A Guide to Makeup Brushes for Eyes, Brows and Lips

A look at the common makeup brushes available for the eyes, lips and brows: what you can use each one for, the shape of the bristles and some tips for using. For a guide to makeup brushes for the face and cheeks, please click the link below.

<<< Our post on makeup brushes for the face and cheeks

LipGuide to makeup brushes for lips

Purpose: To shape, define and fill in the lips with lipstick or gloss. There’s nothing wrong with applying direct from the lipstick tube for personal use, but if you’re a professional and/or like a precise shape, then use a lip brush.

Shape: Lip brushes come with or without a protective lid, or they can be retractable. This protects the hair and allows for a bit of lipstick to be kept ready to use without it getting mucky, or making a mess in your makeup bag. Bristles are usually synthetic and need to be dense and firm with a tapered shape, which helps create a precise edge.

Tips: Outline your lips first to create the shape and then fill in. To help lipstick last, apply one light coat, blot with a tissue and reapply as desired. To prevent lip lines bleeding, use a lip pencil first round the lip line – match it to the lipstick colour.

Eye Shadow Eye shadow brush

Purpose: To apply a wash of colour to the eyelids; To blend eye shadow colours; To create depth in the eyelid crease; To add definition to the outer eyelid. Can use with any eye shadow product (pressed powder, loose powder, glitters, cream and liquid).

Shape: A small flat makeup brush that comes in a variety of bristle lengths. The longer bristles are good for applying a wash of colour and fatter bristles are good for blending.

Tips: Use an eye primer on your eye lid to help lock in the colour and prevent creasing, keeping your eye makeup looking good for longer.


Blending brushPurpose: To create a soft diffused edge to eye shadow or anything else that you want to blend. Use this brush after eye shadow application to blend, smudge and soften to create your desired eye makeup look.

Shape: Bristles can be soft and rounded to compact and cone shaped. The more compact and pointy the ends, the more precisely you can blend. You can also blend with the tips of regular eye shadow brushes.

Tips: Only go in the direction and over the area that you want the product to go – use a small precise movement.


Eyeliner brushPurpose: To apply a precise and even gel, liquid or powder eyeliner; To get eye shadow right into the lash line; For smudging out kohl eyeliner for a smoky effect.

Shape: A small brush with bristles that vary from round and pointed, to square and blunt. There are also eyeliner brushes that have a bent ferrule.

Tips: Gently press the colour right into the lash line inbetween the lashes to create a more solid line without gaps. To use eye shadow as a solid liner, dampen the brush for a more intense colour.


Mascara brushPurpose: To apply mascara, separate eye lashes and groom eye brows. Mascara wands are not essential for personal, as the wands that come with a mascara are perfectly good enough. Professionals must work hygienically which means a fresh, clean wand per dip in the mascara tube.

Shape: A spiral of synthetic fibres (just like the mascara wands in mascara tubes) on a long handle. Disposable mascara wands come in a variety of shapes and some may find the shorter handles easier to control (and you can clean them to use again).

Tips: To groom or brush out foundation from the eye brows, brush the clean wand over the eye brows in the direction that the hair grows.


Brow brushPurpose: Precision application of eye brow makeup to define, shape and fill in the brows. This type of brush is also good to create a precise eyeliner, or to get eye shadow right into the lash line.

Shape: A small brush with stiff, dense bristles that are cut with a blunt edge at an angle.

Tips: If you don’t have brow makeup, you can use browns/neutrals in matte eye shadow or kohl liner (put some on back of hand and use brush to apply to brow). Use short strokes of the brush to mimic the brow hairs rather than do a solid colour (unless this is the look you want!).

So that was our guide to makeup brushes for the eyes, lips and brows. For our guide to makeup brushes for foundation, concealer, powder and blusher, click the link below.

<<< Go to our post on makeup brushes for the face and cheeks

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This entry was posted in MAKEUP BASICS, Makeup Tools and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Guide to Makeup Brushes for Eyes, Brows and Lips

    1. Kaylee says:

      This is a great website. So much useful stuff and love the detail. Thanks!! Kaylee x

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