UK Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle

Monday, 2 March 2015

Makeup brushes & their uses

Firstly: not one makeup artist I keep up with uses exactly the same brushes for the same tasks. There is no recipe set in stone. It is confusing, yes, and to be honest I'm still no expert. However I do know that using brushes drastically improves the look and wear of your makeup.

The majority of brushes I use are by XCSource. They're a great dupe for the Real Techniques brushes, and whilst I haven't owned them, I have used them and I can't really tell the difference. These brushes are synthetic (so easy to wash) plus they're super soft and maintain their feel even through washes. These brushes are the ones with the gold handle. I also use a few brushes from Ecotools and a few Bare Minerals ones. 

Finally, I wish to note (because it actually looks crazy and I think this is a really good tip that needs to go viral): please pleaaase don't apply bronzer to the apples of your cheeks. And please don't use an orange bronzer as a contour. Bronzer is to give an overall summer glow to the skin, not to define. Contour shades OR a cooler toned bronzer are the only things you should be running under/on the cheekbones.

I will note which brush is which and put links at the end. Enjoy!

For Face
flat top kabuki
The first of the XCSource brushes I use is the flat top kabuki for foundation. Used in a stippling motion, a flat top brush is the route to an airbrushed base. 
dome top kabuki
To set my foundation with powder, I use a domed kabuki. I like to stay away from wide powder brushes, especially in the winter when my skin is more combination than anything else. A focused tip gives a lot more control in terms of applying powder. You can sweep this over your T-zone and also set your under eye concealer without caking up the rest of your face.
round top kabuki
I use the round top kabuki for cream blush. A lot of people use round tops for buffing, but I feel like a flat top can be used for this alongside application. This is the perfect size to dot and blend blush over the apples of your cheeks.
angled top kabuki
An angled top kabuki is used to contour. The angle is perfect to set product into the hollows of your cheeks (but not an orange bronzer!) Blending is slightly difficult with such a dense brush, so you might like to blend contour out with a flat top brush.
detail brush (for contour)
This small brush is used for contour detailing (on the nose, for example.) You apply cream contour to the face with a smaller brush before blending. This brush works reasonably well with powder contour shades too.
powder blush brush
This is a blush brush from Ecotools. It works best with powder blushes (but could be used for any powder product.) I adore the pretty detail on these.
small powder brush
The final brushes for face are from Bare Minerals. The first is a tiny powder brush. This brush gives you less precision than a domed top powder brush but it's quick and easy to apply.
bronzer brush
And finally this brush I use for a bronzer brush in the summer. It's not too dense so perfect for dusting all over your high points where the sun would usually hit.

For eyes
flat brush
This is another Ecotools brush. It is supposed to be used as a concealer brush as many will know, but I don't actually use a concealer brush (my problematic under eyes means that concealer needs gently patting on.) Instead, I use this as a 'packing' tool for shadow, essentially to 'pack'/place colour on before blending.
blending brush
Nice and simple: blend out your shadow with a round top blending brush in circular motions (as you move out) and side to side sweeps (as you define your crease.)
angled blending brush
I actually use this to highlight along my brow bone. It works well because of the angle.
angled brush
Finally, for your eyebrows you need an angled brush. This can be used with gel or powder brow fillers. This brush comes with the MUA Pro Brow Kit.

And there you have it. It is overwhelming and no this isn't the concrete set of rules, but makeup brushes are great because you can experiment and use them however you find fitting. They can transform your makeup when you find the perfect use for you.

Here are the links to the brushes I've talked you through. Until next time x


  1. I LOOOOOVE ecotools brushes! They are the only ones (for the most part) I have been using for the past few years. Great post!

    1. Thank you! Same here, they're soo soft (sadly I lost half of mine so I really need to get more back in my life!) x

  2. Great post! Thanks for clarifying,I can get so confused with all the different types!

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  4. Hi Naomi, you got me curious on those Xcsource brushes. Thanks for sharing, this is very informative. xxx

    1. No problem Jo! Check them out for sure xxx

  5. Awesome post, so much helpful..Thank you so much:)


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