There are so many types of makeup brushes on the market and it’s hard to figure out which ones you need. It also can be a struggle to know how to use your makeup brushes, as well.
I’m here to break this down for you a bit! I am going through all of the common makeup brushes and how to use each one. I’ll be using a brush set as reference for this post.
Makeup Brushes Guide – All the Different Types and How to Use Each Brush
The Best Amazon Brush Set – 25 Pieces and Everything You’ll Need!
One of the most frequent questions I get on social media is, “what is the best makeup brush set?” I get the feeling that beginners prefer to buy a set instead of trying to figure out which individual brushes you need. I totally understand this thought process!
I’ve weeded through a lot of them and find that most don’t have all the brushes I would use, or extra ones I would not use at all.
Many brush sets are pretty pricey, and I wanted to find and recommend something that was budget-friendly yet still high quality.
I landed on this 25-piece Amazon makeup brush set and could not be happier. It has every single thing I would ever need to create a makeup look, and more. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything! I use this set exclusively on social media so it’s easy for followers to reference and follow along with their own brushes.
I will be referencing all of the brushes in this specific kit, but these types of brushes exist elsewhere with different brands. MAC, Sigma, and Morphe all have similar types of brushes. I own and use all of those brands, and this set is comparable in quality to my more expensive brushes.
Here’s a big tip: There is no right or wrong way to use a makeup brush. You use it for what you want! A makeup artist may tell you that you must only use cream products with synthetic brushes, or that you should only use powders with natural hair brushes. I may have an unpopular opinion, but I think the best way to use a makeup brush is the way you want to use them (as long as you’re gentle and frequently cleaning them).
Makeup Brush vs. Sponge for foundation: This is a total personal preference thing for sure. I find myself using them interchangeably. If you want to try a sponge, I recommend these sponges. They’re the best affordable ones I’ve ever found!
Another misconception: You need to use all of your brushes in your set. That simply isn’t true! I do not use 25 brushes each time I sit down to do my makeup. You’ll find yourself gravitating towards certain brushes and you’ll use those over and over again. The best part about having a set is being able to try them all out and figure out which ones work best for your routine. If you aren’t using brushes in your set, give them to a friend or keep them on hand as backup.
Last tip: Clean your makeup brushes! I have a whole post on How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes & Sponges. Check out that post for two easy ways to clean your brushes with items you already have around the house. You’ll want to clean them at least weekly. Sometimes I’ll spot clean my brushes right after using them.
Makeup Brushes and Their Uses
Alright, let’s go through the most common makeup brushes, using this set as reference. I put these in order of how I would probably use them, not by number.
104 / Buffer
This is a traditional flat top kabuki brush, which is best used for buffing in liquid and cream foundation. It applies foundation fairly seamlessly! You can use powder products with this, but I find myself reaching for this to blend and buff in foundation.
103 / Defined Buffer
This makeup brush is similar to the flat top kabuki, but has a bit of an angle. You can use this for cream/liquid foundation, cream contouring/bronzing, cream blush, etc.
125 / Stippling
A stippling brush is great for when you want product applied very lightly and diffused. You can dip the brush into foundation (in light amounts for light coverage), powder, and even works great with cream blush.
142 / Concealer Buffer
This concealer buffer brush is a small brush and great for any detail work with creams, particularly concealer. You can also use it to cream contour, or use it with cream eyeshadow.
110 / Face Shape
I love using this brush for cream contouring. The small shape makes it easy to sculpt any area of the face. You can also use it to buff out concealer or apply cream blush.
106 / Powder
This powder brush is pretty self-explanatory. A big fluffy brush is best used to apply a dusting of powder along the face.
101 / Luxe Face Definer
The luxe face definer is another powder brush, but the bristles are slightly tapered towards the ends. This allows for a bit more precise application. You can certainly use this to powder the entire face, but it will also work great to apply bronzer (especially if you’re just trying to go for a wash of bronzer). I love the soft bristles of this brush!
127 / Luxe Sheer Cheek
My favorite way to use the luxe sheer cheek makeup brush is for applying blush. I prefer this shape to my blush brush so I can get a chiseled blush look. You can also use with with powder contour/bronzer.
122 / Petit Stippling
I’m not sure why this is called a stippling brush, because I would not use it in the same way I would a traditional stippling brush. My favorite use of this brush is when I want a precise bronzer/contour application. I love how small the brush is – it really helps me get the product applied precisely but can also still buff out easily.
105 / Luxe Highlight
The luxe highlight is a beautiful highlighting brush – you can use it with your favorite shimmery highlighter. I also think this makes a fabulous under eye setting brush. Dip it into a setting powder and apply to the under eye area.
109 / Luxe Face Paint
I don’t quite understand the “face paint” naming of this, but I assume you could apply a cream or liquid foundation with it. I think the best use of this brush is for powder bronzer or contour. Any type of powder detail work would be great with this brush.
233 / Cream Shader
This cream shader makeup brush could be used in a multitude of ways. You could use it to apply concealer, a cream eyeshadow, cream contour (detail work), etc. It will not work well to buff out what you applied, but it’s a good way to place the product down.
228 / Luxe Crease
There are 3 fluffy crease brushes in this kit, and this is the largest one of the bunch. They all can be used interchangeably, but the biggest one will be used best for the lightest eyeshadow you place down, or for additional blending.
221 / Luxe Soft Crease
This crease brush is the second largest fluffy crease brush. It is best used buffing and blending eyeshadow into the crease.
227 / Luxe Soft Definer
This is the smallest fluffy crease brush of the kit, and I find it to be the most versatile. If I had to use only one eyeshadow brush, it’d be this one. I can blend out almost my entire eyeshadow look only using this. It is best used for blending and buffing eyeshadow into the crease.
222 / Luxe All Over Shader
You can use this eyeshadow brush in different ways, but I find the best way to use it is to place color onto the lid or to buff any edges.
234 / Luxe Smoky Shader
This luxe smoky shader brush can be used for detail work, like buffing in deep colors, the lower lash line, or super precise placement of color.
231 / Luxe Petit Crease
This luxe petit crease is a smaller blending brush, and it would best be used for detail work. For example, a darker color in the outer V or just a tiny bit on the lower lash line.
230 / Luxe Pencil
I love a pencil brush when working on my eyeshadow. Pencil brushes are so versatile! I mostly use mine to work on my lower lash line, but it can also be used for any detail work you’d like to do with eyeshadow.
223 / Petit Eye Blender
This petit eye blender is nearly identical in shape to the pencil brush, so you can use it in the same way.
237 / Detail Shader
This detail shader brush is very tiny, and is flat, so it’s best for packing or placing color down that doesn’t need much blending out. I love this to highlight my inner corner and brow bone.
226 / Smudger
This smudger brush can be used in multiple ways. You can use it to apply shadow in small, precise areas. You can also use it to smudge out a small area, or eyeliner.
322 Brow Liner
This brow liner brush is great for brow work. The angle of the brush makes it easy to fill in brows. You can also use it for eyeliner.
317 / Wing Liner
This eyeliner brush is great for applying liner, be it gel or powder. You can also use it for any small detail work you need to do.
312 / Detail Liner
This liner brush is very small, so if you have very small eyes or need to be super precise, you’ll love this one.
I hope this helped you figure out how to use makeup brushes! Again, there is no right or wrong way! I want you to feel more confident when conquering your makeup routine. Cheers to all the makeup brushes!