Makeup Brush Primer

I had a request for this post! I will share my makeup brush knowledge with you, but bear in mind I am not all-knowing! I have put a letter for each section of the face. Go to the corresponding letter, and you will find pictures and information about what kinds of brushes to use there and why. All pictures are taken from the e.l.f. site. The e.l.f. studio line has great, affordable brushes!



B Foundation: You have a lot of options here. For powdered/mineral foundation, a kabuki is great. You can also use a flat top brush. With both of these, you either sweep the brush across powder, if it’s a pressed foundation, or you pour a little loose foundation into the lid of  the product, swirl the brush around, then use circular motions to apply the foundation to your face. You can also stipple it on (which means pressing it into your skin) then buff it out.

Image kabuki Image flat top

For liquid foundation, I always used my fingers. I haven’t used liquid foundation in years so I don’t have many tips. I do know that many women like to use stippling brushes.

Image stippling

C Powder: Powder is applied as a final step in the makeup process to set the makeup. This helps it last longer by absorbing oil throughout the day. It can also help blend and tone down bright colors, if, for instance, you were too heavy-handed with your blush. The best brush for this is a big fat fluffy one.

Image e.lf. calls this a “complexion brush”

G Under eye area: If you suffer from dark circles, it can help to apply concealer to this area with a small flat brush that can get into the corners near your eye. It can be used with powdered or cream concealer, and also with regular foundation.

Image concealer


A Cheeks: Blush should be applied with a fluffy brush. A helpful hint is to smile so that the round bits of your cheek pop out. I concentrate color in this area, then gently sweep blush in an upward motion towards the hairline to blend it out and define the cheekbones.

Image blush


C Crease: It’s best to use a small, rather stiff brush in this area so that color can stay right in the socket area. I often apply a slightly darker color in this area. It makes the eyes look bigger by creating shadows.

Image e.l.f. calls this a contour brush

D Lid: a compact but slightly fluffy brush is best to apply all-over color on the lid. You can really pack color on with one of these, but you can also use them for just a light wash of color. They are very versatile, depending on how much product you use and how hard you press. A concealer brush (featured above) can serve the same purpose but then you have to wash your brush in the middle of doing your face.

Image lid/eyeshadow brush

E Line: There are quite a few options here, depending on what you are going for. For a thin, liquid-like line, try a fine or angled fine brush. If you only want to buy one brush, you can get a lot of versatility out of an angled brush. Try a smudge brush if you want to go for a smokey eye look, but use it to blend out already-applied color. A small precision brush is very useful for applying color to the waterline because it’s compact. It can also be used to highlight the inner corner of the eye, to apply eyeliner, and to conceal small areas.

Image angled fine Imageangled liner Imagesmudge Image precision

F Blend: When you are all done with your eye look, unless you are going for a really clean, defined line or something, it’s important to blend out the makeup so you don’t have any harsh lines. A clean, fluffy brush is best for this. The e.l.f. studio line actually doesn’t have my favorite type of brush for this, but their gem line does (and it’s adorable and sparkly!).



H Lip brush: A lip brush is used to apply lipstick for a very precise and intense look. I never use one and they are becoming more and more rare, like unicorns, dragons, and other mythical creatures. Some day they may disappear entirely. The e.l.f. studio line doesn’t even make one, but the small precision eye brush featured above would work very well as one.

Edit: I forgot to mention how to care for your brushes! It’s important to keep them clean to avoid acne and eye infections. To clean them, hold them bristles down under running water. Swirl them in baby shampoo or brush cleaner on your hand. Rinse them by holding them bristles down under running water. Lay flat to dry overnight on a paper towel. They may not dry by morning, so I like to wash them when I don’t plan on wearing makeup the next day. Sometimes I also swirl the brushes in rubbing alcohol, particularly if my skin is acting up.


One thought on “Makeup Brush Primer

  1. Pingback: Winter Beauty | beautiful.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s