For the Love of Bristles: Introducing Makeup Brushology 101

Posted on Thursday, October 11th, 2012 at 11:00 AM

By Yewande Sobamowo

If you spend lots of money buying the finest and most expensive makeup and you don’t have the right tools, then I’m afraid you won’t be getting the best use out of your money. With the right tools, you are well on your way to achieving flawless and professional looking makeup.

However, there are dozens of makeup brushes out there and it can be quite a chore knowing which ones are the best and what they do. Hopefully at the end of this article class, you should be able to pass any Brushology exam with flying colours. For clarity, I will be broadly categorizing makeup brushes into: Face, Eyes and Lips.

FACE

Foundation Brush: Most foundation brushes are flat, with a pointed end. This helps you apply your foundation smoothly and evenly. The pointed end helps you get to hard-to-reach corners of your face like around the nose and under your eyes. In more recent times, people have moved away from traditional foundation brushes to buffing/stippling brushes for applying their foundation. These brushes are densely packed with a flat rounded top which gives your foundation an airbrushed finish because you are able to work the product into your skin.

Recommendations: MAC 190, Sigma F60, The Body Shop Foundation Brush, ELF Studio Powder Brush(powder brush but works best as a stippling brush)

Powder Brush: The little puffs that come in most powder compacts have a way of transferring too much product to the face, making one look cakey. A fluffy powder brush, preferably made of natural fibre, will help you apply powder sparingly to specific parts of your face like your t-zone and your chin.

Recommendations:  Sigma F30, Blush Beauty Powder Brush

Blush Brush: It is possible to use your powder brush to apply your blush if it is made for both purposes like MAC’s 129 brush. However for a more precise application, you need a blush brush. Most blush brushes are small and dome-shaped, allowing you to apply product directly on the apples of your cheeks.

Recommendations: House of Tara Blush Brush, Real Techniques Blush Brush, ELF Studio Blush Brush

Concealer Brush: These brushes are shaped like foundation brushes but are much smaller. Their size and shape makes it easier to dab concealer to under eye circles, around the nose and on blemishes. I personally prefer to apply concealer on blemishes and dark circles with my fingers because the warmth of my fingers helps blend the product into my skin. Synthetic brushes are best for liquid makeup like concealer because they don’t pick up too much product.

Recommendations: Sigma F70, Bobbi Brown Touch Up

Contour Brush: This brush is not essential, but if you like to contour your face to make it appear slimmer and more chiseled then you would require one. Most contour brushes are angled to fit perfectly in your cheekbones.

Recommendations: MAC 109, MAC 168 (can be used for both blush and contour), Sigma F40

Kabuki Brush: Another brush that isn’t totally essential but has its advantages. A Kabuki is a powder brush with bristles that are more densely packed to help you achieve more coverage with your powder without appearing cakey. They are usually made with natural fibre and are very handy to carry around.

Recommendations: ELF Kabuki Face Brush, Too Faced Kabuki Brush, EcoTools Retractable Kabuki Brush

EYES: 

I always chuck those eyeshadow applicators that come in eyeshadow palettes as I don’t think they are ideal for applying eyeshadow.

Flat Shader Brush: This brush is usually stiff and square shaped so it picks up color well. It is handy for applying eyeshadow to the lid of your eye. Used in patting motions, it allows even distribution of product on the lid with very minimal fall out.

Recommendations: MAC 239, ELF Eyeshadow Brush, House of Tara Eyeshadow Brush

Blending Brush: This soft, tapered brush is used to apply a transition color in the crease to soften the look of your eyeshadow. To create a smokey eye, a stiff blending brush helps to precisely apply and blend darker shadows in the crease.

Recommendations: Sigma E35, MAC 217&224, ELF Blending Eye Brush

Pencil Brush: Not entirely necessary unless you like to apply eyeshadow in your inner tear duct area or want to create a more defined crease. You can also use it to apply eyeshadow to your lower lash line.

Recommendations: Real Techniques Detailer Brush, MAC 219

Angled Brow Brush: If you use a brow powder or eyeshadow to fill in your eyebrows then you will need a good brow brush that is angled and thin for precise application.

