Easy Guide: Types of Makeup Brushes

There Are Thousands of Different Types of Makeup Brushes Available on the Market

While there are plenty of makeup tutorials on YouTube, it’s tough to execute those techniques without the proper tools. The best (and most specific) tips require high-quality brushes that can be used for multiple purposes.

We not only provide you with exceptional skincare and color cosmetic products, but we also show you which brushes you need in your arsenal—and how to use them efficiently!

The Different Types of Makeup Brushes

Although there are various types of makeup brushes available, unless you work in the theater industry, you won’t need them all. In this article, we’ll focus on the must-have brushes that every beauty aficionado needs to create the perfect look.


Flat foundation brushes are best for achieving full coverage, while larger, rounder brushes create a more natural skin look with less product. It doesn’t matter what type of foundation you use—liquid, cream, or otherwise—an angled brush will help you apply your makeup evenly over your skin without any streaks.

To avoid powder streaks, use a densely bristled brush to apply your powder foundation in circular motions. A stippling brush is a foundation brush with two layers of bristles that will help press the product into your skin.


In a time crunch, you can use your high-end face brush for bronzer, highlighter, or blush—just make sure the brush is clean, and keep in mind that the head will be larger.


Anyone who has tried to apply loose powder with a flat, angled brush knows that it is difficult to avoid streaks. Instead, select a large brush with bristles that aren’t as dense, so the powder will go on evenly.

Powder brushes can be used for both types of powders. For pressed powder, tap the brush into the compact and then apply it gently to your skin. When using loose powder, pour out a small amount onto the back of your hand first in order to keep bacteria from coming into contact with the product.


There’s more to translucent powder than meets the eye. You can actually use it as a brush for luminizer or highlighter on your skin.


A junior powder brush is similar to a blush brush, however, the latter is slightly smaller for more precise application. The exception? Cream blush brushes have a denser head that evenly distributes color across the apples of your cheeks.

Here are two options for you:

  • The Blush Brush is perfect for a sheer, natural-looking application of cream blush that mimics the way your skin would flush on its own. The soft, dense bristles can also be used to apply bronzer all over the face for a sun-kissed look.
  • Powder Blush Brush is perfect for those who want to powder their blush with a soft, airbrushed look. The bristles are incredibly soft and help you achieve the right amount of pigment every time.


Small and angled flat brushes are excellent for getting concealer into tight spaces like the inner corners of your eyes and around the edges of your nose. They also work wonders for covering blemishes, and can be used with liquid or powder concealer.

Very stiff bristles, almost like those on a paintbrush, are standard fare for concealer brushes. This is to prevent the product from spreading when you apply it to your skin. When using a brush like this, stipple (rather than swipe) the concealer onto the desired areas.


When using a pencil liner, you usually won’t need an eyeliner brush; most of the time, they aren’t necessary with liquid liners. But for gel eyeliners and achieving perfect cat eye corners, an eyeliner brush is key.

These brushes are short, dense, and firm so that they effortlessly pick up pigment and glide it along the edges of your lash line precisely.


Unless you’re a professional makeup artist working with multiple clients, at-home users don’t need a lip brush. Lipstick can be applied directly from the tube or container.

However, if you are a professional working with clients, lip brushes allow you to use one lip product on multiple people without cross-contamination.

Lip liner is necessary if you want clean lines around the edges of your lips, especially if you have trouble defining your lips, without worrying that your lipstick will stray outside of the defined area.


When you contour your face, makeup artists are using a technique to create the illusion of more defined cheekbones and a more defined facial structure. For example, this could include making your nose appear longer, filling in sunken areas beneath your cheekbones, or adding dimension to flat skin.

Most contouring brushes have bristles that are as dense as or even denser than those found on a blush brush. Additionally, these types of brushes tend to be slightly more angled compared to other kinds of cosmetic brushes.


To get a perfect smokey eye, you need more than the stubby foam applicator that comes with your eyeshadow palette. Here are three types of brushes you should have in your makeup collection.

The basic shadow brush has shorter, stubbier bristles that are softer than those of a concealer brush. Without much structure, this type of brush makes it easy to apply and blend eye makeup.

Also known as a tapered or angled brush, the bristles on a basic shadow brush have an angle that allows you to better target the outer edges of your eyes with eye shadow.

In contrast, crease brushes resemble small blush brushes.

Shadow brushes have longer bristles than other types of makeup brushes, a slightly elongated end, and very soft bristles.

They help you achieve the perfect eyeshadow crease and also help you blend shadow over your entire lid. As such, they’re sometimes called blending brushes. These work especially well with cream-based eye polishes and shadows.’

Pencil brush: A pencil brush has an incredibly small tip that allows for precise application. You can use these brushes for oblique eyeliner or to create definition in the crease area of your eyelid.


Most mascara products come with a wand and spoolie, but did you know that you don’t have to use the spoolie it comes with? If you find a superior separating and defining spoolie in a sub-par mascara, take out the wand and spoolie (after cleaning them off), and insert them into your favorite mascara.


The best way to get an even coat of brow powder is by using a brow brush. These types of brushes have dense, semi-rigid bristles that help evenly distribute the powder through your eyebrows and up to your brow bone.

The Brow Brush has a dual end, which makes it even better—one side features a spoolie that helps blur color into your eyebrows and create more visible definition.


Fan brushes have bristles that are spread out in a flat shape, making them great for applying light layers of powder or cream-based products. They are often used last to help complete your makeup look with a bit more luminizer, bronzer, etc.


When you want to add a dewy touch or bring attention to specific areas of your face, you need a highlighter brush. The corners of your eyes, Cupid’s bow, the bridge of the nose, etc., are all perfect examples of places where this type of brush can be used.


Japanese Kabuki brushes have a long and practical history, being first used in Japanese theaters by Kabuki actors. These actors often had to sing and dance while wearing heavy makeup looks on stage.

These types of fluffy Kabuki brushes, with a short handle and dense brush head, are perfect for powder foundation or body bronzer. One quick sweep is all you need for amazing coverage!

Kabuki brushes have come a long way since their traditional round-top shape; you can now find them with flat tops, or even angled or dome-shaped tops. They work great for loose powder and are able to diffuse body powder over larger areas like your shoulders or décolletage with ease.

Beauty Sponge

While it’s not classified as an official brush, the beauty sponge still made our list of the best makeup brushes. A makeup sponge has a domed shape and is most likely made of antimicrobial foam that allows for a wet application of your cosmetics.

A beauty blender is an essential tool for anyone who uses foundation, concealer, or cream-based blushes.

Searching for Products Not Tested on Animals

As PETA points out, animal hair brushes are never cruelty-free. Therefore, it’s best to always seek high-end synthetic bristles in your makeup brushes.

No animals are harmed in the making of these types of makeup brush bristles, which also tend to be softer than those made from other materials. In addition, synthetic bristles usually last longer and are easier to clean than their natural counterparts.

You’re Ready to Go with Your Brushes

Applying makeup becomes easy when you have the ideal tools on-hand for the specific job. Whether you need to smudge, conceal, brush, or sweep—we’ve got just what you need to get it done with precision!

Leave a Reply