Know Your Make Up Brushes – Part 2

In our first article on make up brushes, we introduced you to the basics of the various types of materials used in a brush and why certain bristles are good for certain effects or make up products. However, with the various shapes and sizes that these brushes come in, the confusing part would be “which brush is for what kind of product?”.


24 Pcs Aluminum Tube Make Up Brushes Set US$8.87

Time to take out your set and take a look at each one. As there are quite a few brushes, let’s break it down to the following.

*Click on the names of the brushes to get the specific item description or simply scroll down for all.

Foundation Brush

Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation Brush #10 US$34

Characterised by its slightly rounded tip and flat top, since this brush is used for spreading product on your face, the foundation brush is used to apply liquid or cream foundation. It can also be used to apply skincare products, such as facial mask.

Kat Von D Lock-It Edge Concealer Brush #40 US$24

From the name, this is obviously used to apply liquid or cream concealer. Think of this brush as a small version of a foundation brush, which is why it normally does look like one.

Powder Brush

Kat Von D Lock-It Precision Powder Brush #25 US$32

The powder brush is usually the largest, poofiest brush in your brush set. It’s rounded on all sides as it is used for loose powder, blush and bronzers as it helps to diffuse these products without smudging your foundation. Some people will designate the largest brush head for loose powder and the slightly smaller one for blushers. Regardless, choose whatever is comfortable to you.

Angled or Contour Brush

Kat Von D Powder Contour Brush #2 US$32

This brush has an obvious angle to it at the tip while still round overall. It can be used for both blushers and bronzers as the angle helps it fit perfectly on and under the cheekbone.

Fan Brush

e.l.f. cosmetics Fan Brush US$2

Fan brushes are great for applying highlighting powder on the cheeks as well as dusting away excess or fallout product under the eyes.

Kabuki Brush

e.l.f cosmetics Bronze Beauty Set

The kabuki brush has a large dense top that usually has a short handle but modern versions do have longer handles too. The kabuki brush can be used to apply loose powder which help to give skin a flawless finish. Yes, it can be a replacement to the powder brush above.

Flat Brush

Looking at the brown brushes in the image above, these brushes look a bit like mini foundation brushes or concealer brushes but they have a slightly less compact brush head. They can be used for eyeshadows as they help to pack product onto your eyelids.

Blending Brush

Blending brushes are usually dome shaped, loose and fluffy in order to help diffuse make up (whether it be eyeshadow, contour powder or lipstick), giving a soft blended look. The tip of the brush is also called ‘flower tip’.

Angled or Eyeliner Brush

This brush is mainly used with gel eyeliner because that will create a defined line on your lids. However, you can also use it with eyeshadow to create a softer eyeliner look. The angled brush can also be used as a lip brush as it is able to create a define line on the outer rims of your lips.

Smudger Brush

e.l.f. cosmetics All About Eyes Palette Set US$10

The second brush from the right in the image above is an example of a smudger brush where the brush head is a bit stubby and rounded. It helps to smudge pencil eyeliner or a bit of eyeshadow – especially useful for smokey eyes effect! Can be used as an overall eyeshadow brush as well.

Pencil Brush

Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Brush US$27

Pencil brush is a general term for brushes that can help to diffuse and deposit colour easily. It is characterised with a sharper tip but round bottom (see above image and the top tip of the brush). You can use it to define creases on your eyelids; on upper and lower lash line.

Lash Comb and Mascara Wand

These help to comb out clumpy lashes. Looking at the e.l.f. cosmetics Travel Brush Collection, the extreme left brush is the lash comb which can also help to comb out the clumpy lashes and the brush side can be used to diffuse brow colour.


Most make up brushes are quite versatile and you can use them in multiple ways – for example, using a concealer brush to apply glitter on your eyelids; using a pencil brush instead of a smudger brush to draw the lash line. It all depends on your personal preferences and most importantly, have fun applying your make up!


Adapted from Suzanne Lin’s Suzanne Odyssey World.

Photo credits: Kat Von D, e.l.f. cosmetics

FREE Trial from Honest Beauty!
Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enjoy our daily dose of wellness? Please spread the word :)