e.l.f. Discovery


By Jeanette Crutchfield

Whether you’ve been a makeup artist for years or are just starting out, it’s important to have a high quality set of makeup brushes that you know you’ll love. You may be asking yourself: what makeup brushes do I really need? How do I use the makeup brushes? How do I take care of my makeup brushes to help them last longer? We’ll be answering the most frequently asked questions and guiding you through our favorite tips and tricks for picking the perfect makeup brushes.

These 6 makeup brushes have multiple uses that can create top-notch looks, as well as being affordable, vegan and cruelty-free! If you are still not sure what kind of makeup brush you need, check out our makeup brush finder.

Foundation Makeup Brush

We recommend adding a precision foundation brush to your toolkit in order to create that perfectly smooth finish. With a precision brush you can simply add the foundation to the center of the brush and apply to the face by buffing onto the skin using a circular, swirling motion and repeat for fuller coverage.

The main use of a precision foundation brush is applying your foundation, however, there are so many different uses as well. You can also use it to blend cream bronzers, blush, and highlighters into your complexion.

PRO TIP: Blend foundation in a downward because we have fine facial hairs (peach fuzz if you will). If you put your foundation on upward, you’ll get the makeup underneath those hairs and then they will almost never lie smooth. Blending downward helps those hairs lie flat giving your skin a smoother appearance.

Concealer Brush

When choosing a concealer brush, we recommend going with a smaller concealer brush with dense bristles allowing the concealer to go on exactly where you want it and blend seamlessly into your skin. An easy way to apply concealer is to put a pea-size amount of concealer on the back of your hand. Dip the tip of your brush into the concealer and pick up a small amount. Using the flat side of the brush, pat the concealer wherever you have discolorations that you want to cover.

A concealer brush has more uses than just concealer. Try using it for cream eyeshadow for a fun smoky look, or use it to apply cream highlighter to the smaller areas of the face such as under the brows, the inner corners of the eyes and the Cupid’s bow.

Fluffy Powder Brush

The bigger and fluffier the powder brush, the better. You do not want a dense powder brush. You want to be able to gently brush powder all over the face to diffuse and set your makeup.

To use with a loose powder, tap the brush into the powder, swirl the brush into the cap working the powder into the brush. This helps to diffuse it better across the skin.

To use with pressed powder, swirl the brush over the powder and then swirl it into the cap (just like with loose powder). You’ll get a beautiful soft finish that helps to set your makeup for long lasting wear.

PRO TIP: A fluffy powder brush is not just for your face! Use it on your body to add powder bronzer and highlighter to the front of your legs, décolleté, shoulders. You can even use it to put fine glitter all over your body. Be sure to wash your brush before you use it on your face again otherwise you might end up with glitter all over your face!

Small, Fluffy Eyeshadow Bush

Start with a small tapered fluffy eyeshadow brush designed for precise and targeted eyeshadow application and blending. Swirl the brush in powder eyeshadow, gently tap off the excess and blend onto your eye lids. This brush is also great to use to softly blend all your eyeshaodow shades into each other (don’t over-blend as you don’t want your eyeshadow to look muddy).

You can also use a small eyeshadow brush to put a lighter eyeshadow shade on under your brows to help highlight their shape. You can also apply on the inner corners of your eye to add brightness to the entire area. This brush can also be used to powder highlighter under the brow bones, inner corners of the eyes, down the bridge of the nose, and on the Cupid’s bow.

Crease Brush

A tapered crease brush allows you to apply eyeshadow precisely into the crease of the eyelid for an expertly blended look. You can also use this brush to achieve the “C” method of putting on eyeshadow: starting above your iris in the crease of your eye, draw a C shape down to the outer corner of your eye. Use this brush to softly blend eyeshadow up and out.

Another use for this crease brush is to apply under-eye concealer. This brush will give you a very natural looking concealer look. It will cover just enough to look like you have makeup on. This technique provides the no-makeup makeup look.

Eyebrow Duo Brush

An eyebrow duo brush includes a dense angled brush on one end to precisely fill in and contour your eyebrows while the wand side combs and shapes hair into place. This eyebrow brush is perfect to use with powder, cream, and gel formulas for a polished look. A clean, dry spoolie can also help get rid of clumpy mascara and give your lashes a more natural, feathered appearance.

How Often Do I Need to Clean My Makeup Brushes?

Now that you know what makeup brushes you need, next is how to take care of them. The most asked question is how often should you wash your brushes. That depends on what type of makeup you used on them and how often. If you used a powder makeup on your brush, simply swirl the brush on a clean, dry towel or tissue to get any extra powder off and then return to your makeup cup or bag. Then we recommend washing every 1-2 weeks depending on how often you wear makeup..

You can also use a dry brush cleaner, which is a liquid-free makeup brush cleaner that effortlessly removes pigment residue and buildup from your brushes. Simply swipe bristles on the sponge in circular motions until pigment is removed. We do recommend, if you use a cream or liquid makeup product on your brush, to wash it after every use.

How To Clean Makeup Brushes?

In order to create a flawless looking application every time, we recommend washing makeup brushes after every use. Whether you’re using these makeup brushes on yourself or new clients, it’s important to keep your brushes sanitary and clean.

If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to clean makeup brushes, we recommend a daily brush cleaner that will wash away any dirt, makeup, oil and debris that may be left on the makeup brushes. Simply spray the makeup brush bristles with a daily cleaner, gently wipe the brush onto a clean cloth to remove the makeup, and allow the makeup brushes to fully air dry before the next use.


Advanced Guide to Brushes and Tools

Beginner's Guide to Makeup Brushes