Can You Use Paint Brushes as Makeup Brushes?

Can you use paint brushes as makeup brushes? We’ve all been there. You’re in a hurry to do your makeup and you’re looking for your favorite makeup brush, but you can’t find it anywhere. You don’t have time to get another one, and you don’t have time to keep looking for it. What do you do? If you’ve ever considered rummaging through your old boxes of art supplies and using a paint brush as a makeup brush, you’re on the right track.

Paint brushes can certainly be used as a stand-in for makeup brushes, especially if you’re in a hurry or need some variety in your makeup brush selection. While they’re not specifically designed for makeup, they can get the job done, and they can do it well. Paint brushes already deal with oils and applying products smoothly, so why not use them on your face?

However, you shouldn’t just grab any old paint brush to use on your face. In addition to making sure it’s clean, size, shape, and the type of bristles matter too. But don’t worry, I will show you everything you need to know about using paint brushes as makeup brushes and the best tips and tricks for including them in your makeup routine.

Difference Between Makeup Brushes and Paint Brushes?

When you think of makeup brushes and paint brushes, you think of the obvious differences. Paint brushes are used on canvases, interact with a variety of art supplies and tools, and are used to create masterpieces on paper. However, makeup brushes aren’t too different. They’re mainly used on skin, for a variety of makeup and beauty related purposes, and can work wonders when it comes to makeup application.

Both paint brushes and makeup brushes come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, types of bristles, and uses, so it’s important to know which brush is best for what you’re looking to apply and the look you’re trying to get. While they do have slight differences, they function and are built similarly. This makes them easy to swap out for one another no matter what kind of makeup look you’re going for!

Below is a guide to what brushes go with what makeup uses. Let’s take a closer look.

Can We Use Paint Brushes for Eye Makeup?

Can You Use Paint Brushes as Makeup Brushes

If you’ve ever wondered whether you can use paint brushes for eye makeup, the answer is yes, you can! Eye makeup generally calls for a smaller brush that can not only fit in the smaller areas around your eye but can accurately apply eyeshadow, eyeliner, highlighter, etc.

For eye makeup, here are a few brushes you can use. A tapered brush is an excellent tool for applying eyeliner or for smaller lines and designs. If you want to apply a distinctive line to your eyes, use the edge of a tapered brush. For general eyeshadow purposes, angled brushes come in handy. These come with an angled edge that can be helpful when applying eyeshadow in a certain area of the eye. You can also use a small round brush for applying eyeshadow.

If you want to add glitter on your eyes, in the corners of your eyes, or around your eyes, use a fan brush or an angled brush as well. These brushes will help you stay accurate when applying glitter and give you that look you’re going for.

Can I Use a Paint Brush to Apply a Face Mask?

Paint brushes can apply makeup, but can they be used to apply a face mask? The answer is yes! Some liquid face masks, charcoal masks, or even homemade DIY face masks can be applied with a paint brush. Choose a square or rectangular flat paint brush and use one side to smooth the mask on your face.

It’s also important to make sure that the paint brush is clean. If you’re using an old or dirty paint brush to apply makeup, eyeshadow, or a face mask to your face, it’s likely that you’ll only end up transferring unwanted oils to your skin. This can lead to unwanted acne or lead to skin discomfort and irritation. Your paint brush might not be able to hold product too well if dirty as well. Be sure your brushes are clean for the best results!

Can You Use Paint Brushes for Eye Shadow?


Since you can use paint brushes for eye makeup, you can also use paint brushes for eye shadow! Stick to smaller brushes so you can accurately apply eye shadow to your eye lids and smaller areas. A short paint brush, a round paint brush, or an angled brush are excellent paint brush options that can help you apply eye shadow.

When choosing a paint brush for eye shadow, it’s important that it’s not too small. You want to be able to use large sweeping motions to apply eye shadow. However, using a tiny line brush that won’t cover your whole eyelid.

Can we Use a Paint Brush for Eye Makeup Remover?

Since you can use a paint brush for eye makeup, face makeup, and face masks, you may be wondering whether you can use a paint brush for applying eye makeup remover. While it’s possible, there are a few convincing reasons why you shouldn’t do this.

