Makeup brushes: which to choose?

Blush, illuminator, loose powder, foundation, eye shadow… there's a brush for each product! Follow these tips to build the arsenal of a pro!

Natural or synthetic, which type should you use?

It all depends on the texture of the products you’re using. Fluid and creamy formulas contain a high proportion of fat and usually apply better with synthetic-fibre brushes, while natural-fibre brushes are best for powders.

The golden rule: use a light touch! For liquid or creamy formulas, avoid applying them directly from their containers. Instead, use the back of your hand as a ‘palette.’ For powder, first tap the brush in the palm of your hand to remove any excess before applying it to your face.

Foundation

Applying foundation with a brush is one of the best ways to get a flawless, uniform look. It’s easier to control how much foundation you use and to distribute it evenly.

For liquid formulas, use a flat brush. It will reach the most difficult areas: the wings of your nose, the hollow of your chin, the space between your eyebrows, etc. A dense buffer brush that’s slightly bevelled follows the contours of your face and gives you an even application.

To avoid demarcation lines, use long, continuous movements. Don’t use small strokes! Apply a small amount of foundation to your forehead and cheeks and then spread it to cover the entire surrounding areas.

Looky Brush Brush Foundation, 1 unit
Elle R Cosmetics

Looky Brush Brush Foundation, 1 unit

Foundation superior quality brush that performs well with powders, liquids or emollient-based products.

Perfecting Foundation Brush
Lise Watier

Perfecting Foundation Brush
Foundation Brush, 1 unit
Personnelle Cosmetics

Foundation Brush, 1 unit

Concealer

The inside corners of your eyes, the base of your eyelashes… there are areas that the foundation brush can’t reach, no matter how flexible it is! A corrector brush, with its small size and short hairs, will help you complete the job. Use long, sweeping movements over your entire face to erase the lines from the application of the foundation.

This brush is also perfect for applying concealer, from the inner corners of your eyes to the outside, or to hide small imperfections. It's a must-have!

Perfecting Concealer Brush
Lise Watier

Perfecting Concealer Brush
EcoBambou Corrector Brush
Personnelle Cosmetics

EcoBambou Corrector Brush

Powder

If you want to use a mineral foundation and you have a little extra powder to set your makeup, use a large, flexible brush. It will distribute the powder evenly (and moderately) over your entire face. Your look will be impeccable.

Powder
Powder Brush, 1 unit
Clarins

Powder Brush, 1 unit

For applying, setting, & mattifying the complexion.

Powder Brush, 1 unit
Personnelle Cosmetics

Powder Brush, 1 unit

Blush

If you’re using a powder blush, apply it with a single stroke to the apple of each of your cheeks. Use a round brush that’s full and flexible, sweeping lightly over the targeted areas. You can apply the blush just to the apples of your cheeks or extend the application to the outside of your face using figure 8 movements. If you’re handy with bronzing powder, apply it to each side of your face: on the temples, cheeks and jaw, drawing a 3.

For cream blush, use a round or bevelled brush that’s full and flexible. In addition to sculpting the face, it will help evenly distribute the colour.

If what you’re using is more of an illuminator than a blush, your best friend is a flat fan brush, perfect for creating a light, iridescent veil on the upper areas of your face.

Blush Brush, 1 unit
Personnelle Cosmetics

Blush Brush, 1 unit
Blush Brush
Real Techniques

Blush Brush
Blush Brush, 1 unit
Clarins

Blush Brush, 1 unit

For sculpting, shaping, & brightening.

Eyebrows

Often neglected, eyebrows are the key to good makeup. Use a small, oblique brush and an eyebrow brush to tame your eyebrows and to define or correct their shape. Easily correct hair-removal errors by applying small touches of shadow, starting from the outside. Then brush to fade the colour.

Pro tip: for a harmonious finish, use a shadow that closely matches the natural colour of your eyebrows.

Brow and Lash Brush, 1 unit
Personnelle Cosmetics

Brow and Lash Brush, 1 unit
Double Applicator Lash and Eyebrow Brush
Lise Watier

Double Applicator Lash and Eyebrow Brush
Dual-End Eyebrow Reshaper Brush #27
Lancôme

Dual-End Eyebrow Reshaper Brush #27

Eyes

Apply colour to your eyelids using a stiff, slightly flat shadow brush. You can also use a rounder blending brush and a smudging brush to create smooth gradations and spectacular smokey eyes.

Complete your look with liner or dark shadow, using a thin, narrow brush along your top lashes. For a softer and slightly thicker line, use a small, bevelled brush.

Eyeshadow Brush
Lise Watier

Eyeshadow Brush
Blending Brush, 1 unit
Clarins

Blending Brush, 1 unit

For blending eyeshadows.

Precision Shadow Brush #12
Lancôme

Precision Shadow Brush #12
Eyeshadow Brush , 1 unit
Clarins

Eyeshadow Brush , 1 unit

For shading, applying, & blending eyeshadows. For softening eye liner.

Eyelid Brush, 1 unit
Personnelle Cosmetics

Eyelid Brush, 1 unit

Lips

Lip brushes are often underestimated. Their firm, slightly rounded tips make it possible to apply colour with precision and prevent smudging, which is essential, especially when you’re applying dark or vibrant colours. Simply tap the end of the lipstick (regardless of its texture) and then lightly apply the colour to your lips, starting at the center and making your way to the outside. If you lined your lips with pencil, be sure to blend the colours well. The effect should look natural!

Retractable Lip Brush #9, 1 unit
Lancôme

Retractable Lip Brush #9, 1 unit
EcoBambou Lip Brush
Personnelle Cosmetics

EcoBambou Lip Brush

Cleanliness is the goal!

To prevent germs from multiplying, carefully clean your brushes, ideally after each use, but at least once a week. Use a spray product that’s designed for this purpose (a spritz to the hair of the brush and to a tissue and that’s it!). You can also use a mixture of water and a mild shampoo. Rinse thoroughly, being sure to remove any excess water. Let the brush dry upside down so that water doesn’t affect the glue holding the hair in place.

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Makeup brushes: which to choose?

Blush, illuminator, loose powder, foundation, eye shadow… there's a brush for each product! Follow these tips to build the arsenal of a pro!
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