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Makeup Brushes: Which Varieties Consumers Want

Different makeup brushes in a container

Consumers can’t get a flawless, airbrushed look without a carefully crafted collection of makeup brushes. From blending products to defining edges, makeup brushes are the secret sauce in the beauty game.

But here’s the catch: the number of makeup brushes available is enough to make anyone’s head spin. Therefore, retailers that don’t read up on what consumers are looking for are sure to suffer.

We’re here to fix that problem. Our guide will explore the different types of makeup brushes available and direct you as to which are the best to sell in 2024.

Table of Contents
What’s the market prediction for makeup brushes in 2024
Different types of makeup brushes and what they do
What to consider when choosing which makeup brushes to sell

What’s the market prediction for makeup brushes in 2024

The makeup brush market was worth US $2.05 billion in 2022, and experts predict it will expand to US $4.44 billion at an 8.9% CAGR between 2023 to 2031.

Here are some drivers responsible for the makeup brush market’s growth:

  • The rising global demand for cosmetics
  • New makeup application techniques
  • Increased disposable incomes among consumers

Experts say the Asia Pacific makeup brush segment will witness the fastest CAGR, owing to the region’s rising demand for makeup and skincare products.

Different types of makeup brushes and what they do

Stippling brushes

Various stippling brushes in different sizes

Stippling brushes boast a distinctive appearance that features two different fiber lengths, making them the go-to for layering different makeup levels. Users can effortlessly blend primers, foundations, and brushes with these brushes. 

Although they work well with powders, stippling brushes are ideal for liquid cream foundations or cream blush products.

Foundation brushes

A foundation brush among other tools

Foundation brushes are often flat, have less full forms, and offer gentle tapers. Consumers can use them for precise foundation, highlight, or blush application.

In addition, foundation brushes are the best options for liquid foundations and other liquid makeup products. They also come in handy for applying highlighters or for doing spot corrections.

Powder brushes

A single powder brush on a white background

Powder brushes are thicker, fully-fibered (natural or synthetic) tools perfect for gently dusting loose powder products across the face.

But that’s not all; these brushes are versatile enough to handle various beauty jobs. No makeup set is complete without one – that’s how important powder brushes are.

Setting brushes

A setting brush among other makeup brushes

Setting brushes are smaller versions of powder variants. They’re perfect for locking foundation and concealer with setting powder.

But there’s more! Setting brushes are also effective for contouring and highlighting cheeks. Their soft, fluffy bristles can easily blend cream and liquid makeup products.

Fan brushes

Three fan brushes on a gray background

True to their name, these brushes have a fan-like shape that offers incredible multifunctionality. They can handle highlighter applications, correct makeup mistakes, and reduce dark lines.

Alternatively, ladies can use fan brushes to apply lotion, sunscreen, or concealers. They’re a great, gentle way to apply various skincare products.

Blush brushes

Hand holding a blush brush on a black background

Blush brushes are similar to their powder counterparts, however, their stubbier designs helps them to work smaller areas on the face.

These brushes are not multi-purpose, and only work for blush applications, helping the user to achieve a fresh-faced, youthful vibe.

Angled cheek brushes

An angled cheek brush with a bronze handle

Angled cheek brushes are designed to fit the user’s facial contours. These brushes are great for applying liquid and cream foundations, blushes, and bronzers, allowing users to “sculpt” their faces effectively.

Angled cheek brushes are the go-to for achieving angular, defined cheekbones and facial looks.

Lip brushes

A brush set with a lip brush on a white background

Lip brushes are usually long and shaped like pencils or wands. They also have soft bristles that create a tapered point.

These brushes can be used to apply lipstick, lip gloss, or other lip products evenly. 

Eyeshadow brushes

Different eye shadow brushes on a fluffy surface

General eyeshadow brushes have small, stubby designs for applying eye shadow across the upper eye and lid area. These brushes can also handle eye shadow primer applications.

Meanwhile, angled eye shadow brushes are best for smudging and contouring eye makeup.

Crease brushes

A hand holding a crease brush

Crease brushes often feature a gently tapered end, giving users better precision when adding the final touches to eye makeup.

