The Ultimate Makeup Brush Guide: Which Makeup Brush to Use?

After several makeup tests with different makeup brushes, I’ve come to a conclusion: In a woman’s beauty arsenal, the right makeup brush is her ultimate tool.
Mini-mini-minny-moo, which makeup brush should I use? There's a perfect match to every makeup brush.

Mini-mini-minny-moo, which makeup brush should I use? There's a perfect match to every makeup brush.

When putting makeup, sometimes I feel like an artist clueless as to which brush to use. Don't you sometimes feel the same way with all the makeup brush options around? I mean, you were probably just as baffled as I was when I first came across the stippling brush. And how about the fan brush? My first thought, who needs a fan brush when the good-old blush brush might work just fine, right? Oh, the paradox of choice!

But after more research on what each brush can do and personally testing each one out, I've come to realize every makeup brush has its own purpose. Have you ever tried contouring your face using a powder brush instead of an angled brush? It's like pulling a nail with a screw driver—it can get messy without the right tool!

After several makeup tests with different makeup brushes, I've come to a conclusion: In a woman's beauty arsenal, the right makeup brush is her ultimate tool. To decide which makeup brush is best for me, I narrowed down my choices by determining which type of makeup I normally use. As a general rule, powdered makeup is best applied using brushes with natural bristles while those made with synthetic bristles are ideal for liquid or cream beauty products.

Vanity Planet Palette Professional Makeup Brush Collection comes with 15 makeup brushes carefully stored in a chic roll-up pouch to cover all your daily beauty needs.

Vanity Planet Palette Professional Makeup Brush Collection comes with 15 makeup brushes carefully stored in a chic roll-up pouch to cover all your daily beauty needs.

Because I prefer to use liquid primer and foundation, I tend to favor synthetic bristles, which is why I opted to sample Vanity Planet's Palette Professional Makeup Brush Collection. It arrived in a chic all-black pouch, which conveniently rolls up for easy packing. Yay, I can see this makeup brush bag tagging along with me in all my future adventures and trips! The roll-out design also comes with a protective flap which helps to keep brushes clean and collected.

Inside are 15 makeup brushes carefully packaged with individual protective plastic covers that helps to maintain their shapes. Vanity Planet's brushes are made with premium synthetic bristles, which are ultra-soft and makes application smooth and streak-free. I am a fan of contouring, so its sturdy Birchwood handle has been handy in giving me better control upon application.

For the number of brushes you get, along with its easy-to-store artist's pouch, I personally think Vanity Planet's Palette Professional Makeup Brush Collection is a great value for one's money. On top of this, the brand advocates cruelty-free products, so beauty-lovers like me are assured there are no animals harmed during productions of Vanity Planet makeup brushes. Now that's an all-around win in my book!

If you are like me, uncertain which brush to use at times, here's a quick guide to help you navigate the many brush options in beauty la-la-land:

Need a makeup brush cheat sheet? Here's a quick guide to help you find the right brush.

Need a makeup brush cheat sheet? Here's a quick guide to help you find the right brush.

THE RIGHT TOOL: Powder Brush

BEST FOR: Applying loose powder evenly across your face. A powder brush's long, fluffy and soft bristles ensure that your makeup won't look cakey. As long as the powder brush is not too large in size, you may also use it to apply blush and bronzer.


THE RIGHT TOOL: Blush Brush

BEST FOR: Applying blush on the cheeks. A blush brush usually has soft, long bristles with a dome shape which allows you to apply a blush color on a targeted area as well as blend and build your color.


THE RIGHT TOOL: Contour Brush

BEST FOR: Applying a bronzer or a contouring shade. With soft and dense bristles, it has an angled shape that allows you to contour correctly as it fits nicely under your cheekbone where you often would need it.


THE RIGHT TOOL: Kabuki Brush

BEST FOR: Multi-use. A kabuki brush usually has super soft and voluminous bristles as well as a short handle, but it is an ultra-versatile tool as it can be used to apply powder, bronzer or blend one's blush.


