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Eye Makeup Tips: Essential Tools and Brushes

Even the best makeup products are worthless if you don't have the right application tools to go with them. Here are some essentials that should be in your eye makeup kit.

Eye makeup tools and brushes


  • Tweezers - for removing stray hairs and shaping the brows

  • Brow Stencils - if you have trouble shaping your brows freehand, stencils may be for you. Place the stencil on your face, lining up the inside edge with the corner of your eye. Then fill in the stencil using brow powder. Remove the stencil and tweeze any hairs that fall outside the powder line.

  • Angled brow brush - use with brow powder to fill in your brows.

  • Brow styler (comb or brush) - lines up and smoothes down the eyebrow hairs. There are a few different kinds available. Some are a spool, similar to a mascara applicator, some have bristles, and others look like a tiny comb. If you are on a tight budget, a clean mascara wand or toothbrush will do. For extra hold, you can try adding a tiny bit of hairspray to the brush before using it, but never spray it directly on your face.


Both synthetic and natural brushes are good for dry application of products. Synthetic hair brushes are usually better for wet application techniques (including foiling), natural fibers absorb too much product.

  • Eyeliner brushes - used for applying liner around the eye, these can be thin and pointed like a pencil, or flat and angled. If you're clumsy or have shaky hands, you might find a flat, angled brush easier to work with.

  • Shader brushes - these are used for applying shadow on the eye. They can be angled or tapered and come in various sizes. Use smaller brushes to target small areas, larger brushes are best when you're covering the whole eyelid.

  • Crease brush - use for applying eyeshadow in the crease of your eyelid, these are usually pointed.

  • Smudge brush - this is a small, flat, tapered brush. Some are made of stiff bristles, others are foam. Use this brush when you want to smudge shadow or liner around the eye, such as for a smoky look.

  • Blending brush - usually a large, tapered brush. Use this dry to blend shadow colors together around the eye and get rid of any unwanted lines or sharp edges.


  • Eyelash curler - this is used to curl the eyelashes before mascara is applied. Typically made of metal, you place your eyelashes between the jaws of the device (careful not to get any skin in the way), and squeeze. When you release, you'll find that your eyelashes are now bent up and more noticeable.

  • Mascara wand/spool - used to apply mascara. Many mascaras come with one built in, but they are also sold separately.

  • Eyelash comb - a tiny comb used to separate eyelashes and remove clumps after mascara application.

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