From left to right: MAC #224 brush, Crown Brush IB107 oval foundation brush
I was going over with a friend recently the importance of choosing the right brushes and knowing when to use them for what. I thought it would be great to share what brushes I use for my face makeup and you will see that no single brush can do it all! I use a total of seven brushes for just my face makeup alone!
Starting with all liquid and cream products…I use two brushes:
Skincare: In complete honesty, I do apply my skincare products (serum, moisturizer, eye cream, and primer) with my hands. I do advise using a basic foundation brush to apply these products but if you apply with your hands, it’s okay. Also, for cream/liquid highlighting products, I will apply with fingertips (but then go back with a brush to blend).
Foundation: For liquid foundation, I personally like a small and thin foundation brush. The one that I’m using is by Crown Brushes, specifically the IB107 oval foundation brush. It doesn’t leave the foundation too streaky and just blends the product beautifully leaving a natural, flawless finish to the skin.
Concealer and small areas of the face: For concealer application such as blemishes and under eye area, I actually like to start off with my finger tips, but then I will use a MAC #224 (which is essentially an eye shadow brush, but many artists including myself like to use it as a face brush) to blend the edges seamlessly.
I want to point out that the MAC #224 is EXCELLENT for the small areas of the face: under eyes, around the nose, around the lips, around the eye brows. Basically, when I’m dealing with the perimeters of specific features of the face (nose, eyes, lips), I use the #224 because it’s small enough to get around those areas whereas the regular foundation brush is too big to cover the surface area. The more delicate features of the face need to also be approached in a delicate manner, hence why I switch to a MAC #224 when I’m applying foundation to those areas.
When I do my clients’ face makeup, I also ALWAYS use a regular foundation brush to cover the majority of the face followed by a MAC #224 (or any fluffy small head brush) for the finishing touches.
Moving onto powder products…I use a total of five brushes:
From left to right: Crown C107 powder dome brush, MAC #138 brush, Crown BK3 chisel brush, MAC #129 brush, MAC #165 brush
Powder: For all over the face setting powder, I always like to use a large fluffy brush. I have been using a C107 powder dome brush from Crown Brushes. I also have a MAC #182 kabuki which is also really nice.
Contour: Specifically for contouring the cheekbones, I use a large powder brush with a tapered tip. I personally LOVE the MAC #138 brush for the cheeks. For someone with smaller and more defined cheeks, I may opt to use a brush with a smaller head (such as the MAC #129).
Bronzer: I also like to have a separate brush for bronzer. I add bronzer mainly along the hairline. I’m using a medium sized dome shaped brush. Specifically, I’m using the BK3 chisel brush from Crown Brushes. Their brushes are great value and great quality.
Blush: I typically like bigger brushes for blush because it gives a much softer application, but currently I have been using the MAC #129 brush which is their standard blush brush.
Highlight: For cheek highlighting with a powder product, I LOVE the MAC #165 brush. Unfortunately, this brush is discontinued which is sad because I only own one and do not have one in my professional brush kit. I’m sure there are many duplicates available, but basically it’s a smaller version of the MAC #168 (which I just shared I used as my contour brush). It’s a small headed brush that tapers on the end.
As you can see, I use a different brush for every powder product. I personally just like to have a separate brush per makeup application step. If you have a powder brush you are using as a blush and bronzer brush, this is okay. For an all over powder brush, I do suggest this brush be used for this step only.
[Do you have any brushes that you like to use that I did not share here? If so, please share!]