Skip to main content

Beauty Basics: Makeup Brush Guide

Beauty Basics: Makeup Brush Guide
Writer and expert7 years ago
View allbeauty's profile


We're looking at makeup brushes in our beauty basics guide. Don't know where to start? Our guide has you covered!

Our makeup brush guide is perfect for beginners taking their first steps into the world of brushes. You can shop all makeup brushes online at allbeauty with brushes to suit all levels.

Let's be honest, makeup brushes come in just about every shape and size imaginable. And it can seem like you need 20 different kinds before you even begin! But you really don't, and we're here to run through the 5 key brushes that will see you through.

Makeup Brush Guide: Foundation Brush

A foundation brush is a great way to step up from using fingers or a basic sponge. They can be rounded like the one shown, or have a flat top - whichever you use is down to personal preference.

Why? You get a smoother, blended finish and it's easier to work the product into pores, which hides them well. You can also use the brush to build up extra foundation over problem areas. A foundation brush will make it easier to reach tricky areas around the nose and eyes and to blend down the jawline and neck.

How? Dot foundation around your face with fingers and blend out with the brush. Or you can apply foundation to the back of your hand and use the brush to 'pick up' colour. Smooth foundation over the skin in a downwards motion, starting from the forehead and finally blending down the neck. If pores are a problem, or if you're using a flat topped brush, use a circular motion to buff in the product, before a final downwards sweep (it helps those little hairs stay flat!)

Here's the fabulous Stephanie Lange showing you how (full video):


Makeup Brush Guide: Powder Brush

A powder brush may not be something you need, depending on your look. But they're still super useful to own! They're usually much bigger than your other brushes. Not to be confused with a kabuki brush that's short and stubby, and used to apply mineral powder foundation.

Why? A powder brush is used to sweep on face powder and set your look so that nothing moves all day. They're also great for gently removing 'drop off' from eye shadow without leaving big streaks on your face. And they're great for blending out excess blush or bronzer.

How? Swirl your brush in the powder, then give it a good tap to remove the excess. Lightly sweep over your face to set makeup.

Makeup Brush Guide: Blush Brush

A blush brush usually looks like a smaller powder brush. It's used to apply blusher or bronzer to the face.

Why? A blush brush is pretty much a given in any makeup kit. You get a soft, natural finish and it's easy to build up colour.

How? If you're using a powder or compact, swirl the brush around then tap off the excess. Apply to the cheeks in a soft, sweeping motion, until you get the desired effect.

Here's the fabulous Stephanie Lange again to show you how (full video):


Makeup Brush Guide: Angled Liner Brush

Small and flat, with a sharp angled edge, an angled liner brush gives amazing results with little effort!

Why? You can use an angled liner brush to apply eyeliner, to tightline (push the colour into the lashes) and to shape your brows. The shape of the brush does much of the work for you and is easy to learn to use. They're also great for cat eyes, but practice will make perfect - be patient with yourself!

How? Dip the brush into your powder or gel liner and 'paint on' the product. For brows, use with either a brow powder or gel, and use the shape of the brush to get a sharp line / feathery edges.

Here's YouTuber Desi Perkins showing how to use the brush for brows (full video):


Makeup Brush Guide: Eyeshadow Brush

Basicare Signature Brushes Concealer & Shading Brush
Now in terms of eyeshadow brushes, the sky is almost the limit. At the least, you'll need one brush to apply the colour and one to blend out the edges. We'll be honest, if a smokey eye is your thing then invest in a brush set. But if all you're after is a soft wash of colour, then a liner brush (see above) and a basic shadow brush like the one shown will work fine.

Why? A brush will apply the colour more deeply. You can also apply it wet for an intense look. It's easier to get a smooth, polished look and to reach into those tricky areas in the corner of the eye.

How? Pat the flat side of your brush into the shadow and pat colour over the eye. Smooth out the edges if possible, to avoid a harsh look.

Questions or comments? Comment below and we'll do our best to help! You can shop all brushes and applicators online at allbeauty, with free UK P&P available.

Writer and expert
View allbeauty's profile