Makeup Brushes 101

Hi dolls! If you’re like me & had no idea how many different makeup brushes there are and what each brush is used for, this one’s for you. Makeup brushes seem simple but there’s so much more to it. Let’s explore the realm of makeup brushes.

Different Types of Brushes & Their Uses:

Powder Brushes – Used to apply powders, loose or pressed, onto the face to lightly set foundations, concealers, creams, and tinted moisturizers.
Bronzer Brushes – Used to apply liquid, cream or powder bronzer to give more definition to the face by deepening the natural shadows of the face & give the appearance of a tan.
Fan Brushes – Can be used to apply virtually any product to the face, typically used for highlighting & contouring.

Contour/Highlight Brushes
○ Contour Brushes – Used to apply a deeper shade than that of the skintone to the hollows of the face to enhance the facial structure.
○ Highlighting Brushes – Used to apply cream, liquid or powder highlighting product to emphasize the areas of the face where light naturally hits.
Foundation Brushes – Typically densely-packed brushes used to apply flesh-toned makeup to the skin, covering any imperfections & evening out the skin’s complexion.
Blush Brushes – Used to apply cream or powder warm-toned product to redden the cheeks & give a more youthful appearance.
Kabuki Brushes – Dome-shaped, densely-packed brushes typically used to apply loose or pressed powders.
• Concealer Brushes – Typically small, synthetic(do not absorb as much product as natural hair) brushes used to apply and blend out liquid or cream concealers.
Eyeshadow Brushes – Typically flat brushes used to sweep or pack eyeshadow onto the lid.
Blending/Smudger Brushes
○ Blending Brushes – Typically fluffy on the top & dense at the core allowing for easy blending of eyeshadows to create a seamless eyeshadow application.
○ Smudger Brushes – Small, typically pointed or flat & densely-packed brushes used to pack & blend – or ‘smudge’ – eyeshadows near the lashline, waterline or in the crease.
Crease/Pencil Brushes
○ Crease Brushes – Typically on the smaller side & dome-shaped used to blend & contour the natural crease & corners of the eye.
○ Pencil Brushes – Typically soft with a tapered tip resembling a pencil used to apply/smudge eyeliner or create soft definition with eyeshadow to the upper & lower lashline.
Eyeliner/Eyebrow/Grooming Brushes
○ Eyeliner Brushes – Typically thin, sharp-tipped allowing for precise application of gel, liquid, or powder eyeliners.
○ Eyebrow Brushes – Small, angled brush used to create hair-like strokes in the brows to give the illusion of fuller, thicker brows.
○ Grooming Brushes – Either spoolie or double-sided brush & comb used to brush out the brows or lashes.
Lip Brushes – Typically flat, tapered tip bristles that allow easy & controlled application of lip products.

My Personal Favorite Brushes:
Most of the brushes I currently use are Morphe Brushes, but I do have a few Shany & Luxie brushes as well.

Face Brushes:
Morphe M107 – Jumbo Dome Powder Brush, used for applying powder, bronzer or blush.
Morphe E1 – Deluxe Powder Brush, used to blend in foundation, sweep powder over the face or buff in bronzer.
Morphe E60 – Deluxe Highlight Fan Brush, used to apply highlight or contour the cheekbones, temples & forehead.
Morphe M105 – Tapered Blush Brush, used to apply loose or pressed blush to the cheekbones.
Morphe M143 – Small Chisel Blush/Contour Brush, used to contour the cheekbones.
Shany F14 – Medium Powder Brush, used to pack & set loose or pressed powders to the face.
Luxie 512 – Small Contouring Brush, used to contour the cheekbones, temples & forehead.
Morphe M510 – Pro Round Blender Brush, used to highlight the tops of the cheekbones, tip of the nose, cupid’s bow & forehead above the brows.
Morphe M218 – Blending Fluff, typically used for eyeshadow but due to my small face I use this for highlighting the areas where the light naturally hits my face.


Eye Brushes:
Shany F21 – Blending Brush, used to blend eyeshadows in the crease.
Morphe B83 – Small Oval Shadow Brush, used to pack eyeshadow onto the lid & controlled blending of darker shadows to the crease.
Morphe M504 – Large Pointed Blender Brush, used to blend & sweep eyeshadows.
Morphe M441 – Pro Firm Blending Crease Brush, used to blend perfectly & seamlessly transition between shades.
Morphe M433 – Pro Firm Blending Fluff, used to shade & blend shadows into the crease.
Morphe S30 – Small Chisel Shadow Brush, used to pack eyeshadows.
Morphe M330 – Blending Crease Brush, used to diffuse harsh lines & blend out shadows.
Morphe M505 – Tapered Blender Brush, slightly domed & light touch to blend shadows into the crease.
Morphe B84 – Oval Shadow Brush, used to quickly sweep color onto the lids.
Morphe M508 – Extra Small Smudger Brush, perfect to smudge shadows onto the upper & lower lashline.
Morphe M149 – Small Round Contour Brush, used to sculpt any features of a look that need defining.

How To Deep Clean Your Makeup Brushes:
You Will Need:
• A bowl
• Gentle clarifying shampoo, baby shampoo, or brush cleaner(i.e. Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner)
• A sink
• A small washcloth, preferably lint-free

1. Start by running your brushes under warm water, rinsing out as much makeup residue as you can. Try to focus at the base of the bristles, but avoid the metal piece that connects the handle to the head as this will loosen the glue over time.
2. Fill your bowl with warm water & a tablespoon or two of the cleansing solution of your choice, & gently swirl your brush in the water. If the product build-up is excessive, you can put bit of pressure onto the brush to the bottom of the bowl & continue to swirl until it seems clean.
3. Rinse the brush once again under running, warm water. Repeat steps two and three until the water runs clear through the brush.
4. Use a washcloth to wipe your brush clean, reshaping the bristles as best you can.
5. Lay your brushes flat, or if you have a way to stand them up while keeping them separated from each other, leave them out to dry.


There you have it! Your brushes should be clean & ready to be used. Personally, I use the Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner and follow these same steps. However, gentle clarifying or baby shampoo will do just fine.


Are your brushes in need of a deep cleaning?


Grace Michelle

Christina Koop

Author: Christina Koop

Christina is a fun loving, trend oriented millennial with an eye for trend spotting and digital marketing. In her spare time, she is usually found with friends, reading the next marketing tech book, or simply with her husband relaxing and enjoying all that life has to offer her in NC.