How To Actually Use Every One Of Your Make-Up Brushes

Eyebrow spoolies, kabuki brushes, don't even get us started on sponges... When it comes to make-up brush-based confusion we are not chill. So we called on Mossy and Stella Maxwell's go-to make-up artist, Charlotte Tilbury, and vlogging dream team Pixiwoo to decode the whole collection...

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Eyebrow spoolies? Yeah, totally into it.

Bronzer brushes? Ummm, we've got three.

Do we know how to use them? We're working on it...

When your hoard of make-up brushes sounds snazzier than your Cult Beauty shopping basket but you've got no idea how to use them to actually apply your make-up anywhere near correctly, it's time to get your collection decoded.

So we've brought in the big guns.

Kate Moss and Stella Maxwell's go-to make-up pro and the queen of making celebs look epic on the red carpet, Charlotte Tilbury let us in on how to use every single make-up brush IRL, whilst dream team and RealTechniques brush extraordinaires Pixiwoo revealed what to avoid...

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How To Use...A Lip Brush

Tilbury Top Tip: 'For extra precision, a lip brush is all you need. Whether softening lip liner or applying a bold statement shade, a square-angled tip allows you to get right into the corners of your mouth for a perfect finish.'

Pixiwoo No No: 'Try to avoid a brush that has long bristles as you won't have as much control and accuracy as a brush that has shorter bristles.'

Basically, if you struggle applying lipstick straight from the bullet without going over the lines, a lip brush lets you paint it on so you can be as neat as you like.

ELLE Loves: Charlotte Tilbury Lip Brush, £18

How To Use...An Eyeliner Brush

Tilbury Top Tip: 'Perfect for blending in and smoking up a kohl eyeliner, or for precisely applying liner and eyeshadow into your lash line. It makes a sultry, smokey eye so simple and easy to achieve.'

Pixiwoo No No: 'If you're new to doing eyeliner you may find it difficult to get it perfect using a fine liner brush. If this is the case, try an angled liner brush - it'll give you more control.'

If you're going for a feline cat eye, try placing a dot on the outer corner where you want the flick to finish. Then draw a line from the dot backwards to join your lash line. It'll make avoiding the Amy Winehouse vibe eyeliner much easier.

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ELLE Loves: Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush, £23

How To Use...An Eye Shadow Brush

Tilbury Top Tip: 'This is what every woman needs when you want that perfect wash of colour over your eyelids to instantly open and define your eyes! Sweep the eyeshadow brush back and forth like a windscreen wiper over your lids, using a smaller shadow brush to intensify and enhance along the lash line.'

Pixiwoo No No: 'When it comes to blending, try to opt for a soft long bristled brush. If you go for a brush that is too hard it'll make your eyes feel sore and red.'

If you're using a loose powder pigment or shadow, applying an eye primer first means it'll last all day without creasing. Place a cotton pad under your eye before you apply the shadow to stop any fall out landing on your cheeks.

ELLE Loves: RMS Powder Eyeshadow Brush, £15

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How To Use...A Foundation Brush

Tilbury Top Tip: 'Using a foundation brush gives your skin that luminous, air-brushed finish. Just make sure to lightly apply foundation to the centre of your face before blending up and outwards.'

The centre of your face is often where you want more coverage; this technique means you won't end up with a flat, cakey-looking complexion.

Pixiwoo No No: 'Make sure you clean your foundation brush. Out of your whole collection, this is the brush that needs cleaning the most often. It'll make your make up sit so much better on your skin without leaving streaks.'

ELLE Loves: By Terry Foundation Brush - Precision 6, £35

How To Use...An Eyebrow Brush

Tilbury Top Tip: '2017 brows are all about youth-boosted, quick and easy, naturally full brows.'

Pixiwoo No No: 'The bristles on an eyebrow brush tend to be quite rigid so that the brow product can be pushed onto the skin between brow hairs, but watch out because this also means that the brush will pick up a lot of colour and can lead to really overloaded and unnatural looking brows.'

Use the spoolie (the comb to you and me) to brush your brows up, leaving the front few hairs a bit wild for a more natural, supermodel look. To get even more thickness, brush your eyebrows backwards first (you can use a tinted brow gel to do this), then swap direction and brush them back down.

Then use the angled brush to draw in individual hair in any gaps. Try holding your brush at the very end (like posh chopstick users) - it'll give you a lighter touch so your strokes look more realistic and hair-like.

ELLE Loves: Chantecaille Eyebrow Perfector, £20

How To Use...A Blusher Brush

Tilbury Top Tip: 'A blusher brush is great for giving a natural blush of colour and a healthy glow to your cheeks. Simply swish across your cheeks for a pop of youthful radiance.'

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Pixiwoo No No: 'A classic error when applying blusher is as simple as not tapping off excess product (colour) before you put it on your face. It can end up looking like Aunt Sally which is never good!'

Sweep across your blusher of choice, tap off any excess, then apply either to the apples of your cheeks (the rounded bit when you smile) or for a more AW17 80s vibe, start higher up on your cheekbone and sweep up towards your temples.

ELLE Loves: Real Techniques Blush Brush, £9.99

How To Use...A Powder Brush

Tilbury Top Tip: 'My Powder & Sculpt Brush (inspired by my dad's paint brushes) sculpts and highlights your face effortlessly. Carving in killer cheekbones in seconds, the tapered end transforms your entire facial framework.

Lightly apply powder to the hollows of your cheeks, down the centre of your nose, across the bow of your lips and all over your T-zone for a flawless finish.'

Avoid the red-carpet powder glare by using a transluscent or slightly tinted powder, instead of a white one. No ghost faces here please.

A smaller powder brush can also be used to contour. Sweep bronzer or contour powder under your cheekbones (making sure to blend well into your hair line), across your forehead and along your jawline (lots of blending is needed here to avoid looking like you've grown a goatee).

ELLE Loves: Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt Brush, £35

How To Use...A Bronzer Brush

Tilbury Top Tip: 'Your bronzer brush should be the largest brush in your collection. To get an instant sun-kissed look in seconds, simply sweep your bronzer over your T-zone, temples and cheekbones for a healthy, glowing finish.'

Yes, you can use bronzer to contour, but confusingly a bronzer brush isn't what you want to do it with. See above for how to use a smaller powder brush to contour.

A big, fluffy bronzer brush should be used to sweep on all over glow or to cover a larger, less specific area like your forehead or cheeks.

ELLE Loves: Space NK Bronzer Brush, £20

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