5 Essential Makeup Brushes

By Woman's Day Staff

Brush UpBrush Up Brush Up

Expertly applied makeup doesn't require the skill of a Rembrandt or a museum-size arsenal of brushes. All you need: five brushes (for foundation, powder, eyeliner, eyeshadow and lipcolor) that take all the work off your hands-and fingers. "Unlike your fingertips, brushes are specifically designed to conform to the angles of your face," says Laura Geller, a New York City-based makeup artist. "Plus, when you apply product with your fingers, the natural oil on them can change its color and consistency." Here, the five essentials and how to use them.

Photo: © Lucas Allen/Woman's Day

Foundation Brush
Foundation BrushFoundation Brush

The flat sides of this brush hold onto liquid and powder foundation to ensure a smooth, even application every time. Sweep on using broad, horizontal strokes, which help conceal fine lines and wrinkles. The exceptions: around your upper lip, jawline and chin, where a downward motion better blends the foundation into your skin. WD Pick: Foundation Brush, Face Secrets $8.99; SallyBeauty.com.

Photo: © Lucas Allen/Woman's Day

Find out how to fix cakey foundation fast.

Powder Brush

The loosely packed bristles of this brush help pick up more powder, making it perfect for larger areas that don't require targeted application (like your cheeks, forehead and jawline). To apply sPowder BrushPowder Brushetting powder or bronzer, lightly tap off excess, then use circular motions to blend over your face. For blush, use a sweeping motion from the apple of your cheek across your cheekbone and up to your temple. WD Pick: Powder Brush, Mark $8; MeetMark.com.

Photo: © Lucas Allen/Woman's Day

Angled Liner BrushAngled Liner Brush
Angled Liner Brush

Thanks to its short bristles-cut on a slant to mimic the natural curve of your eyes- this brush deposits liner more precisely on the lashline. Dip the tips of the bristles into liner and apply from the outer corner of your eye inward. The bias-cut bristles also make the brush good for filling in naturally sparse brows: Simply sweep on brow powder in the direction of hair growth. WD Pick: Small Angled Brush, e.l.f. Studio $3; EyesLipsFace.com.

Photo: © Lucas Allen/Woman's Day

Eyeshadow Brush
Eyeshadow BrushEyeshadow Brush
Slightly rounded bristles help deposit color in the hard-to-reach inner corners of your eyes as well as on the lids. Look for a brush with a head that's the width of your eyelid (from lashline to crease) so shadow goes on in one swipe. To apply, sweep color from the inner to outer corners along the lower halves of the lids. WD Pick: Small Eyeshadow Brush, Sonia Kashuk Tools $10; at Target.

Photo: © Lucas Allen/Woman's Day

Lip Brush
Lip BrushLip Brush
A rounded tip that comes to a point helps you color within the lines, while firm bristles stand up to the creamy (and heavy) formulations typical in lipsticks and glosses. Sweep the brush across your lipcolor, then apply within your natural lipline. Tip: You can also use the precision point to apply concealer to blemishes, dark spots or any area that requires you to be exact. WD Pick: Covered Lip Brush, Revlon $5.99; Revlon.com.

Photo: © Lucas Allen/Woman's Day

Original article appeared on WomansDay.com.

Related Articles at WomansDay.com:

10 Common Beauty Rules to Break

Beauty Secrets from Around the World

Look and Feel Better-Instantly