Just as a certain type of makeup will give you a particular look, the tools you use in the application process can also control how your makeup turns out. While a regular day-to-day eye can be achieved with one simple fluffy brush (or even just your hands,) more glamorous evening looks may require a bit more precision or technical ability.
At Subtl Beauty, we have all your bases covered; from day to evening, we offer a smart selection of eye makeup brushes designed to get you where you need to be, with minimal fuss or effort. Read on to learn all about eyeshadow brushes, their application uses, and how to pick the right ones for your cosmetics bag.
What Are the Types of Eye Makeup Brushes?
Like standard face brushes (think bronzer brushes, makeup sponges, etc.), there are multiple types of eye shadow brushes that you’ll find in a typical eye brush set. The typical brushes used for eye shadow application and styling include:
- Eye blender brushes for defining and blending eyeshadow,
- Angled brushes for quick sweeps of color
- Under-eye concealer brushes for applying product around your eyelash area
- Eyebrow brushes for defining the shape of your brows
Most of the makeup tools used for eye makeup application are made with cruelty-free synthetic bristles. That means that when you add these to your brush collection, you can feel confident that they’re kind to the planet.
Larger Fluffy Eyeliner Brushes
A general rule of thumb for all steps of your makeup routine is that the size and density of your brush will determine how pigmented your color will be. Very compact, densely packed brushes are great for concentrating product and creating dynamic shimmery looks with a highlighter — if you’re skilled enough not to smudge.
On the other hand, larger and fluffier brushes will give you a more tame wash of color and are great for all-over applications. An example of one of these would be the type of smudge brush that you use to get a smoky eye look. Just like a big fluffy brush is a great way to sweep setting powder across your whole face, a fluffier eyeshadow brush is a great way to get an easy wash of color across your whole lid and up into your crease (making it a great tool to apply a primary base layer).
When applying color to your lid or into your crease, we suggest swirling an eyeshadow brush like this around in your eyeshadow tray, tapping off any excess, and gently sweeping the color across your lid, crease, or up toward your brow bone.
Denser Packing Brushes
As previously stated, densely packed brushes are great ways to stamp and dab on pigment, making it appear a little more vibrant than if you were to dust it on with a lighter stroke. Sturdy, flat-top foundation brushes are perfect for applying cream contour for a super-chiseled look, and sturdier, thicker highlighter brushes will give you a more intense, iced-out glow. The same concept is true for your eyeshadow.
Maybe you’re using our Smoke and Mirrors Eyeshadow Duo to create a dramatic smokey eye. Using the sturdier side of our Dual-End Eyeshadow Brush, you can pick up the darker pigment from your eyeshadow tray and then dab it directly onto your eyelid, packing the color on top of your skin to create a more dramatic, deep look.
For a super opaque look, try adding another layer on top. You can also repeat this same step with the shimmery shades in our Eyeshadow Duos to brighten up your eyes and turn a subtle, daytime glow into an intense evening accessory.
The Best Makeup Brush for Intense Eye Looks
Another thing to remember is just how versatile each one of our makeup brushes can be, as any makeup artist will tell you. While the lip brush from our travel brush set is a great way to precisely apply lip color, it’s also another great tool you can use to really pack on super intense eye color — provided you clean it between applications.
You can further intensify this look by applying your eyeshadow on top of an eye primer (try using a bit of our Cream Concealer if you don’t have any on hand) or even dampening your brush before dipping it into the tray. Setting spray, rosewater, or even regular still water will go a long way.
Wet or Dry Brush Application
Makeup brushes are made from either natural or synthetic fibers. While synthetic fibers are man-made, natural brushes are made of animal hairs. This means the two types of brushes are meant for the application of different types of products.
Think about the hair on your head. What happens whenever it gets wet? It absorbs and holds onto the water until you either blow it dry or it naturally dries on its own. For the same reason, it’s best to use natural brushes for powder products only.
