32 makeup brushes and their uses (Complete List)

makeup brushes and their uses
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Purchasing makeup brushes is essential whether you want to use them for your personal hobby or for your career as a makeup professional. 

However, if you are like me, who is just starting to learn a thing or two about makeup, you may find it hard to choose which makeup brush to get.

You may also find it confusing whether you need all makeup brushes. 

Of course, the makeup industry will provide you with tons of choices, which makes choosing brushes more overwhelming. 


To avoid this issue, I have compiled 32 makeup brushes and their uses so you can stop stressing over which ones to add to your makeup tools.

makeup brushes and their uses

Deciding whether you need more than 30 makeup brushes or just a single brush can be difficult. 

To make it easy, it’s best if you personally read about all the makeup brushes and their uses. 

You can also find different types of makeup brushes below. 

1. Large Fan Brush

You can quickly spot this brush because of its unique shape.

 It has soft bristles that are shaped like a fan. Its main use is for applying a highlighter.

How to Use: 

Grab your favorite highlighter and dip the fan brush lightly on it. Tap your brush to get rid of fallouts. 

Stroke the brush on parts of your face where light hits. 

This includes your forehead, jawline, and cheekbones.

You can also use it on the tip of your nose, collar bones, or even on your Cupid’s bow or the area on your upper lip.

2. Small Fan Brush

The mini version of the large fan brush serves a similar purpose. 

It’s also used to apply highlighter. 

The only difference is that it’s more compact, so it’s easier to carry around. 

This is ideal for makeup lovers who want to travel often. 

You can also use this to apply setting powder or blush. 

Aside from this, you can use the small fan brush to remove eyeshadow fallouts on your face.

How to Use:

When applying highlight, lightly dab and sweep the brush with a small amount of highlighter. 

Swipe it on the inner corner of your eyes, the tip of your nose, your cheekbones, and on the small, upper area of your lips. 

3. Flat Square Brush

Want to achieve an airbrush-like makeup effect? You can consider getting a flat square makeup brush. 

This tool helps you apply and blend makeup, especially liquid products, on your skin. 

It’s an ideal tool for applying liquid and cream-based primer, bb cream, and foundation. 

How to Use:

Apply the liquid makeup directly on your skin by swiping the flat square makeup brush. 

Gently sweep the brush using an outward motion. 

This helps ensure no product or residue will be left in any part of your face, especially on the sides of your eyes and nose.

4. Stippling Brush

Stippling brush is not for beginners. It’s meant for highly skilled makeup professionals because it’s a tool that requires lots of experience. 

This makeup brush has long top bristles and thick, densely packed bottom bristles. 

This unique feature helps you achieve seamless, airbrush-like, and full-coverage makeup finishes. 

How to Use:

Dot some foundation on your face using your fingers.

 Then, grab your stippling brush and blend your makeup using quick dabbing motion. 

This helps ensure your foundation and other makeup products on your face won’t look rough or cakey.

5. Kabuki Foundation Brush

This is probably one of the most essential brushes that you will ever need. 

The Kabuki foundation brush has thick bristles sold in dome or flat shapes. 

Ensure to pick one that has densely packed bristles so you can achieve flawless makeup finishes. 

How to Use: 

Pump a small amount of foundation on the back of your hand. 

Dab the brush to get some product and apply it to your face. 

Place it on your forehead, cheeks, chin, and sides of your nose. 

Then, gently buff the foundation using circular motion. This way, you can achieve even and flawless makeup.

6. Angled Foundation Brush

Angled foundation brush is best for achieving flawless contours. 

With its unique-shaped bristles, you can effectively sculpt your face the way you like it. 

It can be used to apply liquid or powder foundation. 

How to Use: 

Dab some powder or liquid foundation on your face. 

Focus on sculpting areas such as your cheekbones, jawline, and sides of your nose. 

Buff the product by sweeping the angled foundation brush using gentle, upward motion. 

7. Large Powder Brush

If you are a fan of loose powder or compact foundation makeup, you will appreciate having a large powder brush. 

This tool allows you to apply powder or foundation within minutes. 

Large powder brush helps you cover a large area, so you can quickly brush and swipe makeup on your face. 

How to Use:

Using soft, sweeping strokes, apply your powder makeup on your face with a large powder brush. 

You can spread powder foundation or apply setting powder all over your face. 

Gently swipe and sweep the powder all over your face so you can effectively get rid of excess products on your face.

