What are Some Different Kinds of Makeup Brushes?

An eye shadow brush is short and flat.
Makeup brushes come in a variety of sizes.
Makeup brushes can usually be purchased anywhere cosmetics are sold.
High-quality makeup brushes can be expensive, so they should be cleaned and cared for properly.
For more precise makeup application, like around the eye area, smaller brushes are better.
Soft filler brushes can be used to blend out powder applied to the eyebrow.
A woman applying mascara to her eyelashes with a straight brush.
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  • Written By: A Kaminsky
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 March 2015
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Some women use their fingers, some sponge applicators, but when it comes to great-looking makeup, most women want to use makeup brushes. Makeup brushes, like artists’ brushes, have different shapes for different uses. Some are round and full, some pointed and thin.

Makeup brushes, again like artists’ brushes, may be made of natural or synthetic materials. Sable is always a popular choice for makeup brushes, since it is soft and washable. However, good synthetic brushes are also available.

Makeup brushes come in nearly endless variety, for every possible kind of cosmetic application. A basic brush is the powder brush. This will usually be the largest, fullest brush in a set. It is designed to apply loose powder so it does not cake on the skin. A foundation brush is also a large brush, but with flat bristles. This brush helps apply liquid or crème base evenly. This brush can also be moistened for a sheer finish.

Other makeup brushes include those for blush, eye shadow, eyeliner and lipstick. A lipstick brush is tapered and thin for precise lipstick application, as is the eyeliner brush. The eye shadow brush is short and flat, so the shadow can be applied smoothly. Makeup artists also have a wide array of specialty makeup brushes, to create a particular effect. These makeup brushes may have fan bristles, very thick bristles or other specialty heads for fashion photography uses.


Makeup brushes may be available for purchase singly or in sets. Most people will want to purchase an initial set, just to get some of the basic brushes, and then may purchase others individually. A set purchase may be somewhat cheaper than individual purchases, but it depends on the person’s preferences.

Makeup brushes can usually be purchased anywhere cosmetics are sold, or they may purchased online. A set for $40-50 U.S Dollars (USD) is probably a good price. Price generally equals quality with makeup brushes, so a person who can afford to spend more money on them may want to do so.



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Post 2

@healthnwell--When I clean my makeup brushes, I usually rinse first under warm water. Then I put just a dab of shampoo on the bristles and rub in, then rinse again. Once the water rinses clear, you can let the brush dry. I usually pat lightly with a clean paper towel and then hang them bristles down so any remaining water will drip out.

Post 1

Thanks! I never know what brush to use when I look at the odd-shaped brushes, they usually stay in my makeup bag and never get used. I didn't realize you could put liquid or creme foundation on with a brush, I will have to try that!

Does anyone know the best way to clean a brush?

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