Makeup Brush Breakdown: The 7 Eye Makeup Brushes You Need

by Sophia Panych

CN Digital StudioCN Digital Studio There are so many makeup brush shapes and sizes, it's almost impossible to pick one with total confidence. But after interviewing makeup artists and brush manufacturers for "Makeup-Tool Special: Top Gear" in Allure's August issue, I've finally got it down. Here, a guide to what's what when it comes to eyes.

Fluffy eye shadow brush. Sometimes called an "all-over lid" brush, this is your basic eye shadow tool--try Sephora's Pro Shadow brush 14. The bristles should be soft, densely packed, and in the shape of a baby-sized thumb print. Use it to apply shadow to lids and brow bones, to contour the crease, and to blend.

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Domed eye shadow brush. This brush's primary purpose is to diffuse shadow that's already been brushed along the creases and outer corners of the eyes.

Smoky eyes brush. Buxom's Smoky Eye Brush looks similar to the domed brush, but its bristles are pointier and more densely packed, so they deposit more color. It's great for pressing shadow onto lids and smudging it into lash lines.

Angled crease brush. The angled cut of the fluffy bristles perfectly hugs the shape of your brow bone, so you get a subtle wash of color in the crease. Sephora's Pro Angled Shadow Brush #13 is one of our favorites.

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A smudge brush.
This little cutie has stiff, short, rounded bristles--like a baby version of the all-over lid brush. Rub it over pencil liner or shadow along your lash line to get that perfect "lived-in" liner look. Makeup artists also use it to highlight the inner corners of eyes.

A blending brush. Usually made from pony hair, these brushes have long, loosely-packed bristles designed to blend. Swipe the brush like a windshield wiper wherever you want to soften edges or create a seamless transition between colors.

An angled liner brush. Their stiff, angled synthetic bristles make lining with gel or cream formulas a piece of cake. We like M.A.C.'s 263 angle brush.

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