Everything You Wanted to Know About Eyeshadow Brushes
You don’t need twenty brushes to get flawless eyeshadow application, but a few good, multitasking brushes can really change the way your eyeshadow looks. I’m going to walk you through some of the different types of eyeshadow brushes there are available, but more importantly, I’m going to recommend you the essential brushes you should keep your eye out for.
Why fingers and sponge-tip applicators are less than the best… Fingers can be unsanitary, to be honest, but you have natural oils in your skin (including those fingers!), and every time you touch your eyeshadow with your finger, some of that oil can be left behind. This is often why tester eyeshadows at makeup counters are hardened or otherwise look disgusting. I won’t knock ya if you just use your fingers to blend out, do some touch-ups, and the like, but when it comes to applying from pan to skin–brushes are more hygienic and will keep your eyeshadows in better shape in the long-run! Both fingers and sponge-tip applicators tend to waste product, as well, because they absorb a lot of the product without depositing the majority of it. Sponge-tip applicators can have their place (often for very sheer, powdery, or glittery shades), but brushes–at least, in my experience–go the distance.
Application brushes are often flatter, denser, and firmer overall. These brushes go from pan to lid, but they don’t necessarily work for blending colors together, but they’re designed to transfer the color from the pan onto the lid without losing the product in-between. These include brushes like Laura Mercier All Over Colour Brush, MAC 239, NARS Eye Shader, and Sephora #12.
Brow brushes are typically thin with a defined and/or angled edge. Often, brow brushes are used to apply a brow product to the brow to give brows a fuller look aka filling in your brows. You can also have brow brushes that are more to groom the brow into place (often a spoolie brush or what looks like a mascara wand). These include brushes like Bare Escentuals Angled Brush, MAC 266, NARS Brow Shader, and Smashbox #12.
Blending brushes are often fluffier and slightly tapered or domed. These brushes are used mostly to blend colors already applied to the lid. They help to make colors blend seamlessly with each other and help fade harsh lines of demarcation. These include brushes like MAC 217, NARS Large Domed Eye, Sephora #10, and Stila #9.