There is an abundance of things you can (informally) learn from the internet, one of my favourites being the application of makeup. YouTube is riddled with beauty channels that feature the very best (and worst) in makeup products and utensils reviews, tailored to entertain, inform and influence the vastest of audiences.
Like any good student, I take pride in learning the tips and tricks offered by my favourite YouTubers, and I often find myself scrambling for what could easily be called “homework” in an attempt to perfect my newly found knowledge. But sometimes, it is not that simple. For the longest time, I have heard the term “kabuki brush” slide effortlessly from the lips of YouTubers, and even though visuals are provided, I have always thought of Kabuki to be a makeup brush brand, as opposed to a certain type of brush.
The word “kabuki” originates from Japan and refers to the classical form of dance theatre showcased since the 1600s. Kabuki theatre is popular for its elaborate and over the top performances, dominated by the ostentatious makeup worn by its cast members. Today, kabuki makeup brushes are used by makeup professionals to achieve a flawless, high definition makeup finish inspired by the looks seen in kabuki theatre. The softness and density of these makeup brushes promise easy and effective application of liquid and powder makeup products, and make them a must have for experts and novices alike. Kabuki brushes are generally large and come in various shapes tailored to achieve different, yet equally important aspects of a flawless face.
I was lucky enough to be gifted with a set of 10 good quality, non-branded makeup brushes this past Christmas, 5 of which are kabuki face brushes.
Flat Top Kabuki Brush
This is a dedicated liquid foundation and powder application brush. Its flat top ensures that all pores are evenly covered, leaving a smooth, radiant finish. The flat top garners the best results when used in circular motions.
Round Angled Kabuki Brush
Contouring is a makeup trend that isn’t going to fade anytime soon, and this brush will take your cream or powder contour to the next level. Its angled shape makes it perfect for creating a shadow illusion in the depths of your cheeks and on the sides of your nose.
Flat Angled Kabuki brush
Similarly to the flat top brush, the flat angled kabuki is great for applying foundation seamlessly. While the flat top brush has foundation application covered, the flat angled brush is mostly used to reach the less accessible points of your face, such as underneath your eyes and around your nose. This brush can be used to apply concealer for a precise contour and highlight as well.
Pointed Top Kabuki Brush
This multifaceted tool is easily the most versatile of the set. If you’ve ever heard a makeup artist emphasising the importance of blending your products in until they form a seamless finish, you will keep the pointed top kabuki in close reach. It is used to blend concealers and is fantastic as an overall powder brush, to set any cream products.
Round Top Kabuki Brush
This brush is also known as a powder brush and is a great tool for achieving a lasting pigment. The round top is predominantly used to apply blush, bronzer, and highlighter. Based on your preference, you could substitute the flat top with the round top as a foundation applicator.
A nice tip to remember when using any kabuki brush is to apply product only to the top of the brush, which is usually indicated by white bristles. This is where the brushes are the least dense and will ensure smooth application and blending of virtually any product.