8. Mineral Powder Brush

Mineral powder brush is similar to a large powder brush. However, its mainly used to apply mineral powder or setting powder. 

It’s not meant for applying liquid or cream-based makeup products. 

How to Use:

After applying foundation, use the mineral powder brush to top your face with powder. 

You can either use a compact foundation powder or an actual setting powder. Lightly swipe it all over your face.

9. Tapered Brush

The tapered makeup brush features a flat, soft, and less dense bristles. 

It’s use is similar to other foundation brushes.

However, its relatively smaller compared to other foundation brushes. 

How to Use:

Just like applying foundation using Kabuki foundation brush, dab some liquid makeup product and spread it using the tapered makeup brush. 

To ensure your makeup gets a seamless finish, ensure to gently and slowly cover all areas on your face. 

Use a dabbing and swiping motion to blend the product smoothly.

10. Small, Precision Concealer Brush

If you want to conceal skin imperfections like dark circles, pimples, and acne marks, this small concealer brush can help you. 

With its tight and compact bristles, you can ensure that your skin will look smooth and flawless.

How to Use: 

Place a small amount of liquid or powder concealer on a surface. 

Dab the small concealer brush on it and start applying the product to your face. 

Make sure to dot and dab it on target areas that you want to conceal.

For example, if you want to hide a small acne mark, you can apply concealer using this brush on top of it.

11. Flat Concealer Brush

Another versatile makeup brush is the flat concealer brush. 

You can use this tool to hide imperfections and also set your makeup. 

You can use this to apply either mineral or powder concealers or liquid or cream-based concealers. 

How to Use:

Dot some concealer on your face and dab the product on your face using the flat concealer brush. 

Swipe and sweep it gently on top of blemishes and other skin imperfections. 

This helps you create a smooth makeup finish.

12. Tapered Concealer Brush

Getting the tapered concealer brush is a must if you want to hide dark circles and other concerns like redness or discoloration. 

It has flat and flexible bristles, which helps to easily apply the product on your skin. 

It also features a soft brush head to ensure using it won’t be too harsh on your under-eye area. 

How to Use: 

Dot a concealer on the concealer brush and apply it gently to the area under your eyes. 

se sweeping and dabbing motion to blend the product evenly.

13. Angled Blush Brush

Having a perfectly blended blush can complete your gorgeous makeup look. 

To achieve this, you can use an angled blush brush. 

The angled blush brush allows you to have more control and precision when applying blush to your face.

How to Use: 

Dab and dot some blush powder or cream using your fingers or a small doe-foot applicator on your cheeks. 

Spread and blend the blush using the angled brush. 

Stroke the product upwards from your cheekbones towards your ears. 

14. Flat Contour Brush

To achieve smooth contours without harsh or awkward lines, you can use a flat contour brush. 

It’s ideal for women who want to define some parts of their facial features. 

How to Use: 

If you are using powdered bronzer, dip the brush to get some product. 

Remove excess product by tapping the brush first. 

If you prefer cream or liquid products for contour, place a small amount of product to the back of your hand. 

Dab the brush on it and swipe it to specific areas on your face, including your cheekbones and jawline.

15. Flat Angled Contour Brush

Another useful makeup brush that you might want to get is the angled contour brush. 

This is a must-have if you love defining facial features. 

Using this makeup brush may be challenging because it may leave harsh lines on your face if you’re not careful. 

However, with practice, you can get the hang of it eventually. 

How to Use: 

Dab some product or pump some product on the brush. 

Use short and sweeping motion to apply it to your face. 

Make sure to hit the areas you want to sculpt like underneath your cheekbones and jawline.

16. Multipurpose Contour Brush

If you can’t decide which contour brush to get, you can settle with this multipurpose contour brush. 

This curved makeup brush is versatile as it can be used for different face shapes. 

You can use the multipurpose contour brush to apply bronzer and foundation.

How to Use:

Follow the same procedure as other contour brushes. 

Just ensure that you apply a small amount of product first. 

This way, you won’t have harsh contoured lines on your face.

17. Bronzer Brush

The bronzer brush has oval or dome-shaped bristles.

It’s soft and fluffy, which effectively helps smooth and soften your makeup look. 

It is used to apply bronzer and provides you with a flawless makeup finish. 

How to Use:

Add bronzer to your face by dabbing the bronzer brush and swiping it on your cheekbones, temples, jawline, nose, chin, and temples.