First, a paint brush isn’t so great at holding liquid materials. While paint tends to be thick and has substance because of the color content, makeup remover is usually completely liquified. This means it won’t hold in a makeup brush as well as other makeup creams and powders do.

The chemicals in makeup remover can also damage the bristles of a paint brush and cause them to fall out more easily or break. Especially if you’re using a paint brush with natural bristles, the chemicals in makeup remover can seriously harm the bristles.

Instead of using a paint brush to apply makeup remover, opt for cotton applicators or makeup remover wipes. These will hold more remover, help reduce waste of your makeup removing product and be more effective at actually removing makeup. Cotton balls, cotton Q-Tips, and even cotton pads are excellent tools when it comes to getting makeup off.

Best Types of Makeup Brushes

While using paint brushes for face and eye makeup can be useful, there’s no reason you shouldn’t use makeup brushes. Here are some of the best types of makeup brushes to use!

  1. Natural Brushes
13 Bamboo Makeup Brushes Professional Set - Vegan & Cruelty Free - Foundation, Blending, Blush, Powder Kabuki Brushes.
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Every type of makeup brush has a specific type of bristles. Some come with synthetic bristles, while others come with natural bristles. Natural bristles work best with power products, such as powder foundation, powder blush, powder eye shadow, and powder concealer. This is because natural products tend to soak up a lot of liquid products.

  1. Synthetic Brushes
BESTOPE Makeup Brushes 20 PCs Makeup Brush Set Premium Synthetic Contour Concealers Foundation Powder Eye Shadows Makeup Brushes with Champagne Gold Conical Handle
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Synthetic brushes have mad-made bristles that are typically polyester, nylon, or other synthetic material. These brushes don’t soak up products as natural brushes do. For this reason, they’re an excellent choice for liquid makeup products. Whether you’re applying liquid foundation, liquid blush, a liquid or cream concealer, or even liquid lipstick, a synthetic brush is the best choice.

  1. Brush Shapes and Sizes

It’s also important to choose the right brush shapes and sizes for the different types of makeup you’re applying. Here is a brief guide!

  • Makeup Foundation Brushes: These are typically larger than other brushes and rounded. This is so they can pick up a good amount of product and spread it evenly across your skin. Some foundation brushes have a flat top, while others are a little more textured. These brushes have flexible bristles so you can maneuver them for a smooth finish.
Flat Top Kabuki Foundation Brush By KESHIMA - Premium Makeup Brush for Liquid, Cream, and Powder - Buffing, Blending, and Face Brush
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  • Makeup Concealer Brushes: These are typically a bit smaller than foundation brushes since this product doesn’t need to cover your entire face. With a rounded or angled tip, these brushes are able to dab product underneath your eyes or around blemishes and blend them in seamlessly.
EcoTools Ultimate Concealer Makeup Brush Set, Cover & Blend Imperfections, 3 Brush Heads
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  • Makeup Powder and Blush Brushes: These are larger but have a rounded tip instead of a flat tip like a foundation brush does. This is so you can get some shape with your product and apply the product lightly.

EcoTools Travel Kabuki Makeup Brush for Foundation, Blush, Bronzer, and Powder, Retractable

  • Angled Makeup Brushes: These are excellent options for contour and bronzer, as they will help you apply product to the curves of your facial features, accentuating and adding dimension to your face.
Eyeliner Brush Fine Angled - PRO Precision Gel Eye Liner Makeup Brush -Ultra Thin Slanted Flat Angle - Premium Quality - Cruelty Free Synthetic Bristles (Fine Angled Eyeliner Brush)
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  • Smaller Makeup Brushes: These are used for eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara application. These come in different shapes, angles, and sizes, but as long as it’s small enough to apply the product precisely, you’ll be able to apply eye shadow like a pro.
MSQ Eye Makeup Brushes 12pcs Rose Gold Eyeshadow Makeup Brushes Set with Soft Synthetic Hairs & Real Wood Handle for Eyeshadow, Eyebrow, Eyeliner, Blending(without bag)
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Paint brushes and makeup brushes share a lot of similarities and can be used interchangeably to a certain extent. Whether you’re in a pinch and need to use a paint brush for your makeup or want a new shape and angle you can’t find in the makeup store, a paint brush can work wonders. Simply be sure your paint brushes are clean, the right size, and the right type of bristles before starting.

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