THE RIGHT TOOL: Foundation Brush

BEST FOR: Applying liquid or cream foundation. Angled and flat, a foundation brush is skinny with a dome shape on top, making it the ideal tool to achieve a seamless coverage.


THE RIGHT TOOL: Fan Brush

BEST FOR: Applying a highlighter. The fan brush comes with an ultra-light bristle, making it ideal for highlighter application wherein you only need a light dusting of the powder on your cheeks or nose bridge. It's also a great tool to remove excess powder.


THE RIGHT TOOL: Concealer Brush

BEST FOR: Applying a concealer. It's tiny bristles ensure that you can easily apply on targeted areas, such as under the eye to hide dark eye rings or on annoying pimples when you have a skin breakout.

Vanity Planet's eyeshadow brush and Silky Smooth eyeshadow Kit: a match made in beauty heaven.

Vanity Planet's eyeshadow brush and Silky Smooth eyeshadow Kit: a match made in beauty heaven.

THE RIGHT TOOL: Eyeshadow Brush

BEST FOR: Applying eyeshadow. Its slightfly fluffy brush makes it easy to apply colors on one's lid as well as blend out colors to achieve a smoky eye makeup.


THE RIGHT TOOL: Crease Brush

BEST FOR: Blending eyeshadow. The crease brush often has much shorter bristles to allow for better control when blending colors on the crease on the eye lids.


THE RIGHT TOOL: Eyeliner Brush

BEST FOR: Applying powder eyeliner. When attempting a Cleopatra or winged eye look, you can rely on the eyeliner brush to bring in the drama. Its slim design allows for thin and precise application.


THE RIGHT TOOL: Brow Brush

BEST FOR: Grooming the brows and blending brow pencil colors to create that full "Cara Delevigne-inspired" eyebrows.


THE RIGHT TOOL: Lip Brush

BEST FOR: Lipstick application. The pointed tip makes it ideal for outlining and filling the lips with your favorite lip color. 

 

It seems a lot to keep in mind, but like any other art form, makeup application requires knowing which tool to use. And hey, in case you are needing a new makeup brush collection soon, you are full of unicorn luck! This Vanity Planet Palette Professional Brush Collection can be yours at 70% off! Use BBPalette70 at checkout. Hurry, this exclusive discount code is offered only at a limited time! Happy beauty shopping, lovely peeps!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Vanity Planet. I only work with brands I love, so even if this post is sponsored, this blog offers an honest review on the featured product. All opinions are my own.

Perfect Pout: 5 Rules to Long-Wearing Lipstick

With the weather warming up, I am gearing up to get beach-ready. Of course, the best part about living in the Sunshine State is that almost every day is beach-perfect! This weekend is no different, so our plans included a small dose of sun-worshipping at Redington Beach, a more laid-back alternative from the often tourist-packed beaches of Clearwater and St. Pete.

While I try to pack light, I never forget to bring the essentials—SPF 30 sunscreen, UV polarized sunglasses, a floppy beach hat and, of course, a water-proof lipstick. Being under the elements require a lipstick that stays put, so here are at least 5 rules when it comes to long-wearing lipstick.  

LipSense's long-wearing Precious Topaz is neutral with a hint of brown-orange.

LipSense's long-wearing Precious Topaz is neutral with a hint of brown-orange.

1. Find the right color that complements your skin tone.

In general, most people fall into one of the two categories: warm or cool. Those with a warm undertone tend to have a skin complexion with a shade of yellow, golden or olive. The veins on their wrists look more green. In contrast, those with a cool undertone have a fairer skin complexion and veins appear to look more blue in color.

My Asian skin falls under warm, so lip colors in shades of red, brown and orange tend to complement my skin the best. Of the many long-wearing lipstick brands out there, the color I'm obsessed with lately is LipSense's Precious Topaz, which gives a brownish-orange finish.

If you are a beauty addict, chances are, you've already read about or even tried LipSense. The smudge-proof, kiss-proof and water-proof lipstick has more than 70 shades to choose from, so there's always the right shade for your skin tone. Although I have yet to try mixing and blending different colors to create a unique shade, I can see the appeal of this technique as wearing a unique lip color speaks of style and individuality.

