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Just as you wouldn’t expect to paint a masterpiece with a box of crayons, you can’t achieve cosmetics perfection without the proper tools. This guide can help you make all the right strokes.

Choosing the proper brush for the job can really give your makeup application that professional polish. Kristi Fuhrmann, Hollywood makeup artist and spokesperson for Sally Beauty Supply, gives some insider tips on selecting the right brush.
The brush you use is just as important as the cosmetics you choose. The shape and size of each brush is designed to help the makeup go on smoothly and make perfect makeup easier to achieve. Just as you wouldn’t use mousse instead of brow gel to tame unruly eyebrows, you wouldn’t use a shadow blender to apply foundation.
Makeup brushes should be cleaned regularly to avoid bacterial growth and to prevent product buildup, shortening brush’s life. Regularly wash your brushes in warm water with a mild detergent and let them air dry on a clean towel. Or, if you like, use a product such as Face Secrets Professional Brush Cleaner that will sanitize your brushes as well as provide conditioning for the bristles.


TRAVEL BAG: There’s nothing like a purse-sized set of makeup brushes to keep you looking good-to-go while on the road.

The Face Secrets Makeup Artist’s Brush Set is the perfect accessory for travel. This professional-quality makeup brush set contains five essential travel-size brushes in a convenient travel portfolio with a magnetic closure. The selection includes the deluxe powder brush, angled blusher, eye contour brush, small shading brush, and a brow groomer. The brushes are a perfect selection for complete makeup application. The line’s brush-cleansing towelettes make it easy to keep these brushes in top shape.


When applying makeup, you can end up with smudges where you don’t want them. The quick and easy way to fix these smudges without having to start over is to dip a cotton swab in makeup remover and gently wipe the area. Blot the area with translucent powder and, presto, the mistake vanishes.
Many cosmetic lines offer cream blushes and eye shadows. The best way to apply these is with a foundation brush or a wedge-shaped cosmetic sponge. For blush, dab a small amount on the cheekbone and then blend it well. For shadow, put a small amount on your brush and apply it in thin layers until you have reached the desired look.
Ernie McCraw is director of beauty education for Sally Beauty Company, the world’s largest distributor of professional beauty products. A licensed cosmetologist for more than 30 years, he is a frequent contributor to fashion and beauty publications nationwide.

Type of Brush


Usage Tip


A synthetic lip brush holds its shape for lining as well as filling in.
Line lips, then fill in, starting in the middle and blending outward.

Dual Brow

Synthetic bristles blend powder and groom brows. Lash comb separates lashes and removes excess residue.
When combing lashes, close eyes and gently comb lashes downward.


Sable blended oval pointed brush is perfect for blending or smudging pencil or shadow liners.

Use for thicker application of dark shadow to lash line. For deeper color, apply wet.

Shadow Blender

Soft natural bristles for applying shadows and highlighting under the brow bone.

Apply base shadow on lid, then contour in the crease and blend.

Eye Contour

Soft natural-hair brush designed to contour and define eyes.

Can be used to “erase” makeup mistakes.


Pointed oval brush is perfect for precision lining.

Slightly extend eyeliner beyond corners to lengthen the eye.


Synthetic-fiber brush ensures flawless liquid and cream makeup application.

For an even finish, start at the center of the face and work outward.

Angle Blush

Dense natural-hair brush contours and defines the cheekbone.

For a more natural look, use a one-stroke motion.

Deluxe Powder

Larger natural-hair brush is an oval shape for applying loose powder to set foundation.

Apply loose powder generously to face. Shake off excess powder and then brush face with long, gentle strokes.


Additional Makeup Articles


Read More Makeup Tips

Makeup: how to, step by step, cool makeup, modern makeup application, prom makeup, fashion makeup.


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Summer 2015

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Spring 2015

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Winter 2014

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Fall 2014

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Summer 2014

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Spring 2014

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Winter 2013

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Fall 2013

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Summer 2013

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Spring 2013

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Winter 2012


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Fall 2012

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Summer 2012

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Spring 2012

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Winter 2011

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Fall 2011

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Summer 2011

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Spring 2011

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Winter 2010

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The right color combinations can give you an enhanced dramatic look to master your formal evening affairs.

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Fall 2010

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Summer 2010

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This summer's ideal look is about creating a golden tan palette to display your light makeup style for any occasion.

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Spring 2010

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Taking advantage of your own unique facial features allows your makeup style to set you apart from everyone else.

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Fall 2009

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Summer 2009

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Spring 2009

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Winter 2008

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Fall 2008

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Summer 2008

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Spring 2008

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Winter 2007

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Fall 2007

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Get ready for football season and add a clean, crisp look to your cosmetics playbook by using classic accent colors.
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Summer 2007

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Spring 2007

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Winter 2006

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Fall 2006

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Summer 2006

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Spring 2006

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Winter 2005

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Just as you wouldn't expect to paint a masterpiece with a box of crayons, you can't achieve cosmetics perfection without the proper tools. This guide can help you make all the right strokes.
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Summer 2005

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Spring 2005

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Winter 2004

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Fall 2004

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Summer 2004

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Spring 2004

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