Beauty, Beauty Boss, Makeup, Makeup Artistry

How to build an Empire with Makeup Brushes

new on the blog
makeup brushes

There are so many different types of makeup brushes and to many brands that make all these brushes. Knowing the names and each type of brush can become alot, then having to know what there uses are is what a Makeup Artists job is. By knowing what each brush does, this will make your job when applying the makeup much easier and a smoother process. Here we will go over the main brushes that you need in your makeup artist kit, to complete your looks and take a look at what each one is for and what they work best at. Finding what works for you as a makeup artist, style, size, shape, and many brands will allow you to see what you like and works for you as your doing makeup.


There is two different types of brushes, there is real hair brush and synthetic makeup brushes. Synthetic makeup brushes: They’re made up of manmade bristles, usually from nylon or other synthetic fibers. Unlike natural brushes, synthetic makeup brushes don’t have a cuticle, which makes them great to use with liquid or cream products, such as foundation and concealer, because they won’t trap makeup. Synthetic makeup brushes are the way to go because you can have people who are allergic to the natural brushes, that are made up of typically horse hair and also if they have sensitive skin it is not good for there faces. Synthetic makeup brushes are great for all types of makeup powder, cream and special FX makeup and they are great to clean and to continue to use over and over, so these are best for professional makeup artists in their kits.

Face Brushes

contour brush

Contour Brush

This brush is a medium-sized, fluffy pointed tapered brush, which is great for cheeks, face, and body. This is perfect for contour, great for setting powder underneath the eyes and around the nose and mouth area. This is the main brush for setting powder makeup in because it can be used in so many different versatile ways. Other uses can be foundation or concealer.

powder brush

Large Powder Brush

Large fluffy, dense powder brush, which is great for picking up powders on the end of your brush and having them stay on the brush, then directly to your face. Use this brush by applying it in a pressing motion into your skin, but it has some movement in the brush so you can buff and glide over it to remove any unwanted access powder. This is a great alternative to using a powder puff for your setting powder.

face brush

Large Face Brush

This large face brush is fluffy and big, it is great for blending the entire face when your look is finished. It is also great for applying setting powder all over the face and other face powders as well.

Pointed Foundation Brush (paddle brush)

If you have dry skin then going with a flatter type brush for your foundations, this is perfect for beginners and it is great for applying foundation, cream contour, setting under eye concealer or powder.

stippling brush

Stippling Brush

Multi-use foundation brush that has a flat end, they could come in a bigger, fluffier size or even smaller. It is great for applying liquid foundation, weatherist be the sheer foundation or matte foundation. You apply the liquid foundation to the back of your hand, dip it in and only use the end of the brush, which is why the ends are white. For a fuller, matte coverage begins to stipple the liquid foundation over your skin and it will begin to give you an airbrushed foundation look. If you want a sheer foundation look, you can apply the foundation in a buffing, circular motion. This way you get the best of both worlds because you can use it in so many different ways.

setting brush

Powder Blush Brush

Medium-sized brush, more fluffy then the dense cream makeup brush, this is for an all over face brush that will give you a sheer coverage, can be used for liquid foundations, powders, blush, contour and loose setting powder. Also great for bb cream, cc cream, and tinted moisturizers, it’s easy to put it on all over your skin in a controlled more concentrated manner.

Medium Tapered Pointed Brush

For more mature skin, with wrinkles and fine lines, a brush that is similar to a flat foundation paddle brush is great for getting in all those fine lines. This brush is not flat but fuller, round and tapered into a tip at the end. This is great for getting around the eyes and the forehead, where you have fine lines. It is great for pushing the products right into the skin, then gliding over the top without disturbing the skin too much. It is also great for blending powder in, powder contour and powder highlighter as well.

cream contour brush

Cream Contour Brush

Fuller and denser, the denser the brush is its perfect for thicker the makeup, putting cream makeup on it at the end it holds the makeup and it’s great to pack into the skin, for anyone with acne or scaring it fills in the skin and you can buff any foundation into the skin. Now, when you rub your finger over the brush and the less it moves then the denser the brush it and that means that it is for denser, thicker makeup. These brushes are for multi-purpose uses cream foundation, cream contour, cream blush & highlighter.

