The One Makeup Brush Missing From Your Collection

by Miki Hayes

Whether you're a makeup enthusiast or new to the game, one makeup brush that everyone needs in her collection is a stippling brush. You know, those two-toned brushes with a black base and white tips that look like the head of almost every boy-band member in the '90s? They're serious game-changers when it comes to makeup application. And that's because they can be used in a variety of ways to give that covetable, airbrushed effect.

While stippling brushes can really be used anywhere on the face, and with any type of product, they are generally the most helpful with cream or liquid face products. To "stipple" means to "dot," so instead of swirling or buffing product into the face, these brushes will help dot it on to produce a more even, flawless appearance. But this isn't to say that stippling brushes can't also be used to blend. Even though they do work amazingly to dot on liquid foundation and cream blushes, bronzers, and highlighters, stippling brushes can also be used to sweep on powders, and even without any product to blend or sheer out what's already on your face. If you're lacking this multipurpose brush in your arsenal, or just want some more, here are some stippling brushes to try for your most flawless face.


From left: Real Techniques Stippling Brush, $9, Amazon; Sephora Collection Pro Large Domed Stippling Brush #41, $36, Sephora; Japonesque Professional Stippling Brush, $32, Amazon

For applying foundation and bronzer especially, look for a standard-sized stippling brush. Use the stippling brush to first dot product wherever you want it before going back in with the same brush to blend everything out using swirling motions and light pressure.


From left: MAC 188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush, $35, Nordstrom; e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush, $3, Amazon

For applying more concentrated color like blush, highlighter, and concealer, or for blending out any color or harsh edges (e.g. going back over blush and bronzer application to smooth it out), look for a smaller stippling brush. The smaller size will still give that airbrushed look, but it will keep color from spreading too far by blending in more concentrated areas.

And yeah, after you apply your makeup with these brushes, people will totally think you woke up like that.

Images: Courtesy of Brands