Shapes & Uses
This list contains the most common brush shapes along with their typical uses. It isn’t exhaustive by any means, and of course specific brush shapes aren’t limited to the use listed here. Many brushes can also be used for multiple tasks, such as using the same brush for blush/contouring or one brush for an entire eye look.
Lid - usually a somewhat flat, dense brush with a slightly rounded tip, large enough to cover a significant portion of the lid space. Bristles tend to be shorter.
Examples: Eco Tools Shader (from the eye set), MAC 239, Hakuhodo G5507
Crease - usually a round shape, often with a domed, angled or tapered tip for more precise placement.
Examples: Eco Tools Crease (from the eye set), Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush (from the Starter Set), MAC 224, Hakuhodo J142SLXLM
Blending - a fluffy brush, often rounded, with longer bristles to diffuse product. Many people use blending brushes to double as a crease brush.
Examples: Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush (from the Starter Set), MAC 217, Hakuhodo J5523SLXLM
Detail - a small brush with shorter bristles used for precise shadow placement, such as the outer v or lash line. The end is often rounded or tapered (pencil brush).
Examples: Eco Tools Smudge Brush (from the eye set), MAC 219, Hakuhodo G5514SLXLM
Smudge - a very small, flat brush with short bristles, used to apply shadow to the lashlines or smudge out eyeliner.
Examples: Real Techniques Accent Brush (from the Starter set), MAC 214, Hakuhodo K005
Liner - a very precise brush for applying liquid, cream or gel liner. The size and bristle length can vary based on user preference, but they are often sharply pointed. Some have an angled handle for easier use.
Examples: Real Techniques Fine Liner Brush, MAC 209, Hakuhodo K007
Buffing - a dense brush with medium length bristles. The top can be rounded, flat or angled depending on preference. Used to buff foundation in a circular motion.
Examples: Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Sigma F80, Urban Decay Optical Blurring Brush
Stippling - a brush with two bristle lengths mixed together. The shorter bristles are packed somewhat densely and the longer bristles are much more loose. Gives a light application.
Examples: Real Techniques Stippling Brush, MAC 187, Hakuhodo J4002
Paddle - a flat brush with a tapered tip used to apply foundation in downward strokes.
Real Techniques Foundation Brush (from the Core Collection, MAC 190, Hakuhodo G545
Cheeks & FaceSMXLL
Blush - a medium density brush, usually with bristles of medium length. The most common shapes are rounded, tapered (comes to a soft point) or angled (longer on one side).
Rounded: Real Techniques Mult-Task Brush (from the Core Collection), MAC 116, Hakuhodo K020
Tapered: Sonia Kashuk Domed Blusher Brush, MAC 138, Hakuhodo J103
Angled: e.l.f. Studio Angled Blush Brush, MAC 168, Hakuhodo B512
Find More AWESOME! Makeup Guides @ http://redditmakeupaddiction.blogspot.com/2013/04/brush-guide.html