How to Use Oval Makeup Brushes
Say goodbye to your sponges.
The Beautyblender has been a mainstay makeup applicator for years, but it doesn’t stop people from pretty much constantly searching for new options, many of which seem pretty awesome. There’s the Silisponge, the Miracle Diamond Sponge, and then there’s, um, bras. But what if the one of the great Beautyblender alternatives isn’t even a sponge? What if makeup artists and devotees alike are going back to — gasp — brushes? Well, it seems they are; but not just any brushes. Ever since Matthew Waithesmith, the former senior vice president of MAC Cosmetics founded Artis, makeup experts have been flocking to the brand’s oval brushes, which kind of look like a really chic cross between a hair brush and a spoon. “The oval shape is the best go to in the brush world,” Stephen Moleski, a celebrity makeup artist whose clients have included Kim Kardashian, tells TeenVogue.
And makeup artists aren’t the only ones who have latched onto these awesome tools. Both Kylie Jenner and Lottie Tomlinson use Artis oval brushes (though Kylie apparently uses hers to apply moisturizer, rather than makeup). But what’s so great about them? Here are a few things to know.
1. They’re smoothing.
Oval brushes are made with hundreds of thousands of fibers (far more than typical brushes), that make for super-smooth applying and blending. “[The oval shape] perfectly fits the contours of the face and gives the most effective blend out of all shapes,” says Stephen.
Vincent Oquendo, a makeup artist whose clients include Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin, and Hailee Steinfeld, agrees. “They buff the skin beautifully and...help everything look like a veil,” he says. “I love to apply thin layers of makeup so it looks seamless, and you can appreciate the pores and the beauty of the skin.”
And not only do oval brushes help create an airbrush-like finish, but they also keep your face free of any harsh lines, Brittney Ward, a makeup artist whose clients include Naomi Campbell, tells TeenVogue. “[Oval brushes] make the makeup look like a second skin,” she says. “I love to spray the brush with MAC finishing spray before starting the makeup application. Spraying brush with this spray helps not only help with applying the makeup smoothly, but [also] leaves the skin with a nice finish.”
2. They’re multifunctional.
Oval brushes are most well known for their use with base products, like foundation. But, they can be used with almost all of your favorite products, including moisturizer, which Kylie Jenner, proved. “I love oval brushes for applying everything from foundation to eyeshadow,” says Vincent.
Tim Quinn, Giorgio Armani’s Beauty Face Designer, is also a huge fan. “"I love [oval brushes because] they can instantly correct any issue,” he explains. “The density [and] texture brilliantly blur any imperfections and they work equally well with liquids and powders.”
3. They’re efficient.
The sheer number of fibers in oval brushes, along with the uniform length and surface area makes it so product, like powders, stays right where it should be on the brush (without settling into the bottom), and can be distributed evenly on your face. “Sometimes I find flat, dense brushes tend to deposit too much product,” says Vincent. Not only does that mean you’ll get a more even final look, but also that you’ll use less product — and save more money — in the long run. And, it makes the whole application process more efficient, time-wise. “I recently switched over to oval brushes because some of them get the job done faster, like spreading foundation on smoothly and quickly,” says makeup artist Japan, whose clients include Keri Hilson and Ashley Everett.