The world of makeup can be a confusing place. Those venturing into the vortex of face-enhancing products for the first time may feel a little like these guys doing their girlfriends' makeup.
And once you finally get the hang of products and the sequence of application, there's the whole convoluted issue of makeup brushes. The endless selection and the God-given purpose for each is a science on its own.
Fortunately, this guide is for beginners and we're here to break it down for you. Until you're firmly entrenched into Kardashian-level glam sessions, complete with cut creases and tight lining, these are the basic brushes you need to create a full face.
1. Foundation brush
Foundation brushes are generally dense with short bristles that come with a domed or flat top head. The brush should expertly diffuse foundation, leaving you with a flawless base. Quality brushes don't have to be expensive either. If you're just starting to experiment with makeup, entry level brands like E.L.F., Sigma and Real Techniques are great options.
Oval brushes, like those from Artis, are also ideal for foundation application. The brushes are three to 10 times denser than your average brush so foundation goes on quickly and flawlessly. The curved design of the handle was engineered for self-application, so you'll find it easier to maneuver than the traditional brush.
Get it here: Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, $13.99
2. Blush brush
The average blush brush is soft and fluffy with a rounded head. It should apply colour easily to the apples of your cheeks and be able to buff out any harsh lines.
Get it here: Bobbi Brown Blush Brush, $68
3. Powder brush
Powder brushes are used to apply loose and pressed powder. The brush head is always large and fluffy so it can efficiently fan out product all over your face.
Get it here: Real Techniques Powder Brush, $16.99
4. Contour brush
Kim Kardashian was solely responsible for taking contouring to new heights. Whether you love or despise the look, contouring has always had its place in makeup application. A contour brush is typically flat and slightly angled so it almost does the work for you. You shouldn't have to struggle too hard to get product in exactly the right place, which is why it's beneficial to own a dedicated contour brush.
Get it here: Sigma Large Angled Contour Brush, $30
5. Eye shadow brush
Eye shadow brushes are soft, usually flat, and able to deliver the right amount of colour to your lids. The ideal design for you should fit nicely around your eye socket. The flat tip can also be used to apply shadow to your upper and lower lash line.
Get it here: E.L.F. Eyeshadow C Brush, $3.97
6. Blending brush
A blending brush is necessary if you intend to try your hand at smokey eyes or other eye looks that require multiple colours. A blending brush is generally larger and fluffier than a shadow brush.
Get it here: Nyx Pro Blending Brush, $14
7. Lip brush
A lip brush is great if you plan on wearing bold lips and you want a defined shape. This brush is small with a flat, tapered shape and is often angled. A lip brush is used to apply colour, but also to blend lip liner and lipstick because harsh lines are never cool.
Get it here: Mac 316 Lip Brush, $24
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