Fragrance Direct are here with all you need to know about your most essential beauty tool! Read about what makes a great make up brush, which brushes to use for what and how to clean them properly! The way that you apply your make up can have a huge impact on the final look, so don’t hesitate!

Foundation brushes

So, let’s start with the base… a foundation brush is so important. You need to get the basics right before you even begin to attempt the rest of your makeup. There are several different types of foundation brushes you can use depending on the finish you prefer and the type of foundation you use.

– Flat top foundation brush. A flat top foundation brush is usually quite small, and the bristles are flat (obvious right?!) and usually come to a pointed tip. These types of brushes are perfect for applying liquid foundation as they create a smooth and flawless base. They also offer good coverage as they don’t tend to buff the product into the skin, they layer it more. Our favourite flat top brushes are the Body Collection Foundation Brush and the So Eco Foundation Brush.

– Stippling brush. A stippling brush has more bristles, usually rounder and puffier, and has a flat top. A stippling brush is perfect for liquid or powder foundations as it buffs the product into the skin creating a more natural effect. Some of the best quality stippling brushes are the Real Techniques Stippling Brush and the Guerlain The Foundation Brush if you’re looking for something super luxe.

Cleaning tips: You need to clean your foundation brushes regularly as it’s so easy for product to build up. If you have excess product on your brush from previous uses it won’t give you the desired effect. The best way to clean your foundation brush is to use a cleaning mat that you can swirl your brush on to remove clogged up product. Try using the Derma V10 Makeup Brush Cleaner, this stuff really looks after your brushes.


Bronzer/Blusher Brushes

There’re a few different types of brushes you can use for bronzer, blusher and powder. It depends on what you feel more comfortable using. Once you have your foundation in place, it’s best to set it with a powder, then add your bronzer and blusher in layers.

– Kabuki brush. A Kabuki brush is a soft, fluffy, synthetic brush that can come in all different sizes. A kabuki brush can be used for both powder and bronzer. It will distribute the product evenly over your face to give a subtle dusting. For powder and bronzer, I would recommend a Kabuki that is quite large to make sure too much product doesn’t end up in one area. When applying bronzer, you want to it to look like you’ve been sun-kissed rather than any harsh lines. One of our favourite Kabuki brushes is the Sunkissed Bronzing Brush.

– Blush brush. Blusher brushers are also quite fluffy but tend to be a bit denser than a kabuki brush. They are also often angled, this makes it easier to sculpt out your cheeks and add a pop of colour onto the apples. But they’re still super easy to blend out the product too! Try the W7 Angled Professional Blusher Brush.

Cleaning tips: same as above!

Eyeshadow Brushes

Eyeshadow brushes can be a bit of a minefield because there’s literally so many different types. If you have a mild panic at the thought of doing your eyeshadow then you’re not alone! When it comes to eyeshadow brushes you just need a couple of basics in your collection.

– Fluffy brush. When it comes to nailing the perfect eyeshadow look it is all about blending! A perfectly defused shadow is what we all strive for and to create that you need a good fluffy brush. A fluffy brush will be rounded at the top and have quite a few bristles that aren’t densely packed. Use this to blend out your edges. We love the Artdeco Eyeshadow Blending Brush, it’s a gorgeous, soft brush made from goat hairs.

– Dense brush. To lay shadow down with more pigment you need a dense, flat brush. This will pick up more product and apply it more compactly to your eyelid. These are perfect for applying cream shadows, glitter or creating more dramatic eye looks. A handy tip: if you wet a damp brush and apply shadow you’ll get way more pigment. Try the Royal Cosmetics Prismatic Eyeshadow Brush.

– Liner brush. Liner brushes are really handy to have for when you want to apply liquid liner. They have tiny bristles that are densely packed to you can achieve a super sleek wing or line. You can also use them to apply darker shadows to the base of you lashes or lower lash line to achieve a smokier look. The Daniel Sandler Liner Brush is great and can also double up as a small concealer brush.

One of our favourite eyeshadow brush sets is the Real Techniques Eye Shade & Blend set. It has the perfect brushes for applying colour and blending it out.

Cleaning tip: to clean eyeshadow brushes you can do it the same way as your other face brushes but just make sure you’re super gentle with the bristles and don’t end up pulling any of them out. To dry, lay them flat on a piece of kitchen towel and leave them to air dry, preferably overnight.

Sponges

Makeup sponges can be used for lots of different areas of makeup but the main places tend to be for the base/concealer. Using a sponge has huge benefits when you’re applying foundation as the finish they give you is totally flawless. You can use them damp to achieve a more natural coverage or dry to get a full coverage base.

You can also get smaller spongers that are perfect for getting in the tiny areas like around the nose, under eyes and the chin.

Try the Real Techniques 6 Miracle Complexion Sponges, in the pack you get two large sponges for your base and then a selection of smaller sponges to choose from too!

Cleaning tips: Ok so sponges need cleaning all the time! They are a breeding ground for bacteria and dirt, definitely not something you want to be smearing all over your face! In an ideal world you need to be cleaning your sponge after every use, simple run under the tap and apply a brush cleaner or some antibacterial soap and rinse and repeat to keep them as hygienic as possible!