Saturday, June 11, 2011


By Lisa Doherty

Have you ever sat in front of the mirror trying to create the perfect smoky eye by following the directions on the back of your eye shadow package, only to be disappointed by your racoon eyes that you have drawn on your face? You may have all the best products out there, but they can only get you so far.

What many women do not realize is that the secret to creating a flawless face is the type of brush you use throughout each step of your makeup application. Many of us have a couple of brushes that we use and have probably used for years. Just as trends change, so do makeup techniques and the brushes used to create them. Below are some brushes that you may have seen on the shelves, or maybe you even have them in your own kit, but have never really known their use.

1. The contouring brush – Contouring allows you to shape your face and give you that perfect bone structure you always wish you had. This brush is similar to a powder or blush brush. The difference being that it is angled. Often it is also used for applying bronzer. Common areas to use this are along the cheek creases and at the temples.

The contouring brush

2. Foundation brush – This brush allows you to smoothly apply your foundation if you like medium to high coverage. Often women choose sponges or their own hands to apply their foundation, however if you would like to try using this often neglected tool, you can apply a thin layer of foundation to the brush and with gentle downward strokes, you can create an even complexion.

Foundation brush 

3. Blending/Fluffy brush – This brush is often used after your eye shadow application to create the smoky eye effect. This allows the colours to blend into each other. When applying eye shadow the trick is to create an illusion, so that you cannot see where it starts or finishes.

 Blending/Fluffy brush

4. Flat brush – Your flat eye shadow brush is used in the creases of the eyes. It gives the eye and its socket definition. It looks like the other eye shadow brushes, but is flatter.

Flat brush 

5. Angle brush – The angle brush is one every woman can’t live without. It has multiple purposes. It can be used for filling in a brow, for applying eye liner and for shaping eye shadow application. This brush is very thin and is great to use if you have trouble using liquid liner. You can put liquid or gel liner on this brush to create a beautiful cat eye appearance.

Angle brush

6. Fan brush – This fancy looking tool in your kit is very handy. It is used to clean up any excess shadow or powder that may have accumulated under your eyes, without wiping off all the hard work you already put into your flawless look.

Fan brush 

7. Kabuki brush – This brush that looks like a short and flat blush brush, is used to blend all of your face makeup together. It helps to prevent lines along your jaw bone and at your temples. It helps to blend your foundation, concealer and powder all together for a smother, finished appearance.

Kabuki brush

8. Bent liner brush – This brush is for the hard to reach places along your lash line. Ever feel like you are bending your elbows in directions you didn’t know they moved until you tried to put on eyeliner? Well this will help to solve that problem. You can hold your wrist in a comfortable and ergonomically correct position to get that perfect line.

Bent liner brush

There are many other brushes out there to help create the look that you are probably going for. If there is a technique that you are just dying to achieve, the best thing to do is to research the brushes and their uses before trying it out. There are so many fantastic products out there, but obtaining them is only the first step in taking your functional look to flawless.

Lisa Doherty 
Makeup Artist

Photo credits: Earth-Glo Cosmetics, Fashion Additcs, Fine Art Tips, Liberty, Love Life Beauty, Temptalia, The Cup Cake Icing, The Makeup Brush Company, Woman's Health

Read other articles by Lisa Doherty:

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