Beauty Tools: The Bent Brush

From left: Slanted brushes from e.l.f., Claudio Riaz, Sephora Collection, and Sonia Kashuk.From left: Slanted brushes from e.l.f., Claudio Riaz, Sephora Collection, and Sonia K …Kayleen Schaefer, Vogue

No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you. These new makeup brushes are crooked on purpose-specially designed to make applying liquid and cream liner as foolproof (read: steady) as possible. As Chicago-based makeup artist Claudio Riaz, who pioneered the ergonomic, elbow-shaped design, explains, "It's best to grip the handle in the middle to attain the optimal balance, and hold the brush horizontally with the bent side facing the lashline."

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As you drag the brush across the lid from the inner to outer corner of the eye, the 45-degree slant helps keep the movement steady and the bristles positioned flat against the base of the lashes, "giving you a consistent, straight line." Riaz's own Contour Liquid Liner Brush, a top seller at Barneys New York, boasts a longer and thicker brush head to provide more coverage in a single swipe. "If you're going to do a cat eye," he says, the brush "has to be big enough so you can draw the line quickly, and not have to retrace again and again to build it up."

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For superfine work-tight, precision flicks; crisp, smooth rimming-Sonia Kashuk, Sephora, and e.l.f. offer brushes with a slimmer tip. "The angled neck means less work and better results," says Riaz. We call it a stroke of genius.

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