How Much Do You Know About Makeup Brushes?


By: Heather Cahill

6 Min Quiz

Image: andresr/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Makeup brushes are the tools between your makeup and a flawless look. There's a brush for every part of your face and for every product that you need to use. While there are so many of them, you can get away with using just a select few. Having extras is just convenient, as you won't have to clean the brush before dipping into a new product. If you use brushes to create your glam, then you'll probably know an answer or two on this quiz.

There's a process to doing your makeup, which also means that there's order when it comes to applying it. You might start with your foundation and powders, which means that you'll also need the corresponding brushes. Another important thing to think about is their size. For larger areas of your face, you'll want to use a larger brush to apply makeup evenly and efficiently. For smaller areas, you'll want to use a smaller brush for finer details and targeted coverage. These are just a few basics — there is so much more to learn.

Are makeup brushes a staple in your beauty cabinet? If you've got your mind primed on the world of brushes, prove it on this quiz!

What benefit does your skin get when you use brushes rather than your finger to apply makeup?

Your fingers carry oils that can transfer onto your skin and clog your pores. Makeup brushes eliminate this risk for the most part; however, breakouts can still happen if you aren't taking care of your brushes.


If you decide to share your makeup tools with others, which of the following can you get?

Sharing brushes with others means that you are sharing bacteria. This can put all of you at risk of getting pink eye, cold sores and more. Avoid the risks by reserving your brushes for your use only.


Brushes are made with different types of hair. How many major types are there?

Makeup brushes are crafted with either natural or synthetic bristles. Natural hair is animal hair, while synthetic is often nylon. Each type has pros and cons, and each is best suited to certain types of makeup.


While brushes should last a long time, they will still wear out eventually. When should you throw them away?

Makeup brushes are good for a while, but not forever. Knowing when to throw them out is key to getting the most out of them. When you start to have problems, such as shedding or the brush not coming clean, it's probably time to get yourself a new one.


Contouring can help you get the defined look that you crave. How should you use a contour brush?

A contour brush is great for strategically adding darker powder over your foundation, creating definition in the face. Available in different shapes, this brush usually has an angled edge in order to put that contour where you want it to be. Blending comes later!


What are natural brushes better suited for than synthetic brushes?

For powder products, you'll have a much better experience applying them with natural brushes. On the other hand, you'll want to steer clear of liquid products with natural brushes. If you're using natural brushes, be aware that allergic reactions can occur.


Size is everything when it comes to makeup. What effect can long bristled makeup brushes give you?

If you want your makeup to be a bit lighter, a brush with long bristles is the way to go. But if you want to have complete coverage, you'll want to use a brush with short bristles instead. It all comes down to your preferences and needs!


After using a foundation brush, what can help you make sure that the foundation is even?

While brushes are handy tools to have around, the foundation brush may not give you the full coverage you're looking for. If this is the case, a Beautyblender sponge can often smooth any uneven areas that the brush may have created.


How should you use a brush if you want a soft makeup look?

Circular motions create a soft look that isn't so harsh. If you want sharp lines that have definition, then a side to side motion will help you to achieve it. Think about what type of look you're going for, then pull out the right moves to get it!


Each brush has a different purpose. What might a synthetic kabuki brush best be used for?

A kabuki brush is dense and can really pack a punch with any powder or pressed foundation, but it can also be used to apply liquid foundation. With this brush's nice density, you can be sure that you'll have an even spread of foundation that will look smooth and flawless.


If you like to go light when it comes to your makeup, specifically foundation, which tool is the one for you?

A stippling brush is handy to have, as it can apply a light coat of foundation — actually tiny dots, much like airbrushing. The key to this technique is to use the very tips of the bristles.


The eyeshadow shader brush is best used for which of the following?

The eyeshadow shader brush is useful in first applying eyeshadow to your lids. It's meant to pack on the product so that you can go in with another brush later and blend it all together. You can also use the setting spray technique with this brush.


While it isn't an actual brush, a Beautyblender is used to achieve the same type of look. What should you do before using one?

Before using a Beautyblender, hold it under running water, then squeeze out the excess. Being a sponge, the blender will absorb liquid makeup, which is good, but you don't want it to absorb too much. Wetting it first will offset this for the most part.


This tool is used to apply product that hides flaws. What is it called?

A concealer brush is useful for applying concealer, as well as blending it all in. Concealer often comes with a small applicator, but a blending brush can keep the application even and consistent, especially under the eyes.


When buying a brand new set of tools, what should they feel like?

These brushes are meant for your face, which can be a sensitive place. You'll want your brushes to feel nice and gentle, to avoid irritation or damage to your skin. If the brushes feel rough, they're probably not ones you'll want to use.


If you want your eyebrows to pop, you'll need a brow brush. What can you use the brow brush with?