The LipSense Squad is a trio of moisturizing lip gloss, lip color and Ooops! Remover.

The LipSense Squad is a trio of moisturizing lip gloss, lip color and Ooops! Remover.

2. Start with a clean lip.

There's no need to overcomplicate lipstick application, but the golden rule is to start the process with healthy and clean lips. Ideally, keep the lip exfoliated so you are not applying on chapped or cracked lips.

LipSense's application sheet advises you to clean your lips with witch hazel first. I honestly haven't tried witch hazel, so I did a little research. According to webmd.com, witch hazel contains tannins and oils that help to reduce skin inflammation. It also contains antioxidants that help to protect the skin against sunburn—that sounds like the perfect product for any beach-lover!

I have to admit, upon my first application of LipSense, it left a slight stinging sensation on my dry and chapped lips. I have been warned that this could happen as the product tries to exfoliates the lips, so I didn't panic. The temporary stinging sensation is caused by cosmetic-grade ethanol, one of the key ingredients found in this long-wearing lipstick. Ethanol plays an anti-bacterial role to keep the tube applicator clean but it also exfoliates chapped lips. The end result? Lips as smooth as butter.

3. Define your lips with a lipliner.

Some makeup experts recommend skipping the lipliner when putting on long-wearing lipstick, but I find it less messy if I include a lipliner in my process. Starting with a lipliner helps to prevent any potential lipstick smearing. 

Because of its adhesive formulation, LipSense is not one you can simply swipe any stain away with a facial tissue. In fact, I'd run my finger across my lip after application and the color stays put, with no lipstick smear on my finger at all! This is both good and bad. Good because you are assured that the product will stay put even after a cup of Starbucks Unicorn Frap, a filling lunch and a serving of Carribean Way smoothie. Bad because it takes a little bit more effort to remove lipstick stain. 

The great thing about getting a LipSense Trio Squad is that, aside from the lip color and gloss, it includes an Ooops! Remover, which easily takes out the stains on the corners of the lip should you end up with a minor application faux-pas. I use the Ooops! Remover as part of my nightly routine to completely clean my lips of any lip color left.

Beach-bound! Heading to the beach requires packing a water-proof lipstick.

Beach-bound! Heading to the beach requires packing a water-proof lipstick.

4. Don't overdo it.

In my experience, most long-wearing liquid lipstick requires you to add several coats of lip color, but it could sometimes be tempting to add more than needed in the hopes that, the more layers, the longer the color lasts. Instead, two to three coats should be more than enough. This is especially true when applying LipSense since the product's formulation feels sticky, so adding too much layer could feel heavy. Instead, layer slowly and apply the lip color in a single direction. 

5. Finish off with a gloss. 

The real secret to long-wearing lipstick is in the gloss. Applying a lip gloss helps seal the color while moisturizing the lips. Most long-wearing lipstick brands leave the lips dry, which is why finishing off with a hydrating lip gloss is a must. As in the case of LipSense, the moisturizing gloss also accentuates the lip color's pigments, giving your lips a nice shimmer. Among the trio of products included in the squad, the gloss is my favorite! It doesn't have an overwhelming fragrance and glides well upon application. 

Overall, a long-wearing lipstick should last at least up to four hours without the need for re-application. The makers of LipSense claims it could last up to 18 hours! On this particular day in the beach though, the color didn't show any wear even after a good six hours into the day—despite being exposed under the sun, taking several sips of water and enjoying a delightful serving of Espresso ice cream to cool off from the heat. I only had to re-apply the lip gloss twice to keep my lips from getting extremely dry. And that's really the best part about a long-wearing lipstick—you apply it once, you forget about it the rest of the day!   

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by LipSense. All opinions are my own. To purchase your own LipSense or inquire about its latest collections, email LipSense distributor Kyan Wolfe at kyanmontana@gmail.com, join her Facebook Group or send a direct message on Instagram.