The Low Down On Makeup Brushes

Who even knew you needed a low down on makeup brushes? They seem pretty self explanatory, a handle end for holding and a brush end for brushing, right? Not so. Contouring, shaping, blending, stippling (not a typo) are all verbs that can be used in conjunction with makeup brushes. Stippling... is that even in the dictionary? Why, yes it is.

The last thing we want is for any Tyler Mason guest to be caught off guard the next time someone asks to borrow your stippling brush. Which is actually unsanitary, so don't do that anyway, but you get the drift. There are major differences between makeup brushes and the effects they have on your finished look, and we're going to discuss all the basics today. But since we're already talking about hygiene let's start there.

Makeup brushes are full of bacteria. Sorry, but here's no lighter way to put it. Think about all the things you touch in a day, then try and keep track of how many times you touch your face. Then think about how often your brushes touch your face. Okay point made.

According to the CDC you should be washing your makeup brushes at least once a week. Every woman in the whole world in now guilty of ignoring CDC health guidelines. But it is super important. Dirty brushes will give you acne, shed bristles and become misshapen, besides just being really gross. A simple bath in shampoo and warm water is all it takes!

It's also a good idea to replace them every once in a while. How many washes can your favorite white shirt take before it's brilliance is replaced by a slight greying and awkward fit? Everything is subject to wear and tear and your brushes are not immune.

High quality, or natural brushes, are made from real hair and can last a really, really long time if they're maintained. The cheaper the brush gets, the less time it will last you. Investing in a good set of brushes will make a world of difference when it comes to the amount of times they need replaced, and the finished look of your makeup.

Okay down to business. You're all surely sitting on the edge of your seat, foot tapping, nail biting, anxiously waiting to find out what a stippling brush is. This is a stippling brush.

all brushesThat really special, ombre style brush second from right. If you didn't click on the indignant dictionary link above, to stipple means "to apply (as paint) by repeated small touches that together produce an even or softly graded shadow."

Gurus often say the stippling brush produces an air brushed finish, and who couldn't use one of those once in a while? We use the stippling brush with our Baked Hydrating Powder Foundation, but many women use it for liquid and powder foundation.

The brushes are super soft and the flat head guarantees an even finish. Application is literally what the definition says it is. Dab your face (it won't hurt) in small, circular and swift motions until it's all covered.

stippleThe other brush in the flat head family is the contouring brush, whose bristles are a little shorter and rougher than her big sister's but we love her just the same.

stipple and contourYou'll soon begin a love affair with your contouring brush when you discover what it can do for your cheekbones. Use short strokes while you trace it under your cheekbones, up to your temples, sweep across your hairline and make a stunning finish under your jaw line. It's kind of like running a marathon for your face.

Using your fingers to apply foundation is like waking up on the wrong side of the bed. You just feel better when you don't. Or in the case of makeup, you look better.

foundation brushThe bristles on this brush are very fine and close together so it doesn't make your foundation streaky. Using a brush to apply foundation actually helps avoid streaks, is way more sanitary (remember- finger bacteria), and you use less, saving you money. Not to mention it's way easier and sort of fun like painting your face.

The big, fluffy brush most women use for everything is actually just for powder. It may seem multifaceted, but it's actually just pretty average when it comes to the finished look of your face. Don't tell it we said that. powder brushSince powder is usually the finishing element, this brush is designed to apply powder less liberally, in a sweeping motion. It doesn't provide full coverage unlike our favorite new item, the stippling brush. Don't get us wrong, this brush does serve a vital purpose (you can tell it that), but make sure you're using it in the right way if you want it to have a maximum affect on your face.

This brush has a mini counterpart too. A blush brush is similar, but much smaller so the powder can be applied in more zoned areas of the face.

dome brushesApply blush on or directly above your cheekbone. Paired with the contouring brush (little flat faced sister) your results will amaze. Smaller brushes unite!

Now you're a Face Picasso. You know the basic techniques and tools to create a makeup masterpiece when it comes to your skin. For you really savvy artists, there are several other kinds of brushes that produce different looks and finishes, like the blending brush, highlighting brush, Kabuki brush (omg what)... but if we tried to mention them here you would be reading for hours.

If you want to learn more, consider tossing the palette around with one of our makeup experts. Our Fall Makeup Event is the perfect opportunity for you to talk one on one about all the different looks you can create, and pick out the necessary tools. For more information click over to our promotions page.