Did you know that you don't have to own 3879 brushes to put on a full face of makeup and look professionally done? Here's the low-down on the only 7 brushes you'll ever need, including tips for their use on different facial features and with various makeup techniques. The most durable brushes come from ZOEVA. They have natural hairs, but are cruelty free, so spoiler alert – lots of ZOEVA brushes ahead. By the way, this post isn't sponsored, they’re just that awesome.
Flat eye brush
This is the brush to start the eye makeup with. You apply the eyeshadow of your choice all over the lid with a tapping motion of this brush. You can also use it to push the eyeshadow into the crease if your eyes are deep set.
Facial feature: Eyelids
Best used for: Packing the eyeshadow on the lid (i.e. the famous tap'n drag technique), application in the crease
Soft and fluffy, this brush is perfect for blending eyeshadow into the crease, over the lid, and creating a soft transition between different shades of eyeshadow. It is also THE brush to pick up when you want a smokey eye.
Facial feature: Eyelids
Best used for: Blending the eyeshadow, applying transition shades, blending the crease, creating a smokey eye.
Flat foundation brush
There are other shapes of foundation brushes on the market, but a flat foundation brush has the only two features you’ll need – it’s precise and it’s easy to clean, given of course that the hairs are synthetic. It should be rounded and slightly pointed at the top. That way, it is highly useful not only for precise foundation application, but also for contouring with cream product.
Facial feature: Whole face, cheekbones, top of the forehead
Best used for: Foundation application, cream contouring product application
Stiff angled brush
Unless your go-to look includes super heavy, Instagram-ready eyebrows, your eyebrow routine needs this brush. Pick a brow powder product in a shade that suits your coloring, and with this brush, fill in your brows for a natural-looking result. Additionally, a stiff brush like that can also be used for a precise gel eyeliner application. A flick in the outer corner of the lid will turn out beautifully.
Facial feature: Brows, eyelids
Best used for: Filling in the eyebrows, eyeliner application
Angled contouring brush
Shading, bronzing or contouring wouldn’t be the same without this fluffy angled brush. Use it with whatever powder products you have in your makeup bag for these purposes. You can even use it for blush application, but instead of swiping strokes you would use for contouring and bronzing, use it in a circular motion on the apples of the cheeks.
Facial feature: Cheekbones, top of the forehead
Best used for: Contouring, bronzing and shading with powder products
To avoid caking on the mattifying powder in insane amounts, use this brush. Gently swirl it in the powder and apply it with light horizontal strokes only where you need it. For the majority, this means your T-zone. The result will be an almost air-brushed skin effect.
Facial feature: Face
Best used for: Loose/mattifying powder application
Pointed flat eye brush (instead of a lip brush)
While similar to the flat eye brush, this one should be more pointed at the top so that the lipstick application is more controllable and precise. This brush comes in handy especially when you want to wear a creamy lipstick, because you can quickly go over the edge if you apply it straight from the tube. With a pointed flat eye brush this will definitely become a thing of the past!
Facial feature: Lips
Best used for: (creamy) Lipstick application
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