Contour Brushes: Know Which To Use & How To Use Them

When you create a personal skincare routine that meets your individual needs, you can protect and maintain healthy skin that you feel great about. 

While skincare often refers to our favorite moisturizers and face washes, it can also include makeup and makeup tools. The right makeup tools can help cover scars, boost your natural beauty, and make your skin glow.

No matter what stage of your makeup journey you’re on, Journ is here to help. We want to make it as easy as possible to find the resources you need to care for your skin and yourself with ease. That’s why we carry products chock full of botanicals, fruits, and more skin-loving ingredients. It’s also why we’re sharing tips and tricks for finding the best makeup brushes for you. 

The Best Makeup Brushes

There are many ways to apply makeup, and every different makeup goal is going to require different tools. The right tools, like the proper brushes, will make it easier to get the look you love with ease. Here’s a look at a few often-seen makeup brushes that you can begin trying out today. 

Contouring Brush 

Contouring may look like magic if you’ve never tried it before. The process works by framing and highlighting the existing structure of your face, and it isn’t nearly as intimidating as it seems. In fact, you can get familiar with contouring in a few simple steps. 

Choosing the Correct Contour Color

To start, you’ll need to analyze your skin undertones. You can determine whether you have a warm or cool undertone by looking at the veins at your wrist. If they’re blue, you have a cool undertone. You have a warm undertone if they’re green. 

A mixture of the two means your undertone is neutral. Pick a shade slightly darker than your undertone to define the areas of your face you are looking to sculpt with your contouring brush

  • If you have cool undertones, look for cool grey-brown shades. Warmer tones may look orange on your skin.  
  • If you have warm undertones, pick a shade that’s got a bit of red in it to keep things warm without going orange. Cooler-toned contours might make you look washed out. 
  • If you have neutral undertones, most contour shades will work on you. Aim for something that hits a balance between grey and red for the ideal color. 

Choosing the Right Brush and Getting Started

There are many types of contouring brushes, but most have flared or angled heads so that you can create defined lines when contouring. Contouring brushes are incredibly soft, and you want to use a gentle touch when contouring and blending your skin to avoid making the contrast too dark. 

You can contour many different areas on the face, including under the cheekbones, jaw, nose, and on your forehead around your hairline. Just make sure you always start by applying your foundation first. Your cheeks are a good place to begin. Suck your cheeks in and use the angled edge of your contour brush to add color to the hollows of your cheeks under your cheekbones and then release. Blend with gentle strokes until the product looks natural. 

You’ll use similar movements to contour your jawline and forehead. Add light color in the areas that you want to add shadow, like up to the hairline or down into the neck. You can also create a plumped lip effect by contouring around the outer edge of your top lip and the bottom, sides, and center below your bottom lip. 

Boost the areas you want to glow with a touch of highlighter powder for a gorgeous look every time. 

Brushes To Cover Acne

Contouring brushes can do a lot, but other tools are at your disposal for different makeup needs. If you need to cover acne, then you’ll want to explore your concealer brush options. You can use a smudge brush or small concealer brush to cover or hide an acne breakout with ease. 

Concealer brushes are small and often tapered or rounded at the end. Their more condensed size and dense texture give you a more focused application and control during use, allowing you to cover trouble spots without applying too much product. 

Concealer brushes allow you to gently cover the blemish without irritating or pressing down on the surface of the skin and will ensure that the product remains on the skin. It also reduces the transfer of bacteria that may be on your hands, which could further irritate your skin. We highly recommend sanitizing your brushes regularly, especially if you have acne-prone skin (more on this below). 

Acne Scar Brushes 

If you’re looking to cover the appearance of acne scars, there is a brush for you, as well. The smaller and stiffer brushes used to cover acne are often effective at hiding the appearance of acne scars, too, since they give you great control over your brush and allow you to make small, careful coverups. These may also be called concealer brushes. Small lip brushes double as a great brush to cover acne and acne scars too!

If you have small acne scars, a pencil brush, like the kind used for applying eyeliner, can be incredibly useful. They give you more control over exactly where you’re placing the makeup, so you don’t have to layer on more than you need. 

Under Eye Brushes 

The best brushes for under-eye coverage will vary depending on what your under-eye makeup needs might be. If you use concealer, you have several options for concealer, and a powder concealer application will require different tools and skills than a liquid concealer. 

If you’re using powder concealer, reach for large, fluffy brushes for the skin under your eyes. The skin below your eyes is thinner than many other places on the body, which is why we often see dark circles from fatigue under the eyes so clearly. This means that the skin is also more vulnerable to damage and should be treated carefully. 

For liquid concealer, flat, spade-shaped concealer brushes will be your best bet for gently blending out the product. 

If you don’t like the heavier, cakier results that concealer can give you, there’s another solution. Color correcting can help disguise unwanted redness, dark circles, dark spots, and more without requiring a concealer—just a light layer of foundation on top. 

Our color correctors can be applied with a small concealer brush directly to the areas that you’re looking to correct, much like you’d use for a liquid concealer. From Alpenglow, to help even out skin tone and brighten dullness, to Matcha, to correct redness from acne and acne scarring, there’s a product to help correct every skin tone and type. 

Make Sure You’re Washing Your Brushes

Always make sure you’re sanitizing or washing your makeup brushes properly to reduce the risk of breakouts. Remember, allowing your skin time to rest between makeup applications can help reduce discomfort and make it easier to reduce the appearance of acne breakouts, so you’ll need less makeup in the future. 

Always listen to your skin’s needs when applying makeup so that you can ensure your skin will look and feel as healthy as possible. 

There’s a Makeup Brush for Everyone 

When you’re ready to begin learning about the makeup brush options and start trying them out, Journ is here to help. Our products are designed to be more than just makeup. 

Not only do they conceal your skin concerns, but they may also help improve them over time. They’re created with carefully chosen ingredients that help nourish and repair your skin. We believe in full-body energy and health, which means supporting you on your self-care journey and helping you to feel confident and capable in your own skin. 

The good news is that there are many ways to get started. You have many options for picking the right brushes for your makeup needs, and you can adjust or add to your collection as your skincare needs change. 

Whether you’re looking to cover up acne, minimize the appearance of the circles below your eyes, or learn how to contour, we’re here to help you every step of the way. 


Here’s How to Actually Pick the Ride Shade of Foundation | Elle 

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes (And How Often You Should Do It) Allure 

Acne Scars: What’s the Best Treatment | Mayo Clinic