Natural brushes will absorb liquid or cream cosmetics, leading to an uneven application with the product not fully blending out into your skin. Synthetic brushes are best for liquid and cream since they are often coated and sealed to prevent anything from being absorbed.
In a Pinch? Pinch Your Brush
Are you in a bit of a pinch and only have one brush on hand? Try pinching your brush (literally). Pinching the bottom of your brush is a great way to fan out the bristles without causing any damage to your brush (avoid securing them in place with a hair clip or bobby pin, though).
It’s an easy way to get a little more precision from a regular blending brush and add just another type of tool to your makeup bag. On the other hand, you could also try pinching a fluffy brush together to create a more dense alternative, great for getting that eyeshadow as eyeliner look.
Every Brush You Need, in One Simple Set
Our Four-Piece Brush Set is equipped with a powder brush, stippling brush, a dual-ended eye brush, and a lip brush to give you everything you need without weighing down your bag too much. Available in either purple or pink, these four brushes provide everything you need to help complete your routine.
The dual-ended eyeshadow brush comes with a fluffy option on one end and a more dense brush on the other to allow for a seamless application of any type of eyeshadow. The lip brush is an even denser option, great for heavily packing pigments on or creating glamorous shimmery looks.
If you don’t need the entire set, the dual-ended eyeshadow brush is also available for individual purchase. Plus, every shipment includes a complementary Stack Brush BFF. This brush is retractable and comes with a lid, making it the perfect grab-and-go accompaniment. Together, these two brushes cover all your basics and easily fit into even the smallest of handbags.
An Easy Way To Clean in Between Uses
Our Dry Brush Cleaner is one of the more ingenious creations offered at Subtl Beauty. Nothing can ruin a makeup look faster than accidentally adding too much of a darker shade onto your eyelid as a result of leftover pigment on your brush. But who has time to wash their brushes while applying makeup?
Trying to wipe the excess product from your brush onto a paper towel or square of toilet paper is usually a fruitless effort and can even bury the pigment deeper into your brush. In addition, being too rough on your makeup brushes can also cause the bristles to break and lose their shape, cutting their life short.
Made up of dry, sponge-like material, the webs of our dry brush cleaner easily get in between every individual hair of your makeup brushes to remove excess pigment, without causing damage to the bristles. Using light pressure, sweep the brush back and forth and in circular motions across the surface of the Dry Brush Cleaner to remove leftover eyeshadow and prepare your brush for the next color in your routine. This is an easy way for a basic daily clean-up in between deeper cleanings.
In addition to the convenience of going between eyeshadow colors, cleaning your brushes also allows you to clean your brushes before putting them back into your bag without having to worry about the lining of your purse getting stained. The Dry Brush Cleaner also twists onto your Makeup Stack, making it a simple and welcome addition to your on-the-go makeup routine.
Maybe You Don’t Need To Use Eyeshadow Brushes Every Day
Our Eyeshadow Duos are smooth and buttery to ensure a seamless application unlike anything else on the market. Infused with natural ingredients like chamomile extract, our eyeshadows work to reduce redness and dryness, allowing you to enjoy a long-lasting, crease-proof look all day long. With such a silky texture, you may not even need a brush, which is great news for those of us on the go.
Taking a clean ring finger or crease brush from your makeup brush set, pick up some of the matte pigment and blend it onto your lid and into your crease. Taking your pinky finger, pop some of the shimmery shade right onto your eyelid, into your inner corner, and onto your brow bone to complete the look.
Brush and Go
Whether you opt for a quick sweep color using the tips of your fingers or need something a little more precise and vibrant, we’ve got you covered. Both our Dual-Ended Eyeshadow Brush and our Four-Piece Brush Set offer great options for those traveling, in a rush, or trying to take their simple desk look a step further in time for their dinner reservations.
Our Dry Brush Cleaner is a super simple way to get multiple uses out of just a few tools and best of all, it easily twists right onto your Makeup Stack. Take a look at all of our options to see which set best matches up with your Eyeshadow Duo collection today.