While it’s true that having high-quality makeup products is definitely one part of looking flawless (can you imagine going without your favorite lip color?), application is equally important. You can’t expect to look great all the time if you’re smudging things on with your fingers or using cheap drugstore tools. Makeup brushes are surefire ways to get smooth, even applications every time, but you have to know which ones get which jobs done. Here’s your guide to the many types of makeup brushes and how to use them to achieve a fabulous face.

Face brushes
1. Cream foundation brush. According to The Beauty Department, this type of brush is used with cream foundation and it has a flat, slightly slanted head that really presses the foundation into your skin. Bristles made of natural materials will help build even coverage that’ll give you an airbrushed finish. Try something like the Youngblood Liquid Foundation Brush.

2. Liquid foundation brush. If liquid foundation is more your thing, look for a synthetic material brush with densely packed bristles that lie flat and spread out wide, suggests the source. Nylon bristles give a smooth finish, and a slight angle can help you follow the contours of your face.

3. Mineral powder foundation brush. If you’re into mineral powder foundation, you’ll need a brush with synthetic or natural bristles with a fat shape that’s easy to swirl with. The TRUE Isaac Mizrahi Powder Foundation Brush is perfect for this job.

4. Kabuki brush. These round brushes usually have small handles and are very soft. They’re good for a variety of powders, from bronzer to foundation to highlighter to shimmer. The TRUE Isaac Mizrahi Retractable Powder Brush is awesome for on-the-go multi-tasking.

5. Concealer brush. JustMakeupArtists.com reports that these brushes have soft, flat bristles with a wider base and a pointed tip. They’re good for covering up under-eye circles, blemishes and discoloration with a product like Dermablend – Smooth Indulgence Concealer SPF 20.

6. Blush brush. The source recommends using a brush with a rounded head and soft bristles for sweeping color onto the apples of your cheeks and up into your hairline.

7. Contour brush. If you’re a fan of bronzer, it’s good to have a contour brush with angled, rounded bristles that mimic the angles of your cheekbones and nose. It works well for contouring and highlighting the face for a sculpted effect.

Eye brushes
1. Lid brush. The Beauty Department suggests using a natural-bristled brush that’s dense, thin and tapered. This will help you deposit color all over your upper lids, along your brow bones and on your lower lids. Try the TRUE Isaac Mizrahi Eye Shadow Brush.

2. Crease brush. To darken your creases and give your eyes definition, use a tapered, angled crease brush made of natural bristles that fits perfectly into this area, recommends the source. This will help you achieve sexy smokey eyes.

3. Smudge brush. If you’re really into smokey eyes, a smudge brush can help you get that lived-in look. Smudge brushes have short, dense natural bristles that are good at smearing lines. Check out the Paula Dorf Smudge Brush.

4. Liner brush. There are two types of liner brushes: slanted and pointed. Slanted brushes are great for blending pencil or applying eyeshadow as eyeliner, while pointed brushes are fabulous for a precise gel eyeliner application, reports the source. Try the Youngblood Eyebrow Brush.

5. Eyebrow brush. A spoolie, or eyebrow brush, helps you brush your brows up and out for a neat, defined look. If you use brow powder or pencil, they also help to blend in the color so it looks more natural.

Lip brushes
1. Lip brush. There’s really only one type of brush you need for your lips, and it’s called a lip brush, naturally. They have sculpted tips that are perfect for creating flawless lines, reports JustMakeupArtists.com. The bristles should be short and firm, like those in the bareMinerals Double-Ended Perfect Fill Lip Brush.

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