21 Types of Makeup Brushes and their uses (A helpful guide + reviews)

Best makeup brushes for beginners

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Overwhelmed by all the different types of makeup brushes out there? You are in the right place, Here are 21 Types of Makeup brushes and their uses, the complete makeup brushes guide for beginners to not lose your mind, and find the best makeup brushes for you!

As a Makeup artist, I believe that Makeup brushes are everything! Is super important getting right makeup products to create the best makeup looks but this is just imposible to achieve if you don’t have the right tools.

The right makeup brush can make the difference when you are trying to blend that dark eyeshadow on your crease or applying a shimmer shadow with setting spray.

Certainly, there are many different types of makeup brushes with different designs and technologies. There are natural hair or fiber ones with different shapes, colors, and prices!

I think I’ve tried enough to share my opinion with you and my top recommendations for each different type of makeup brushes (so you don’t feel lost in your makeup brushes journey) and added some great tips to use them the right way! Even for beginners.

In the end, you will find my Favorites makeup brushes sets (which I highly recommend for beginners) in case you want to buy a quality set, which is often more affordable than buying each makeup brush separately. I often buy Individual makeup brushes when I find a brush that I need and not need the whole makeup set.

So, let’s begin

This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at zero cost to you). Please see my full disclosure policy for details.

This Makeup Brushes Set is our #1 recommendation. Includes all the makeup brushes you can possibly need, with premium quality for just the right price!



Flat Foundation brush 

How to use a flat foundation brush?

This Makeup brush is perfect for a full coverage foundation application, allow you to keep all the product on your skin. The right way to use a flat foundation brush is applying foundation directly to your face and with the brush create a smooth move downwards to blend it well.

Pro tip: I love to use this makeup brush to apply my foundation and after that, use my beauty blender just to correct small brushes lines that can be created with the brush. But that way you don’t absorb all the product with the makeup sponge like if you were applying foundation with a beauty blender.

 Best flat foundation brush 

Revlon flat foundation brush – Vegan and antibacterial coated

Stippling Brush

How to use Stippling brush?

This Brush is perfect for cover blemishes and dark spots! Because it gives amazing coverage on the skin that will be great for a full coverage glam look.

Apply small dots of product (foundation, contour, cream blush), and with circle motions, blend the product on your face. What this stippling brush does, is that the top bristles create smaller dots of product on your skin, and the bottom layer of bristles blends and sticks the product to your skin rather than absorb.

The final result is a full coverage airbrushed appearance.

Best Stippling Brush

Kabuki Foundation brush 

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 What are kabuki brushes for? 

Kabuki brushes are makeup or body brushes intented for face makeup and body, the most common uses are for foundation, blush, contour and bronzer. To identify a kabuki brush it needs to have dense bristles, you can find kabuki brushes in different sizes, bristles angles and designs.

Best kabuki foundation brush 

This brush is amazing! blends your liquid foundation perfectly and make it look natural with just a couple of circle motions and you can use it for powders or creams! It’s definatavily a must-have.

Powder brush 

How to use a powder brush?

The right way to use a powder brush is with the brush previusly been desinfected, take the powder product (lose powder or pressed powder) directly from the pot, and apply it to your face trying to get the desire coverage, and to set your makeup.

to select the perfect powder brush you need to seek for natural or sintetic SOFT hairs, that way we ensure that the powder brush will blend all the product and won’t hurt the face skin.

Best Powder Foundation brush

Related makeup post: Exactly what to apply on face before your makeup (for flawless skin)

Blush brush

list of makeup brushes for beginners and their uses

The blush brush tends to be fluffy like powder brushes but smaller and some came with an angle that makes the blush application more easier. Use this brush to blend your blush and specially powder blush.

For cream blushes I recommend using a makeup sponge.

Best Blush Brush

Contour Brush

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The difference between blush brushes and contour brushes is that contour brushes tend to be denser and works well with powders and creams. So feel free to blend your cream contour with this brush as well! They also came in a flat version making the application even easier.

Take your contour brush and use it directly to your contour product (powder o cream) and apply it on your face between your jaw bone and high cheeks. Remember always to blend in upwards direction, and for better results, don’t take the product to high or low on your cheeks.

Best Contour Brushes

Why is not everyone talking about this amazing pro contour brushes set? it’s incredible! Came with different contour brushes sizes to contour all your face and nose perfectly.

Bronzer brush

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Yes! Bronzer has it’s own brush type. Bronzer brush is similar to blush brush but it’s more likely that it comes with an angle that makes the bronzer application easier. Use this brush to apply your powder bronzer and blend it all over your face with a small amount of product until you look naturally bronze

Bronzer usually comes in a powder version. I do not recommend getting a cream bronzer because powder bronzer is just amazing to give that color and tan that we need and look so natural!

