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So you've been doing your own makeup since you were old enough to play with your mother’s bag of beauty supplies. Many of us don’t really know the proper way to apply makeup and more so which brush to use to do the deed. We asked Katie Lirely, owner and stylist at Fringe the Salon in Carbondale for some simple explanations and some expert tips.

Here is a sample of the most basic cosmetic brushes and what they are used for. We are starting from left to right in the photo illustration.


Blending Sponge

This is used by dabbing on the foundation for even, sheer coverage, also great for blending contour work as well.

Extra pro tip: Dip the sponge in a small amount of water to get an even smoother finish.

Powder Brush

This is best used to apply blush, bronzer, highlighter, and finishing powder.

Extra Pro tip: Gently smile to bring attention to your cheekbones to apply your blush and highlight.

Angled Contour Brush

Get your favorite contouring pallet out for this brush! It gives a nice amount of control for a deeper contour.

Extra pro tip: Use the blending sponge after using the angled contour brush for a soft, natural look.

Blending Brush

These can be used for wet and dry products. It creates a very soft effect, compared to an airbrush finish. It is also really nice and soft on your face.

Extra pro tip: The smallest of these brush sets are amazing for adding highlight to the brow bone, above the lip line, on the nose, etc.

Angled Blush Brush

Use this brush with blush just on the apples of the cheeks, then brush upwards along the cheekbone.

Extra pro tip: Use this brush with a powder bronzer to create more of a contouring effect.

Concealer Brush

These tend to be a denser and smaller brush. Dab a small amount of product onto the brush and blend it onto blemishes or the under eye area.

Extra Pro Tip: Use the blending sponge to completely blend in the product.

All-over Eyeshadow Brush

Smooth eyeshadow onto your eyelids in a windshield-wiper motion for subtle color or keep applying for a more intense effect.

Extra Pro Tip: I like to spray my Eye Shadow Brush with setting mist before dipping into the product, it gives more pigment and lasting power!

Smudger Brush

I use this a lot when blending darker shades for a Smokey Eye look.

Extra pro tip: After swirling the brush into the shadow, tap on the edge of your pallet or workspace so extra product falls on the ground, not on your cheeks.

Flat Brush

This brush is a nice option to get a generous amount of product on your lids.

Extra pro tip: I like to use the tip of this brush to press a darker color along the eyelid for a deeper crease.

Small Angle Brush

I use this for filling eyebrows with wax or powder, making small flecks of color, following the shape of the eyebrow.

Extra pro tip: I also like to use this brush with darker shadow to go around the shape of the eye and accentuate the Smokey effect.

Eyeliner Brush

This brush works so well with liquid eyeliner. This brush is absolutely necessary to apply a successful cat eye.

Extra pro tip: Dip this brush into your liquid eyeliner and dab the brush side to side to clean extra product off the brush.

Spooli Brush

This is best used on the eyebrows. The quickest way to soften the brows is by brushing through the brows after the product has been applied (wax or powder).


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