fan brush

Fan Brush

This brush is often overlooked and it actually has many uses. This brush is shaped like a fan and it can be used for blush, highlighter or contour and it can also sweep away excess powder fall out on your face. It’s great to keep the makeup controlled and sheer, there is no way you could overdo your contour and face makeup with such a light bristle brush. Other uses for the large fan brush for the highlighter on face and body, cream contour brush.

tapered contour brush

Tapered Contour Brush

Medium-sized tapered into a pointed brush, which is great for blush, sculpting, blending, highlighting the face. This is great for setting powder, powder contour, bronzer, blush, highlighter, and all over face powder brush. the small end is perfect for pressing in setting powder, blush, contour and highlighter powder. Blending, because the end is tapered, it is great for pressing in powder into the skin.

large tapered brush

Large Tapered Brush

This brush is tapered, dense but moveable, this brush is perfect for cheek stains, liquid highlighters. For sculpting, contouring, highlighter, using liquids, tints, creams. This is the most versatile and most used brush within the makeup kit.

flat contour brush

Flat Contour Brush

Contour Brush that is flat and dense, for perfect precision and heavier makeup, for sculpting, shaping and creating definition to the face. You will lay it flat on your contour line and push it in gently, moving in forward motions. The smaller version of this is the same but smaller, which it’s for contouring the nose and in the smaller places, around the brow bones and in the highlight area. These brushes are preferably for powder, but it can be used with cream as well.

angled contour brush

Angled Contour Brush

This brush is angled and it’s moveable for a more sheer coverage on the skin. This brush is used best for the blush which it fits perfect on the cheekbones, you can use it for contour or highlight as well.

Eye Makeup Brushes

eye shader brush

Eye Shader Brush

This small dense short brush is a very versatile eyeshadow brush, great for smokey eyes, packing on colors, detailed eyeshadow looks, smudging on color under eyes, controlled eyeshadow that doesn’t move.

tapered blending brush

Tapered Blending Brush

This large long tapered eyeshadow brush is a general size blending brush, great for blending all eyeshadow looks, great to apply highlighter all over the face, great to blend eyeshadow in with a clean brush and nothing on it.

blending brush

Blending Brush

This is a medium and dense brush, which is great for all eyeshadow looks, smokey eyes, blending the color out, packing on the shadow.

tapered blending brush

Mini Tapered Blending Brush

This fluffy blending brush, is an amazing blending brush for eyeshadow, crease brush, perfect to apply highlighter under the brow and on the inner corners of the eyes.

mini fan brush

Mini Fan Brush

Perfect for mascara brush, apply mascara on the lower lash line. Perfect for clients who have grey or blonde eyelashes and you can apply mascara right at the root of the eyelashes.

Straight Brush

This small straight brush can be used for a few different makeup looks, it is great for eyebrows, eyeliner, concealer, and lips. You can use it with cream or powder, gels and it can be used for tightlining, creating a winged eyeliner, pushing the shadow onto your eyelid or your lash line. It works in so many different ways, it’s not just for your eyes or brows, but your lips as well, by applying lipstick or even concealer around your lips or brows.

eyeliner brush

Bent Eyeliner Brush

This tiny pointed bent eyeliner brush is specifically for your eyeliner, weatherist be powder, liquid or gel this will allow you to control your perfect liner. You line up the end of the brush on the corner of your eye where your winged eyeliner will go and literally pull it down and you will create the cleanest winged eyeliner. You can also get right along the lash line and right into the inner corner. But some newer makeup artists find it hard to apply lipstick and lip liner with an angled lip brush, you can use this to apply your lip liner and it works like a charm.

Small Angled Brush

The small angled brush is a brush on an angle which is perfect for applying eyeliner, doing your brows and creating any detailed looks on the eyes.

lip brush

Lip Brush

Lip brushes are for applying lipsticks, lip stains, lip gloss, liquid lipsticks and so on. This will allow you to create a beautiful shape with the lips.

spooly brush

Spoolie Brush

A spoolie brush is a brush that mimics a mascara wand, which is perfect for eyelashes and eyebrows to brush them out and style them down. You can also use reusable mascara wands for this and they are perfect to use with your mascara so you are not contaminating your products.

makeup brushes

How to clean your brushes


You can either spot clean or deep clean.

