Beauty in the Basics: Brushes 1

Okay, so, beauty basics. I didn’t think I’d do this on here, since I am by no means an expert in beauty. Yes I like trying out all things beauty related, but I’m just a random student (who is broke most of the time and can’t afford expensive brands like MAC). But then I thought, when I first started getting into makeup, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. And I looked to the Internet for guidance. I have read and seen my fair share of reviews and tutorials, some of which were really helpful and some that where way out of my league at the time. After a trial-and-error process of trying out different things I have built the foundation of my beauty routine. And as a beginner (or someone with a little more experience, like myself, just snooping to see what others find useful or not) I found these things really useful.

I’ll start with talking about brushes for a bit. Boy, did I not know how to use brushes in the beginning (or how many different brushes there are!). I’ll categorise the brushes by use: face, eyes, brows, lips. I only talk about brushes I have experience with, so if I leave some out, that’s the reason. Also, the brushes differ very much in price and quality, but I use most of them daily.

In this post I will mostly talk about brushes for the whole face and about a few lip brushes. In the next post I’ll talk all about brushes for the eyes (because there are a lot).

Face
Foundation:

foundation-assorti

Flat foundation brush.
This brush was one of the first brushes I bought. I didn’t even use liquid foundation at the time, which is what you use this brush for. The flat foundation brush is a dense brush. It isn’t a fluffy feathery brush, and this makes it perfect to use for liquid foundation. I have also used this one with a foundation stick, but I prefer it for liquids. I find you can’t really blend that well with this one, but it’s perfect for starters. Make sure you brush lightly and blend your foundation into your skin properly, so you don’t leave any visible brushstrokes on your face.

flat-foundation

Stippling brush
You can also use a stippling brush (also known as a duo-fiber brush). This one can be recognised by its different coloured ends. The name kind of says it, it is duo-fibered. The hairs are very close together where they meet the brush, but the brush becomes more feathery at the tip. I find this brush perfect for building a thicker coverage by layering a little more foundation. You can stipple this brush all over you face or lightly swirl it, using only the feathery tip. So don’t use too much pressure with one. I find this brush leaves a nice airbrushed kind of finish to your foundation. The handle of mine has broken off, but I actually prefer using it this way. I used to hold it really close to the brush anyway. Also it was very cheap, but it works just fine.

stippling-brush

Beauty blender
But my preferred tool to put on my foundation has to be the beauty blender. This is a makeup sponge. I have tried using regular sponges, but I didn’t like those. Then I found this sponge and haven’t stopped using it since. I believe you can use it dry, but I always use it wet. You run it under water and squeeze it a few times. Then when it’s saturated, you squeeze it once more (I always squeeze out most of the water in the sink and then squeeze it again in a towel) so there isn’t any water running out, but it is still damp. This sponge will increase in size when wet and become much fluffier. The idea is that this sponge doesn’t soak up as much product as a normal sponge would. It also gives a more dewy, smooth and even finish. You just dot your foundation all over your face with a brush, or your fingers (or you can dab it on straight with the sponge) and then blend it by dabbing the sponge all over until your face looks smooth.

For concealer, I personally use either my stippling brush or my beauty blender. There are specific brushes available, but if you have a small stippling brush like mine, or you use the pointed tip of the beauty blender, I find they really aren’t necessary.

beauty-blender

Powder:

powder-assorti

Powder brush
I don’t know how, but somewhere between my apartment and my parents’ house, I have lost my big powder brush. This brush is large and feathery. I find it perfect for dusting powder to set my foundation. But I have now started using the smaller version of this brush, which works fine. This brush is perfect for setting foundation. I normally dab powder all over my face, sometimes using a small circling motion. The reason I dab and don’t sweep is because I want my foundation to stay where it is, so I dab to not move it around on my face. Make sure you don’t pack on too much product at once though, you don’t want your face to look like a dusty cake. Give your brush a little tap to make sure you don’t have too much powder on it before applying it on your face.

powder-brush

Sculpting/contour brush
I also do a bit of contouring if I feel like it. Normally when I use foundation, I also contour. If I’m just wearing BB-cream I normally don’t use any powder, or maybe just some on my t-zone (which is a T shape across your forehead and down your nose). For contouring I use the slightly angled sculpting brush by Real Techniques. I have really fallen in love with this brush. It is more dense than my powder brush and is perfect for blending in the darker contour powder. The slight angle makes it perfect to use under your cheekbones. I normally dab my brush in my contour powder once and draw a line where I want my contour. I then blend blend blend, until it has faded to a shadow, instead of a harsh line, and no longer stands out on my face. I also sweep this along my jawline and hairline and lightly brush it on my temples.

contour-brush

Highlight brush
For highlight I use a smaller brush, which is more feathery. Because it is smaller it’s easier to apply to a smaller specific area of my face. I sweep this over the top of my cheekbones. And then blend it again so it isn’t as visible. The key to contouring and highlighting really is blending.

highlight-brush

Blush brush
For blush I use an angled feathery brush, about the same size as my powder brush. It is perfect to use on the apples of my cheeks and then to sweep it over my cheekbones. I think I prefer an angled brush, because I want my blush to be strongest on the apples of my cheeks and then fade into my cheekbones and I find this easier to do with an angled brush.

blush-brush

I think for beginners I’d recommend using:

– Beauty blender
– Powder brush
– Blush brush

If you’re a beginner you might want to wait with the contouring until you’ve found out how you like putting on your foundation and go from there. However, only putting on foundation may make your face look flat, so I recommend using some blusher.

Then for the lip brushes:

I rarely use brushes to apply lipstick. But when I do, I use a small flat lip brush. It kind of looks like a small eyeshadow brush, but it’s smaller and not as feathery. This works great for lining the lips, but also for filling in the colour.

short-lip-brush

I also own a slightly longer brush, which I use only for filling in the lip colour.

long-lip-brush

I don’t think a beginner really needs lip brushes. Especially if you don’t have a large budget, I’d say skip these, because a good lip liner will go a long way. And filling in the colour can be easily done with the lipstick itself.

I hope this helps you out a little!

If you have any questions let me know, and also tell me which brushes you really couldn’t miss in your collection? Let me know in the comments down below!

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