Tips & Tricks: All About Eye Shadow Brushes

I saved the best for last in this All About Makeup Brushes Series. It's finally time to talk about eye shadow brushes! These types of makeup brushes make up the bulk of my brush collection; I swear you can never have enough.

Eye shadow brushes come in a mind boggling array of shapes, densities, stiffness, colors, lengths, and so on, but you don't have to get overwhelmed. Once you have the knowledge of what brushes work best for certain things, you have all the power to Makeup like a pro. Let's get started...

Natural Vs. Synthetic
Honestly, you need to know what synthetic bristles do vs. natural when it comes to your eye shadow brushes. They each have different ways they pick up product and apply it the skin.

Natural Bristles - These types of brushes will be your most used and are most common in stores. Natural bristle brushes are used for applying powder eyeshadows. Natural brushes won't hold onto product when applying to your skin and they are your perfect blending brushes.

Synthetic Bristles - These types of brushes are used to apply your liquid and cream shadows and liners. They are also used for applying glitter and eyebrow pomades. Most of the time you will see these brushes in 2 shapes: flat shader and angled liner brushes. They also come in every shape imaginable; these are just the most popular. You want to use synthetic bristles with your liquid and cream shadows instead of natural because the natural bristles will soak up the product and not distribute it on your skin.

You can look at a thousand eye shadow brushes and they will all have a different shape and purpose listed on them. In my opinion there are four basic shapes to know: angled, domed, tapered, and flat. Every brush is based on one or a combination of these shapes and I have thoroughly tested this theory.

Angled - I love angled eyeshadow brushes. They come in every size and thickness available. These types of brushes are mainly used for eyeliner, eyebrows, and as a crease brush. The angled tip gives you a lot of control when applying gel/liquid liners and eyebrow pomades. Thicker more dense versions are very nice for blending in the crease because the angle creates a flawless gradient effect. I have one I use for my crease blending and it has made creating that perfect smokey eye a dream.

Domed - These are your basic eyeshadow brushes. They too come in every size and thickness available and have a nice domed shape to the end. These types of brushes are universal, meaning they can be used for everything when applying eyeshadow. If you only have two makeup brushes in your collection, you want a large domed brush and a small one and you can do pretty much any makeup look.

Tapered - These brushes are used mainly for applying product in a very precise location or they are used for blending. The tip of this brush comes to a point (like a pencil) and is great for applying highlight to the inner corners or to blend in your crease without blowing it out too much.

Flat- Flat brushes are just that. They have a flat, blunt tip. These brushes are usually used to smudge eyeshadow along the upper and lower lash lines and to highlight the brow. 'Flat' in makeup brush terms can also refer to the shape of the entire brush instead of just the tip. For example - a flat shader brush is thin but has a domed tip. Flat tip brushes are also great for pushing shadow right up against eyebrow to really carve it out and make them more defined.

No one ever told me this, and I should have known but I didn't get it until I watched countless hours of makeup tutorials - Smaller brushes give you a more precise application and larger brushes blend. When it comes to sizes of eyeshadow brushes, that's all you need to know.

With all the new knowledge you have about eye shadow brushes, try going through your collection and see what different ways you can use your brushes to apply your eye shadow. It's fun to play with makeup. Check out the rest of the All About Makeup Brushes Series:

All About Foundation Brushes

All About Blush & Powder Brushes


  1. Thanks so much! Great information :)

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it!


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