And finally we come to the last type of brush I'm featuring: lip brushes. Maybe they're not necessary, but I love lip brushes. I think they blend lipstick much better than applying from the bullet and they give me a finish I personally prefer. So, with no further ado, I present lip brushes.
Square Lip Brushes
This is an old Cargo synthetic lip brush. A square lip brush has a flat end and flat sides and all the bristles are the same length. This makes it a good lip brush for beginners or the less-coordinated, as well as those who want a very defined lip line.
I don't love this style as a blender, however. It isn't great for softening lip liner, or creating an ombre effect, as the blunt end tends to move everything around equally. It's also not the best shape for small lips. It is, however, one of my favorites for applying a dense, opaque layer of lip color, especially a dense matte or a sticky gloss.
Pointed Lip Brush
These pointed lip brushes, one synthetic Japonesque and one "sable" from a beauty supply store. These style brushes are great for lining the lips, either with the lipstick itself, or to blend pencil liner. It's also good for ombre lips. This is a great brush for smaller lips; for medium to large lips, it can create streaks (and takes forever!).
The tapered tip allows for definition, but a bit more softness than the blunt tipped brush above. If you're into very elaborate or detailed lips, then this is a good brush to have. It's also good for something like OCC Lip Tars, where you want precision and a tiny amount of product.
Rounded Lip Brush
The rounded lip brush, here a weasel Hakuhodo, a synthetic Japonesque, and two natural bristled Royal and Langnickels, combines the best features of the two above and is my choice for an all-around lip brush. It's similar in shape to a flat eye shader brush, only smaller, and I've certainly used a small eye shadow brush in a pinch. This brush is good for laying down lip color as well as blending harsh edges. The line isn't as crisp as can be achieved by the two above.
The rounded lip brush works great for creamy lip products, and for working matte lipsticks into the lips, creating a stain (my favorite!). It gives a smooth application, so it's best for finicky products that might streak, like pale colors or very creamy products. The brush on the far left, a Royal and Langnickel Silk lip, is rounder, squatter, and shorter than the rest, making it especially good for applying lip color to very full lips, or to the bottom lip.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Lip brushes make lip colors last longer. They also make them look better (okay, that's just my opinion, but I can hate a lipstick applied from the bullet and love it with a lip brush), and they're a must for intricate looks and finicky products. I love my rounded lip brushes most of all, as they give me control and fewer streaks (especially on my fuller bottom lip), and allow me to work lip colors into the lips for a stained effect.
Cons: Lipsticks can be applied from the bullet, and glosses often come with doe foot applicators and brushes, so a lip brush might not be a top priority. They're one of those things that make your application better, but they're not necessary.
The brushes featured in this post are: Cargo Lip Brush 13 (which appears to be discontinued, though their website describes the covered lip brush as the same), Japonesque No. 802 Lip Brush Travel (which also appears to be discontinued), a brush I've had so long the brand rubbed off, Hakuhodo Kokutan Lip Brush RS, Japonesque lip brush from the Touch up Tube Brush set, Royal and Langnickel Silk Lip Brush, Royal and Langnickel Master Pro Lip Brush. All were purchased and I received no compensation for including them.