Your Guide to Makeup Brushes Decoded

Woman's hand holding Lily England Makeup Brushes

Let’s face it, while makeup brushes are a real staple for our makeup kit, we’ve all got our favourites we go to time and time again, and others that we look at, wonder just what they’re for, and leave sitting in our makeup holder doing nothing but looking pretty. Now, while this means they’ll always look fresh in an Instagram shot, it also means they’re going to waste. So this is why we’ve put together our guide to what each of the most common makeup brushes are used for and why you need them in your collection.


Powder brush

This is known as the large powder brush and is a great all rounder and real staple makeup brush. Large and fluffy, it is ideal for putting on powder, bronzer, blusher or loose powder foundation and can be used time and time again. It’s good to have a couple of these in your collection, one to keep at home and one with a smaller handle to pop in your makeup bag when you’re on the move.

Lily England Powder Brush surrounded by pink flowers

Complexion brush

The complexion brush is crafted to a dome shape which is ideal for providing all over coverage for an even and polished finish. Its soft fibres make it ideal to buff and blend and whether using on liquid foundations, pressed powders or mineral powder foundations, it helps you achieve a smooth and flawless coverage.

Close Up of Lily England Complexion Brush


Contour brush

Time to sclupt! A contour brush does just what it says on the tin and is ideal for creating the perfect contour and definition on your face. Whether you like to contour using powder or cream products, this brush will give you defined cheekbones and create the ideal sculpted look.



Foundation brush

Use a foundation brush for applying an even base of foundation over the face. Not only does it give your foundation a flawless finish, it also prevents you from spreading oils and bacteria from your fingers to your face, in turn clogging up your pores. (Be sure to clean it regularly though – you can see our article on top tips for cleaning your makeup brushes here.)

flat foundation makeup brush

Fan brush

The fan brush is a great tool for gentle makeup application such as sweeping highlighter across the tops of the cheeks. It can also be used to clean excess products from the face, for example when you have finished your eye makeup, without leaving any residue behind.

Kabuki brush

The goal of a kabuki brush is to create a soft and airbrushed look to the skin, with good coverage and without looking too cakey or thick. Use this brush to buff in your foundation or powder and be sure to blend in circular motions to give even distribution.

Woman's hands holding a Lily England Kabuki Brush


Crease Brush

A crease brush is designed to blend eyeshadow into the crease of the eye to create a well-defined look and finish. These can come in a few different sizes, so think about the sort of looks you want to create before deciding on the size to go for.

Shadow brush

This is one of the most popular types of eye brushes and is designed with soft bristles perfect for gently blending and layering powder shadows over the eyelid. You can use this to effortlessly dust the lid with eyeshadow, then to further build up more colour and definition with layers

Angled brow brush

Use an angled brow brush to create perfectly defined brows. We recommend you start by brushing through the brows with a spoolie brush before using the angled brush with either gel or powder brow makeup, tracing over their natural arch shape.

Lily England Eye Makeup Set surrounded by green leaves

Contour shader

Use the contour shader to add a dramatic finish to your makeup look, by contouring the corners of the eyes. Made from soft bristles, the shape of the brush head is designed to suit the natural shape of the eyes, making for an easy and convenient application of your eyeshadow.

Multi tasker eye brush

This flat brush is designed to be versatile. It is created to meet multiple needs, whether you want to use to apply your cream eyeshadows, gel glitter shadows or use with concealer to cut a crease.

Shop our collection of rose gold makeup brushes