18. Large Eyeshadow Brush

If you are just starting to learn how to apply the eyeshadow, this brush is for you. 

The large eyeshadow brush is a versatile tool that helps you buff, blend, and highlight products. 

This brush is ideal for swiping one color eyeshadow or blending monochromatic pigments. 

How to Use: 

Swipe your choice of eyeshadow color at the center of your eyelids. 

Swipe and blend it on your entire lids using the large eyeshadow brush.

You can also use this large eyeshadow brush to apply setting powder over your concealer. 

This helps conceal dark circles under your eyes.

19. Flat Eyeshadow Brush

Having a flat eyeshadow brush is a game-changer, especially for makeup beginners. 

This eyeshadow tool allows you to precisely apply eyeshadow. 

Its compact and soft bristles help quickly blend colors on your eyelids.

How to Use: 

You can use the flat eyeshadow brush like how you use the large eyeshadow brush.

 The difference is that having a flat eyeshadow brush gives you more precision and control.

20. Crease Brush

As the name suggests, a crease brush is used to apply the product to your creases. 

It helps add “shadow” creating depth on your eyelids.

Its small, round bristles are ideal for making eyeshadow application easy and hassle-free.

How to Use: 

Dip your crease brush on your eyeshadow palette and lightly apply it on your creases. 

Make sure to start with a little amount of product, so you won’t be left with harsh-looking eye makeup.

If you want to make your eye makeup look more intense, slowly add another layer of eyeshadow to your creases. 

Use a light dabbing, circular motion when applying eyeshadow.

21. Blending Eyeshadow Brush

If you love wearing eyeshadow, having a blending brush is a must. 

The blending eyeshadow brush allows you to experiment with different eyeshadow colors without making it look awkward or unflattering. 

Its long bristles are designed to blend colors and pigments that are applied to your eyelids. 

This makes your makeup look flawless and seamless. 

How to Use: 

Dab your choice of eyeshadow color on your creases. 

Select a different color and apply it to your eyelids. 

Grab your blending brush and sweep your eyelids. 

This way, you get to blend different pigments together. 

22. Eyeshadow Brush Sponge

The eyeshadow brush sponge is a tiny makeup tool that helps blend colors. 

It also ensures the eyeshadow pigments will properly sit on your skin. 

You can also use the eyeshadow brush sponge to apply glitter or add shimmer to your eyelids. 

How to Use: 

Dip the eyeshadow brush sponge into your makeup palette. 

Dab it on your creases to add a shadow-like effect on your eyelids. 

To apply glitter, dab the shimmery powder or cream on the middle part of your lids. 

Pat the brush sponge on your eyelids to add more glitter or shimmer to your eye makeup.

23. Flat Definer Brush

Do you love applying eyeliners? You probably want to get yourself a flat-definer brush.

This makeup brush allows you to define your eyes. 

It is meant for applying eyeliners. It can also be used to draw lines and shapes on your face. 

How to Use: 

Place a small amount of powder, cream, or gel eyeliner on your brush. 

Gently glide the brush on your lids. Start from the inner part and work your way outwards. 

You can also use this to smudge your eyeshadow and blend it to create winged liners. 

Others also use this brush to define their eyebrows. 

Simply place a small amount of eyebrow makeup on your brush. 

Swipe it on your brows and smooth the shape by smudging.

24. Angled Shading Brush

Getting an angled shading brush is ideal if you want precision in applying shadows and highlights on your face. 

This means that you can use this brush to apply highlighter or bronzer. 

However, it’s a small brush so you can use it on your brow bone, the tip of your nose, and eyelid creases. 

How to Use: 

To apply highlighter on your brow bone, swipe a small amount of shimmer using the angled shading brush. 

Carefully trace your brow bone, so it creates a naturally bright makeup look. 

If you will use this brush to apply eyeshadow, dip s small amount of product on the brush. 

Press the brush on your creases and blend the colors carefully.

25. Angled Eyeliner Brush

This flat and slanted eyeliner brush is meant for creating perfect eyeliners. 

This is especially helpful for women who love winged eyeliners.

How to Use: 

Dip your brush into an eyeliner gel, powder, or pomade. 

Gently glide and swipe the brush near your upper waterline.

When you reach the end of your waterline, stroke the brush upwards and outwards. This helps create the perfect eyeliner wings.

26. Bent Eyeliner Brush

This brush is exactly how it sounds. It has a bent tip which is used to apply eyeliner. 

