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A Guide to Makeup Brushes: Which Ones to Use and When

  • Click through the slideshow to see what brushes you need and why.

    Photo: Graphic by Rolando Robinson/Graphic by Rolando Robinson
  • Fan Brush: This brush actually has several uses. it can be used to apply blush, blend, clean up excess powder and highlight cheekbones. (E.L.F Fan Brush, $3,

  • Brow Brush: This is important when you are filling in your eyebrows. It is angled so that you can get even the thinnest areas of your brows. (Make Up For Ever Eyebrow Brush, $20,

  • Powder Brush: This is the most common of all brushes and should be in every makeup collection. It should be used to apply any type of powder foundation product. (Bare Minerals Full Flawless Face Brush, $28,

  • Eye Blending Brush: This brush is perfect for blending in your eye shadow along the crease of your lids. (E.L.F. Eye Blending Brush, $1,

  • Lip Brush: These brushes are typically tiny and allow lipstick or gloss to be applied more precisely to the lips. (Sephora Pro Lip Brush, $12,

  • Kabuki: This brush is typically short with wide round or flat bristles. It is mostly used to apply mineral powder by using a circular motion to buff the powder into your skin. (Sephora Classic Kabuki, $24,

  • Angled Eye Brush: This brush can be used to define your eyes. It can be used with gel eyeliners or even along your crease to get a more precise line. (Benefit Hard Angle Definer Brush, $20,

  • Stippling Brush: This brush is a blend of synthetic fibers and goat hair. It is used for light powder, liquid or cream products. It can give you an airbrushed look when used with powder. (Sephora Pro Stippling Brush, $35,

  • Eyeshadow Brush: Use this brush to apply any type of eyeshadow. The bristles are just right for eyeshadow application. (Bare Minerals Tapered Shadow Brush, $14,

  • Angled Brush: These brushes are typically used to apply blush. They are similar to powder brushes in their firmness. (Illamasqua Blush brush, $41,

  • Concealer Brush: This firm, narrow brush is tapered at the end and allows you to brush on concealer in a concentrated area. (Bare Minerals Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush, $20,

  • Flat Brush: This brush allows you to contour your cheeks (think Kim Kardashian). The corners allow you to apply color right beneath your cheekbones. (Stila Double Duty Cheek Contouring Brush, $45,

  • Smudge Brush: A smudging eye brush helps to obtain the coveted smokey eye. It has soft bristles that let you smudge a concentrated area. (Make Up For Ever Smudge Brush, $32,

  • Brow Brush and Comb: You can use this tool for both your eyelashes and brows. The brush will allow you to smooth your brows down and the comb side can be used to get clumps out of your lashes. (Sephora Brow Comb, $14,

  • Angled Liner Brush: This thin brush will give you a precise line and allows you to choose the thickness of your liner. (Smashbox Arched Liner Brush, $20,

  • Blending Sponge: Although this isn't a brush, a blending sponge is a great tool to use with liquid foundations. It gives your face a flawless, smooth finish. (Beautyblender, $19,

  • Blending Brush: You should use this brush once you have applied all of your face makeup. It will blend it all together to give your face an airbrushed effect. (Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush, $24,

A Guide to Makeup Brushes: Which Ones to Use and When

A Guide to Makeup Brushes: Which Ones to Use and When

A Guide to Makeup Brushes: Which Ones to Use and When
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It can be intimidating going into a beauty store and trying to pick out the right makeup brush. With so many types of makeup brushes (and little explanation of what they are for) you can feel lost. This is completely understandable, not many people really know what each brush is actually for. We felt the same way. This inspired us to make a collective list of which brush you should use and when to use it.

There are assorted brushes for your face, eyes and even brows. Makeup tools are essential when perfecting your look. A powder brush should be part of every makeup kit. There is even a blending sponge, although it isn’t a brush, it is perfect for having flawless skin. As for your eyes, all of those small brushes can get confusing. We explain which one is for what and why it is ideal for eye shadows, blending, lining, etc.

Everything from brow brushes to stippling brushes, we explain what each brush is meant for in the slideshow above. Check it out and let us know which one you couldn’t live without!

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