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How to Choose the Best Makeup Brushes

New to makeup brushes? We can help. Heres how to decide which brushes should go in your set

Tips to pick the best makeup brushes for your needs

When it comes to applying makeup, there is more to it than just having the right foundation, lipstick, eye shadow and mascara. One brush won't cut it, if you want flawless makeup. Whether you budget allows for good-quality brushes, or leaves you resorting to cheaper brands, there is the right brush for each part of your makeup application. And, in many cases, a good set of brushes should give you everything you need for your entire makeup routine. Here's how to decide which brushes you'll need, so you can compare sets and pick one that has the best assortment of brushes for your needs.

Natural fiber brushes are effective and softer than those made of synthetic fibers. Buying good-quality brushes ensures that they will endure many days of makeup application.

Synthetic brushes are easy to clean, so they are the better choice when applying liquid makeup and concealers.

Whether you buy synthetic or natural hair brushes it is important to clean them.

Natural hair brushes need to be cleaned at least once a month. Using shampoo and warm water you can remove the build up of foundation. After rinsing the brushes leave them lying flat on a towel until they are dry. If you don't clean your brushes regularly, they could harbor bacteria... and do you really want that next to your eyes and mouth?

Foundation Brushes

Before deciding on the type of foundation brush to use, think about if you use full coverage, blending liquids, creams or powders.

Kabuki brushes  tend to have tightly-packed textured bristles that offer perfect full coverage.  The bristles in these types of brushes enables you to pick up foundation powder evenly. You can use them in small circular movements or press into skin.  The beauty of kabuki brushes is they are also useful for applying bronzer and blusher.

Stipple brushes have soft flexible bristles that can be used when blending, buffing or stippling cream or liquid foundations. They can be used when you apply tinted moisturizers.

Defined Buffer Brushes are known for their taped tips, which deliver accurate coverage around your nose and eyes. You'll like how the synthetic bristles apply both thick liquid and cream foundations smoothly.

Dome-shaped bristles are designed to roll over your face, reaching every crevice and depression. You can use them to dab small amounts of foundation on the areas that  need it, then blend it out with tiny circular movements.

Using a flat brush will drag the makeup over your facial features. The curved shape makes it easier to control the application of the makeup.

Eye Brushes

Using the correct eye brush for a particular purpose leaves your eyes looking fabulous.

Standard shadow brushes are always a good place to start. You use them for applying color with some blending. Most brush sets have standard shadow brushes. Blending brushes are useful for spreading out any rough eyeshadow lines that appear. A fluffy brush can blend the shadows exactly how you want them. Use them on the center parts of your eye crease.

Pointed pencil brushes not only soften your shadow around eyelash lines, they help blend it in without making a mess. If you want stamp-like color around your lashes, the flat pencil brush fits the role perfectly. You can also use the flat brush for placing the eyeshadow onto your lids.

Angled brushes can be sharp enough to make cat-eye liner or soft enough for a smoky eyeliner effect.

Smaller detail brushes can be used when you want to add more detail under your eyes.

Other brushes needed

There are a couple of other brushes that are useful when applying your makeup.

Concealer brushes are the optimal tool when you need to conceal unsightly blotches. Some concealer brushes are made with tight bristles made from synthetic hair. A pointed tip will allow you to dab concealer on small blemishes.

Lip brushes — a sturdy lip brush with angled and firm bristles is the right brush to use to avoid smudges, and control the amount of color you apply. They are great for tricky areas like your cupid's bow.

Highlight brushes come in all shapes and sizes and are specifically designed for highlighting, luminizing and contouring. Duo fiber brushes can be used with liquid blush and shimmer powder on cheeks and brows.

Brow brushes add contours to your brows. One end mirrors a mascara applicator while the other end is rigid with an angled tip or slanted brush. Brush your brow hair into your preferred shape. If you want to add powder or cream to your brows, the slanted brush is ideal. An angled tip will enable you to draw fine lines.

The Bottom Line

Most cosmetic companies provide makeup brushes individually or in a kit. There brushes are designed for every function involved in makeup application. If  buying good quality brushes is out of your budget begin with the basics — foundation brush, concealer brush, blush brush, eye shadow brush, and slanted eye shadow brush.

Resources — The CutCosmopolitan 

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