Types of Eyeshadow Brushes

Flat Shader Brushes

Flat Shader Brushes

Crease Brushes

Crease Brushes

Lower Lashline Brushes

Lower Lashline Brushes

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article aims to explain the different types of eyeshadow brushes available and ways in which they can be used.  Eyeshadow brushes provide you with greater control when applying eyeshadow, help with blending and generally do the hard work for you.  Different eyeshadow brushes also allow you to achieve various types of effects with your eye make-up.  Sponge tipped applicators (the type which often come with eyeshadows) generally deposit a more concentrated application of colour and are more suited to applying a single shade to the eyelid.

This article provides several examples of eyeshadow brushes according to their function.  You may notice that the same brushes appear under several sections in this article.  This means that these brushes are good all-rounders.  You might find it useful to invest in these brushes if you want to keep your eyeshadow kit to a minimum.

Cream Shadow Brushes

Synthetic brushes are best suited to applying cream eyeshadows to the eyelid.  Cream shadow brushes can be used to apply eyeshadow bases (such as MAC paintpots, Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24 hr Cream Shadows, Urban Decay Primer Potion) when prepping the eye.

Brushes shown below from top to bottom: Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush (Taklon bristles; part of the Real Techniques Eye Starter Set); Real Techniques Crease Brush (Taklon bristles; part of the Nic’s Picks Brush Set); Superdrug Eyeshadow brush (synthetic bristles); MAC 242 brush (synthetic bristles).

Cream/Base Eyeshadow Brushes

Cream/Base Eyeshadow Brushes

Cream/Base Eyeshadow Brushes

Cream/Base Eyeshadow Brushes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flat Shader Brushes

This type of brush is great for packing colour on to the lid as it has a flat, paddle shape and densely packed fibres.  A flat shader brush can be multi-use, in that you can use it for applying colour to the inner corner, in the crease, along the lower lashline or to highlight the browbone.  A natural bristle brush is generally best for applying powder eyeshadows as the hairs grip on to the pigment.  However, using a Taklon bristle brush (good for both creams and powders) or a synthetic brush will allow you to apply both powder and cream products.

Brushes shown below from top to bottom: Superdrug Eyeshadow Brush (synthetic) ; Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush (Taklon; part of the Real Techniques Eye Starter Set); Bare Minerals Precision Eye Brush (natural); MAC 239 brush (natural hair); MAC 272 brush (natural).

Flat Shader Brushes

Flat Shader Brushes

IMG_2798

Flat Shader Brushes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some other brushes worth checking out include: No 7 Eye Colour Brush (synthetic); The Body Shop Eyeshadow Brush (synthetic); Clinique Eyeshadow Brush (natural) and the Urban Decay Shadow Brush (synthetic).

Crease Brushes

Crease brushes tend to be fuller in shape (note the contrast in shape to a flat shader brush in the pictures below) with fluffier bristles.  A fluffier, fuller brush can help you to define and contour the crease more easily, creating a smooth and diffused effect.   Crease brushes tend to help with blending and so are excellent for highlighting the browbone or using as an overall blending brush.  Crease brushes can also be used to sweep eyeshadow onto the eyelid but will give a much softer, sheerer finish as the bristles are fluffier.  The MAC 217 brush (shown below) can also be used for patting eyeshadow on to the eyelid, making it a good all-round brush.

Brushes shown below from top to bottom: Real Techniques Essential Crease Brush (Taklon; part of Nic’s Picks Brush Set); Real Techniques Domed Crease Brush (Taklon; part of the Real Techniques Eye Starter Set); MAC 226 brush (natural; limited edition); MAC 217 brush (natural); MAC 224 brush (natural).

Crease Brushes

Crease Brushes

Crease Brushes

Crease Brushes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some other good crease brushes include:No 7 Eyeshadow Blend and Contour Brush (synthetic); Urban Decay Crease Brush (synthetic); Clinique Eye Contour Brush (£10).

Blender Brushes

Lightly sweeping a fluffy blending eyeshadow brush over your finished eyeshadow look ensures that everything is blended together and there are no harsh edges.  You may notice that two of the brushes shown below (MAC 217; MAC 224) are also included in the ‘Crease Brush’ section.  Brushes used for the crease can also be used for overall blending, which keeps the brushes you are using to a minimum.  Alternatively, you can use a large, fluffy paddle shaped brush (like The Body Shop Eyeshadow Blender Brush shown below) if you just want a brush to sweep over the whole eye.

Brushes shown below from top to bottom: The Body Shop Eyeshadow Blender Brush (synthetic); MAC 217 brush (natural); MAC 224 brush (natural).

Blender Brushes

Blender Brushes

Blender Brushes

Blender Brushes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outer V Brushes

Brushes which are tapered, shaped into small domes or pencil shaped can be used to apply eyeshadow in the outer v.  These brushes have smaller heads, which gives you more control when shaping small parts of the eye.  Brushes which are tapered and a little fuller (like the MAC 226) will give a softer effect to the outer v.  Small, sharp pencil style brushes (like the MAC 219) will give a very precise and defined look to eyes.  The No 7 Smokey Eyeliner Brush (natural; not shown below) is a good cheaper alternative for using in the outer v.

Examples of outer v brushes from top to bottom: Bare Minerals Precision Eye Brush (synthetic); Jemma Kidd Outer V Brush (synthetic); MAC 219 brush (natural); MAC 226 brush (limited edition; natural).

Outer V Brushes

Outer V Brushes

Outer V Brushes

Outer V Brushes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eyeliner Brushes

There are various types of brushes which can be used for applying gel eyeliners, eyeshadow as eyeliner or using eyeshadow to set eyeliner.  Eyeliner brushes can be narrow and flat (like the Maybelline Gel Liner Brush; comes with gel liner), long and thin (like the Real Techniques Pixel Point Eye Liner Brush and Real Techniques Fine Liner Brush), thin and bent (like the Sonia Kashuk Bent Liner Brush) or thin and angled (e.g. MAC 266).

I like to use narrow, bent or thin eyeliner brushes to apply gel liner.  Angled brushes are good for applying gel liner, using eyeshadow as liner or using eyeshadow to set liner.

Examples of eyeliner brushes below from top to bottom: Maybelline Gel Liner Brush (synthetic); Real Techniques Pixel Point Eye Liner Brush (Taklon; part of part of the Real Techniques Eye Starter Set); Real Techniques Fine Liner Brush (Taklon; part of Nic’s Picks Brush Set); Sonia Kashuk Bent Liner Brush (synthetic); MAC 266 (natural).

Eyeliner Brushes

Eyeliner Brushes

Eyeliner Brushes

Eyeliner Brushes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lower Lashline Brushes

Brushes which are pencil shaped, thin or angled can be used to apply eyeshadow or gel liner along the lower lashline.  Pencil brushes are a little thicker and will provide a slightly thicker, smudgier effect under the eyes.  Long, thin liner brushes or angled brushes can be used for applying thin, precise lines under the eyes.  You can also use the eyeliner brushes mentioned above for applying eyeshadow or liner along the lower lashline.

Examples of lower lashline brushes below from top to bottom: Real Techniques Accent Brush (Taklon; part of the Real Techniques Eye Starter Set); Real Techniques Pixel Point Eyeliner Brush (Taklon; part of the Real Techniques Eye Starter Set); Real Techniques Detailer Brush (Taklon; this is actually a concealer brush but also doubles up as a good liner brush; part of the Real Techniques Core Collection Set); MAC 266 brush (natural); MAC 219 brush (natural)

Lower Lashline Brushes

Lower Lashline Brushes

Lower Lashline Brushes

Lower Lashline Brushes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small Detail Brushes

These types of brushes are helpful for adding small, precise details to eyeshadow looks.  Brushes with mini heads can be used for adding a small accent of colour to the inner corner, the middle of eyelids or to the very outer corners.  These brushes are optional extras and are more suitable if you like to create more complex looks.

Examples of small detail brushes below from top to bottom: Real Techniques Accent Brush (Taklon; part of the Real Techniques Eye Starter Set)); Real Techniques Detailer Brush (Taklon; this is actually a concealer brush but also doubles up as a good liner brush; part of the Real Techniques Core Collection).

Small Detail Brushes

Small Detail Brushes

Small Detail Brushes

Small Detail Brushes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to find the brushes mentioned in this article:

  • Real Techniques brushes and brush Sets: available from Boots, Superdrug, Amazon and other online retailers.
  • MAC brushes: available from MAC stores, MAC online, House of Frasers, Debenhams and other department stores.
  • The Body Shop brushes: available from The Body Shop stores and The Body Shop online.
  • Superdrug brushes: available from Superdrug stores and Superdrug online.
  • Clinique brushes: available from Boots, Debenhams, House of Frasers and various online retailers.
  • No 7 brushes: available from Boots and Boots online.

I hope that you found this article interesting and helpful! Please feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments section and I will do my best to answer them.

The next article in this series provides information on how to choose an eyeshadow brush or eyeshadow brushes to best suit your needs.

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2 comments on “Types of Eyeshadow Brushes

  1. This is the most comprehensive, interesting, and well written article on Eye Shadow brushes I have ever read. Excellent work. Keep it up. Love reading your posts.

    • Aaaaw, thank you so much! I really enjoyed putting this article together so I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed reading it! Eyeshadow brushes can be confusing, so I’m glad that you found it helpful :o) .

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