The unique shape of this brush is ideal for creating winged eyeliners.

Using it needs skills and precision, so you may appreciate this more if you are a makeup professional. 

How to Use: 

Angle your hand properly to ensure you position the eyeliner brush correctly. 

Gently drag the bent eyeliner brush on your lash line.

When you are about to reach the end of the outer corner of your lash line, switch the angle of your hands. 

Position the brush to where you want your eyeliner wings to be applied.

27. Lash Brush

Lash brush is used to apply mascara to your eyelashes. 

It can also be used to swipe makeup gel or pomade on your eyebrows.

This brush can also serve as a mascara wand if you ever damage your existing mascara applicator.

How to Use: 

Use the lash brush to comb your lashes. 

It helps separate clumped lashes, so they are ready for mascara application. 

28. Angled Eyebrow Brush

Having well-defined eyebrows can be achieved by using an angled eyebrow brush.

It helps ensure you get to highlight the natural shape of your eyebrows. 

You can also use this brush to create your preferred brow shape. 

This helps if you have thin or sparse eyebrows. 

With this brush, you can quickly fill in your gorgeous arches.

How to Use: 

Dip the angled eyebrow brush on your eyebrow makeup. 

This can work whether you are using powder, gel, cream, or pomade. 

Swipe the angled eyebrow brush on your arches. 

Work your way slowly by applying less product first. You can just add more eyebrow products as you finish your brow makeup.

29. Eyebrow Shaper Brush

If you want naturally gorgeous eyebrows, getting an eyebrow shaper brush is necessary. 

This makeup brush allows you to ensure brow strands are in their ideal places. 

It serves as your eyebrow’s comb, which helps prep your brows before applying makeup.

How to Use: 

Comb your eyebrows gently and slowly. Make sure to comb the strands where you want them to be. 

Do this before and after applying eyebrow makeup so you can have clean and defined arches.

30. Pencil Brush

Creating well-defined creases on your eyelids is easy if you use a pencil makeup brush.

Its small and compact size allows you to have better precision when applying and smudging eyeshadow. 

How to Use:

Dip your pencil brush into your eyeshadow palette and dab it carefully on your eyelids. 

To create a smokey makeup look, start with a lighter shade and apply it on your lids. 

Add a dark shade of eyeshadow and apply it on your creases. 

Grab your pencil brush to gently smudge the pigments on your eyelids. 

This ensures that all the colors applied to your lids will be well blended.

31. Flat Lip Brush

If you want your lipstick and lip gloss to stay longer, using a flat lip brush is a must. 

The flat head of this lip brush helps you precisely apply lip products. 

It’s best for those who love using bold color lipsticks. It prevents your lipsticks from smudging as well.

How to Use: 

Dip the brush on the lipstick to get some product. 

Swipe the brush on your lips to spread and diffuse the lipstick. 

You can also use this brush to ensure the lip product is applied even on hard-to-reach areas of your lips. 

This includes corners and under the Cupid’s bow. 

32. Precision Lip Liner Brush

If you love creating unique lip makeups such as ombre lips or diffused lips, I highly recommend getting a lip liner brush. 

This makeup tool features small and thin bristles, perfect for applying lipsticks. 

How to Use: 

Dip the lip liner brush on the lip product. 

Draw a line around your lips to define its natural shape. 

Apply more product by working your way from the outer part towards the inner part of your lips.

how many makeup brushes do i need

Do you actually need 32 makeup brushes in your makeup kit? The answer is… Maybe! 

It all depends on how often you use makeup. 

It can also depend on whether you are simply applying makeup as a hobby or as a career.

So you won’t get overwhelmed, you can start off with 3-4 makeup brushes. 

If you plan to make a career in using makeup, you can collect 5-10 makeup brushes.

You can read my article about “How many makeup brushes do I need” for more details. 

This will help you better understand why you might need certain brushes compared to others.

Takeaway 

Whether you’re just starting your journey as a makeup enthusiast or you plan on continuing a successful career as a makeup artist, it’s best to broaden your knowledge about makeup tools, especially brushes. 

Hopefully, this post helped you gain enough information about makeup brush uses. 

With this, you might be able to start scouting for the best or most essential tools you can add to your makeup kit.

Don’t forget to check out our post about “How Long Do Makeup Brushes Last” so you will also have an idea on how to better take care of your newly purchased makeup brushes.