Highlighter Brush Guide

Highlighter Brush Guide: Exploring Different Types and How to Use Them


A perfectly placed pop of light can create a glow that appears lit from within. When used with precision, the versatility of the highlighter brush truly shines in enhancing natural radiance or sculpting dramatic effects. Understanding the array of highlighter brush shapes and sizes enables matching the right brush to the technique for flawless application. This guide explores different types of highlighter brushes and tips for using them effectively to illuminate different areas of the face.

Guide on Types of Highlighter Brushes and  How to Use Highlighter Brushes

Highlighter brushes, each designed for specific results, can dramatically change how your makeup looks. Understanding how to use a highlighter brush can significantly impact your makeup outcome. Let’s explore its types and how to use them in detail:

Fan Highlighter Brushes

The fan brush is characterised by its broad, thin, and fanned-out bristles. It’s perfect for a light, wispy application of powder highlighters. The shape of the brush allows for a delicate touch, ideal for a natural, subtle glow. It’s handy for beginners or those who prefer a more understated look. When using a fan highlighter brush: 

  • Sweep gently over your powder highlighter.
  • Tap off the excess and lightly glide it over your cheekbones, brow bones, and nose bridge. 
  • The fan brush can also be used downward to blend edges for a faded effect. 

Tapered Brush

A tapered highlighter brush comes to a soft point at the end, offering precision and control. It’s excellent for applying highlighter to smaller areas like the bridge of the nose, cupid’s bow, and brow bones. This brush can pick up more product than a fan brush, providing a more concentrated application. Use case: 

  • Dab the brush into your highlighter, tap off excess, and apply it to targeted areas. 
  • Its precision makes it ideal for accentuating features like your cupid’s bow or the inner corners of your eyes.

Small Fluffy Brush

This type resembles a mini powder brush with dense, fluffy bristles. It’s great for a controlled application of powder highlighter when you want a more pronounced glow. The size and density of the brush make it versatile for broad and targeted applications. When using a small fluffy brush: 

  • Swirl the brush in your highlighter and apply it circularly for a more concentrated shine. 
  • This brush is perfect for those who want a noticeable yet blended highlight.

Angled Brush

Angled highlighter brushes have slanted bristles that conform to the contours of your face. This makes them ideal for sculpting with a highlighter, particularly along the cheekbones or jawline. They can be used for creamy and powder highlighters, offering a more defined and sculpted glow. When using an angled highlighter brush:

  • Use the angled brush for a contoured highlight. 
  • Glide it over the high points of your cheekbones in a back-and-forth motion, blending the highlighter seamlessly with your base makeup.
Paddle Brush

Paddle brushes are flat with rounded ends, resembling a paintbrush. They are perfect for cream or liquid highlighters, offering a smooth, streak-free application. Their shape allows for a more spread-out, even application over larger areas. Use cases: 

  • Ideal for liquid or cream highlighters; use this brush to apply highlighter on larger areas. 
  • The flat surface ensures an even, smooth application without streaks.

Stippling Brush 

With its distinctive dual-fibre bristles, the stippling brush is ideal for achieving an airbrushed, luminous finish. It works well with powder and liquid formulas, allowing for a buildable glow that doesn’t look overdone. When using the stippling brush: 

  • Gently dab the brush into your highlighter and apply it in a stippling motion for an airbrushed effect. 
  • It is excellent for layering highlighter without looking cakey.

Highlighter Brush Maintenance

Maintaining your highlighter brush is not just about cleanliness; it’s about preserving its functionality and extending its lifespan. Proper care ensures that your brushes remain practical and hygienic for every application. Here are some critical steps:

1. Regular Cleaning: Makeup brushes can accumulate product residue, oils, and bacteria over time, affecting their performance and your skin’s health. Clean your highlighter brushes weekly using a gentle brush cleaner or baby shampoo. For synthetic brushes, a mild soap works well.

2. Washing Technique: Wet the bristles with lukewarm water, avoiding the handle and ferrule, as water can weaken the glue over time. Apply a small amount of cleaner to the bristles and gently massage in a circular motion on the palm of your hand. Rinse properly until the water runs clear.

3. Drying: Gently squeeze out any excess water after washing. Bring the bristles in their proper shape and lay the brush flat on a clean towel to dry. Avoid drying brushes upright, as water can seep into the ferrule, causing the bristles to loosen and the brush to deteriorate.

4. Deep Cleaning: It’s beneficial to deep clean your brushes once a month. You can use a specialised brush cleaning mat or glove to help remove all traces of buildup.

5. Storage: Store your brushes in a dry, clean place. Consider using a brush holder or a case to keep the bristles in shape and protect them from dust and damage.

Final Word

The right highlighter brush can transform your makeup application, enhancing natural beauty with the perfect glow. Whether you are illuminating your cheekbones for a daily boost of confidence or preparing for a significant event like a wedding, the right tools make all the difference. Remember, the beauty of your makeup is enhanced not just by the products you use but also by the care you take of your tools. 

For those special occasions where you want to ensure perfection, consider the expertise of professionals. Visit The Bride Side for expert wedding hair and makeup in Edinburgh services. Whether looking for a bridal makeup artist in Edinburgh or seeking comprehensive beauty advice, we are your go-to destination for all your beauty needs, ensuring you look and feel your best on your big day.

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