I’m a fan of using my fingertips to apply makeup, but there are eight face brushes that will do the job 100% better every time.
Like a writer needs a pen, beauties need makeup brushes to craft their own masterpiece. If you’re a makeup novice building your makeup kit, equip your arsenal with brushes that will help you achieve all looks.
The Only Face Brushes You’ll Ever Need
1. Kabuki Brush
The Kabuki brush is a foundation brush used for liquid or powder foundation. It’s densely packed, perfect for applying a full-coverage liquid foundation. It’s also designed to pick up fine powder foundations, making it the best partner for mineral foundations.
Dip your kabuki face brush into your foundation and swirl onto your skin in circular motions. Blend and diffuse to the heavens for full and even application! Don’t apply force as you’re blending, let the texture and density of your brush build the foundation.
Want a more natural finish? Then the next brush is perfect for you.
Tip: Use a facial cleansing brush at the end of the day. The kabuki brush will pile the product onto your pores, and clogged pores spell acne in the morning!
2. Stippling Brush
The stippling face brush is your partner for natural makeup looks, it’s the more airbrushed sister of the kabuki brush. It’s densely packed at the roots and is thin towards the tips, picking up and packing the product lightly.
Use this only for liquid makeup like a tinted moisturizer or cream blushes. Squeeze out some product onto the back of your hand and dip your face brush into it. Hold the tail end of the brush and swirl the ends of the hairs on your face in circular motions.
No need to get heavy-handed! Trust in the fibers of your brush to apply your product with an airbrushed finish. Holding just the end of the handle helps reduce the pressure you’ll be applying to your skin.
Tip: Wash off your foundation with a silicone face brush with gentle bristles to remove all traces of foundation from your pores.
3. Foundation Face Brush
The density of this face brush falls between the kabuki brush and the stippling brush, giving you light to medium coverage. They come in different shapes with some looking like a paintbrush with tapered edges, or like a dome with a flat top.
Use this to apply liquid, cream, or stick foundation. Use the face brush to dot on your foundation on your forehead, nose, and cheeks. Buff and diffuse outward in circular motions for a natural finish.
4. Blush/Bronzer Brush
A great blush or bronzer brush will bring back color and dimension to your face after you’ve flattened it with your foundation face brushes. Its long and fluffy bristles will evenly distribute pigments of blush or bronzer onto your cheeks and the contours of your face. The fluffier the brush, the more diffused and natural the application will be – a first-timer favorite!
Dip your brush into your blush and gently shake off excess powder. Brush on with light pressure to avoid harsh lines and to control the amount of pigment you’re painting on your face.
For bronzer, draw a large “3” on your face beginning from your forehead, through the contour of your cheekbones, tracing your jawline. For blush, swipe onto the sides of the apples of your cheeks and blend the color with your bronzer at the cheekbones.
RELATED: How to Wash Makeup Brushes
5. Contour Face Brush
The contour brush is perfect for chiseled looks with plenty of dimension and depth. Its flat and tapered silhouette allows for more precise application, perfect to sculpt the lower end of your cheekbones and to carve out a smaller jawline.
Dip the face brush into your product, not forgetting to tap off excess and loose powders (to avoid harsh lines!), and glide along the contours of your face. Brush along your hairline on your forehead, below your cheekbones, and underneath your jawline. The shadows of your contour will give you a smaller face – so Instagram-friendly, right?
6. Concealer Brush
I understand you’re a fan of your concealer for its on-point applicator, but I promise a concealer brush is a better way to go. It’s smaller and more precise, able to reach the corners of your face with ease. It’s also more hygienic than reusing the doe foot applicator your concealer came with until you’ve emptied the bottle.
Skip the foundation and opt for a just-woke-up look with a concealer brush! Apply concealer on the inner corners of your dark circles and blend outwards for an actual natural finish. Dot on some concealer on your acne marks, blemishes, and discoloration and tap to blend.
Tip: You can also use your foundation with your concealer brush to re-shape your lips and to clean up eye makeup messes!
7. Highlighter Brush
A great highlight brush will give you glass skin goals, a not-so-great one will make you look like you ran into a wall of glitter. Highlighter brushes have long, tapered bristles and look like a large, fluffy eyeshadow brush.
Reach for a face highlighting brush with long, fluffy bristles for a diffused, glowing finish. A dense brush with shorter bristles will apply your highlight more opaque and shiny, perfect for a glass skin look.
8. Powder Brush
Powder brushes are typically long, thick, and fluffy, and pair with setting powder or powder foundation to set liquid foundation. They come in different sizes based on your needs and preference. I prefer a double-ended one with a larger brush on one end for the face and a smaller (but still fluffy) brush on the other for smaller areas like underneath the eyes or on the corners of the nose.
Dip your powder brush into your setting powder and sweep onto your T-zone, or pack it with powder to bake the area underneath your eyes. After letting your foundation bake for 15 minutes, dust it off with your fluffiest powder brush in light sweeping motions.
Ever so versatile, you can also use your powder brush to blend and buff your cream foundation.
Tip: Keep a travel-sized face wash tool in your go-back to remove all the layers of makeup you’ve applied at the beginning of the day. The secret to great makeup is a clean canvas!
Check out Nikkia Joy’s video on cleaning face makeup brushes:
I swear investing in these brushes will help you execute expert makeup looks. The best face brush will pick up and apply the perfect amount of product every time, giving you a flawless finish.
Keep hygiene and sanitation in mind and wash them regularly. Take care of your brushes and I promise they will take care of you in return.
Have you completed your essential face brush set yet? Or did you just discover that you missed out on one? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments section below.
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