Must-Have Makeup Brushes According to Makeup Artists

It could be that the makeup brushes are not enhancing your complexion as well as you would like.

David Razzano, Sephora’s beauty director, says that there are many different types of makeup brushes. They are designed for either applying makeup to an area of the face or a particular product (foundation or concealer brushes). Each category has multiple variations that deliver specific results.

Makeup brushes are differentiated by their bristles, and also the way they’re packaged. “Bristle shape allows for specific application results,” Razzano says. “A flat bristle is best used in a soft patting’ motion to apply the product strategically. A tapered rounded bristle delivers a controlled sweep application. Bristle density is important. Loose bristles provide sheer to light coverage. Coverage increases as the bristles become denser.

But that’s only the basics. Continue reading to get a better understanding of the essential makeup brushes that every kit should have.

Flat Tapered foundation brush

Razzano says that flat foundation brushes with tapered ends are essential for flawless foundation. Why? You can use them to achieve any desired coverage. He says, “The Sephora Collection PRO Foundation Brush #4 is my favorite foundation brush. It’s flat and has a one-sided taper that allows foundation to be applied with a sweeping movement for a wider coverage or a patting action for dense coverage.” It blends foundations of all kinds into the skin beautifully.

Precision Dome Shaped Powder Brush

Razzano, a celebrity makeup artist, and Jose Corella both agree that dome-shaped precision powder brushes give the best airbrushed finish. Corella says that the rounded shape of these brushes helps to avoid uneven edges and creates a soft, blurred look. They can also be used as setting powders, blushes, or powder foundation.

Razzano loves the Selena Gomez Rare Beauty Always an optimist Powder Brush. He says that the tapered powder brush is beautifully made and evenly distributes product on skin. Its unique shape allows it to be used for powdering specific areas.

Angled Powder Brush

Use an angled powderbrush to apply highlighter and blush with flawless results. Corella says that these brushes are designed to hug the contours of your face for optimal shape and structure. The Mykitco 0.33 My Angulated Powder Brush and Mykitco 04 My Defining Contoured are his favorite brushes.

Dense Domed Foundation Buffer Brush

George Jones, Morphe’s lead artist, says that if you want to achieve a high coverage foundation, he recommends adding a dense, domed brush to your kit. He says that his favorite brush is the Morphe M439 Buffer Complexion Brush. This brush is a fantastic all-around brush for foundation. It works with any formula.

What is another highlight of this particular buffer brush? The short handle makes it easy to travel with. It’s travel-friendly thanks to its short handle.

Dense Domed Concealer Buffer Brush

The dense, rounded shape of the brush goes beyond foundation. The mini version is also great for concealer. Jones says that the Morphe M173 Mini Buffer Complexion Brush, which is smaller than the M439 Foundation Brush, can be used to reach those difficult-to-reach places. This brush is similar to a fingertip, as it’s the right size to blend and buff concealer under the eyes. It provides a more uniformed application.

Mini Domed Under-Eye Powder Brush

Are you tired of having wrinkles under your eyes. A mini under-eye powder brush with a domed tip can be used to set concealer. Jones says that the Morphe M53 Bullet Powder Brush, with its soft bristles, is ideal for creating a flawless undereye. Its bristles combine creams and powders seamlessly to create an undereye. Before applying loose powder, make sure the powder is evenly spread on the brush. This will prevent the skin from cakeing up.

Soft Tapered Precision Highlighter Brush

Jones says that while many people use angled brushes to apply highlighter, a tapered, soft precision highlighter can give a more natural look. The Morphe M451 Detailed Highlighter Brush, he says, is perfect for precise highlighter applications. Its soft tapered bristles are the perfect pointed brush that glides on the glow. He says that for best results, you should apply highlighter to your face after misting it with mist. This will give your skin a “blinding glow” all day.

Small Tapered Eyeshadow Brush

It’s important to use a brush with a dense, even coverage when creating a base look for eyeshadow. Razzano says that a small, tapered eyeshadow is the best way to achieve this look. He shares that the Sephora Collection PRO Shadow Brush #15 has become his go-to brush for eyeshadow. A flat, perfectly-sized shadow brush for applying eyeshadows in full color. The brush is the perfect size to glide over the eye’s curves and creases while creating desired shapes and looks.

Pointed Eyeshadow Brush

Jones recommends using a pointed eyeshadow blender brush to create a smooth lid-wide blend. It’s a very soft brush that is perfect for applying a wash color to the entire lid, says Jones. He says you can use it to blend seamlessly the crease. He says that the way you hold the brush is important for a flawless blend. He says to hold the brush at the end for a smooth blend. If you hold it too close to the ferrule or crimp, you will be applying too much force and risk overblending.

Fluffy tapered Crease Brush

You’ll need to blend your eyeshadows easily after applying the base shades to achieve a seamless look on your lids. Corella and Jones say that a tapered fluffy crease brush will help you achieve this look. Jones says that the Morphe M506 tapered mini blender eyeshadow brush is ideal for precise and controlled blending. This mini brush is perfect for blending in the crease, and it’s also great for hooded eyelids. But don’t let its small size fool you; this little tool packs a powerful punch!

Jones recommends that for best results you “pick up only a small amount of product and place it on the tip of the brush, making sure to avoid getting any on the back of the bristles. Then, blend in tiny circular movements to achieve the most precise of blends.”

Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush

Razzano, Corella and others agree that an ultra-fine eyeliner is extremely helpful. Corella says that these brushes are great for fine detailing and lining.

He says that Mykitco’s 1.36 My Art Liner brush is his favorite. Razzano, on the other hand, is a fan of Make Up For Ever 250 extra fine eyeliner brush. He exclaims, “This brush is so easy to use for applying eyeliner.” The fine, pointed bristles are flexible and sturdy to allow for easy application of product on the lid. This is a real artisan brush which can improve anyone’s makeup.

Dense Domed Smudging Brush

Jones recommends adding a dense, domed eyeshadow brush to your kit if you like smoky lids. This brush is designed to enhance a smoky look. You can use it on your lower lashline or liner to create a cool, sultry effect. Its compact size makes it ideal for detail work. To get a bolder look, apply more shadow and keep the brush close to the crimp.

Dual-Ended Brow Brush

You also need a brush for your brows! Keep a dual-ended brush handy to shape your arches, and apply powder and pomade with ease.

If you don’t like pomades, you can also use the angled tip of the brush to conceal the arches on your brows for a more defined look. It might not appear necessary at first, but once you use it you will be glad you have it.

Jones says that “[the angled edge] lets you create hair-like lines to mimic the look of natural eyebrows.” You can also use it to completely fill in the eyebrow, giving you a bold, defined look. You can then use the spoolie end of the brush to tame your brows, or for an extra hold you can use [brow] wax to lock in the brows for all day wear. This will make the brush as flat as it can be, allowing for lines as fine as hairs.

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