Walking down the beauty aisle to get a new makeup brush can be daunting. There's that one that looks like a fan, the fluffy one, that oblong sponge…it's all so confusing! Do all the different shapes even make a difference? Lately I've seen more and more innovative styles coming across the beauty desk, and the most popular is the angled brush (I'm totally blaming this on the current popularity of contouring). Here two makeup experts explain why these precision tools are a pro essential that every makeup enthusiast should own.
An angled eye makeup brush makes applying shadow easy.
Using that fluffy, loose eye shadow brush often leaves a gentle wash of color on the lids. But sometimes you want full-impact pigment. That's where an angled shadow brush can be helpful. "Angled eye shadow brushes [are] typically more dense," Shawn Fisher, Japonesque's National Makeup Artist, tells SELF. "This allows the brush to apply more color, intensify the outer corner of the eye, or add depth to the crease." You can use the flat edge to apply a base and the pointed tip to get into the crease of the eye socket using a windshield-wiper motions.
Trish McEvoy #23 Angled Contour Brush. $37; nordstrom.com
A bent-tipped brush is like a cheat sheet for applying winged eyeliner.
So you've graduated from eyeliner pencils to gel formulas. Well, you're going to need a new tool. Fisher recommends a bent-tipped brush, which will give you more control than your typical straight-edge brush. The shape makes it easy to get behind lashes to fill in spotty liner. You can also point the bend up towards the brow to get the perfect winged eyeliner.
Japonesque 150-Degree Pointed Eyeliner Brush, $13; ulta.com
A wedged sponge is perfect for applying foundation in a hurry.
Remember that triangular sponge that your mother used growing up. Well, it's still a good idea to have a few floating in the bottom of your makeup bag. It's the ideal tool for applying foundation because it has various thickness all around. The sharp corners are good for applying concealer in tight areas, while the flat sides are good for swiping on foundation.
E.l.f. Blending Wedges, $1; elfcosmetics.com
An angled contour brush is essential to become a cheek-sculpting pro.
"Contouring brushes are often angled to help achieve precision and symmetry," says Fisher. "The shape of the brushes are designed for the natural angularity of the face, which makes contour not as intimidating." Use the angled edge to apply a darker foundation shade or bronzer precisely in the hollow of your cheeks.
Wet n Wild Contour Brush, $1; wetnwildbeauty.com
An angled eyeliner or eyebrow brush is the key to excellent arches.
Creating the perfect arch starts with an angled brush. The small size and precise tip allows you to draw hair-like strokes. You want to choose one with stiff bristles to really help you outline your brows. "Angled brushes are the best choice for specific area for a mistake-proof makeup application," Natalie Malchev, a Wet n Wild makeup artist, tells SELF.
Sonia Kashuk Core Tools Angled Eyeshadow Brush No. 108, $5; target.com
And you can use an angled fluffy brush to powder tough-to-reach spots.
"When you're on the go a small angled powder brush can help you touch up the under-eye area and re-apply powder in the most oily area—the T-zone," says Malchev. She also recommends using a fluffy, angled brush to buff in setting or foundation powder.
BH Cosmetics Angled Kabuki Brush #34, $7; bhcosmetics.com