Recommendations:  Sigma E75, MAC 208, Twelve from Kent Angled Brow Brush

Eyeliner Brush: Ideal for applying gel eyeliners. The best ones are usually angled for easier application.

Recommendations: ELF Angled Eyeliner Brush, Sigma E10

LIPS

Lip brushes are not very popular because honestly, it is much easier to apply your lipstick straight from the tube. However, if you want to get a precisely defined lip especially with bright colored lipsticks, then you would need a small one with firm bristles and a tapered head.

Recommendations: MAC 318 Retractable Lip Brush, BM Pro Retractable Lip Brush, House of Tara Lip Brush

This Brushology class would not be complete without mentioning anything about brush care. It is essential to keep your brushes clean to prevent build up and transfer of bacteria to the skin which causes acne. Wash them every two weeks with baby shampoo to keep them fresh and lasting longer.

Photo credityeahtips.com| cosmeticbrushes.en.ecplaza.net
_________________________________________________________________________________________
Yewande is a recent graduate of Warwick Business School in the UK. She is passionate about all things beauty related and shares avant-garde tips and tricks amongst other things on www.shelovesthefinerthings.com. Connect with her on twitter: @Yewizzy

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , ,

  • Custom Search
  • 20 Comments on “For the Love of Bristles: Introducing Makeup Brushology 101”

    Comments
    • Kehinde October 11, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      Great post Yowi!!!!!

    • chike October 11, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      thanks….I love my brushes, have a whole lot of them :-)

    • Anonymous October 11, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      lifted from p ;)

    • anonymous October 11, 2012 at 2:20 PM

      i think u should have added pictures of brush as u explained each one. kinda confused……

      • LaLa October 11, 2012 at 2:45 PM

        Just go to the Sigma, Mac etc. websites and do a search for the brushes.

        ps: if you use Mac brushes, but the cost hurts your purse strings, consider trying Sigma – I don’t have one complaint about their brushes, not one!

      • Jules October 22, 2012 at 9:29 AM

        i agree. rather uneducative without the pictures

    • yawn October 11, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      A pix speak volume,I lost interest on sighting none……I mean step by step method with Models to watch

    • Mustapha October 11, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      great post Yewi!!

    • q_styl October 11, 2012 at 6:08 PM

      difficult article to understand. should have shown each brush for each purpose

      • molarah October 11, 2012 at 10:06 PM

        Yep, thought so too. Otherwise its a really informative article

    • Baby Gee October 11, 2012 at 11:52 PM

      Wow! Didn’t know there was so much to know about makeup brushes. Great job Yewande, love this article/class :-). I am definitely printing it out and taking it with me when I go brush shopping!

    • Amber October 12, 2012 at 3:00 AM

      I was glad when I saw my Mac,kabuki and elf mentioned….woo oh!

    • AnONYMouS October 12, 2012 at 6:54 AM

      ELF brushes are really cheap…well not in Nigeria. Most ELF brushes are $1 on their website…

      • AnONYMouS October 12, 2012 at 7:01 AM

        I just checked their websites…not all brushes are that cheap but they are far cheaper than MAC and Sigma brushes…

    • Esty October 12, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      Why not try FM brushes. Quite affordable if you ask me. Meanwhile, the article/class is really educating. Thanks Yewande

    • Niyoola October 12, 2012 at 11:58 PM

      You wrote that you blend concealer in. I that you are supposed to just dab it on without smoothing/evening out like foundation.

    • Gee October 13, 2012 at 5:57 PM

      Very well articulated…will be bookmarking this page for future purposes :-)

    • Juju October 29, 2012 at 7:58 PM

      For simple beauty tips and tricks

      http://brushes-n-pencils.blogspot.com

    • Adebukola Oyelahan May 11, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      Nice post, very informative.
      I just became a Sigma Beauty Reseller and products will soon be available for purchase online at damselmakeovers.com. We intend to bring Sigma brushes to your door step in Nigeria and Africa at large.

    • bolly T June 13, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      Nice one Yewande, but you shld have put d picture of each brushes by d side as you mentioned der name for the benefit of those dat dont knw how d brushes looks like, eg Kabuki brush. thanks for d lecture