Makeup Brushes – Full Guide

Do you still put on your makeup with your fingers and can’t tell the difference between a blush brush and a powder brush? Owning a makeup brush kit will not only make your life easier but will also make your face look spotless, as you won’t contaminate your skin with your fingers.

So if just like us, you need a cheat sheet, then this beauty dictionary is for you. Keep it somewhere handy and remember to check it next time you’re buying a new brush.

This Makeup Brushes Guide will teach you:

  1. How to use all makeup brushes
  2. How to clean your makeup brushes
  3. The best makeup brushes

1. How to use all makeup brushes

  • Foundation
  • Powder
  • Blush/ Highlight/ Contour
  • Conceal

makeup brushes - beauty guide


  • Large Tapered Foundation Brush

The thick, dense shape provides full, even coverage. Effortlessly apply and blend liquid cream or powder foundation for a seamless look and total control.

  • Optical Blurring Brush

Densely packed shape distributes foundation evenly, buffing to natural, soft-focus, airbrushed finish. Also great for contouring, blush or anything that needs a blurred-out effect.

  • Flat Optical Blurring Brush

Blends and blurs foundation for a soft-focus airbrushed look. Provides fuller coverage than the Optical Blurring Brush.


  • Large Powder Brush

Big, paintbrush-style shape provides a smooth, full coverage application of powder for the perfect canvas and flawless-looking skin.

  • Large Tapered Powder Brush

Smooths on just the right amount of powder so the complexion looks perfectly finished and luminous.

  • Finishing powder Brush

Light and wispy for the perfect sheer finish. Great for super-fine finishing powders and all over application of powder bronzer.


  • Diffusing Blush Brush

Soft and angled, this brush provides a diffused wash of colour in the cheeks. It’s fluffy enough for softly blending out colour.

  • Diffusing Highlighter Brush

Designer for sheer highlight or popping strobe. The smaller shape allows for both a precise controlled application and a diffused effect.

  • Contour definition Brush

Ideal for shadow and low light contouring, this precisely angled brush buffs out creams and blends powders to create cheekbones and add definition at the jawline, nose and chin.


  • Domed Concealer Brush

Tap or blend concealer for an undetectable airbrushed effect.

  • Detailed Concealer Brush

Designer for sheer highlight or popping strobe. Invisibly cover the tiniest flaws with precision.

  • The Finger Brush

Get the perfect finger-like control with the blown-out stippling effect of a brush.

2. How to clean your makeup brushes

So now that you know which brushes to use for contouring and which for concealing, you have to know how to clean your makeup brushes. In fact, washing your makeup brushes should be a regular part of your beauty routine. When you use your brushes, bits of makeup, dirt, and bacteria can get trapped in the bristles and fester in the brush. The next time you go to use it, the same thing happens, it’s a vicious circle that can lead to clogged pores and pesky breakouts. So learning how to properly clean your brushes is one of the best ways to keep your face healthy and to protect your investment in these makeup brushes.

Luckily, cleaning your makeup brushes is a quick task. The first step to keep your brushes clean is to pick up a daily brush cleaner and spray your brushes after each use. Once a week, it’s also time for a deep clean.

Here are 5 steps to deep clean your makeup brushes:

Step 1: Wet the bristles in lukewarm water.

Step 2: Gently massage with soap; swipe your brush in gentle soap or brush shampoo.

Step 3: Rinse the bristles.

Step 4: Squeeze the water out; gently press the bristles on a towel to release excess water.

Step 5: Let it air dry, then fluff it with your fingers. Lay the brush or brushes flat on a towel on the edge of a table overnight

How to clean your makeup brushes - steps

Remember: Makeup brushes are important for great makeup. If it’s been a while since you cleaned yours, it’s time to rinse them.

It’s worth mentioning that there are specially formulated brush shampoos you can buy, but gentle clarifying or baby shampoo will also do the trick.

How to clean your makeup brushes - brush cleanserInstead of washing the brush against your hand, you can use this different silicone mats allowing the different textures to thoroughly clean eye and face brushes.Another way to clean your brushes is to use a special brush cleanser product which will clean and disinfect. 

Brush cleanser leaves brushes smelling fresh, clean and helps shorten their drying time because they don’t require rinsing.

Apply the cleanser directly to the brush or on a towel and run the brush along it until it no longer distributes any makeup remnants.Wipe with a tissue to remove all residue.

3. The best makeup brushesThe best makeup brushes sets

The right makeup brush can make a great difference to perfecting your look, but with so many to choose from it’s hard to know where to start. Fortunately, we have made a selection of the 8 best makeup brush sets that will fit in your bag. 

  1. Zoeva : £110
  2. Bobbi Brown : £150
  3. Morphe : £39.99
  4. Spectrum : £79.99

5.  MAC : £49.00

6. Dior : £113.50

7.  Kiko : £16.90

8. Sigma : £92