How often have you read that makeup brushes are essential for applying makeup? It seems that every magazine, makeup artist, and any friend who calls themselves a beauty blogger, sings the praises of these magical brushes. For someone who has only ever used the little sponge that came with the eyeshadow (why is it there, if I can’t use it?), figuring out what brush is meant to be used with which product is as confusing as figuring out an eyeshadow palette with more than two colors. Brushes may seem like an unnecessary expense and an extra chore (you do have to clean them) but when you get the right one for the right job, it actually makes applying makeup a lot easier.
Here are hacks on how to figure out what makeup brushes you should be using:
1. The Basics
Before we can get into contouring, blending, and stippling, we need to be able to tell the difference between a powder brush and a blush brush.
2. Essential vs. Optional Brushes
If you have decided to splurge on a brush or two, make sure you get one that you’re actually going to use on a day-to-day basis.
3. Which Products To Use
Print out this visual guide. It’s a great reference when you’re too sleepy to remember whether that cream shadow brush also works with gel eyeliner (that would be a no).
4. Where To Use It
You have the right brush and the right product, now all you need to do is put it on the right spot. Sometimes that’s easier said than done, but not with this diagram.
5. Face Brushes
Now that you’re familiar with the basic shapes, let’s get it specifics. First up are different face brushes.
6. Foundation Application
Don’t have a blending sponge? Consult the previous foundation brush chart to find out what you could use instead.
7. Concealer Application
You’ve mastered foundation, now it’s time to use that brush to hide pesky dark circles.
8. Cheek brushes
This finally solves the mystery of why you look dirty every time you apply bronzer. Yup, you were using the wrong brush.
9. Blush Application
Now you’ve to go the right tools, you can sculpt some model cheekbones.
10. Eyeshadow Brushes
Who knew such a small area would require so many brushes? There’s no need to buy 10 unless you’re a makeup artist; pick the one you’ll use the most.
11. Using Eye Brushes Together
A simplified chart on how to combine brushes, kind of like a no-fail recipe.
12. Everyday Eye Application
A perfectly blended eye for every day, courtesy of your new tools.
13. Eyeliner brushes
What to do a smoky eye with some a powder eyeshadow? Here are three brushes you can use.
14. Winged Liner Application
This angled brush makes winged eyeliner look so easy that it makes me think I could pull it off.
15. Washing Your Brushes
You spent the same amount of money for a makeup brush as a top, so you better take care of them.