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12 Makeup Brushes You Actually Need and Exactly How to Use Them

Of course, who cares what brush is used as long as you reach your desired effect.



Unless you're a trained makeup artist or have watched more than a few YouTube beauty tutorials in your spare time, makeup brushes can be a bit tricky to decode. Not only do they come in a wide range of sizes, but also different bristle shapes, lengths, and density. And it doesn't stop there! Oftentimes brands don't name their brushes by how and where they were intended to be used, but rather with seemingly arbitrary numbers that only add to the confusion. Of course, who cares what brush is used as long as you reach your desired effect. But if you need a little direction and help sorting out your set, read on. 
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1. Foundation Brush


Use it to smooth liquid or cream foundation for streak-free application. Start in the middle of your face and blend the product outward to prevent harsh makeup lines around the edge of your face.

Alternate use: Pat on under-eye concealer.

2. Beauty Blender


The trick to using one of these most effectively is to squeeze it a few times under water first. After the sponge has absorbed a bit a water and expanded slightly in size, roll off the excess on a towel. This wetting process will not only prevent your sponge from soaking up all of your foundation (because it's already full of water) but will also help blend your makeup as smoothly as possible. Use the sponge’s broad sides to apply the product on your face. Use the tip to reach creases around the nose and to pinpoint small areas.

Alternate uses: Apply cream blush, blend out harsh makeup lines, apply powder for baking your makeup, and remove excess product.
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3. Kabuki Brush

This big brush is perfect for softly applying bronzers and powders, and for evenly distributing product across your face or body.

Alternate use: Buff out harsh lines by swirling the brush around your face.

4. Powder Brush


The long, fluffy bristles evenly diffuse loose powders.

Alternate use: Sweep blush from the apples of your cheeks along your cheekbones.
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5. Angled Blush Brush


The slanted bristles make it easier to apply products perfectly to your cheekbones.

Alternate use: Apply contour powder (two shades darker than your skin tone) below your cheekbones to emphasize your natural contours.

6. Concealer Brush


Use a small, synthetic brush to pinpoint specific areas that need extra coverage, like small spots and blemishes. 

Alternate use: Clean up messy lipstick edges.
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7. All-Over Eye Shadow Brush


Use an eye shadow brush to evenly apply powder and cream shadows.

Alternate use: Dab on shadow under the lower lash line for a smokier eye.

8. Blending Eye Shadow Brush


Use the fluffy bristles to diffuse eye shadow in the crease of your eye, or use it to blend multiple shades of eye shadow together.

Alternate use: Blend highlighter on your cheekbones, brow bones, and cupid’s bow.

9. Smudger Brush


Use this to soften eyeliner for a smoky, sultry look. 

Alternate use: Target areas around the eye, such as the inner and outer corners, when applying intense pigment.
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10. Angled Eyeliner Brush


This brush easily lines lashes with cream or gel liner or shadow.

Alternate use: Fill in and define sparse brows with brow powder.

11. Lash/Brow Comb/Brush


Use this duo to comb, tame, and de-clump your lashes and brows.

Alternate use: Run the brush or comb through your brows to soften them if you've filled them in with too much product.
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12. Fan Brush


Use this to clean up fallen product or gently apply powders and highlighters on your cheekbones, temples, and cupids bow. 

Alternate uses: Dip the ends in mascara and paint your lashes for a no-makeup look, hide eyelash glue with gel liner, and de-clump eyelashes.

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Women's Magazine: 12 Makeup Brushes You Actually Need and Exactly How to Use Them
12 Makeup Brushes You Actually Need and Exactly How to Use Them
Of course, who cares what brush is used as long as you reach your desired effect.
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Women's Magazine
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