When someone first starts getting into makeup, one of the issues they commonly face first is being spoiled for choice. There is a myriad of different products that all seem to achieve the same purpose, and there is an endless variety of ways to apply each product. Makeup brushes is one such area: how do you distinguish between five different brushes all meant for applying eyeshadow, and which ones do you really need? We break them down and demystify the process for you below.
The powder brush
These are usually fat brushes with long, fluffy and soft bristles that distribute loose powder evenly across the face. Depending on the size, a powder brush is also an excellent multi-tasker, which can help you apply blush to your cheeks or bronzer for contouring with a few quick swipes. Definitely a must-have, especially if you’re fond of setting your makeup with a translucent powder (which really isn’t a step you should skip, as it helps your makeup stay on longer). The good one to consider is the Pony Effect Magnetic Brush Pro #101, from MEMEBOX. It’s made with soft synthetic hair that lifts just the right amount of powder for your face.
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The eyeshadow blending brush
You only truly need two eyeshadow brushes, though no one’s going to stop you from getting five. This is one of them. The secret to flawless eyeshadow is to blend and blend well— this means going over the same corner of your eye for as long as necessary in order to diffuse pigment, soften edges, and prevent patchiness or muddiness. A good eyeshadow blending brush is one that’s fluffy and loosely-packed, with long bristles that taper off towards the end. Swirl the colour into your eyelid using small, circular motions to soften any harsh edges.
The flat eyeshadow brush
I said two brushes, and I meant two brushes. This is the second one. A flat eyeshadow brush packs on pigment better, with bristles tightly held together that allows it to pick up more product. Apply with a gentle patting motion for maximum impact on the centre of your lid. You can also use the flat edge to line your lower lash line with eyeshadow to really make your eyes pop, as well as pat in a highlighter colour in the inner corner for a brightening effect.
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The flat angled brush
This is also a multi-tasker that you can use to apply either gel or cream eyeliner with, or brow products like powder and pomade. You’re looking for a small, flat brush that’s tapered at an angle, which allows you to draw and mimic perfect strands of brow hair in sparse areas, or achieve a flawless cat eye.
The blending sponge
While not a brush at all, having a good makeup sponge is as valuable as having the perfect foundation to use it with. Foundation brushes can be tricky to use and leave unsightly streaks, but a good blending sponge gives you flawless foundation every time. It’s not just for foundation either: the best makeup sponges have edges that allow you to use it on just about every part of the face, from applying and blending contour to concealer, even blush and powder.
No one’s going to stop you from going out and buying a 20-piece brush set with its own carrying case, but makeup is an expensive enough investment as it is. Before you splurge on brushes and applicators you won’t really end up using, it’s best to take stock and look at what you really put on your face: are you really going to need an eyeliner brush if you use a liquid pencil? Is that contour brush really necessary? Asking yourself these questions can help streamline your collection and save you a few bucks you can then spend on even more makeup. What’s the makeup brush you can’t live without?
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