Beauty
Fact Checked

What are Powder Brushes?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

Powder brushes are simply brushes that are used to apply cosmetic powder. These kinds of brushes are often sold along with the cosmetics with which they are used, but can also be purchased separately. Many cosmetics companies and companies that sell beauty tools sell powder brushes in sets with other kinds of cosmetic brushes. The other kinds of cosmetic brushes sold in these sets are often used to apply blush, eyeshadow, liquid eyeliner, and lipstick.

Generally the largest among cosmetic brushes, powder brushes are meant to apply powder over the entire face while most other cosmetics are intended for use on small and specific areas of the face. There are some blush brushes that are close in size to powder brushes. It is also common for bronzer brushes to be about the same size as powder brushes. This is because bronzer, like powder, is used all over the face rather than in specific areas.

Soft filler brushes can be used to blend out powder applied to the eyebrow.
Soft filler brushes can be used to blend out powder applied to the eyebrow.

Powder brushes may be made of synthetic or natural fibers. Despite the type of fiber that is used to make the brushes, it is important to clean all cosmetic brushes on a regular basis. Not only is this important to maintaining healthy skin, but also to more precisely apply cosmetics. Most brushes can be cleaned with just warm water. To make sure that brushes are thoroughly clean and disinfected, try using a cleanser that has been formulated specifically to clean cosmetic brushes. There are a number of cosmetic companies that sell this type of cleanser.

Because of their large size, some women use powder brushes for bronzer or blush.
Because of their large size, some women use powder brushes for bronzer or blush.

There are some cosmetics for the eyes which are made of compressed powder and applied with brushes. For example, some people prefer to accentuate the color and shape of their eyebrows by using a powder instead of a pencil. The brushes that are used to apply this kind of cosmetic powder are much thinner than the brushes that are intended to distribute powder on the entire face. They also have much shorter, firmer fibers. The term powder brush is not usually used to refer to this kind of brush.

Small powder brushes can be used to apply eyeliner and eyeshadow.
Small powder brushes can be used to apply eyeliner and eyeshadow.

Although powder brushes might vary in size and in the thickness of the fibers, almost all of them are designed so that the fibers splay out to create a rounded head. This shape is intended to distribute the powder in the most even possible fashion. Powder brushes can be found at most drugstores in the beauty aisle.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for , Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for , Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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    • Soft filler brushes can be used to blend out powder applied to the eyebrow.
      By: Andriy Petrenko
      Soft filler brushes can be used to blend out powder applied to the eyebrow.
    • Because of their large size, some women use powder brushes for bronzer or blush.
      By: Subbotina Anna
      Because of their large size, some women use powder brushes for bronzer or blush.
    • Small powder brushes can be used to apply eyeliner and eyeshadow.
      By: Mikhail Malyugin
      Small powder brushes can be used to apply eyeliner and eyeshadow.
    • Sharing make-up brushes with other people may spread bacteria and irritate eyelids.
      By: Minerva Studio
      Sharing make-up brushes with other people may spread bacteria and irritate eyelids.