I used to be a firm advocate of using my fingers for makeup application. “It helps the foundation warm to my skin better,” I used to say. “I can’t stay in the lines unless I put eye shadow on with my fingertips,” was another favourite, and the classic “It’s just easier to smudge some lippy on my cheeks with my hands rather than using a blush.” Like any teen, I thought I knew best and, quite frankly, I was a little bamboozled by brushes. Why do you need so many? How do you even use them and care for them? What the hell even is stippling, anyway?
It’s too late for Past Liz but everyone else who’s flustered by brushes is in luck. Future Liz (me) sat down with owner of A La Lumiere Makeup and Beauty Danielle Riley and my fave set of Lulu & Lipstick brushes to figure out which bristles go where.
1. Lip brush
Most people think they might not need a lip brush… after all, you can just apply straight from the lipstick. The tapered bristles of a brush, however, provide much better precision and you’ll use much less product. A thin layer of lipstick applied with a brush is more budge-proof than a thicker layer applied from the lippy tube. You’ll also need a brush if you want to contour your lip or blend colours.
TOP TIP: Start from the bow of your lips and blend product out towards your lip line. To get a crisp finish, use the tip of the brush to define the lip lines at the bows and corners.
2. Powder brush
This big, soft and fluffy fella is designed to evenly distribute all your powders (be they setting or foundation). To get the most of this brush, use soft circles and sweeping motions over your face.
TOP TIP: “When you dip your powder brush into your powder, always remember to tap off the excess before applying it to your face to ensure even coverage.”
3. Foundation brush
There are many different ways to apply foundation and this is just one of them. The flat brush is good for getting a flawless finish, but you have to be careful to blend properly, or you can end up with streaks. “I personally prefer a beauty blender, but I know loads of people who love the flat brush,” says Dani. “I find after applying the foundation, patting over the face with this brush can be great for helping prevent streaks.”
TOP TIP: Start off in the T-zone area and work your foundation out towards your hairline.
4. Concealer brush
As the name suggests, this one is great for the application of concealer and to get rid of those pesky blemishes and dark circles. The small size makes it ideal to get into those smaller areas around the face. The flat bristles with a slight pointed tip give precise application and will work with many different concealer formulas.
TOP TIP: “After applying, I use this brush to gently pat over my concealer under the eyes to ensure it melts into the skin,” says Dani.
5. Blush brush
This brush is lightly tapered to flow along cheekbones for perfect shading and highlighting. You can use this brush for contouring by squeezing it a bit thinner.
TOP TIP: The trick to applying blush is fluid movements. Instead of stopping, lift the brush off the skin while moving to avoid the dreaded stop lines.
6. Flat liner
A flat liner is great for lining along the lash line with powder. It's usually a stiffer brush, so you can get into the lash line for definition. “I also use this one sometimes to make a cut crease shadow look,” Dany says. (A cut crease is a technique used to “cut” the crease sharply with a contrasting eyeshadow colour to give it that really dramatic defined crease.)
TOP TIP: This brush can be used for liquid, cream or powder liners.
7. Crease eye shadow brush
This little tyke can be used for highlighting the socket line of the eyes, as well as highlighting the crease of the eyes to add more depth. The fine, densely packed fibres make this brush ideal for controlled eyeshadow application like shading or blending of colour or creamy products.
TOP TIP: “This one is ideal when creating the classic “c” and “v” shape shadow looks.”
8. Stippling brush
A stippling brush creates an airbrushed look. As well as foundation, it’s perfect for applying cream blush or highlighters. “This is my go-to foundation brush,” says Dani. “It gives a really nice finish.”
TOP TIP: Use this brush in a bouncy motion for a soft, airbrushed effect.
9. Oval eye shadow blush
The paddle-like shape of this brush makes it ideal for applying product all over the eyelid and perfecting that base colour.
TOP TIP: This brush is also excellent as a finishing brush to make sure everything is blended properly at the end.
10. Angled liner
“This is my favourite brush,” says Dani. “It gives good control for lines and winged liner looks.” This one is great for cream or gel liners and shadows.
TOP TIP: Hold the brush at an angle so the bristles are flush with the lash line and drag from the inside corner, along the lash line, to the outer corner.
11. Small shader
“This small, soft, domed brush gives good control and is great for either smudging colour or adding colour along the lash line,” explains Dani. “It's also brilliant to add your highlighter into the inner corner.” The round-tipped and firm brush fibres help create intensity and build colour delicately on the lids.
TOP TIP: This can be used for cream or powder products.
12. Pointed liner
This little beauty is great for liquid liner and creating that thin perfect line around the eyes. “I use this with damp eyeshadow to create a bright colour pop on the eye line.” It can be used for liquids, creams and gels.
TOP TIP: Apply in short, even strokes along the lash line or when highlighting the inner corner of the eyes.
You can get yourself one of these amazing brush sets here.
A La Lumiere Makeup and Beauty
P: 0403 466 006
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