Tips & Tutorials

The Ultimate Makeup Brush Guide

The Ultimate Makeup Brush Guide

You’ve invested in your favourite cosmetics and you’re ready to start creating a killer look, however it’s important to remember that without the right tools, even the best foundation can end up looking streaky and uneven. There are so many types of makeup brushes that unless you’re a fully trained MUA, it may all start to get pretty confusing. That’s why the gals at HQhair have put together the ultimate makeup brush guide, to make sure that you know about all the best brushes and exactly how to use ’em.

All About That Base

A great base is the key to any flawless makeup look. When applying your foundation, using your fingers just won’t cut it anymore! Invest in a good quality foundation brush with thousands of bristles to ensure a seamless application. If you’re more of a beauty blender kinda gal, then a makeup sponge is also a great option for your foundation!

Once you’ve got your desired coverage from your foundation, it’s then all about the blending! Take a blending brush and use it to smooth out any harsh lines, concentrating on places like creases around the nose to remove any tell-tale makeup lines. For those special occasions where you want to turn it up a notch, apply a little more foundation using a stippling brush. (Top tip: lightly dot foundation over your face using the tips of the brush for an airbrushed finish!)

Get Them Flawless Features

After applying your foundation, you may need to conceal any little niggles that may be bothering you. Using a concealer brush to cover up spots, dark circles and any other problem areas will give you much better coverage than using your fingers (it’s also much more hygienic!) – you’ll also end up using less concealer, so it’ll last longer. Result. Next, apply your lipstick with a lip brush rather than directly from the nub for a neater, more hygienic application. If it’s still not as neat as you’d like, outline your lips with your concealer and we can guarantee that it will look flawless.

Perfect Your Profile

So you’ve achieved the perfect base, but you don’t want it to wear off quickly. Applying a mattifying loose powder will take away any excess shine and set your makeup, ensuring that it lasts longer. Use a large powder brush to buff the powder into your makeup in the larger areas like your cheeks and forehead. For the smaller areas, use a precision brush to press on the powder and leave for a minute or two before dusting off any excess with the large powder brush.

Sass It Up

Even though most eyeshadow palettes come with a small applicator, they can be fiddly and difficult to use. Take a rounded eyeshadow brush and use it to create your eyeshadow base, covering the whole eye. Next, use a short, full square eyeshadow brush to add shading and definition for a touch of sass! The shape will allow you to apply the shadow much more accurately and avoid unwanted patches.

If you want to make your eye makeup even more bold for a night out or party, take an eye crease brush and add a thin line of a dark shade or glitter to the crease. Bring it out into a flick and finish it off with some super sultry winged eyeliner. Use an eyeliner brush for ultimate precision!

Brows On Fleek

A fine angled brow brush is perfect for applying brow pomade. Dip it into the pot and take a tiny amount of product – a little goes a long way. Add some fine, hair-like lines throughout your brows to fill in sparse areas and voila, you’re done! Make sure to brush through your brows afterwards with a brow spoolie and some clear brow gel to hold the hairs in place.

Shapes n’ Shadows

There’s nothing quite like a chiselled contour! A short, flat contour brush will enable you to thin your nose and shape your cheekbones like no other, no matter whether you use cream or powder. Start off with a tiny amount and build up for the intensity you want, it couldn’t be easier! On the other end of the spectrum, some glowing highlight is a must-have for your contour. Build up the highlight at the top of your cheekbones using a fan brush until you’re glowing, gal.

Pop Of Colour!

Rosy cheeks and a golden glow is never a bad thing! Lightly apply some blusher to the apples of your cheeks using a blush brush and take an angled cheek brush for the bronzer. Apply your bronzer wherever the sun would naturally hit your face (this should be in a ‘3’ shape at the edges of your face) and take some selfies for Insta.

Read more: #HQBeautyHacks: How To Apply Bronzer For A Natural Contour

Keep ‘Em Clean!

The feeling of applying makeup using a new makeup brush is so good! Not only that, but you also don’t want to spread bacteria and old products back onto your skin. This is why it’s really important to clean your makeup brushes. Invest in a good quality brush cleanser and a cleansing palette or tool to get your bristles looking and feeling as good as new.

Which makeup brushes can you not live without? Let us know over on Twitter and Instagram!




I’ve always loved being adventurous with my look by experimenting with hair and bold makeup. Obsessed with the latest trends, I’m always on the lookout for newest in-thing adored by musicians, artists and celebrities alike, from the best long-lasting lipsticks to fresh beauty techniques! You’ll find me enjoying a purple rain cocktail with friends at the local bar.