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8 Versatile Uses of a Kabuki Brush You Never Knew Existed

8 Uses of a Kabuki Brush
Using the right makeup tools is essential as it helps perfect your look. Learn why a kabuki brush should be part of your makeup kit, and what are its uses.
Sheetal Mandora
Last Updated: Jun 7, 2017
Cleaning the Brush
  1. Rinse the brush under lukewarm water.
  2. Swirl brush in a bowl filled with lukewarm water-mild shampoo mix.
  3. Rinse the brush again under running water.
  4. Use a lint-free cloth to wipe the brush clean.
  5. Lay the brush flat on the cloth to dry properly.
The design of the kabuki makeup brush is inspired by the brushes used by the traditional Japanese theater actors. It is used to achieve a flawless-looking skin while applying makeup. Typically, this brush is small and compact in size, and has either wide, round, or flat bristles depending on the brand you choose. There are many brands that sell high-quality brushes made with either synthetic and real fiber bristles. Also, due to its dense shape, it can easily pick up and lock loose or liquid formulas in the bristles for perfect application every time.

With all these wonderful qualities, no wonder more and more professional makeup artists are raving about the kabuki brush. And if you wish to take your makeup to a whole new level, do make sure to include this brush in your kit.
8 Ways to Substitute a Kabuki Brush for Makeup
Kabuki brush
Celebrity makeup artist Erwin Gomez recommends using and investing in natural hair brushes. He claims, "Synthetic brushes are best to cover up dark circles or imperfections, but people have a harder time blending with those to get that smooth, perfect skin. You can never beat natural hair brushes because they're the best blending tools. They're also better for your skin―people with sensitive skin may want to stick with natural hair brushes for that reason."
Cream Foundation
The Traditional Way
Mainly, there are three types of brushes that can be used to apply a cream foundation. The exact brush to use will obviously depend on what kind of coverage you're looking for. For light coverage, a stippling brush is recommended. Medium coverage can be obtained with a mineral powder brush. And for full coverage, a medium concealer brush is ideal.
Kabuki brush for applying cream foundation
The Kabuki Way
When you use the kabuki brush, it can get the desired results without having to use three different brushes. First of all, swirl the kabuki brush in a small amount of cream foundation; you can squeeze a small amount on the palm of your hand. Once the brush is loaded, swirl it over your face and neck area in circular movements.
Liquid Foundation
The Traditional Way
For really full coverage, many professional makeup artists will recommend the use of a liquid foundation. But, if the application is too strong, it can alter the results drastically. Which is why, the densely-packed angled brush is ideal as it buffs and blends the foundation into the skin.
Kabuki brush for applying liquid foundation
The Kabuki Way
The only thing lacking with the angled brush is that it isn't wide enough to cover large areas in a short amount of time; and that's where the kabuki brush comes in. As this brush is visibly wider, you can pretty much finish applying the makeup in a hurry. Plus, the soft bristles will ensure the smoothest application on your face, neck, and around the corners (nose, under the eyes, etc.)
Powder Foundation
The Traditional Way
One of the most common mistakes we make is applying a powder foundation. So, ditch the pressed powder at bay, and choose a liquid foundation instead for the best finish. When you apply powders as your base, it tends to accentuate the wrinkles on your face. Go with the loose mineral foundation, and apply it only after your makeup is complete.
Kabuki brush for applying powder foundation
The Kabuki Way
Replacing the mineral powder brush, the kabuki brush gives you an even coverage without making your skin look and feel dry, white, and cake-like. Plus, with this brush, you can apply the powder foundation to settle in the fine lines and wrinkles as well. First, load the loose powder onto the brush, and give it light tap to release any excess powder. Now, instead of swirling the brush over your face and neck, stamp it gently at a 90-degree angle. Keep stamping the brush until the powder is applied properly. As the brush holds the fine powder so well, it will help settle the makeup without moving it from its place.
