Fact: unless you’re a makeup artist, you don’t actually need a whole suitcase of makeup brushes.
Sure, there’s a certain sense of satisfaction in knowing that you have a full collection of brushes in all shapes and sizes that you can use should the need arise. But for the record, you can do everything—from that dewy, barefaced look or that sultry, smoky eye—with just eight.
- A flat concealer brush
A lot of people prefer to apply concealer using their fingers. The warmth of your skin as you tap on certain areas of your face does help make the color blend better. But flat concealer brushes are allows you to pick and blend thick products into small areas with a lot of precision.
Gently pat concealer on under eye circles and blemishes then use the rounded edge to blend around the nooks.
- A flat round foundation brush
Foundation brushes come in angled, flat or domed tops. The easiest to work with are flat brushes, which can be used to apply both liquid or cream foundation. Start by applying foundation at the center of your face and sweep outward, moving towards your hairline, until you’re able to achieve a seamless finish.
- A fluffy face powder brush
When it comes to face powder application, a light dusting is all you really need. Others will swear by sponges, but that tends to cake on the powder on your face. Your go-to should really be a fluffy face powder brush with a lightly domed shape and very soft bristles.
- A loosely-bristled blush brush
The right blush brush can spell the difference between streaky cheeks and a flawless rosy glow. It’s all in the size—pick one that’s roughly the same shape as the apples of your cheeks, featuring a slightly domed shaped, with loose bristles. Super dense blush brushes (like kabuki brushes) tend to stamp a circle of color on your cheeks.
- A flat highlighter brush
The best highlighter brush lets you add a subtle shimmer onto your skin and at the same time blend the color seamlessly. Fluffy brushes won’t give you enough control to let you achieve this and will likely dust highlighter all over your skin. You want a medium sized, flat brush with firm bristles.
- An angled brow brush
Look for a brush with very firm bristles and a really narrow, angled edge. You want one that you can use to fill in sparse spots or draw lines with precision. With a finer edge, you’ll be able to achieve more natural-looking lines.
- A small eye shadow brush
Choose one with slightly firm, dense bristles with a rounded tip. This is essential for applying eye shadow in small spaces such as the arch of your brows or corner of your eyes, or smudging your liner to achieve a smoky, sultry look.
- A medium eye shadow brush
To apply eye shadow on your lids and brow bone, you need a brush that’s a little wider. Choose one that’s about the size of your fingernail, with fluffy, but dense bristles and a flat tip. The shape and density of the brush should allow you to easily apply and blend color on your lids.
One last thing...no matter how many brushes you own, remember, keeping your brushes clean is just as important as what kind you use.