Most beauty addicts shop with a ‘want’ mentality, rather than ‘need.’ I obviously do not need fifteen different shades of nude lipsticks in varying finishes and under-tones, but you better believe I’ll keep buying them. The same goes for makeup brushes: you can have a collection bristling with an abundance of brushes, and if that’s what makes you happy, all the more power to you…but you truly need only a few must-haves to create a standard look. How many of those brushes do you actually use every day? Keep reading for the absolutely essential types of makeup brushes; you can always build up your collection from there. Whether you’re a beauty beginner, on a budget or just don’t have enough space on your vanity, check out the basic brush musts!
Foundation Brush: A foundation brush – fluffy, flat-topped and short – is ideal for stippling and blending in liquid foundation all over your face. Using the right brush for foundation is so important. If you use something that’s not intended for liquid foundations, the application can appear blotchy. MAC’s 130 Short Duo Fibre Brush will ensure a smooth finish with an almost-airbrushed effect. Multi-tasking tip: you can also using a stippling foundation brush to apply cream blush flawlessly.
Concealer Brush: A concealer brush is designed to seamlessly blend in concealer over spots and blemishes, as well as the under-eye area. It allows you to really get into the small nooks and crannies of your face that would be harder to reach otherwise. The small, precise and tapered brush head of Sigma’s F70 allows for maximum control and coverage. While many people use a fan brush to apply highlighter, I like to use my concealer brush to apply powder highlighter. It’s the perfect size and dispenses just the right amount of product.
Powder Brush: A large, fluffy powder brush is perfect for applying a light dusting of bronzer or powder to your face. Since the bristles aren’t super dense, you will never look cake-y or apply too much product. A good powder brush allows you to build up the product on your face, so you can gradually achieve your desired look. Eco Tools Bamboo Powder Brush has synthetic, cruelty-free bristles, and the brush handle is made from natural and recycled materials. Plus, the line is refreshingly affordable – this brush is under $10.
Kabuki Brush: I don’t know what I would do without my ELF Kabuki Face Brush. A kabuki brush is a jack-of-all-trades type of brush: you can use it to apply powder, bronzer, blush and highlighter. Personally, I like using it to apply bronzer – the full, dense bristles allow for maximum bronze impact, which I’m always going for…aka the JLo Glow effect! A kabuki is the perfect brush to throw into your travel bag, especially if you’re aiming to pack ultra-light. It’s truly a multi-tasking wonder.
Blush Brush: I received the Luxie Beauty 504 Brush in my Ipsy bag one month, and it’s now my go-to blush brush! Angled blush brushes allow for flawless and precise application of powder blush, and the shape can also double as a contouring brush. Since the bristles are fluffy, rather than dense, you can build up the product – you’ll never step out of the house resembling a clown!
BeautyBlender: It’s not technically a brush, but I obviously had to mention it. If you use liquid or cream products regularly, I don’t think I need to tell you about this miracle product – liquids and the BeautyBlender essentially go hand-in-hand. Don’t even think about cream contouring without one. At one point, just a makeup artist staple, this cult product is now a mainstream favorite. The sponge applicator leaves your face with the most beautiful, seamless, natural finish…no streaks in sight! You can use a BeautyBlender (which you have to use wet, just like a sponge) for everything from applying primer to foundation to cream blush.
Eyeshadow Brush: A small and stiff eyeshadow brush, like the Sephora Classic Must Have Powder Shadow Brush #60, is perfect for applying all-over color onto your lids. The densely-packed bristles allow you to deposit maximum product and get the most vivid pigmentation possible. You can use a classic shadow brush for powder and cream eyeshadows. Use the edge of the brush to dispense shadow in the crease too.
Blending Shadow Brush: After you place your eyeshadow on your eyes, the next step is to blend, blend, blend! Blending is so important for a flawless look, so it’s wise to invest in a great blending brush. MAC’s 217 Brush is a cult classic for a reason. The fluffy, oval-shaped brush allows for precise blending. You can really get into the crease and blend out any harsh edges. Perfect for creating a smoky look. You can use a blending brush on both powder and cream products.
Pencil Brush: A pencil brush is perfect for dispensing a very precise and small amount of product. Use it when applying a dark color into the crease or outer-V of your eye, applying a light color to the inner corner or when adding shadow to your lower lash line. Sigma E30’s soft and tapered bristles make smudging pencil and shadow a breeze.
Angled Liner Brush: A small angled brush, like the Japonesque Professional Angled Eyeliner Brush, can be used with both gel eyeliner and brow products. For gel liner, using an angled brush allows for maximum control – in my opinion, it’s the best way to get a sharp and flawless wing. As for brows, use the brush to fill in with both powder and pomade. Due to the short bristles, you can mimic your brow hairs precisely, so your brows will look both full and natural.
Many brush brands offer bundles or sets including the core must-have brushes, so you don’t have to purchase each one individually. If you’re interested, some great sets include Sephora’s Tools of the Trade Set, BH Cosmetics’ Sculpt and Blend 2 and Real Techniques’ Core Collection.
Are there any other makeup brushes you would consider essentials? Let us know in the comments below and on PAMPADOUR!
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