2 Comments Beginners Guide to Makeup Brushes: Face Edition

August 28, 2011

With so many makeup brushes on the market, it's hard to choose which ones will be beneficial to you, personally. In this beginners guide I've included the uses of different face brushes, whether it's an absolute necessity or if you could wait to try it out, and if you should save or splurge on each brush. To see the full guide just click the button below and enjoy!

The Foundation Brush

Purpose: "Painting" on foundation

Do I need it?: Not necessarily. A Flat Top Kabuki or a Stippling Brush can do the same task. I like the Foundation Brush when I use thicker formulated mousse-type foundations, but that's only my opinion.

Save or Splurge?: Save. Although some brushes cause streaks, you can find reasonable foundation brushes that are just as nice.

Ecotools Bamboo Foundation Brush $6
Crown Brush Deluxe Medium Foundation $5.89
E.L.F. Essentials Foundation Brush $1

The Stippling Brush

Purpose: Stippling and blending foundation

Alternate Uses: Blend regular and cream blush

Do I need it?: It's nice to have, but not important. This brush gives a very airy, airbrushed effect that a lot of individuals desire.

Save or Splurge?: It's a tie. Stippling brush density varies between almost all retailers, so it might be best to go to a store where you can visually inspect the brush to make sure it's dense and stiff enough; not sparse and too flexible.

Stila Duo Fibre $16
E.L.F. Studio Stipple Brush $3

The Concealer Brush

Purpose: Blending out concealer

Do I need it?: No. In my opinion, I'd rather use a clean finger to gently pat the color until it's blended. This helps the cream "melt" into your skin and look less visible.

Save or Splurge?: Save. If you do need a concealer brush, almost all of them are the same, except in size.

Revlon Concealer Brush $6
L'Oreal Makeup Artiste Concealer Brush $3.99
E.L.F. Studio Concealer Brush $3

The Powder Brush

Purpose: Sweeping setting powder over foundation.

Alternate Uses: Can be used for blush or bronzer, but it's not as precise as a contour brush.

Do I need it?: It's a staple brush for every collection since it's so nice for a sheer application of blush, but I would personally choose the Flat Top Kabuki over a powder brush to buff setting powder.

Save or Splurge?: Splurge. More expensive powder brushes tend to be a lot softer, making it much more desirable over a cheap, scratchy bristled brush.

MAC 150 Large Powder Brush $42
Sonia Kashuk Blusher Brush $17.99

The Flat Top Kabuki

Purpose: Buffing any face products: foundation, setting powder, blush, bronzer, etc.

Do I need it?: This brush is so universal which makes it a must-have for all collections.

Save or Splurge?: Splurge. Nothing is worse than a scruffy face brush. I use this brush more than any brush in my face collection. The only time you would need to save is if you needed multiple brushes for separate uses and you have a problem splurging more than once.

Sigma Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki $16
Crown Flat Bronzer $10.95
E.L.F. Studio Powder Brush $3

Angled Contour Brush

Purpose: Contouring cheekbones

Alternate Uses: Precise blush application

Do I need it?: It makes contouring cheekbones much easier than a Powder Brush which makes absolute application much harder and uneven. The only way it's an absolute "No" is if you don't contour your cheeks.

Save or Splurge?: Splurge. Since blending bronzer is crucial you're going to want a dense, soft brush for seamless fusion between your skin and the contour. Rough brushes will irritate your skin since blending takes multiple strokes across sensitive cheeks.

MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush $34
Sephora Collection Classic Angled Blush Brush #40 $28

Dome Brush

Purpose: Applying blush, "rolling" powder under your eyes, and contouring cheekbones

Do I need it?: Not really. There are other brushes for the uses this brush is for, which makes it an add-on to your collection.

Save or Splurge?: Splurge. If you do invest in this brush, it's a blending brush which means it will be used for the tender area under your eyes and blending on your cheeks, where you don't want harsh bristles irritating skin.

Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Domed Multipurpose Brush $17.99
Tapered Face $19
MAC 138 Tapered Face Brush


Purpose: Blending anything

Do I need it?: It's a nice add-on, but not necessary. The top is typically rounded, making it a little easier to get into hard-to-reach places like the creases of your nose.

Save or Splurge?: Splurge. You need a very soft kabuki since it's a universal brush and a good kabuki will last forever.

MAC 182 Buffer Brush $49.50


inmyhansonshirt said...

This is a fantastic post. Really good for beginners! :)


L M ♥ la mode said...

Great post... check me out.

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