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What is a Face Brush?

B. Miller
B. Miller

A face brush can refer to two different things: a brush used for cleansing and exfoliating the face, or a brush used for applying makeup. It is important to choose good quality brushes in both instances, and to replace them regularly to prevent bacteria buildup, which can lead to breakouts. A face brush used for applying makeup is somewhat more common, and there are a number of different face brushes used for different types of makeup. Quality makeup brushes are typically fairly expensive, but many people believe they are worth the investment.

The largest type of face brush used for applying makeup is that used for applying blush and foundation. This brush has a larger, rounded brush head, and is typically very soft. It allows for coverage over the entire face, such as when applying foundation, or when trying to achieve a natural look with blush. This type of face brush may also be used for blending makeup around the edges of the face, particularly the jawline, where one wants it to look most natural. A blush brush may also be separate, and slightly smaller than a foundation brush.

A woman has blush applied with a makeup brush.
A woman has blush applied with a makeup brush.

Brushes used for applying eye makeup are common as well. These brushes may be small and flat, for applying eyeshadow over the eyelid, or the may have a straight, angled edge for applying eyeliner or eyeshadow as eyeliner around the eyes. A lipstick brush usually has a small, narrow tip, which allows one to precisely apply the lipstick within the lips, without blending over the edges. In general, experts recommend purchasing high quality makeup brushes, because they last longer and give a more professional appearance to makeup. Wash these brushes regularly with gentle shampoo, and lay them flat to dry.

A face brush can be used to wash the face.
A face brush can be used to wash the face.

Of course, a face brush used for cleansing may be excellent for the face as well. Some of these are powered, and feature many tiny scrubbers that exfoliate the skin. Others are manual, and are simply rubbed gently over the face to remove makeup and grease from the day. A face brush used for cleansing will generally be able to get a deeper clean that just washing the face with the fingers, which can help to remove blackheads and prevent blemishes, as well as make the skin more able to accept moisturizer. Again, it is very important to keep this type of face brush clean, and to replace it if necessary.

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Discussion Comments


In the realm of using makeup brushes, I've used a good many different kinds, but the one I keep coming back to is my blush brush. It's poufy and does a good job of giving me an allover glow, rather than confining the blush to a really defined area, a' la 1986.

Lip brushes are good if you're down to the nubs of your favorite lipstick and can't get anymore for a while.

I also recommend getting some brush cleaner. The E.L.F. people make a good brush shampoo. Brushes accumulate nasty stuff and get prickly. A good shampoo makes them feel better and work better.


I love my face brush! It's a soft-bristled brush and it's great for exfoliating my very sensitive skin. I don't have to use it for long to see results -- just a minute or so.

Other types of exfoliates have really messed up my skin, but I made sure I got the softest brush available and it really helps to take off that dull top layer of skin cells. I like using it at night after I wash my face and before I put my moisturizer on. I think it works best that way.

I didn't get the most expensive kind on the market -- I just made sure the brush was very soft and wouldn't irritate my skin.

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    • A woman has blush applied with a makeup brush.
      By: Viktor Pravdica
      A woman has blush applied with a makeup brush.
    • A face brush can be used to wash the face.
      By: moonrise
      A face brush can be used to wash the face.