Bristles and brush shapes might not be the first thing you consider when shopping for a brush, but the types you choose could make or break your makeup application. It depends on what types of makeup formulas you’ll use more often (liquid, powder, etc.) and what kind of look you are going for.
When it comes to bristles, there are natural, synthetic, and a blend of both. René says duo-fiber brushes (a blend of synthetic and natural hair) are great for buffing and blending in cream or liquid products and leave an airbrushed, seamless look. You can also use them for some powder products. Synthetic brushes are great for skincare applications and liquid or cream foundations and concealers. Natural brushes are mainly used for loose or pressed powder products. And some brushes are dense or loose. “Short dense brushes are great for contouring or applying full coverage foundations to skin with texture, whereas loose fluffy brushes are great for light applications of products,” René explains.
As for shapes, René says there’s no wrong way to use them but she gave some ways she personally uses each:
Tapered: Great for blending
Flat/Dense: Full-coverage application or creating shapes on the face (like contouring with cream products)
Fluffy/Round: Great when used for concealers, eyeshadows, blushes, highlighters, and blending out harsh lines
Fluffy Angled/Tapered: Great for bronzers and blushes, sometimes highlighters