The Essentials: The Best Makeup Brushes
As women, the way we feel about ourselves is deeply linked with the way we look. We wear nice clothes, beautiful hair and flawless makeup. Most of the times our face is the reflection of our inner beauty so we usually pay special attention to it.
Makeup is the best way to enhance our features and a well-done makeup needs quality utensils. Always try to invest in quality products that you use every day in your makeup routine. The makeup brushes are one of those products. It’s important to know the essential brushes you need every day and which of those are worth the money.
You might think you need twenty or thirty brushes to achieve that perfect makeup that everyone will envy and admire, but the truth is you really don’t need that many, unless of course you are a professional makeup artist and you make a living out of using those brushes. But if that’s not the case, you only need about seven makeup brushes in your set to achieve pretty much any look you desire.
1. Foundation Brush
The foundation brush is normally used for applying liquid or creamy foundation. A flawless face is essential, a base for every makeup, it’s the canvas of every look and style. So the quality of the foundation brush is important.
It has to be firm, with synthetic bristles or a mix of natural and synthetic. It can be flat and slightly rounded at the tip or it can be a stippling brush, a dense brush with a flat tip that can be used both for liquid and mineral foundation.
Because you use it every day and the liquid foundation sticks to the bristles, you have to wash the brush after every use to avoid any skin problems.
The Revlon Foundation Brush is a very popular brush because of its ease of use. Due to its flat shape, you can get a very good coverage with a small amount of product, also you can easily built up until you get the desired result. The result is a flawless face ready for the next step. It can also be used for applying primer or different treatments to the face.
2. Powder Brush
The powder brush is a must have in your makeup bag in my opinion. It’s used for applying powder and give a finished flawless look to your face.
The classic powder brush head is slightly rounded and is usually big and has thick bristles that cover larger areas of your skin. With fewer movements during the application of the powder or bronzer, the brush doesn’t leave any traces on the skin.
This brush is designed to cover large areas of the face and neck so it’s the biggest brush in your set. If you are a fan of powder I recommend getting one of these brushes instead of the typical powder sponge because it gives a more even distribution of the product.
There are powder brushes with a straight cut head or kabuki type brush ideal for mineral makeup. It all depends on your preference.
This type of brush is definitely a brush in which you want to invest because you use it every day on large skin areas. The cheap ones might look very similar but the bristles may be scratchy and uncomfortable when touching your skin.
The real Techniques Powder Brush is perfect for applying both powders and mineral foundation. The bristles on this brush are made of taklon, a synthetic material, it is very soft and allows you a precise application, going from a soft, delicate finish to a dense coverage.
A big advantage with this brush is the fact that it’s suitable for a wide range of products: powders, creams, liquids, mineral makeup, highlighter, and shimmer. So the versatility of this brush is an important factor to take in consideration.
3. Blush Brush / Contouring
As the name says this brush is designed for applying the blush on the cheekbone area. It’s usually smaller than the powder brush and the tip can be rounded or angled.
Because of its size and the shape, this brush can also be used for contouring the face and applying bronzer or shimmer to selected areas of the face (forehead, chin, cheeks etc.), creating a healthy glowing skin and giving depth to the shapes of the face.
The bristles must be a little firmer than the powder brush because the contouring needs to be precise.
The Sigma Powder/Blush – F10 is a must have for sculpting the cheekbones, and the truth is that the way the cheekbones are contoured usually makes the difference between a professional looking makeup and a not so good one.
The bristle design makes it easy to contour the face or to sculpt the cheekbones with great precision and little effort and also the bristles are firm enough to pick up the right amount of product, but also soft enough to feel comfortable on the skin.
4. Blending Brush
This brush can be used for both applying and mixing colors on the eyelid. You normally use at least two colors to the eyelid and this brush is very helpful, as makeup looks natural and doesn’t have a rigid lines if the colors are very well blended, a key aspect of quality makeup.
The blending brush can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes and it’s usually picked up according to the shape and size of the eyelid and our personal preferences. Its bristles are usually rounded and very soft, this makes it easy to mix the pigments well.
The MAC Blending Brush #217 is one of the most-loved brushes. It has dense and fine bristles, arranged in a perfect oval shape. Its size and shape are perfect not just for blending the colors, but also for applying the eyeshadow on the eyelid and on the crease.
It also can be used in both powder eyeshadow and creamy textures. The bristles are made up of natural white goat hair, soft and gentle to the eyelid. The white color might fade with time even if you wash it often, but the shedding of the bristles is minimal, and it is resistant to frequent washing.
5. Smudge Brush
The smudge brush can be found in a few different shapes and sizes. One type is very similar to the blending brush, with a rounded head but with shorter and firmer bristles, allowing both blending harsh colors and smudging.
