Dip one side of the brush into eye shadow. Tap off excess. Sweep across the eyelid. Use flat side for all-over shadow application or tip of brush for more blending. Backstage Beauty Tip: Use with a pressing motion when you want to apply heavy color all over the lid.
Powder brush. The most ubiquitous of all brushes, the powder brush should be in every makeup collection—use it to apply any type of powder product. (Real Techniques by Sam & Nic Chapman Powder Brush, $7.99) Eye blending brush. The name is a dead giveaway: This brush is a must-have for blending eyeshadow into your lids.
We consulted with makeup artists Carissa Ferreri, Raul Otero, and Vlada Haggerty (yes, that's the Vlada behind @vladamua), to get the scoop on the best ways to apply concealer with a makeup brush, and the best brushes for covering blemishes, dark circles, and more.
Contouring — a makeup technique designed to chisel and define the face — has become an essential part of our everyday makeup routines thanks to easy-to-use palettes and endless tutorials. What was once a best kept makeup secret and drag queen trick is now standard makeup fare and can range from a super-defined chisel to just a hint of definition.
If you tend to be a little heavy-handed, or just want a sheerer application of a powder highlight, a fan brush is the way to go. These brushes pick up less product, making it easier to start small and build up intensity rather than depositing too much highlight at once.
Look for a Kabuki brush with a firm brush head and natural bristles, as opposed to synthetic ones; natural bristles do a better job of holding onto pigment, and they help your brush last longer. Some Kabuki brushes come in retractable casing, which draws the brush head inside for protection.