Guide to Makeup Applicators


Applicators -- both puffs and sponges -- come in different sizes and textures.
Applicators -- both puffs and sponges -- come in different sizes and textures.
Mark Weiss/The Image Bank/Getty Images

For quick makeup jobs, 10 different tools might be overkill. You can probably get away with three or four, push comes to shove. Still, as makeup artists will tell you, ideal application does require the ideal tool. A one-applicator-fits-all approach is often not the one that's going to earn you the very best results.

Applicators come in wide variety of sizes, shapes and textures. Brushes, which you can count by the dozens, are really a category unto themselves; "applicators" most often refers to sponges and puffs. Even in that group, though, there are so many types it can be tough to figure out what's essential, what's extra and how to match them up with the cosmetics you have at home.

Here, a guide to the ones you probably see on store shelves all the time -- and leave them there because, really, what would your face need a triangle for?

A few things, actually. But first, let's identify that stuff you see on the shelves ...

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