A brow brush helps you get that precise and sharp brow that many want to create. It's versatile, whether you prefer gel, cream or powder, so this brush is a must-have for everyone who loves makeup.


Sometimes pigment doesn't stick so well. What technique can help your tool pick up the pigment?

A little setting spray can go a long way, especially when it comes to putting it on your brush! This trick will help makeup adhere to the brush or sponge. Spraying some on your skin later will allow your look to last longer, as well.


Can you name a sign that one of your new makeup tools isn't of quality?

If the bristles are falling out of your brush and it's relatively new, then the brush may be of low quality. One or two bristles every now and then is nothing to worry about, but any more and you might want to buy a replacement.


If you want your tools to last, you need to take care of them! What should you do regularly to take care of your brushes?

Cleaning your brushes should be an essential part of your beauty routine. Simply cleaning your brushes at least once a week will keep your skin healthier, your brushes nicer and your makeup looking beautiful!


When you need a precise brush, this is the one you should pick up. Do you know what it is called?

The pencil brush is an awesome tool for smudging. It allows you to blend the harsh line of an eyeliner pencil or blend multiple colors of eyeshadow. This tool works so much better than your finger!


A synthetic brush has many benefits. It can help you do which of the following?

Synthetic brushes are great for effectively applying makeup where you need it, while using less product overall. Since the bristles are not made of natural hair, they are not porous, so makeup won't be absorbed into the brush.


Which of the following can be helpful in applying a light layer of product, like highlighter?

The fan brush is a great tool for anyone who wants to apply something very lightly. Because it's larger, with bristles further apart, it's great for applying some highlighter to your cheekbones for that extra shine.


After eating something, you might reapply part of your makeup with which of the following?

This brush is one that isn't exactly mandatory, as most lip products come with a built-in applicator. However, if you want to be more precise when applying the product, then you might find this lip brush helpful.


If you want to make a precise cat eye, which of the following tools might you need?

Small, strong and precise, the eyeliner brush packs a punch, giving you all that you need to achieve the sharp line that you want. It's best used with eyeliner that comes in a pot, as most other liners come with their own applicator.


One of the more unique brushes has a tool called a spoolie. Which of the following has two sides to it?

The brow brush is a helpful tool that can fill in your brows and style them. Typically, the round spoolie side is used first to comb the brows, then the brush side is used to accentuate them with gel or another type of product. A final comb with the spoolie makes everything tidy.


If you know all of the tools that should be in a set, which of the following is not the name of a real makeup tool?

There is no such thing as a dimple brush, though a brush that makes dimples could be useful! A typical makeup set will include a foundation brush, blush brush, kabuki brush, contour brush and a few others that are standard in the makeup world.


Having a useful set is half the battle, but making sure they're pretty is another. What color are all bristles for makeup brushes?

There no single color that all makeup brushes come in, and you'll likely see them in all colors of the rainbow. They come in shades of white, black and brown most commonly, so you can choose a color that you like most.


Many companies offer tools of their own, but which of the following does not sell makeup brushes?

Countless companies sell makeup brushes, including some of the biggest, like Morphe. Before you shell out the dough on a set, it's a good idea to shop around, comparing cost and quality.


If the eyeshadow brush puts on a light sheen of color, what does the angled eyeshadow brush do?

Applying a thicker layer of eye makeup is best done with the angled eyeshadow brush, which can get to precisely where you need it. This brush is also good for cutting your crease to get that exact look that you want to show off to the world.


A highlight brush adds a glow that makes your face shine in the light. Which part of your face might you use it on?

The highlight brush is what you need when you want to add shimmer to your face. A little can often go a long way, though, so you'll need to choose a highlight brush that suits your desired effect.


Taking care of your tools is important, but what should you never do when cleaning them?

Soaking your brushes can be bad for them, as that water will have a better chance of getting inside the brushes and weakening the glue. It's better to run them under water briefly while washing them.


When you want your beautiful makeup to last all day, use the powder brush to apply which of the following?

Setting powder is a useful product to keep everything in place. To apply it, a powder brush will do the trick. The fluffy brush distributes the powder across your face to protect your makeup.


If you don't have a cleanser to wash the bristles now and then, which of the following can do the trick?

If you run out of cleanser or just want to use a cheaper alternative, baby shampoo is your makeup brush's best friend! Gentle enough on the bristles, it will also give the brushes a good clean that will leave them working like new.


You've got your colors on your lids, and they're ready to shine. Which of the following do you use to make a nice gradient?

Now that all of your colors are on your eyelids, blending them is the next step. An eyeshadow blender brush will blend the colors together, removing obvious lines and creating a gradient. A good brush will make your lids flawless!


When shopping for a brush, what is the most important thing to look for?

The size and shape of each makeup brush is important, as it must perform a specific task for you. Do you need a brush to apply a light hint of blush, or are you looking for the brush that will help you create killer cat eyes? Each size and shape of brush is designed to fill a specific need.


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