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What Brushes To Use For Different Makeup

The right makeup brushes make a HUGE difference. Figuring out which one to use and how to use it, though? No easy feat! We've decoded different types of makeup brushes, how to use them, and recommended some of our favourite cruelty free brushes for your kit.

Foundation Brush

Some foundation brushes are rounded or dome-shaped while others look more like a paintbrush - dense and flat.

Brushes with firmly packed, duo-fibre bristles make it easy to buff liquid and cream foundations into your skin for a streak-free finish.

Here's how to use it

Dab a few drops of foundation over your forehead, cheeks, and chin with your finger.

Use the brush, buff the foundation onto your face in circular motions starting in the centre of your face, working outward.

Focus the circular buffing motion in the areas you’d like the most coverage.

We recommend esmi Skin Minerals cruelty free brushes for liquid foundation.

Stippling Brush

A stippling brush is a brilliant all-rounder and one you definitely want in your makeup kit.

Stippling means to work makeup into the skin with small dots of product - this is how you get that airbrushed look.

The bristles of a stippling brush are very thick at the bottom but thin out at the top which gives you great control for sheer to heavy coverage. Use it to apply foundation, blush, bronzer, powder, and highlighter.

Here's how to use it

Dab a little of the product onto the back of your hand and dip the stippling brush in. Lightly pat the product into the areas you're focusing on - be it your whole face or only cheeks, etc.

Then gently swirl the brush in small circles so that only the finer bristles are moving to blend and press the product in.

Concealer Brush

A concealer brush is basically the mini-me version of a foundation brush.

It’s your tool of choice to neutralise any blemishes on the skin or cover dark circles under the eyes with precision. Concealer brushes with tight and compact bristles give you the most control when applying products. Use them to apply cream eye shadow, too.

Here's how to use it

Apply concealer to the area then grab your brush and use a dabbing movement to blend the product out. Aim for light tapping motions rather than strokes.

Powder Brush

The right powder brush = a pixel perfect finish.

With soft, fluffy bristles, a powder brush is designed to sweep powder evenly across your face - without getting cakey. Use it with loose powder, pressed powder, or mineral powder foundation.

Here's how to use it

Swirl the brush in the top of your powder compact and tap off any extra product. Dust it over your T-zone and under your eyes, working outwards.

We recommend esmi Skin Minerals’ cruelty free brushes for powder application.

Blush and Bronzer Brush

Dome-shaped with long, super-soft bristles, blush and bronzer brushes are similar to powder brushes but smaller.

These brushes let you make a more concentrated application and some have a slight angle for real precision.

The fluffier the brush, the less product it will pick up. Perfect for a gentle wash of colour.

You could get yourself a separate brush for both blush and bronzer, but you really don’t need to. One good brush will have you covered for both.

Here's how to use it

Applying bronzer? Loosely sweep the brush from across your forehead, then your cheekbones, and lastly down to your jawline.

For blush, swirl the product on the apples of your cheeks lightly and blend it up into your cheekbones.

We recommend Crown Brush’s selection of cruelty free brushes for bronzer and blush application.

Contour Brush

Want gorgeously prominent cheekbones and a sculpted jawline? Get yourself a contour brush.

Some contour brushes have dense, curved bristles to hug your cheekbones while others are cut on a slant. Brushes with a sharper cut and more dense bristles deliver a more sculpted look while a softer shape gives a gentler look.

Team with either cream or powder products.

Here's how to use it

Swirl the brush into your contour powder and tap off excess. Gentle swirl the brush back and forth along the area below your cheekbone - following the natural contour.

Load the brush with more powder and gently glide along your jawline for an even more defined look.

We recommend Crown Brush’s selection of cruelty free brushes for contouring.

Fan Brush

Fan brushes are shaped just like their name. Their long, soft bristles are ideal for dusting on blush, highlighter, contour powder, bronzer, or loose powder.

Here's how to use it

Take your fan brush and hold it flat against your highlighter. Gently push down to coat the sides and tips of the bristles. The idea is to use the side of the brush head, not just the tip of the bristles during application.

Sweep powder onto the facial features you want to highlight including cheekbones, nose, brow arch, and cupid’s bow.

Eyeshadow Blending Brush

Small, dense eyeshadow blending brushes are great to team with a powder, but they do an especially amazing job blending out cream products.

You can use it to quickly blend shadow across the lid, define your crease, darken your outer corners, and emphasise your base shadow.

Here's how to use it

Dip your blending brush into the base colour and apply across your entire eyelid. Then, pick up a little of your mid-tone colour on the brush.

Working in small backwards and forwards motions, apply the mid-tone to the outer area of the eye.

Now, blend the mid-tone colour inwards with small swirling motions just above the crease. Finish by sweeping the colour from the inner to outer eye in longer motions to ensure both shades are beautifully blended.

Brow Brush

A small, angled, densely packed brow brush is perfect for creating realistic hairline strokes, detailing, and outlining gorgeous arches.

Brow brushes allow you to apply both powder and cream-based products to the brow with precision.

Here's how to use it

First, use the clean brush to brush eyebrows upwards. Then dip the brush into your favourite brow product - load both sides.

With small, hairlike strokes move along the natural direction of the brow and work from the inner area to the brow tail.

Using a cream-based product? Gently run a clean spoolie through the brow when you’re finished for a more natural effect.

PONi’s cruelty free Pro Brow Brush is the brow tool you can’t live without!

Angled Eyeliner brush

Our tip for flawless eyes? Embrace the angled eyeliner brush!

With densely packed bristles, an eyeliner brush is super easy to hold and helps you apply eyeshadow in a thin, precise straight line on the upper and lower lash lines.

Team with cream, gel or powder eye makeup products.

Here’s how to use it

For an easy daytime look coat both sides of an angled eyeliner brush in your product of choice.

Mark the centre of your upper lash line then starting from the inner eye, use a long, precise stroke to draw the eyeliner to the centre point. Then, finish by taking the line to the outer corner.

Lip Brush

Small and flat, you use a lip brush to apply lipstick, lip stain, or gloss. You can use a lip brush to outline your lips instead of a lip liner or to seamlessly blend your liner and lipstick.

Ideal if you’re applying several different shades or formulas.

Here’s how to use it

Load both sides of the brush with your lip product.

With the brush flat, follow the natural edge of your lip line - paying close attention to the shape of the cupid’s bow. Then reload the brush if needed and fill in your entire lip.

We recommend Crown Brush selection of cruelty free brushes for lips.