Beauty 101: Your Guide to Makeup Brushes

Not all brushes are built the same

Truth: there are a TON of makeup brushes out there. From brushes for your eyeshadow to brushes for your foundation to brushes for your brows, it’s enough to confuse even the most beauty savvy. The good news is you don’t need a thousand makeup brushes to make your look ‘gram worthy. But you do need to know the important basic ones that are essential in helping you get your makeup on juuuuuust right.

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Below is our guide to the 7 essential makeup brushes: which ones you need in your cosmetic bag, and how to use ’em.


1. The Powder Brush

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This is the most useful of all the brushes, and belongs in every makeup bag. Basically it’s used for every kind of powder product — bronzer, foundation, finishing powder, etc. To use, dust the bristles across your face, so that it evenly spreads the powder for a less heavy look that won’t smudge your foundation either. Sephora Collection, $40.


2. The Blush Brush

A blush brush is necessary to get your cheeks perfectly glowing. Holding the brush at an angle, use it in a circular motion, which helps the brush pick up the blush from your compact and deposit it in order to define, shade and contour your face. Real Techniques, $9.


3. The Brow Brush

If you’re still striving for those full Lilly Collins brows, then you def need a brow brush. Choose an angled one to help brush on the brow powder to even the thinnest ends. Remember to brush up and out, which not only tames unruly brow hairs but also gives you a softer look. MAC, $20.


4. The Blending Brush

This is a must-have for blending eyeshadow along the crease of your eyelids. Look for one with a narrow tip to give you better control. For best results, hold the tip of the handle and swirl it around your eye crease in circular motions for a soft, blended look. E.L.F, $3.


5. The Concealer Brush

Your secret weapon brush when it comes to covering up under-eye circles, scars and blemishes. Your best bet is a tapered one with bristles that are both firm and flexible, which helps with precision. To use, pat the brush with concealer on under-eye circles and zits. Use the head for those hard-to-get corners around the eyes and nose. Ulta, $10.


6. The Foundation Brush

You no longer have to deal with streaky, clumpy foundation that you use to apply with your hands. The foundation brush gives you not only more coverage, but also a poreless, smooth finish that makes your skin look like porcelain. First, apply foundation to the center of your face and then use the brush to sweep it outward towards your hairline for a clean look. Beauty Bay, $10.


7. The Lip Brush

We know — you have lip gloss and lipstick, why would you need a lip brush? But trust us. Once you master the art of this brush, you’ll never settle for applying your fave shade straight from the tube ever again. It helps blend colors together, while also giving you a smudge-free, perfect pout. Look for a narrow brush with soft bristles. To use, start from the center of your lips and blend product out towards your lip line. E.L.F., $3.