Best Bronzer Brush

Concealer brush 

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The Concealer brush is super important in every makeup kit for beginners and pros! It’s a flat synthetic brush that allows you to distribute the concealer in the target areas and keeping the coverage of the product.

It is similar to the flat foundation brush but smaller and perfect to cover dark spots, dark circles, and blemishes on your face.

Here’s my favorite concealer brush for under eyes

Related Concealer post: How to find the perfect concealer shade for your skin

Small concealer brush

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The small concealer brush is essential to be precise in certain areas where it can be a game-changer if we are using the wrong precise brush. For example, for eyebrows! If I want to define my brow perfectly, I use my small concealer brush and get the perfect eyebrows on fleek look.

This brush is also effective to fix makeup mistakes on eyeshadow or brows makeup. It’s a versatile makeup brush that for sure is a must-have on every makeup bag.

Best Small concealer brush

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read more about the Makeup Made Easy: Guide for beginners here.
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Made Easy Makeup Guide


Fan/highlighter brush

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I love this type of brush because it has versatile uses! The most common use, is for applying your powder highlither on top of your cheeks.

But it’s also perfect for a sheer blush coverage application, sheer powder contour application and even for applying a face masks in your night beauty routine!

 What are fan brushes for?

They are for a sheer coverage application of face powder makeup products. For example, Highlighter, blush, contour or bronzer. You can also use fan brushes for removing the excess of eyeshadow that fallow out from your eyelids after finish your eye makeup. They are just amazing!

Best Flat Eyeshadow Brush

Have you ever seen many different small brushes for eyeshadow and wondering why they are so many in the first place? Yeah, I’ve been there haha and each eye makeup brushes has its purpose and are vital for the perfect eye makeup look. But don’t worry that’s why I created this comprehensive Makeup brushes guide to finally get all the stuff together in a simple makeup brushes list.

Eyeshadow pencil brush

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How to use a pencil brush? This brush is ideal for getting precision with your eyeshadows and set the color in place. It’s the first step of the perfect eyeshadow application. With this type of eye makeup brush, you can’t blend your shadows, it’s to get the color just in its place, but you will need a fluffy brush to blend all your work.

Try this amazing pencil brush from sigma here.

Eyeshadow Blending brush

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OK this eyeshadow brush is a huge MUST-HAVE in every makeup kit. Literraly, I can’t live without a GOOD eyeshadow blending brush. Because, this brush creates the magic after applyign your shadows, a blending brush is usually super soft and blends well almost any powder shadow.

This brush is always a life-saving when everything in my eyes looks like it’s not gonna end well, and after blending with this brush everything makes sense! I can even say that if you are feeling like your eye makeup didn’t look good lately it could be because of your blending brush or lack of it.

My top recommendation for a QUALITY blending brush is this one by NYX.

You can also try a full set of blending brushes to try different shapes and sizes and play with your shadows like this one below from real techniques.

 Crease brush vs Blending brush 

The difference between a crease brush and a blending brush is usually their size. While a crease brush is a small fluffy brush that will also blend the shadows, mostly, it will concentrate the product on the target area.

On the other hand, with a blending brush, you can smoothly blend almost any shadow application (even if you mess it up), which is amazing! But you can’t get a precise color application. Also, it tends to be larger than crease brushes.

Eyeshadow crease brush

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I can consider this brush like a mix between the pencil brush and the blending brush. However, a crease brush is a unique piece that you definitely need on your makeup brushes set. It’s perfect for the crease area (kind of obvious, haha), but also you can use it for applying the shadows with precision on any other eyelids part. The crease brush can also blend somehow, but not like the blending brush because their bristles are tighter.

Best Crease brush

Related Makeup post: Easy Brown Smokey eye step by step tutorial (with pictures!)

Sponge brush

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How to use an eyeshadow sponge brush? Decades ago, these sponge brushes were the bomb. Nowadays, some eyeshadow palettes came with this type of brushes (not the best consumer experience) because you can’t apply your eyeshadows with precision or blend them with sponge brushes. But let me tell you how you can use them properly!

They are perfect for glitter application, highlight the inner corner, the brown bone, and smudge your lower lash line. Also, are perfect for blending your pencil eyeliner for a sexy smudge eye look.

Eyeliner brush

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Eyeliner needs precision and the right eyeliner brush is a super small brush, with sintetic bristles that will allow the gel eyeliner application in a super easly way. If you are struggling to get the perfect winged eyeliner with gel eyeliner, it could be your brush.

Pro tip: Seek for a firm angled eyeliner brush, they are better than the common eyeliner brushes.

Related Eyeliner post: The ultimate eyeliner guide for hooded eyes (with pictures)

Flat eyeliner/eyeshadow brush

This type of brush is a must-have (I know I’ve been saying this a lot, but this one really is) You can use it to apply a eyeshadow eyeliner technique, to apply color to your lower lash line or to be super precise in any other eyeshadow application. I just love it!

