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Kabuki Brush vs Powder Brush: which brush should you use?

The world of makeup brushes can be overwhelming, especially when two tools seem to have similar purposes. The kabuki brush and powder brush are both fantastic for applying powder products, but they have distinct characteristics that cater to different needs. Kabuki brush vs. powder brush. What’s the difference between them? And which one should you use for a flawless finish? Let’s break it down.

What is a Kabuki Brush?

A kabuki brush is a short, dense brush with a rounded top made of tightly packed bristles. Originally used in Japanese Kabuki theater for stage makeup, it’s now a staple in many makeup artists’ kits. The plush, domed shape allows for buildable coverage and seamless product blending.

Kabuki Brush

Types of Kabuki Brushes and its uses

Kabuki brushes have evolved over time, and now you can find various shapes to suit your beauty needs:

  1. Round Kabuki Brush: Ideal for setting your makeup with a setting powder. Dip the brush into your favorite setting powder and lightly dust it all over your skin for a long-lasting look.
  2. Angled Kabuki Brush: Perfect for contouring. Use it with powder contour products to sculpt your cheekbones, nose, and temples precisely.
  3. Dome Kabuki Brush: Smaller than the traditional kabuki, this brush is great for applying highlighter, blush, and bronzer. Simply dip it into your compact and brush on your powder for a radiant finish.
  4. Flat Kabuki Brush: Although not mentioned earlier, the flat kabuki brush is another popular type. It’s excellent for liquid foundation application. Use it to blend your foundation evenly across your face.
Kabuki Brush For Powder Foundation

In summary, the Kabuki brush is amazing at applying powder and its dense bristles make it simple to get a dramatic effect. And it started to multitask more while using various shapes.

What is a Powder Brush?

A powder brush has a larger, rounded head made of soft, fluffy bristles. This full, domed shape makes it ideal for dusting and sweeping powder products all over the face.


The powder brush typically features fluffy, less dense bristles compared to the kabuki brush. This characteristic makes it ideal for:

  • Sheer to Medium Coverage: Powder brushes are perfect for applying loose powders and setting makeup with a light touch, offering sheer to medium coverage.
  • Delicate Application: The fluffy bristles are gentle on the skin, making them suitable for applying products to sensitive areas like the under-eye area.
  • Dusting Off Excess Powder: The light, airy nature of the brush makes it perfect for dusting off excess powder after applying foundation or concealer.

Kabuki Brush vs Powder Brush So which brush should you use?

It really depends on the powder product and the type of coverage you want.

Use a kabuki brush when:

  • You want a full, flawless coverage look using powder foundations or setting powders
  • You need to build intense pigment payoff from powder blushes, bronzers or highlighters
  • You want to press powder products into the skin for longer wear

Use a powder brush when:

  • You’re lightly setting makeup with a sheer powder veil
  • You prefer a softer, diffused powder application
  • You want to dust away excess baked powder for a natural finish

Embrace the Versatility:

Remember, there’s no single “right” answer! Many makeup enthusiasts incorporate both kabuki and powder brushes into their routine for a variety of applications. Experiment and discover which brush (or combination) helps you achieve your dream makeup look.

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