Makeup

Beauty Blender vs Makeup Brushes: Whats Best for You?

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No matter the makeup, your choice of application tool can make or break your entire look. Brushes have always been the go-to tool for applying makeup, but when beauty blenders took the spotlight in 2003, the decision between the two routes of application became difficult. Both beauty tools come in many variations and have positives and negatives.

This article will give you the 411 and a look into both worlds to help you decide what is best for you when it comes to your personal makeup style.

All those for brushes say “I”!

Brushes come in so many shapes, sizes, and styles. They also have so many different purposes! You can complete an entire look – from primer, foundation, powder, eyeshadow, and more – all using brushes.

Since the beauty blender can’t necessarily do all of that, we will keep it fair and stick to the brushes that are responsible for primer, foundation, and powder products. There are three main brushes used to blend liquids and creams, bake, and give a dusting of powder, so let’s go through them one by one.

Flat Top Buffing Brush

This brush has compact bristles that are all the same length no matter which way you look at it. This by far is the number one brush to apply foundation as well as primer if you include that step in your routine. Due to the bristles being so compact and one length, the coverage is medium to full, and the way your foundation blends out will be nearly seamless.

The more compact the brush is, the more coverage you will receive. You can work these brushes into tight areas around the mouth and nose without any issues.

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The bristles will follow one by one in the trail of your movements without leaving a huge mess of streaks. Sweep in circular motions, long strokes, and even dab on the skin for that extra coverage like I mentioned before. A use that not everyone may think of for this brush is “baking”.

Baking is where you take a loose setting powder and pack it under the eyes for brightness, or in areas that you want to stay matte and flawless all day. Leave that powder on for a few minutes, then gently dust away to reveal brighter more long lasting makeup. Another huge plus is that this brush won’t soak up your products, so in return, that’s saving you money!

Stippling Brush

Where are my light coverage lovers? This brush is quick, easy, and will give you a light “no-makeup makeup” look. The perfect products to use with this brush if you like to be quick are things like tinted moisturizers and BB creams. Unlike the buffing brush, the stippling brush’s bristles are loose and varying in length.

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When I think of this brush, the first thing that comes to mind is how easy it is to distribute just enough product to all the places it needs to go. There’s no way to over-do it with this brush if you place product on the back of your hand or on a tray and simply dip the brush in and apply to your face. The one major setback with this brush is the blending ability.

Since the bristles are a lot looser and the length of the bristles vary between a mix of short and long, when you go to blend there will be a lot of streaking.

Although this brush is loved by many, and for good reason, it is not one that you could use alone for perfectly blended makeup. If you need a tool just to place product and move it into the areas it needs to go, then this one is a winner.

Kabuki Brush

Last, but not least, the Kabuki brush. This is a big dome shaped, soft, fluffy brush. Perfect for loose or pressed powder foundation or finishing powder that goes on top of a liquid or cream product. This brush evenly distributes product around the face giving a light coverage in just a few strokes.


If you want more coverage then you will have to dip back into the product multiple times until your canvas is how you’d like it to be. It is most often used as the grand finale brush, and for good reason should be a staple in everyone’s routine who requires powder. A kabuki brush can also be used as your go-to touch up brush for on the go or emergency situations. Most brushes are made in compact versions you know!

The kabuki can also be used for products like bronzer to give the face a nice light contour or warmth when your look seems a little dull and flat. Unfortunately, like the buffing and stippling brushes, this is not your “one and done” option for a full look, but it is still essential because the one or two functions it does do can be very important for some.

This brush certainly covers a lot of ground quickly, but since this brush is so fluffy, you won’t have much luck with liquid products or packing on powder for any high coverage needs because the brush’s main goal and purpose is to give you a light veil.

A Beauty Blender is not just a sponge

Blend liquids and pack on powder flawlessly like a professional? Yes, please! That is exactly what you will get with a Beauty Blender.

Sweeping everywhere from the drugstore to Sephora, this seemingly simple sponge has definitely earned a reputation. This is the current most popular mode of application, so let’s talk about how and why.

Beauty Blender

The shape and texture of this tool alone sets itself apart from any other mode of application. Beginners and professionals can both use a beauty blender with any cream, liquid or powder product, and expect amazing results. All you have to do is dab into the product and blend until your heart is content. You can achieve a medium to full coverage and easily build it up even more if need be.


  • One thing that the sponge can do that a brush can’t is give you a dewy glowing look.
  • The unique egg shape of a beauty blender allows concealer and foundation to reach every last bit of skin that you want covered with ease.
  • This tool is to be used damp, squeezing it under running water a few times and then wring it out will be sufficient.
  • This enhances the size and allows the product to sort of become one with the beauty blender instead of soaked up by the beauty blender.

By decreasing the issue of your liquid products being soaked up, it eliminates the worry of wasting product, which ultimately saves you some money. You are also able to use this tool on the go, but without piling on more product! How amazing is that? Re-blending makeup instead of packing on more takes away your chances of looking cakey or like you really didn’t apply your makeup well in the first place.

Throughout the day, regardless of whether you put setting powder on or not, the natural oils that our skin produces will slowly break makeup down.

One more minor piece of advice when using the beauty blender is to be careful not to pull or drag the sponge across your face. For one, it is not a good feeling, and two that is a way to speed up the aging in your skin and most people don’t even realize it!

Hopefully you didn’t forget by now, but I did mention that the beauty blender can pack on powder. You may be thinking, “So I can use a beauty blender to replace a buffer brush and a stippling brush?”, and the answer is simply – YES! This makeup applicator is compact and multifunctioning.

Beauty Blender Vs Brush

All of the beauty application tools mentioned above have their great, good, and no so good attributes. So, which one is the preferred option? That choice is completely up to you! Luckily, each tool that was touched on can work incredibly for you dependent on what type of coverage or look that you tend to favor.

If one of the 4 tools had to be excluded from the bunch, it would unfortunately be the stippling brush. Not to say that this brush doesn’t serve an important purpose, but you simply cannot get what the other utensils offer as far as coverage and blending ability.

Buffing brushes, kabuki brushes, and beauty blenders simply don’t streak product across the skin. If majority were to rule, in this current day and age there is without a doubt a favor towards beauty blenders. Whether you are watching a makeup tutorial video or reading an article about makeup in a magazine, more chances than not a beauty blender will be the shining star – and for good reason.

But with all the different brands and types of brushes and beauty blenders, there will never be a shortage of options for you to test the waters for yourself. Some people prefer synthetic brush bristles compared to natural bristles, or a dense beauty blender over a bouncy more spongy beauty blender.

Makeup is meant to make people feel confident and happy, how you achieve that is 100% your choice. That choice can never be wrong, and that’s the fun of makeup. Experiment, play, and test your options if you are a makeup guru in your free time. Most importantly, enjoy!