A Basic Guide on Makeup Brushes

Choosing the makeup products that we apply on our face is important but understanding the tools to use is also essential.

Quick Guide-Makeup Brushes_berryduchess

In my opinion, you don’t really need the deluxe/pro brush set (30-piece set) especially if you are just learning to apply makeup or just into easy, everyday makeup look. All you need are the basics and after mastering your skills or whenever you feel like trying out a more complicated style, then you can buy the pieces that you need.

This was the exact mistake that I committed when I bought my first 22-piece brush set from Coastal Scents. Though in my mind, my goal was to really up my makeup skills and getting that set was my first step. But then I was overwhelmed and honestly, I don’t understand which one is for what. So I just used the ones that I’m familiar with and the rest were kept in the drawer. I purchased the set on 2013 but it was only last year (2015) that I started using them all. 😬

So today, I’m here to share how I use and maximise the potential of these basic tools, including some tips, too.

Quick Guide-Makeup Brushes2_berryduchess


Sponge or Brush_makeup brush guide

Sponges / Beautyblender

What it does:

  • works well with cream and liquid products.
  • can be used with cream blushes with bold shades or products with think consistency as it sheers out the product as you apply.

My first choice will always be the Beautyblender sponge because it really gives you that airbrushed and flawless look, sans the cakey face.


  • absorbs the liquid product so you tend to use more.

Foundation Brushes

In general, brushes are good options too but at times, it can leave streaks on the face, unlike the sponge.

Flat Foundation Brush

What it does:

  • used to apply primers, moisturisers and the likes.
  • used to apply liquid products in downward motion.
  • can reach the curves of the face.


  • it is a bit hard to blend using this brush.

Foundation Brushes

In the photo: 1. Beautyblender Sponge; 2. MAC 187 DUO Fibre Face Brush; 3. Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki Brush – Copper 4. Flat Foundation Brush – Coastal Scents

Stippling Brush

What it does:

  • used to apply and blend liquid products for a flawless finish; specifically for foundations and bold cream blushes. I use this when applying NARS Exhibit A blush.
  • can also be used with mineralize makeup products.


  • it is hard to blend using this brush

Personally, I think you can pass on this one, especially if you are not using mineralize makeup.

Flat Kabuki Brush

What it does:

  • used to apply, blend and buff liquid/cream products.
  • if you want to get a fuller coverage, pick this up instead of the sponge.


Berry’s Beauty Tip #1:

Use this to press the finishing powder on your face for a longer lasting makeup.



  • it is hard to reach the curves of the face like the sides of the nose, etc.


Concealer Brush

For concealers or any cream products, it is highly recommended that you use a synthetic brush to achieve extra coverage.


Berry’s Beauty Tip #2:

  • When applying concealer under the eyes, blend it with your fingers or beautyblender.
  • When covering a breakout,
    • use a concealer and lightly stipple the concealer on the area and then lightly feather/blend the edges.
  • Don’t forget to set with powder to avoid creasing!


As you can see, it is my most beat up brush and aside from concealing, I also us it for applying colour correctors and applying metallic eyeshadows so it will stand out. 

Eye makeup brushes

In the photo (from top to bottom): 1. Concealer brush – Coastal Scents; 2. Sigma E40 Tapered Blending Brush; 3. MAC 217 Blending Brush  4. Zoeva 227 Soft Definer (Vegan) ; 5. Zoeva 317 Wing Liner

Fluffy Eyeshadow Brush

What it does:

  • used when applying and blending transition shades/colour on the eyes and avoid the harsh lines.
  • it can also be used when contouring the eyes.

Blending Eyeshadow Brush

What it does:

  • used to for shading/blending powder and creme eyeshadows .
  • this is one of the basic eye brushes that you need.

MAC 217 blending brush was my very first brush from the brand and this made me realise that if I to get the best from my tools, I need to invest in the good ones.

Liner Brush

  • best for applying gel or cream eyeliner and creating that winged eye look.
  • I also love using this brush to apply brow products like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade.


To date, I do not own a big dome brush to apply my bronzer. I only use this angled blush brush from Coastal Scents to apply my blush, contour and highlight. Despite the hair fallout, I still think that this is one of the best brushes that I’ve used. I had a separate blush brush but I always find myself going back and reaching for this.

Face Brushes

In the photo (from top to bottom) 1. Real Techniques Bold Metals Powder Brush ; 2. Wayne Goss The Air-Brush; 3. Angled Blush Brush – Coastal Scents

Another good powder brush is the Wayne Goss The Air-Brush and you can read the full details here.  You can use it to apply powder/bake/blush/contour/highlight and then buff them together and you will get that seamless and natural look.

Colourpop_Matte_X_Back UP_Review and Swatch

Say goodbye to harsh and unblended lines!


Lip Brush

For the lips, I love using the brush with square end/tip because it’s easier to create the perfect lip shape/cupid’s bow. A personal favourite is Charlotte Tilbury’s lip brush.

Charlotte Tilbury lip brush

If you are starting to build your own makeup brush set, you can get Real Techniques 3-piece set. You can also start investing on high-quality brushes like that MAC 217.  On the side, try checking other brands such as Sigma, Zoeva and Morphe brushes as they offer good quality brushes, too.

Remember, you don’t have to buy them all at once. Get one at a time, but purchase those that can have a multi-purpose function. It’s also easier to bring versatile brushes when you’re travelling. When I go overseas, I only bring a maximum of 4 brushes + Beautyblender.

Overall, when looking for makeup brushes look after the good quality and value for your money. The few, good quality brushes will always be better compared to a number of cheap, but under-performing ones.

Next week, I will discuss taking care of your brushes so be sure to SUBSCRIBE so you won’t miss it!


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