I loved this set that came with 4 different eyeliner/eyeshadow makeup brushes to apply with the techniques.

Eyebrows brush

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How-to use eyebrows brush? This type of brush needs to be small, flat, and angled, which allows the creation of small baby hairs on your eyebrows to make them look natural. First, take your brows pomade (or powder) and start creating these small hairs from the end of your brows to the center.

Check the full eyebrows on fleek tutorial post, where I share my eyebrows routine, the best eyebrows products, and step-by-step natural eyebrows tutorial with pictures!

This type of brushes usually came with a spully built-in to brush your eyebrows before and after makeup. My top eyebrows brushes recommendations that you need to try are:

Lips brush

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Yep! Lips also have their own type of makeup brush. These tiny little brushes that definitively doesn’t work for eyeshadow are intended for lips. Now you know it. The truth is that you can use these makeup brushes for lower lash liner or highlight the brow bone, but the most important use is for a hygienic lipstick application.

If you work with clients or, for some reason, share your lipstick (liquid or creamy), The right hygienic practice is to always take some product apart in a makeup palette and then take the product with the lip brush and apply it to the lips.

Makeup Sponge 

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Makeup sponges are now very popular and a MUST-HAVE in every beauty routine, because with a makeup sponge you can blend your face products (specially liquid and creamy) in a super easily way, in minutes and with a flawless finish! However, you can use makeup sponges for face powders as well.

Best Makeup Sponge

The one and only beauty blender! The original, you can now find some dupes of this makeup sponge, but anyone can really replace it. The finish on the face is incomparable, and the quality it’s amazing!

Mascara wands

The Mascara wands are essential for a hygienic mascara application if you share your mascara (or had an eye infection and didn’t want to contaminate your mascara) or if you work with clients. They are also super helpful in removing the extra mascara once it drys on your eyes, brushes your eyebrows, or set on place baby hairs with hairspray.

FQ&A´s

What are the best affordable makeup brushes? 

The best affordable makeup brushes set recommended by a Makeup artist is this set that contains high-quality brushes and the essentials in every makeup kit at an affordable price.

What are the basic makeup brushes needed? 

The basic Makeup brushes that every girl should have on her makeup bag is a eyeshadow blending brush, small concealer brush, powder brush, blush brush, eyebrows brush, eyeliner brush and a makeup sponge.

What are the different types of makeup brushes?

There are different types of makeup brushes categorized by face, eyes, and lips sections. However, there are also different brushes, like kabuki, natural or synthetic, and in different sizes for each category. In general, we can say that they are at least 21 different types of makeup brushes, but you can find another 2-3 sizes in each type.

How many brushes are there in makeup?

The number of makeup brushes in the makeup industry is huge. Because every brand has its own style and type of brushes with different sizes and purposes. However, for beginners, I recommend getting a complete high-quality makeup brushes set to start and then get individual makeup brushes that you need.

What is the correct way to apply makeup?

In general, start with the right skincare routine for your skin type, next do your eyebrows makeup, after that, it is recommendable do the eye makeup look desire, apply false eyelashes if needed and finalize with the face makeup products, like foundation, blush, contour, bronzer, and highlight.

Related Makeup post: The Ultimate Makeup Application Order guide

My top 5 Makeup Brushes Sets for beginners 

Each makeup brush is important, but the truth is that you can find affordable makeup brushes sets with high-quality brushes that will fit almost all the need for any makeup kit. However, it’s important to outstand that with most of the makeup brushes set, you won’t get 100% satisfied with the types of brushes that came with them. And that’s why I like to add my favorite makeup brushes to my kit individually as time goes on.

Here are my TOP 3 makeup brushes set recommendations for beginners (or pros) because each set contains the essential makeup brushes every makeup lover. The bristles are soft, which is perfect for creating stunning makeup looks.

#1 DUcare Makeup brushes set – 27 pcs

#2 SHANY Artisan’s Easel – 18 PCS with standing brush holder

#3 Anjou Makeup Brush Set, 24pcs

Final thoughts on Makeup brushes for beginners

There’s a lot of information about Makeup brushes, different types, and their uses, but the final thing that I want you to know is that Makeup doesn’t have strict rules, and this is applicable for makeup brushes.

The use of every makeup brush can be unlimited, but we certainly know what the best textures, sizes, and shapes for every purpose are.

I hope you find this Complete list of Makeup brushes Guide helpful, if so, please share for others!
Let me know in the comments which makeup brush you didn’t know until this post? I’d love to read from you.


Don’t forget to pin for later!

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21 Types of Makeup Brushes and their uses (A helpful guide + reviews)

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