allowing for foundation to be applied in a sweeping motion for broader coverage, or a patting motion for dense coverage,” he reveals. “It blends all types of foundations into the skin beautifully.” 

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Precision Dome-Shaped Powder Brush

For an airbrushed-looking complexion, Razzano and celebrity makeup artist Jose Corella agree that precision dome-shaped powder brushes are best. “Their rounded shape helps avoid patchy edges [and create] a soft, blurred finish,” Corella says, noting that they can be used for setting powder, as well as blush and powder foundation.

Razzano’s favorite precision dome-shaped powder brush is the Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Always an Optimist Powder Brush. “This is a beautifully crafted tapered powder brush that applies product evenly over the skin,” he says. “Due to its unique shape, it can also be used to add powder in targeted areas.”

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Angled Powder Brush

Achieve flawless-looking contour, highlighter, and blush applications with an angled powder brush. These brushes hug the natural contours of the face to offer optimal shaping and structure, Corella says. His favorite brushes to get the job done are the Mykitco 0.33 My Angled Powder Brush and Mykitco 0.4 My Defining Contour.

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Dense Domed Foundation Buffer Brush

If high high-coverage foundation is your goal, Morphe lead artist, George Jones says to make room for a dense domed buffer brush in your kit. “It’s the quintessential foundation brush,” he exclaims, noting that the Morphe M439 Deluxe Buffer Complexion Brush is his top pick. “I love this brush because it’s a great all-around foundation brush that works with any foundation formula you have—it’s the perfect medium between a fluffy and dense brush meaning it buffs and blends foundation out with ease without soaking up loads of excess product.” 

Another highlight of this specific buffer brush? It’s travel-friendly thanks to its short handle. “A great tip for applying foundation with this brush is to put one to two pumps of foundation on the back of your hand and pick up a small amount with the point of the brush—saturate it using circular motions on the hand, this will ensure that when you apply the foundation it will blend out evenly due to the fact the bristles are evenly coated with product and you’ll also find that you won’t use as much product.” 

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Dense Domed Concealer Buffer Brush

The dense domed silhouette extends beyond foundation. If you opt for a mini version of the brush, it works well for concealer application, too. “The Morphe M173 Mini Buffer Complexion Brush is very similar to the M439 foundation brush, just a lot smaller to get right into those hard-to-reach areas,” Jones says. “I liken this brush to your fingertip because it is the perfect size to buff and blend concealer on the under-eye area as if you blended it out with your fingers.” Why use it instead of your finger then? It offers a more uniform application.

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Mini Domed Under-Eye Powder Brush

Tired of looking creasy under your eyes? Setting your concealer with a mini domed under-eye powder brush can help. “The Morphe M53 Under Eye Bullet Powder Brush is the perfect brush for a seamless undereye—its soft bristles marry together creams and powders effortlessly to create a flawless undereye,” Jones says. “Top tip: When picking up loose powder to set the under eye, before applying, work the brush onto the back of the hand to ensure the powder is evenly distributed on the brush, so when you set your under eye, you don't have any excess powder causing the complexion to cake up.”

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Soft Tapered Precision Highlighter Brush

While many people apply highlighter with angled brushes, Jones says opting for a soft, tapered precision highlighter brush can make for a more natural-looking application. “The Morphe M451 Detailed Highlighter Brush is ideal for precise highlighter application—its soft tapered bristles make the perfect pointed brush to precisely glide on the glow,” he says. For best results, he says to apply your highlighter after setting your face with mist for an “extra blinding glow that'll stay all day.”

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Small Tapered Eyeshadow Brush

When creating a base eyeshadow look, it’s key to have a brush that offers even, saturated coverage. According to Razzano, a small tapered eyeshadow brush is the best option to get such a look. “The Sephora Collection PRO Shadow Brush #15 is my go-to eyeshadow brush,” he shares. “A perfectly sized flat shadow brush that can apply full-color payoff from eyeshadows. The size is perfect to move over the curves and creases of the eye while creating the desired shape and look.”

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Pointed Eyeshadow Blender Brush

For an all-over lid blend, Jones says to reach for a pointed eyeshadow blender brush. “It’s a soft blender brush perfect for a wash of color all over the lid,” he says. You can also use it to seamlessly blend the crease, he adds. For the most flawless blend, he says to be mindful of how you hold the brush. “Make sure you hold the brush toward the end of the handle for a soft blend—if you hold your brush too close to the crimp or ferrule you'll be applying too much pressure, running the risk of overblending,” he explains.

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Fluffy Tapered Crease Brush

After applying your base eyeshadow shades, you’ll want to be able to easily blend them out for a seamless lid look. According to Corella and Jones, a fluffy tapered crease brush is key to achieving this look. “The Morphe M506 Tapered Mini Blender Eyeshadow Brush is the best brush for controlled and detailed blending,” Jones says. “This mini brush is ideal for blending on the crease and perfect for hooded eyes—but don't be fooled by its size; it packs a punch!”

For best results, Jones says to “pick up a very small amount of product on the point of the brush making sure not to get any on the belly of the bristles, and blend with tiny circular motions to ensure the most precise blend possible.”

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Ultra-Fine Eyeliner Brush

While many eyeliners come in pencil, crayon, or liquid form (complete with a brush), Razzano and Corella agree that having an ultra-fine eyeliner brush on hand is incredibly helpful. According to Corella, these brushes work well for fine lining and detailing. 

“[They] take the effort out of tricky detail moments, " he says, noting that the Mykitco 1.36 My Art Liner Brush is his go-to. Meanwhile, Razzano is a big fan of the Make Up For Ever 250 Extra Fine Eyeliner Brush. “This brush makes applying eyeliner so easy,” he exclaims. “The fine pointed bristle shape is sturdy enough to keep control but flexible enough to apply product across the lid smoothly. It’s a true artisan brush that can elevate anyone’s makeup skills.”

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Dense Domed Eyeshadow Smudging Brush

If you’re into smoky, smudged lid looks, Jones says to add a dense domed eyeshadow smudging brush to your kit. “This brush was designed to enhance any smoky eye look—you can glide this brush seamlessly on the lower lash line or your liner for the coolest sultry moment,” he says. “Its compact size is ideal for any detail work, too! For an extra bold look, pack on that shadow and hold the brush closer to the crimp when applying to add more pressure and saturated color.”

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Dual-Ended Brow Brush

Your brows need a specific brush, too! Keeping a dual-ended brow brush on hand will ensure that you can shape your arches and apply pomade and powder with ease. 

Or, if you’re not into pomade, you can use the angled tip to lightly conceal the edges of your arches for more defined brows. The point is that it might not seem necessary but as soon as you start using it, you’ll be so glad to have it in your kit. 

“[The angled edge] allows you to create hair-like lines, replicating the appearance of natural brows,” Jones adds. “Additionally, you can use it to fill in the brow completely, resulting in a bold and defined look. Then, you can use the spoolie side of this brush to tame the brows or for extra hold, use [brow] wax to lock them in for all-day wear.” For best results, Jones says to pick up product on both sides of the angled brush and swipe it back and forth on your hand to remove excess. “This will ensure the brush is as flat as possible so your lines are as fine as a hair,” he explains.

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