Blend that eyeshadow girl! My Most Frequently Used Makeup Brushes, What I Use Them For & Why You Need Them STAT
Fact: A lot of girls love makeup, but not all of them love makeup brushes.
I’ve realised this after surveying some of my friends and female family members. They are more than happy to apply their foundation with warm fingertips and smooth on their eyeshadow with the tiny little foam-tipped makeup brushes enclosed in their eyeshadow quads.
Ah – how wrong they are.
I agree completely that their isn’t anything wrong with applying liquid foundation with clean fingertips, but when it comes to contouring, highlighting (strobing if you want to stay on-trend) and perfectly blending your eyeshadow, you really need proper makeup brushes to achieve seamless results.
Nothing, repeat nothing, looks worse then eyeshadow that has been applied with a fingertip. It just looks messy.
Whether you’re a makeup brush lover, or new to the idea of using makeup brushes at home, I’ve listed the brushes I get the most use out of (so you can save some moula and beauty desk space), what brands I find have the best quality brushes, what I use each brush for and why they are individually amazing.
Real Techniques Essential Foundation Brush
I tend to blend my foundation in with warm clean fingertips. But, to avoid contaminating my foundation bottle with my hands (this shortens the lifespan of your foundation by creating a breeding ground for germs) I take a little bit of foundation out with this awesome Real Techniques Essential Foundation Brush, $45 as part of the Real Techniques Travel Essentials Brush Kit.
I use this brush to swipe my foundation onto the planes of my face before blending out with fingers. Sometime’s I’ll even spread the foundation all over my face with this brush and then go back in with Napoleon Perdis’ Foundation / Buffing Brush (seen below) when concealing and buffing.
The Real Techniques brushes come in cool metallic aluminium handles. The bristles are hand-cut and they use taklon (synthetic) bristles.
Napoleon Perdis Foundation / Buffing Brush
The Napoleon Perdis Foundation / Buffing Brush, $55, is my most used brush! I use it to spot-apply my concealer to my face and to then blend the concealer into my foundation seamlessly. I never end up with any tell-tale makeup brush strokes on my skin.
All Napoleon Perdis brushes come with a wooden handle. Make sure when cleaning your brushes, you allow them to dry horizontally or upside down so that the water doesn’t drain into the wooden handle and cause rot.
This brush is made with synthetic bristles, however some of his eye brushes are made with natural fibres.
Real Techniques Multi Task Brush
When it’s time to add blush, you can’t look past the perfectly dome shaped, fluffy Real Techniques Multi Task Brush, $45 as part of the Real Techniques Travel Essentials Brush Kit (see above image).
I find that it adds just the right amount of blush to my cheeks without making me look OTT and is great at blending the pigment out to rosy perfection.
Eco Tools Deluxe Fan Brush
We’re all about contouring these days. I usually skip this step for casual day-time makeup, but for night I can’t resist sculpting my face.
I find the Eco Tools Deluxe Fan Brush, $9.15, excellent at adding the perfect amount of powdered bronzer under my cheekbones. Because the bristles are fanned out in a thin line, you can add just the right amount of shadow under your cheeks when sweeping upwards on a diagonal axis.
All Eco Tools brushes use environmentally friendly bamboo handles and recycled aluminium ferrules (the metal that connects the bristles to the handle).
Bobbi Brown Eye Sweep Brush
I love Bobbi Brown’s Eye Sweep Brush, $50, so much! If you ever want one quick sweep of eyeshadow over your lids (that’s still blended out) before you leave the house, this is your bad boy.
I use this luxe, super silky bristled brush to apply my base eyeshadow colour to my lids (commonly warm nude shades).
Bobbi Brown makeup brushes are made from non-synthetic bristles (pony and goat hair) which are said to work better when using a soft tip (the brushes you use when doing your eye makeup). The handles are made from wood so make sure to dry your brushes horizontally or upside down after cleaning.
Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow Brush
Bobbi Brown’s Eye Shadow Brush, $45, comes with short, soft, tapered bristles that are perfect at applying eyeshadow to your eyelid without causing too much fall-out of pigment onto your under eye area.
I use this brush to apply a darker hue on top of my base eye shadow colour (which I use my Bobbi Brown Eye Sweep Brush for, shown above.)
Because of the slightly curved, domed bristles, you can circle the bristles onto your lids to really blend out and push in colour.
Napoleon Perdis Angled Eye / Brow Liner Brush
This brush, made with natural fibres, is perfect for applying that gel eyeliner you love. The thin, silky, yet strong bristles on the Napoleon Perdis Angled Eye / Brow Liner Brush, $25, are expertly cut on a diagonal line so that you can perfectly line just above the roots of your eyelashes without any gloopy, messy marks.
This brush also doubles up as an eyebrow brush, so if you want to define your arch, you can do this without much effort at all.
Billion Dollar Brows & Brow Brush / Eyeliner Brush
I’m obsessed with filling in and defining my brows. I have quite a few eyebrow kits, but I tend to lean towards the powder sets. Because I prefer eyebrow powders, it’s essential to have a brush with a spoolie on the end to brush out my brows before I even think of adding colour.
The Billion Dollar Brows Brow Brush, $22, is dual-ended so you can brush your eyebrows and add pigment with the small bristled brush at the end. I love a 2-in-1!
This brush is made with a blend of synthetic and natural fibres.
Bobbi Brown Eye Smudge Brush
Unlike your Bobbi Brown Eye Sweep Brush and Eye Shadow Brush, the Bobbi Brown Eye Smudge Brush, $48, is all about blending, blending, blending.
Use this silky, densely bristled brush with a dome-tip to further smoke out your eyes and to blend out sharp overly defined lines. Your makeup will go from zero to hero within seconds.
Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Liner Brush
The last brush I recommend every girl should have is Bobbi Brown’s Smokey Eye Liner Brush, $45. This brush is perfect for the occasions when you apply a pencil eyeliner to your lid and you want to slightly buff it out to create an effortless haze.
Doing this with your finger will look pretty grubby, but by using this short, stubby, flat brush you will be able to create the perfect blurred line.
Tell me, what makeup brushes do you use? Do you swear by any particular brand? Have you ever experienced poor makeup brushes that let you down? Do you prefer using natural or synthetic makeup brushes?