Brushes are made up of the bristles, the handle and the base and the base is typically wood, so when washing your brushes you need to be mindful of not soaking your brush base because it will ruin the wood. It will ruin the glue and then your brushes will start to shed and sometimes the entire brush bristles can come right off. Make sure that when you are washing your brushes that you are holding it bristles down so that moisture doesn’t seep into the glue and the wood, it will rot the wood.

To spot clean, typically between clients when you’re in a rush and don’t have much time. You will take a paper towel with some brush cleaner solution on the paper towel and gently rub the brush back and forth on the brush cleaner and once there is no more makeup coming off the brush, you can rub it on the dry paper towel.

The other way to spot clean is to use a stainless steel brush cleaner container, pour some brush cleaning solution into the container, gently dip the end of the brush bristles into the solution and the same as before you gently rub the brush back and forth, until it comes clean and you will see the brush cleaner slowly pull out all of the makeup off the brush. After a few brushes, you will need to empty the solution and refill it to continue cleaning your brushes.

There are a few ways to really deep clean your brushes:

You can use a brush soap or even dish soap works well and removes all bacteria. You will pour a few drops into the palm of your hand and gently rubbing the brush bristles back and forth a few times and then running it under water or dipping the bristles in a bowl of water, you will continuously squeeze the soap and water out until it runs clean. Gently squeezing out the soap and water will allow the brush to keep its shape.

Moving on to using a silicone brush cleaning pad, being extremely gentle with this because these silicone brush pads can ruin your brushes, so pouring a few drops of your choice of soap, gently moving the brush bristles back and forth to clean all the makeup out, using the cleaning pad is a great way to remove heavier, thicker makeup that is caked into the brushes or special fx makeup. Gently squeezing out the brush under water removing the soap and water, when it is clean rinse the cleaning pad and you can use the pad to dry the brush bristles. Then you can clean the silicone cleaning pad in a dishwasher or just as you were to do the dishes.

You can use a brush soap bar to clean your makeup brushes as well, saturate the brush into the bar soap, with back and forth motions, then rub it around on your hand to work the soap into the bristles, then same thing putting it under the water and rinsing it out with your hand to keep its shape.

Once your brushes are clean, you can lay everything out on a towel or brush drying towel, if your brushes need to be reshaped then do so and allow plenty of time to let your brushes to dry. You can also use a brush cleaning rack to dry your brushes, hanging them bristles facing down, so that we don’t ruin the wooden bases on the brushes.

There are so many great brush cleaners and brush cleaning solutions, so find the ones that work for you. Also, there are many different ways to clean brushes and this is just a few of the easiest and simplest examples.

Remember to motion your brushes in an eight shape 8 and don’t bouncing them up and down on your hand or the cleaning pad because you will ruin your brushes. If you are using a brush cleaning solution that doesn’t foam or you can’t easily remove the soap, then you are going to want to try to find a different brush cleaner. Your brush cleaner should remove easily, your cleaner is pulling the makeup out of your brush, it isn’t a task that is hard to accomplish and your bristles are soft and smooth after and not rough. A great brush cleaner will do that very simply, cleaning your brushes easily and leaving your brushes in great condition with soft bristles and not frizzy.

about me

Kristina Adleina

Hey Dolls, It's Kristina Adleina here and I want to welcome you to my Blog or back to my Blog. I am a Professional Makeup Artist & Instructor and this is my blog on Makeup, Makeup Artistry & how to start your Beauty Business. I hope you enjoy what you find and if you have any questions you can contact me here Contact Page.

This page may contain affiliate links, meaning I receive commision for each purchase made through those links, at no extra cost to you. Please read my affiliate disclosure. 

Subscribe to Blog

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,020 other subscribers

Follow Me!

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Leave some Love..