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Face facts... the A-Z of how to brush up on your beauty routine!

Want to perfect your make-up techniques like those vlogger sensations? First tackle your toolkit, says Katie Wright

Published 23/04/2015

Simple strokes: brushes could hold the key to your make-up routine
Simple strokes: brushes could hold the key to your make-up routine
YouTube star Zoe Sugg

Cosmetics-obsessed vloggers, like Tanya Burr and Zoe Sugg (below), have taken the world by storm with their step-by-step YouTube make-up tutorials - inspiring us all to get a bit more adventurous with our beauty routines.

But pulling off a perfectly blended smoky eye, or cheating your way to sharp cheekbones with clever contouring, requires more than just a fingertip smudge here and there.

It's all about the brushes, but with such a blogging array available, where to begin?

From bloggers to brands and everything in between, this definitive A to Z guide is here to help...

A - Angled approach: The slanted handle of the Laura Mercier Angled Eyeliner Brush, £16 (, allows easy and precise eyeliner application.

B - best for blusher: The Bobbi Brown Blush Brush, £35 ( is soft, sturdy and perfectly shaped for buffing on blusher.

C - Contouring masterclass: Look for a mid-sized head with a pointed tip, like Charlotte Tilbury's Powder & Sculpt Brush, £35 (, if you're after Kim Kardashian-style cheekbones.

D- Disguise blemishes effectively with a densely packed short-bristled brush, like the Body Shop Lipstick & Concealer Brush, £9 (

E- Expand eyelashes by combing through with a lash comb. Metal teeth are best - they're less likely to break.

F - Flawless foundation can only be achieved with a flat brush like the Bobbi Brown Foundation Brush, £32 ( Dampen with water first to stop the bristles absorbing the product.

G - Goss, as in professional make-up artist turned vlogger Wayne Goss, has more than two million subscribers to his channel ( His expert videos describe how to make the most of your face shape and features.

H- Highlight the tops of cheekbones using probably the most misunderstood of all make-up tools, the fan brush, so designed to allow a fine dusting of powder to a narrow area.

I - Incredibly expensive is one way to describe the Suqqu Face Brush, made with super-soft squirrel hair, which costs £168 (

J - Japan, specifically the region of Kumano, is famed as the place where make-up brushes - including Wayne Goss' own collection - have been hand-crafted for the last 200 years.

K - Kabuki brushes also originated in Japan, where they were used to apply make-up by actors in the traditional Kabuki theatre. Try the Lola Brocha Kabuki Brush, £19 (, for perfect powder application.

L- Look for a round-tipped lip brush that comes with a cover to protect it (and the rest of your products) in your make-up bag, like the Illamasqua Lip Brush With Cover, £18.50 (

M - Mini brush sets are a great space-saver when travelling, and you can pick them up for less than a tenner. Limited Collection Mini Brush Set, £8.50 (

N - Natural isn't always best, especially if you want to avoid animal products. EcoTools brushes, available at Boots, are cruelty-free because they use synthetic hair with bamboo and recycled aluminium handles.

O - One drop at a time is all it takes with the BareMinerals Perfecting Face Brush, £24 (, designed with an indent in the bristles. Pump foundation into the head then buff on to your face, building coverage with each drop.

P - Plastic replaces hair on the Real Techniques Silicone Liner Brush, £5.99 (, allowing for smooth straight lines. Get practising your cat-eye flick.

Q - Queen of YouTube, Zoe Sugg, aka superstar vlogger Zoella, is so popular she's soon to be immortalised in wax at Madame Tussauds. Nearly eight million followers tune in to watch the 'self-confessed beauty junkie' in chatty tutorials, showing off the results of her regular shopping sprees (

R - Real Techniques is the brush brand beloved of vloggers and fans alike, not least because it was created by vlogging sisters Sam and Nicola Chapman. The latest kit to hit the shelves is the Real Techniques Collectors Edition Sculpting Set, £20.99 (

S - Stippling brushes are a must if you suffer from acne or scarring. Dip into your foundation or concealer and dot onto your skin (rather than painting in strokes), for an airbrushed finish.

T - Tightlining is a favourite YouTuber technique, where you apply eyeliner right in between the upper lashes. Grab the MAC 212 Flat Definer Brush, £19 ( and watch Wayne Goss' 'How to: apply eyeliner like a pro' and have a go.

U- Under-eye concealing requires a different technique to blemish disguising. Choose a small, tapered brush like the Clinique Concealer Brush, £14 ( to ensure even coverage.

V - Value for money can certainly be found with the Models Own brush range. A 5 Piece Brush Set will set you back just £9.99 (

W - Washing brushes regular gets rid of product residue and bacteria which can cause spots. If you use your brushes daily, they should be rinsed weekly with cleaning solution like Clinique Make-up Brush Cleanser, £13 (, and left to dry thoroughly.

x - is for Pixiwoo (OK, we cheated with the alphabet system there a little), where sisters Sam and Nicola recreate celebrity make-up looks for their nearly two million followers at

Y - YouTubers' most-used brush has got to be the MAC 266 Small Angle Brush, £16.50 (, the essential utensil for dramatic eyeliner and shadow application.

Z - Zoeva is a relatively new player on the beauty scene but the brush brand has quickly become a major hit with the vlogger crowd. The range offers more than 50 tools, including some vegan brushes (

Belfast Telegraph

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