Makeup Brushes 101

I think more than the makeup products themselves, your makeup tools (aside from skills) make or break your look. And I know for sure that when you start out with makeup, you have no idea which brushes are for which and you just go by what companies tell you the brushes are for.

So in this video, I try my best to explain what I know about makeup brushes in a way that will help you understand how brushes work and  what kind of brushes you need for each application purpose so that in choosing brushes to buy, you can already picture the different uses a certain brush will have. Hopefully, this will help you in maximizing value for money and prevent you from buying brushes you don’t really need. Then I run down my most useful brushes and what I use them for to demonstrate the concept:

To summarize, I pointed out the different factors affecting a brush’s function and performance, namely:

  • Bristle type: natural or synthetic or combination
  • Shape, and
  • Density

I also explained the general rules for brushes: natural bristles = powder; loose and fluffy = powder; synthetic = mostly liquids and creams; combination = all; dense and tightly packed = liquids and creams. However there are exceptions to these rules depending on what you want to do. If you want to apply powder to precise areas with high coverage and pigmentation, you should use dense synthetic-bristle brushes. For example, you can use a cream eyeshadow brush or concealer brush for powder eyeshadow to make it more pigmented and to increase your control on application. On the flip side, you can use a less dense brush (with synthetic bristles) on liquids or creams if you want to feather or blend it out. (Natural bristle brushes, as far as I know, are not used on liquids at all because they tend to absorb the product and stain or even cause shedding.) 

You will often see the best makeup artists using brushes differently from what they are labeled as like a lip or eyeliner brush for concealing and conversely, a concealer brush for lipstick, or a liquid/cream foundation brush for setting powder. And that is also why brush manufacturers made by and for highly skilled makeup artists may drop “function” labels altogether and just name them with numbers. So once you have a certain level of understanding of application, you get an intuitive sense of what to use the brush for based on its shape, fibers, and density.

Because I am not a professional and only buy brushes for my personal use, I use these guidelines to list and identify which brushes that I already have can be used for what purpose and then figure out which ones I really NEED and which ones I just want. 

Hopefully you learned something from this! If anything was unclear, or if you have suggestions and corrections, feel free to leave me a comment or message and I would so appreciate it!

If you like my content, please subscribe to my channel here. 



Leave comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *.

%d bloggers like this: