Choosing Eyeshadow Brushes to Suit Your Needs

 

Part One of this series explained the various types of eyeshadow brushes and their uses.  This article aims to help you choose brushes which may best suit your needs.

Flat Shader Brushes

Flat Shader Brushes

Crease Brushes

Crease Brushes

Outer V Brushes

Outer V Brushes

Eyeliner Brushes

Eyeliner Brushes

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a few aspects to take into consideration when deciding which brushes (and how many) might be best for you:

Types of Looks: do you prefer simple or more complex eyeshadow looks?
Budget: how much do you wish to spend?
Brush Bristles: do you intend to use cream products, powder eyeshadows or both?

TYPES OF LOOKS

Think about how often you intend to wear eyeshadow and the types of looks you might wish to create.

Single Brush Kit: One flat shader brush may fit your needs if you only intend to apply a single colour to your eyelids.

-The tips of flat shader brushes can also be used to apply eyeshadow along the lower lashline.
-Flat shader brushes can be used for applying eyeshadow in the crease or to the browbone.
-Wipe the flat shader brush between stages (either on a clean tissue or by fanning the bristles) to ensure you do not ‘muddy’ shades together.

Worth thinking about: Using flat shader brushes for crease work and blending can be more difficult if you are not used to applying eyeshadow as the bristles tend to be paddle shaped and dense, rather than fluffy and fanned out.

Flat Shader Brushes

Flat Shader Brushes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flat Shader Brushes shown above 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).

 

Basic Starter Kit: Two brushes (a flat shader brush and a crease brush) will provide a good starting point for creating many eyeshadow looks.

-A flat shader brush can be used for applying eyeshadow to the eyelid, lower lashline or the browbone.
-A crease brush can be used for contouring the crease, highlighting the browbone or for applying eyeshadow in the outer v.
-Crease brushes can also be used for sweeping over a finished look to ensure everything is well blended.
-Wipe the flat shader and the crease brush between stages to ensure you do not ‘muddy’ shades together.

Worth Thinking About: You might wish to add in a third brush (a blender brush) to sweep over your finished look.  Using a separate brush (which has no product on the bristles) for overall blending is optional but can help avoid the transfer of colours between stages.

Flat Shader Brushes

Flat Shader Brushes

Crease Brushes

Crease Brushes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flat Shader Brushes shown above left 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).

Crease Brushes shown above right 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).

Blender Brushes

Optional Third Brush: Blender Brushes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blender Brushes shown above (far right) from top to bottom: The Body Shop Eyeshadow Blender Brush (synthetic); MAC 217 brush (natural); MAC 224 brush (natural).  You may notice that two of these brushes(MAC 217; MAC 224) are also included in the ‘Crease Brush’ section.  Brushes used for the crease can be used for overall blending, which keeps the brushes you are using to a minimum.

 

Advanced Kit: Expand on the Basic Starter Kit by adding in an outer v brush, a pencil brush and an eyeliner brush.

-Outer v brushes and pencil brushes can help you to add details to eyeshadow looks which are harder to accomplish using the Single Brush or Starter Kit.
-Eye liner brushes can be a useful addition to your kit if you wish to apply gel liner or use eyeshadow as eyeliner.

Worth Thinking About: You may also consider adding in a cream shadow brush if you wish to have a separate brush for applying cream products or eyeshadow bases.

Flat Shader Brushes

Flat Shader Brushes

Crease Brushes

Crease Brushes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flat Shader Brushes shown above left 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).

Crease Brushes shown above right 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).

Outer V Brushes

Outer V Brushes

Eyeliner Brushes

Eyeliner Brushes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Examples of outer v brushes above left 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).

Examples of eyeliner brushes above right 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).

Cream/Base Eyeshadow Brushes

Optional: Cream/Base Eyeshadow Brushes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Optional Cream/Base Eyeshadow Brushes shown above 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).

BUDGET

The types of brushes that you purchase may be dictated by your budget and how much you prefer to spend.

Keeping Costs Down:
-If you are starting out in make-up, you might prefer to only buy one or two brushes or to purchase cheaper alternatives from other brands.  Many brands provide brushes which are similar in style.
-Boots No 7, The Body Shop, Eco Tools, Real Techniques and Revlon are examples of cost-effective but good quality brushes.
-Real Techniques brushes are relatively cost-effective, as many of the eyeshadow brushes come as part of sets.  The brushes are also made from Taklon, which makes them extremely versatile for using with cream and powder products.

More Available to Spend:
-You might wish to experiment with more expensive brushes if your budget allows for this or if you are keen on make-up artistry.
-MAC brushes are excellent quality and come in a range of shapes, sizes and price points.  The MAC 239 Flat Shader Brush and the MAC 217 Crease Brush are extremely popular brushes and can be used for a multitude of looks.
-Bare Minerals brushes are good quality and come in a range of shapes and sizes.  Some brushes are double-ended, making them particularly versatile for if you wish to purchase fewer brushes.
-Urban Decay brushes can be used with both cream and powder products.  The synthetic nature of these brushes make them a good option for using different textures on your eyes.
-You might prefer to purchase only one or two key brushes from more expensive brands like MAC and Urban Decay if you want to keep costs down.

BRUSH BRISTLES

Eyeshadow brushes come with natural bristles, synthetic bristles and Taklon bristles.  Thinking about the sort of eyeshadow products you plan on using can help determine which bristles might best fit your needs.

Natural bristle brushes: best for applying powder eyeshadows as they grip more tightly to the pigment.
-Natural brushes are best for if you intend to purely use powder products.
-Avoid using natural brushes with cream eyeshadows as the bristles will soak up the product.

Synthetic bristle brushesbest used for cream eyeshadows as they will not soak up the product.
-Synthetic brushes can be used for powder products but may not hold on to the powder as well as natural bristles.
-These types of brushes tend to be cheaper and are a good option if you want to keep costs down.

 Taklon brushes: a good option if you do not want to invest in too many brushes as they work well with both powder and cream products.
-The Real Techniques brand of brushes are made from Taklon and are worth a look.

The next article in this series introduces some products which you can use for cleaning your make-up brushes.

I hope you found this article helpful.  Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below.

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