The Traditional Way
Many makeup artists love to use the uber-wide fan brush as it gently swipes the makeup onto the cheeks. To create sharp contours, the use of a flathead brush is essential as it presses the highlighter into the skin.
Kabuki brush for applying highlighter
The Kabuki Way
A highlighter comes in many shades. So the first thing you need to do is find the shade that works best with your skin tone. To load the kabuki brush, dip it into the loose powder and tap gently, swirl the brush onto the pressed powder and tap gently, and pour a small amount of liquid highlighter in the palm of your hand and then dip the brush. With either of the highlighters loaded onto the kabuki brush, highlight the outer eyebrow bone and going down along the temple. The next area to highlight will be around and across the top of your cheekbones. And finally, highlight your forehead, area along the nose, and your chin.
Finishing Powder
The Traditional Way
Calling it finishing or setting powder, you can opt to use either pressed or loose powder. While traveling, pressed powder is easy to carry and mess-free. However, many makeup artists insist on using loose finishing powder as it helps set liquid- or cream-based makeup with no additional coverage. Celebrity makeup artist Robin Black says, "The great thing about translucent loose powder is that you can always buff it to perfection on any complexion." With clients like Isabel Lucas, Chloë Sevigny, and Olivia Wilde, no one's going to refute her advice.
Kabuki brush for applying finishing powder
The Kabuki Way
Instead of having to buy a finishing brush, use your kabuki brush to get the job done. First, dip the brush into the loose powder, and gently tap so that the excess powder is released. Next, you will start to buff the powder in the center of your face, moving towards the edges. Once you're done applying the powder, clean the kabuki brush properly, and gently glide it over your face. This will buff away the excess makeup off your skin. Make sure you use the brush to buff and blend the powder in, or else it'll show.
The Traditional Way
For a natural flushed glow on your face, use the right shade of blush for your skin tone. The blush can be applied to your cheekbones and the apples of your cheeks. Suck in your cheeks to find where the cheekbones are, and as for the apples of your cheeks, look in the mirror and smile.
Kabuki brush for applying blush
The Kabuki Way
Use the kabuki brush to sculpt, shape, and enhance both cheekbones and apples of your cheeks. For the cheekbones, load the brush with blush, tap it gently, suck in your cheeks, and apply the blush using short, outward strokes towards your ears. And as for the apples of your cheeks, load the brush with blush, tap it gently, smile as wide as you can, and swirl the brush in circular movements.
The Traditional Way
A bronzer is nothing but makeup that can mimic or highlight a tan on your face. Now if you don't have a tan, and have a dull or pale complexion, a bronzer will give your complexion some much-needed warmth. Either a fan brush or a bronzer brush is used for the application.
Kabuki brush for applying bronzer
The Kabuki Way
For a healthy, glowing skin, load the kabuki brush with the bronzer, and tap it gently to remove excess powder. Now, before you apply the bronzer over your face, gently swirl the brush on the back of your hand. This is to make sure that the bronzer doesn't appear muddy or too overdone. Next, swirl the brush at the top of your hairline, temples, across the cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose, over your chin and jawline, and finally on the neck. Reload the brush as many times as you deem necessary; but don't forget to swirl it at the back of your hand before the bronzer goes on your face.
Kabuki brush for blending
A blush brush and fan brush are generally used for blending, but the choice of brushes can vary, and hence, there isn't a set traditional way of blending makeup. Even if you choose to use the traditional brushes to apply powder foundation, blush, and bronzer, the kabuki brush can still be used afterwards. It's a must-have splurge for those women who take their makeup quite seriously. Once you have finished applying makeup, swirl the brush over your face and neck. It'll help set the makeup perfectly, and remove the excess.
The next time you're about to apply makeup, try any of these 8 uses of a kabuki brush and help lighten your makeup kit. You not only get a flawless makeup with the brush, but you're also saving a lot on purchasing unnecessary brushes. Of course, these brushes are definitely worth investing into. But, if you can make do with a kabuki brush, then why waste your hard-earned money?