Sometimes it feels like there are about 12,000 eyeshadow brushes to choose from. Are you ever confused about what to use? Or how to use it? What size to use with what technique?
Let's break it down. I'm going to run through two categories of eyeshadow brushes: what you should own and what you could own. "The should own" are brushes that will likely be used on a daily basis. "The could own" are extras that you can add to your collection later on. Of course, everyone does their makeup differently--so don't use this as a rule but more of a general guidance for beginners.
What you should own:
A basic eyeshadow brush should be about medium in size. Smaller than your eyelid, but not smaller than your pinky finger nail. You should be able to swipe it across eyeshadow and cover all of your lid with color. Use this brush for the main color of your eyeshadow, which should start near your inner corner and stretch all the way to your crease.
A crease brush is rounder, tighter and smaller than your basic eyeshadow brush. It's used for adding depth into the crease and outer corner of your eye. You can use this brush by pressing firmly and swiping across your crease, and also by pressing firmly along the top of your lash line for extra depth.
Finally, if you clean this brush well, you can pick up some light shadow and press it info the inner corner of your eye. It will brighten the eye area dramatically!
A small angle brush is perfect for adding shadow to your lower lash line. It gives a softer effect than eyeliner. Start by dragging the shadow from the outside of your eye to the center. A few swipes back and forth with blend the shadow in nicely.
If you are going for more of an eyeliner look, moisten the brush and dip in a dark shadow. Then stoke a line just like you would for eyeliner.
You can also use this brush for applying to softening eyebrow color. If you use an eyebrow pencil, use this brush to soften the color and prevent and of your "pencil marks" from showing. Or, use this brush to fill in your eyebrows.
What you could own:
A large fluffy brush is great for blending shadows and softening lines at the edges of eyeshadow. This type of brush is great to use on your brow bone to blend in the area between your crease and brow bone.
Instead of using a blending brush, you can soften the line between your crease and your brow bone with your ring finger, pressing gently. Or be sure to wipe off your basic eyeshadow brush a few times on a tissue and blend with that.
An eyeliner brush is a tiny, pointy brush that is best suited for gel liner, or even moistened eyeshadow. It's precise and if you have a stead hand, can create a beautiful line of color on either the top or bottom of your eye.
Instead of using this brush, you could simply use a kohl or pencil liner. Or liquid liner that comes with an applicator.
A smudger brush is used to smudge out kohl or pencil eyeliner. One of the benefits of having a brush dedicated to this function is that you run no risk of accidentally using it to apply a light eyeshadow and you wind up with a dark smudge.
However, you could either use your ring finger, or the angled shadow brush to do the task of a smudging brush. Also, some eyeliners come with a sponge-y tip on the bottom end of the package. Use that to smudge your eyeliner too!
Tempted to go out and buy a bunch of brushes?
Here are some of my favorite brands
There is a noticable difference between affordable and expensive brushes. If you are waivering on whether or not to pay up for a good brush, I would spend on the basics, and save on the extras. So, in other words, buy a high quality basic eyeshadow brush and crease brush. And then start out with an "e.l.f." smudge brush since you may not use on in a daily basis.
Hope you enjoyed today's Beauty 101! Comment below with any questions or brush suggestions you may have!