Step into any makeup boutique or drug store beauty aisle and you will be overwhelmed with a barrage of makeup brushes. Which brush goes with which product? How do you use them? Here is a usage guide to a standard set of brushes.
Foundation brush. With cream or powder foundation, a foundation brush is key. It gives better and more natural blending than a sponge, and also allows for better control. Look for one with a relatively flat, dense head about an inch wide. Rub the brush in the foundation and dot over your T-zone, then blend outwards for even coverage. "Blending" means brushing in wide circles while "pulling" the makeup out.
Blush brush. A light touch and an excellent brush is absolutely necessary with blush. The blush pictured here, called a "dome brush," is the ideal shape. The larger the dome, the better the brush, because it makes a more natural sweep on your cheek. Dotting your brush into your blush, smile and sweep the apples of your cheeks for a natural glow.
Brow brush. This stiff, spiral and wiry brush is used to catch the hard-to-move hairs of your eyebrows. Brush upward, pluck any stray hairs below, fill in with eyebrow pencil and brush along the line of the arch.
Crease brush. The slightly flared shape of this brush makes it ideal for filling in the crease of your eye with shadow. Not used for a fine line but rather for shading, use an eyeshadow a few shades darker than the one on your lid to give your eyes excellent contrast and deeper, more powerful color.
Lid brush. These come in either flat-head or a rounded-head styles. The brush should be about 1/2 an inch wide and very flat. The flat-head brush is excellent for a very fine eyeliner brush, while the round-head can give a more blended line. Both give excellent shadow coverage for the lid.
Kohl blender: With a good eyeliner Kohl pencil, you also need a stiff, conical foam blending brush. Run it over the line and the color will blend out--and as a bonus, any stray marks will fade in.
Concealer brush. If you have a blemish or dark circles that you would prefer be covered up, apply your concealer after your foundation. It helps it set and blend better. Use a double-ended brush like the one pictured; one flat end can apply a greater amount of product, and the other, fluffier end can blend it into your makeup perfectly.