How-To: Multitasking Makeup Brushes | Nordstrom Beauty School

You can spend a lot of money and a lot of time collecting hundreds of different types of makeup brushes, but you really don’t need that many to do just simple, everyday looks. I have five that I go back to all the time. I’m going to show you what I do with them. I’m going to start with a flat-topped Kabuki brush. This is a synthetic brush and it’s really dense. I like to use this for cream products. I’m going to use a tinted moisturizer all over the skin. I have concealer and a little mascara on but I want to add some color. So I’m just going to add this. It’s really fun because it changes color. It sort of acts like a bronzer. You could do this with your hands, but it’s really fast with a brush. It’s also kind of fun. I feel like a painter. The dense brushes give you a lot of control, so you can push that product where it needs to go. And this one’s a little darker than my skin tone so I’m just going to blend under the chin. The next brush that I go to all the time is this tiny detailer. I kind of ignore what’s printed on the brush and what the brush name is, what the official name is, because I can just use them for whatever I really want. It’s all about the texture. You know, how densely packed the bristles are, how easily they move, and also the taper, the size, and what it’s cut for. So just play around and see what you like it for. I’m going to set this a little bit with some translucent powder. So you can use this size brush. It’s really nicely sized for just targeted powdering. So if you don’t want to powder all over your face you can just put this right where you want it. Maybe under the eyes if you’ve done some concealer. Around the nose if that’s where you get oily throughout the day. I’m also going to use a powder blush and highlighter so I want to make sure that I powder over the tinted moisturizer on the cheek area so it doesn’t grab kind of strangely. You don’t want to do powder and cream, you want to do it carefully. So I’m going to do, I think I’m going to do a little blush first. No. I’m going to do highlighter first. So I’m just taking the powder highlight. And just applying it. It’s pretty subtle. That’s OK. Now I’m going to do color. I’m going to do blush. I’m just cleaning it off on a washcloth kind of in between. Just to get that shimmer off. I just want a teeny bit of color right on the apples of the cheeks. That’s the part that pops out when you smile. I like to play around with that too. Sometimes I go higher, but today I am just going to go classic. If you wanted to do some bronzing you can use this gigantic brush. This is a powder brush. And it’s a little more fluffy than the Kabuki and the detailer because you can really use it to blend everything together. It’s really good for bronzer. I’ve already got some nice warmth from that tinted moisturizer so I don’t really feel like I need to go too crazy with bronzer. I also like to use this for either powdering again with translucent powder everywhere, if you want it everywhere, or doing what’s called a final blend. A friend of mine taught me that. She just goes at the very end, blending everything together, just to make sure there’s no seams or obvious lines. You can do sort of a lighter touch with this one. I tend to choke up on the ferrule. This is called the ferrule. And that gives me more control, but with this you kind of want to pull back a little and let it move around. You can control the pressure. A little more gentle for this one. Also knocks off excess powder. So I warmed up my face a bit. Added a little bit of color to my cheeks and now I just want to finish my eyes so I’m going to use a fluffy crease brush to darken up the crease. And I’m just going to choose kind of a neutral, pinky-taupe shade. I already have mascara on. I’m just going all over the lid. These are great for placing color in the crease. You don’t want it to be too big or else it’s going to get really hard to control. This is maybe my favorite brush. It’s called a concealer brush. You can definitely use it for concealer but I like to use it for all kinds of eye work. So I’m going to use it dry in the inner corners. I’m just going to use a really light sparkly shade. It helps me get right in there without getting it everywhere, so it’s really targeted. It’s also really good for packing color onto the lid if you were doing a really intense color on the lid. I’m not doing that right now but it’s good for laying down a good base of pigment. Another great trick with this one, it’s good for lining/smudging/smoking the lash line, so I’m just going to get it a little damp with setting spray. Actually clean off that other color. And then just saturate it and use it to create a liner with the shadow. So I’m going to choose kind of a darker color and use this as a liner. So I’m not precisely lining here, I’m just kind of darkening up the lash line. That’s decently symmetrical. As you can see you don’t need a lot of brushes to get a lot done. I feel like I can do my entire face with just these five. I feel like they are multitaskers and I’m always playing around to discover new uses. But I want to know what your favorites are. Do we have any brushes in common? Let me know in the comments below.

About the Author: Earl Hamill

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