If there is one thing that will make or break your make up routing it’s a nice set of brushes. A good brush can make the difference between shoddy application and great application. It’s the difference between a smokey eye and a panda look or the difference between a natural flawless face and pancake. Now contrary to belief, a good brush does not have to break the bank, nor do you need 500 of them to create a great look. You only need 10 and I have an option for each brush I think you cannot live without.
These are my 10 must have make up brushes. They range from eye to face brushes and I’ve made it a 50/50 split. So there are 5 brushes I use for the eye and 5 that I use for the face. Not all of these brushes I use for what it is supposed to do: some brushes are true multi-taskers or simply work better for different uses.
Angled liner brush (HEMA)
A small angled brush serves multiple purposes. You can use this for eyeliner both gel, liquid or eye shadow, but it also works great for the brows. I have had this dinky HEMA brush for years and it holds up nicely. It was also very cheap as HEMA brushes do not retail for more than 3 euros or so, unless you’re buying a face brush.
Sigma E30 Pencil brush
Sigma used to be a lot more affordable than it is nowadays, but I have a few of their brushes that I love. If you are looking for cheaper option, then Zoeva do some nice brushes that are very comparable, but half the price or even less. I’d say get yourself a small and a large pencil brush. Pencil brushes are great for doing more detailed work: highlighters in inner corners, applying shadow to the lower lash line or smudging out eyeliner. A pencil brush can do it all.
Zoeva Petit Crease brush
This Petit Crease brush is a fluffier, thicker version of the pencil brush above. I love using this in the crease and outer V, but also for a more smokey lower lash line look. It also works for applying a brow bone highlight and if you want to apply your face highlight super precise, a brush like this can do that job for you.
Zoeva Luxe Defined Crease brush
A splayed out fluffy brush, such as this Zoeva brush, is one of my favorite blending brushes or for doing a sheer eye shadow application. It also works wonders for blending out any shadow you may have applied to your crease, as well as using for a blending shade that transitions your crease shade to your highlight. The result is always a lightly diffused look, but without any eye shadow blended away.
Sigma Eye Shading E55 brush
The E55 is one of those brushes that is a must have no matter what brand you buy it from. A flat eye shadow brush like this one is simply a must have. I only really use it for applying shadow all over the lid, but especially if you wish to wear multiple colors, the fact that you can simply flip this brush over to apply one shade and the next, makes this a very practical and versatile brush.
Real Techniques Deluxe Crease brush
Now don’t think that you necessarily have to do with a brush what it says on the tin. This Deluxe Crease brush by Real Techniques does next to nothing for my crease, but it works magic when I use it with liquid or cream concealer. It’s a tiny domed brush that makes it easy to blend out concealer and pat it into the skin. I haven’t found a brush quite like this. The only downside is that this is only available as part of a set, but the other brushes in the set are also useful, so at least your money won’t go to waste.
Zoeva Luxe Highlight brush
A tiny domed fluffy face brush like this can be used for several things: bronzer, contour, blush and of course highlight. I personally use this mostly for a face powder highlight on my cheeks and nose, but it is also a nice blending brush for other face products. Due to its size it fits my face rather nicely and I find it easy to be precise enough with this without needing to blend the products out too much. In other words: it’s quick and easy.
Real Techniques Blush brush
I own and use many different blush brushes. I have one for cream blush, one for very pigmented blush (hello there, Sleek), one for sheer blushes, one for a sheerer application and one that applies it more full on. But this one is my favorite: my standard go to blush brush. It is large and fluffy and super soft. It is one of the very few RT brushes that is sold individually, and as far as I remember this is quite affordable for a face brush.
Sigma Round Kabuki F82 brush
To apply foundation, you don’t necessarily need a brush. You can use your fingers or a make up sponge if you’d like and that can work just as fine depending on what foundation you are using. But my go to is this round kabuki brush. It is dense, but buffs in the foundation very nicely. It is not too big meaning you can easily apply the product to those more difficult to reach areas around the nose. Real Techniques do something similar (but it’s fluffier) as well as ELF (but that is flat I believe) and both aren’t too expensive if you feel Sigma is a step too high for you.
Sigma Tapered Face F25 brush
Again, a powder brush doesn’t have to break the bank, but you do need one to set your make up and make it last. This one by Sigma is my go to, because the tapered shape make it easy to apply powder to the under eye area and around the nose. It is perfect for a more targeted powder application, but cheaper alternatives are just as good. I currently use a powder brush by Target brand Up & Up to apply bronzer that I love and that I can see being used for powder. But ELF as well as Eco Tools have some nice face brushes that don’t break the bank.
What brushes do you recommend?