Makeup artist Ana Allen reveals the brushes you need in your kit to create a pro look
Want to try a new makeup look or perfect the basics? Either way, getting the right look starts with the right tools—and a proper set of brushes is essential for getting the most out of your makeup.
Whether you're a beauty beginner or a makeup pro, you may find it hard to get a straight answer to the question: What makeup brushes do I need?
The vast selection of makeup brushes on the market can be overwhelming. Different brush kits offer so many options: some all for eyes, some for both face and eyes, and some just for face.
To help you decide what makeup brushes you need, you’ll first need to understand what each makeup brush is used for what, so I’m going to break it down for you...
Looking for the basics? It's best to keep things simple. I often recommend two face brushes...
1. A foundation brush
The holy grail of brushes is a good foundation brush, like this Evalina buffing foundation brush. It should be made of synthetic fibers that don’t have a cuticle, so you can use them with liquid or cream products (like foundation and concealer) and they won’t trap makeup. If you’re looking for a brush that’s perfect for stippling and blending liquid products, a flat-top foundation brush is the way to go.
Recommended technique: Use this brush to apply foundation and concealer for a smooth, flawless finish. Stipple on your makeup; apply liquid foundation or concealer by dotting it on your face.
2. A concealer brush
Evalina's flat concealer brush is a much better alternative to using your fingertip to apply your makeup. The tip makes it easy to dab problem areas the same way you would otherwise be tempted to use your finger to apply. The tapered bristles are designed to move creamy product in the delicate under eye area gently and with precision
Recommended technique: Use the flat brush to apply concealer to blemished areas and under your eyes. Use the foundation brush for smoothing and buffing.
Face Powder Brushes
For face powder brushes I usually recommend having at least two different brushes for the face. To identify what makeup brushes are used for what, look at the shape and the softness of the brush. Softer, fluffier brushes are great for applying blush, bronzer and highlighter. Brushes with stiffer, more densely packed bristles can be used for more controlled contouring. Big, soft brushes provide the lightest application of pigment for a sheer finish. Use them to dust on finishing powder or powder blush. Here are two I recommend...
3. A highlighter brush
The Evalina Highlighter Brush is perfect for highlighting powder on your cheekbones, forehead and nose.
Recommended technique: Flare your highlight by condensing the pigment and pinpointing exactly where you want to place it. A more concentrated highlight reflects light better, amping up the overall effect.
4. A blush and contour brush
The Evalina blush and contour brush delivers smooth and precise application, and easy blending for your blush and contour.
Recommended technique: Buff your blush and contour with the rounded tip of the brush. Swirl it into a pressed powder compact and apply it in a circular motion. This technique makes the makeup melt into your skin so it looks seamless and natural—and it will last for ages.
The main use for eye brushes is for packing and smudging eye shadow around the eye area. Whether you’re looking for beginner makeup brushes or more advanced tools, you’ll need at least two eye shadow brushes. The first one you’ll want is an eye brush with densely packed bristles and lots of control, so you can use it to deposit eye shadow. The second is a good blending brush, which allows you to soften harsh edges and apply eye shadow in places like the crease of the eyes. Here are two recommendations...
5. Eyeshadow brush
The Evalina eyeshadow brush will give you full coverage. Use it to apply the perfect base on your eyelids, then to blend harsh edges as you go.
Recommended technique: Use the soft, dense bristles to sweep your lids for a natural look, or use it to dab eyeshadow on for full coverage.
6. Eye blender brush
Tapered blending brushes like this crease brush are a must-have. The dense bristles are ideal for detailing along the lash line (both top and bottom) and for the crease.
Recommended technique: Buff and blend. The precision tip concentrates product when applied directly to the area, and its rounded tip can also blend seamlessly.
The Detail Brushes
Eyeliner brushes are great! That’s why we included two of them in our brush kit. These handy tools are so versatile—you can use them with just about every texture of cream or gel liner or shadow. You can also use liner brushes for your eyebrows. The angle of your eyeliner brush gives you a straight line, making it a snap to create those sharp power brow arches. Here's how to use them...
7. Angled liner brush
The Evalina eyeliner brush has a fine, tapered point fits perfectly along your lash line. Use it with gel or shadow.
Recommended technique: Sweep and drag the brush along your lash line, always keeping the pointed tip facing out.
8. Brow brush
The Evalina eyebrow brush is a longer tapered brush that works well for all brow shapes.
Recommended technique: Use the top of the brush to fill in, reshape or frame brows.