Makeup » How to Use a Lip Brush Effectively

How to Use a Lip Brush Effectively

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  • There are rounded and tapered, flat and square, retractable, and disposable lip brush types to choose from.
  • Lip brushes with shorter bristles give better control over the application, and while softer ones are great for lip gloss application, the ones with firm bristles work well with matte lipsticks.
  • Lipstick brushes are perfect for lining precisely, getting the right saturation, and blending different colors for an ombre look.

If you’re a lipstick aficionado, you are probably familiar with the concept of a lipstick brush. But if you aren’t, or if you’ve never used one before, you might not realize just what a difference they can make in your lipstick application! Below, learn all the benefits of using a lip brush, as well as the best methods of applying lipstick with a brush.

In this article:

Lip Brush Benefits

You may ask yourself, why do I need a lip brush in the first place? Isn’t it just one more makeup brush to add to your collection? Can’t I apply straight from the tube/ bullet? While these are all excellent points, here are three reasons why you should add a lipstick brush to your arsenal.


If you don’t have a lip liner handy, a lipstick brush is your next best option. Using a lip brush will allow you to have more control, resulting in a more precise application of your product. Using a brush will also give you more control if you are applying lipstick to another person!

Custom Color

If you are combining two colors to create a custom look, you should 100% use a lipstick brush. Utilizing a lip brush in this instance, you won’t risk mixing the original colors in their packaging and altering their colors. And, since you are using fewer layers of product, your lipstick may last longer when applied with a brush.


While some choose to skip lip liner entirely, if you want to give your lips that perfect outline, then a separate lip liner is what you need. Using a lip brush in your product application can easily blend your lip color and liner, ensuring that the liner does not look too harsh.

How to Use a Lipstick Brush

How to Use a Lipstick Brush

To use your lip brush with a lip liner:

  • Line your natural lip line with a pencil close to the shade of the lip product that you’ll be applying.
  • Use your lip brush to buff out the edges of the liner, so it will easily blend with your product and not stand out too harshly.

To effectively use your lip brush for applying lipstick, follow these steps:

  • Most importantly, make sure your lipstick brush is clean – especially if you used a drastically different color beforehand. We’ll touch on cleaning more in just a moment.
  • After choosing your product, pick up a small amount of product on your brush. You can always go back in for more product with a second application.
  • Starting from the center of your lips, gently blend your product outward until you meet your lip line, beginning with your top lip and repeating the process on the bottom.
  • To finish up with sharp, clean lines, use the brush’s tip to outline your cupid’s bow and the corners of your mouth.
  • Repeat these steps as necessary to achieve your desired color saturation. 

How to Clean Your Lipstick Brushes for a Longer Shelf Life

If you want to ensure you get the most mileage out of your lip brush (you can also apply this practice to other brushes in your collection), here are the steps you should take to clean it:

How to Choose the Best Lip Brush
  • Gently wash the bristles of your lip brush after each use. You can use hand soap and warm water, or use a makeup brush cleaner, like this one from Sephora. For an effective cleanser that you may already have, Dawn dish soap will give your brushes a deep clean.
  • After you’ve rinsed your brush of soap, reshape any bristles that are out of place.
  • Let your brush dry completely.
  • Be sure to store your lip brush in a clean area. A makeup bag that you can zip closed is the best choice for avoiding germs.
  • Replace your lip brush (and any other makeup brush) when you notice the bristles beginning to fray. Fraying is a sign that it’s time for a new one!

Whether you’ve been using a lipstick brush for years or are utterly new to the idea, following these methods will increase the longevity and effectiveness of whatever brush you choose!

Photos via @allisondepmuah, Instagram