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Eye Shadow Brushes And Applicators
- Aug 15, 2018 -


To apply cream eye shadow, use only synthetic brushes; a round tip concealer brush often suffices. Natural bristles work best for powder eye shadow.

Eye makeup brushes come in various shapes and sizes, but the following are the most useful.

Brush Type

Brush Function

The Flat Tip BrushThe flat tipped brush is an all-rounder. It can be used to apply eye shadow to larger surfaces and, when turned sideways, is ideal for the lid crease and lower lash line. For definition, choose firm bristles.
The Firm Round Tip BrushUse a firm round tip brush in the lid crease and for feathering when creating a smoky effect.
The Soft Round Tip BrushUse the soft round tip brush to set highlights, for subtle shading, and for blending if you don't have a blending brush at hand.
The Blending BrushThe blending brush has soft bristles and is used, as its name suggests, only for blending.
The Liner BrushUse the tightly bound liner brush to apply loose kohl and powder eye shadow as eyeliner. If using eye shadow, wet the brush beforehand.
The Angled Definer BrushThis is another tightly bound brush. It draws somewhat thicker lines when used to apply powder kohl and eye shadow as eyeliner, and is ideal for applying eyebrow powder.


Applicators are best suited for smudging, although eye shadow palettes are almost always conveniently equipped with one, usually double-ended, that can be used in place of a brush.

For a perfect finish, an applicator must allow you to apply even pressure. Test by squeezing the sponge part to ascertain whether it's held on be a simple rod or pin, or by a spade-like structure. The latter is what you need.

Cleaning Eye Shadow Brushes and Applicators

Keeping application tools clean is not only hygienic, it also prevents colors turning out "muddy" rather than as intended.

It's best to use a separate brush or applicator for each tonal range. For example, keep one for a purple palette, one for a blue palette, and another for a gray palette. Always wipe brushes and applicators on a cosmetic tissue before changing shades—e.g., dark to light and vice versa.

Wash brushes and applicators once every couple of weeks. Simply swirl in a little baby shampoo in the palm of the hand, rinse well, then squeeze out excess moisture. Leave to dry on a counter edge with the bristles or application sponge in mid-air.