These brushes are the perfect option for creating a depth illusion and adding dramatic contrast to base lid colors.

Blending brushes

Multiple blending brushes on a light brown background

Blending brushes are amazing for buffing and blending eyeshadow colors. They’re small, fluffy brushes that can help users blend colors for an attractive, cohesive eyeshadow look. Blending brushes can also be used for contours, bronzers, and highlighters.

Eyeliner brushes

Multiple makeup brushes for eyes (eyeliner brush included)

There are five main types of eyeliner brush that can be used to create the perfect eyeliner look. Here’s a brief explanation for each:

Eyeliner brush typesDescription
Fine liner brushesA thin tip helps draw delicate lines
Dome-shaped semi-flat brushesEasy for drawing thick lines or to fill in wings and angles
Angle-bent eyeliner brushesCreate curved lines and winged eyeliners
Flat-angled tip brushesEasy for adding drama with thick lines or cat eyeliners
Flat-tip brushesIdeal for handling and drawing perfectly straight lines

Eyebrow brushes

An eyebrow brush among other makeup brushes

Eyebrow brushes often come with double sides: one with a comb and the other with a brush. They’re fantastic for filling in and defining the brow line with perfect precision.

These brushes are also firm enough to blend eyebrow pencils, helping the user to achieve a natural result. Eyebrow brushes can also create amazing dotted effects.

Beauty sponges

Various beauty sponges with different colors

Beauty sponges may not be brushes, but they’re the darlings of the makeup community. Why? Because they can handle various product applications, making them particularly versatile!

Beauty sponges can be used to apply wet or dry foundation, blush, highlighter, and concealers.

Kabuki brushes

A kabuki brush on a white background

Kabuki brushes are often larger than other brushes, and feature tightly packed fibers. They are fantastic for adding loose powders, body shimmers, powder foundations, and blushes.

What to consider when choosing which makeup brushes to sell

Quality over quantity

Consumers don’t need many brushes to achieve the perfect look (unless they’re beauty professionals), so it pays for retailers to prioritize quality over quantity. In addition, expensive brushes don’t always offer the best quality.

Sellers must however ensure that the brushes they choose are durable enough to withstand constant use, including secure bristles that won’t fall out after prolonged use. 

The brushes should also be easy to clean and maintain, which helps to ensure longevity. Remember that brushes are a long-term investment for consumers, so make sure they are getting the best quality for their money.

Bristle type

You could argue that a makeup brush’s bristles are the most important part of the brush, significantly impacting the user’s application and overall look. 

Bristles come in in two main types: natural and synthetic bristles. Natural bristles are made from animal hair, typically squirrel, goat, sable, or horse. They’re popular for their softness, which helps to perfectly blend and diffuse makeup products.

In contrast, consumers who are concerned about allergic reactions may want to opt for synthetic bristles. Usually made out of nylon or taklon, they’re popular for their affordability and durability, which is not to say that their effect can’t match that of natural bristles.

Avoid sets

Although it’s tempting to stock up on brush sets, most consumers opt for individual products instead, so they may not be the most profitable investment. Many consumers avoid sets because they believe that they contain brushes they won’t need during their makeup journey.

So, it’s safer to focus investing efforts on single brushes or pairs, which have a higher chance of catching your target audience’s attention. If sellers are looking to sell to younger, less experienced users, they’ll likely want to stock these brushes:

  • Foundation brushes
  • Contouring, blush, highlighter brushes
  • Eyeshadow brushes
  • Eyebrow brushes
  • Eyeliner brushes


Makeup brushes are an absolute must-have for consumers interested in cosmetics. However, the type of products they’ll need slightly depends on their experience level and type of look they want to achieve.

For example, professionals and makeup enthusiasts will want to stock as broad a range of tools as possible. Meanwhile, beginners or casual makeup lovers are more likely to buy a few key brushes and will avoid sets.

Regardless, makeup brushes are a profitable investment if done right. Follow the tips in this article to discover the best ones to purchase in 2024, and make sure to visit Alibaba.com for all your makeup brush sourcing needs.

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