Another type is the flat and slightly rounded smudge brush, ideal for smudging and even for applying makeup on the eyebrows or eyeshadow under the eye, on the lower lashes.
This brush is essential for creating the famous smoky eye look. It can be used for blending the kohl eyeliner or any heavy pigmented eyeshadow, giving that attractive ombre effect.
Choosing between the different shapes depends mostly on the personal preference and ease of use.
The Laura Mercier Smudge Brush is a natural brush with bristle made from a mix of pony and squirrel hair. The bristles are short and they form a rounded tip perfect for adding depth and getting a detailed finished look. This brush is very soft and dense giving the possibility of working with both powder and creamy eyeshadow. It can be used for smudging and blending colors with precision and minimal effort.
The Bobbi Brown Bobbi Brown Eye Smudge Brush is another good example of an amazing smudge brush. This brush has a tapered end and it’s perfect for creating a soft and modern smoky eye effect. It is perfect for smudging, applying and blending color on the crease. You can’t be very precise on the details created with this particular brush because of the shape, it’s best to use for creating softer looks.
6. Eyeliner Brush
The eyeliner brush is design for applying powder, creamy or gel eyeliner to the base of both upper and bottom eyelashes. In my opinion the lining of the eyes is the most important part of the eye makeup because many times you can get an amazing look just using eyeliner without complicated color mixing and blending eyeshadow. This type of brush is small, very thin and firm and comes in three shapes.
A thin square flat-shaped brush is used for creating a tight line, very close to the lashes giving a natural look. This brush works well with powder, cream or gel liners, avoiding liquid formulas that may be too runny for this particular type of brush.
The Laura Mercier Flat Eyeliner Brush is high quality brush with synthetic, firm bristles that allow a precise application.A bent liner brush is very thin and is the smallest brush in the set. The tip it’s almost needle-like and is slightly bended for an easy handling. This brush is ideal for beginners in the eye-lining art, because of the shape and size, it gives you the ability to create small lines and build up with thin strokes until you get the desired look. This brush can be used with any type of eyeliner.
The Pro Bent Liner Brush #23 from Sephora is designed with an angled ferrule making it easy to apply the product without getting your fingers in the way. The bristles are synthetic and allows using any type of liner.An angled eyeliner brush is the most versatile of them all. With this brush you can create basically any look, from a thin line to a dramatic cat’s eye. The shape of the brush allows control in creating the desired lines and works very well with any kind of eyeliner formulas. It can also be used for shaping the eyebrows, giving it a double use.
The 263 Small Angled Brush from M.A.C. is the best choice when buying an eyeliner brush. This brush is made from synthetic fibre and has a wood handle. It’s perfect for lining the eyes with any kind of eyeliner. It is also very useful in shading and shaping the eye and defining the eyebrows. You just can’t go wrong with a brush like this.
7. Lipstick Brush
The lipstick brush might seem kind of useless if you are not a professional makeup artist, but this brush is more important than you might think.
It’s very useful for layering the lipstick, this way you have control of the amount of product you use, and it also helps with getting those lips perfectly contoured. T
his brush has a double use as well, it is used for applying both lipstick and concealer to hide blemishes. It comes in many shapes and sizes, from a thin and pointy head to a flat rounded (or even square) tip.
Regardless of the shape, you have to choose a brush that you feel comfortable with, a soft delicate tip will give you precision.
The Body Shop Lipstick/Concealer Brush has a good shape and size, specially designed both for lipstick and concealer application. The flat and slightly rounded bristles are soft and gentle on the skin but at the same time firm in application.
It’s easy to use when painting a perfect lip, allowing you to add the amount of product you need for the look and even creating shades to the lips, giving more volume. When applying concealer just dab onto blemishes and imperfections and blend until you get the desired effect.
Caring for your brushes
Once you invest in these top quality brushes and make your own set containing the brushes that you need and use every day, you must take care of them. Makeup brushes are touching your face so the hygiene is important. In order to avoid different skin problems like blemishes you have to pay special attention to washing your brushes at least once a week.
The Purifying Brush Shampoo from Sephora (PLEASE BUY IT FROM SEPHORA, AS IT’S MUCH CHEAPER THAN ON AMAZON) is a makeup brush cleanser that prevent buildup on your tools and removes any bacteria that might exist. It also helps prolong the life of your brushes because of its gentle and efficient action. You only need a small squirt to clean each brush, once a week, except the foundation brush which is recommended that you wash after every use.
One final note: if you found these brush reviews helpful and are considering buying one or more, please click any Amazon link in this post. We will get a small commission if you do this, and would really appreciate it. If not, there is no problem and we still hope you will get the best item for you!