All About Brushes: Cheeks
Welcome back to the All About Brushes series! It’s taken kind of a while for me to write this section because I kept changing my mind about how to organize it. In the last section on complexion brushes I grouped the brushes by the products that they’re normally used with; I don’t think that works so well with cheek brushes because they’re a lot more multipurpose. For this section I’ll group them by shape and explain a bit about how I use them. Keep in mind that shape is only one factor; the density and hair type will also affect how brushes pick up and deposit your products. Cheek brushes come in an almost infinite range of shapes (or so it seems), so I’ll just group them into really broad categories.
Round: Round brushes are very versatile and easy to use. You can control the amount of product you pick up by either tapping the end of the brush in the pan, or swirling it to get more product on the brush. The outer edges of the brush (where it tapers down) tend to pick up less product, so that part can be used to blend out the edges after you’ve applied the product. I use round brushes for blush and contouring.
Tapered: Tapered brushes are narrower toward the end, allowing for precise placement. The bristles taper down most of the length of the brush, so I use the tip to apply the product and then use the side to blend it out. I like this style of brush for contouring, highlighting and blush – basically an all-in-one.
Flat: Flat, paddle-shaped brushes let you apply your product in side-to-side or up-and-down strokes, a lot like flat foundation brushes. This is great if you have sensitive or flaky skin, though it can take a little more effort to get the edges blended well. I use this type of brush mainly for blush.
Oblong: Oblong brushes are similar to round brushes as far as use goes, but allow for more directional placement. They’re very handy for contouring or applying blush along the cheekbones.
Angled: Angled brushes are very similar to oblong ones, but one end is longer. That helps it better fit the contours of your face, making it more comfortable to hold. They can be used for blush and contouring.
Stippling: This brush was shown in the post on complexion brushes, but it’s great for cheeks too. Stippling (or duo-fiber) brushes have two lengths of bristles. The shorter ones are more dense and firm, and the longer ones are looser and more flexible. The flexible hairs on stippling brushes can be great for dry skin since they’re less likely to catch on the skin and pull up flakes. I mainly use stippling brushes for cream blushes, or for very pigmented powder blushes where I want a lighter application.
Bronzer: Bronzer brushes tend to be large and moderately dense, allowing a diffused application over a fairly large area.
Fan: Fan brushes are very thin and wispy, picking up just the tiniest bit of product. The light application is ideal for very shimmery or pigmented highlighters.
Still have questions about cheek brushes, or a favorite you’d like to share? Leave a comment below!