My top seven must-have brushes

When it comes to makeup brushes, the vast array of choices can be quite overwhelming considering the amount of different brushes there are out there.  There’s not just one eyeshadow brush, there are flat shader brushes, large eye brushes, shorter-haired brushes, and so on.

I have a friend who has just started getting into makeup and when I looked at the brushes she had, it got me thinking about what I thought the essential brushes are that a person should have in their collection.  I have a number of brushes but I often reach for the same ones on a daily basis because either it gives me the look I am going for the best, or it’s the easiest and quickest way for flawless application.

Here are my recommendations for the best brushes for every area of your face.

Foundation: I don’t typically reach for an actual foundation brush that often.  Instead, I will grab my ELF Studio flat top powder brush as I find it gives me better, more even coverage on my face.  With a traditional foundation brush, I find that I use up more product this way, whereas, with a flat top brush, I will stipple the foundation on my face then blend it in.

Powder: This brush should be large and fluffy.  I would recommend a Kabuki brush or a large powder brush. The one I use on a daily basis is the Bare Minerals Full Flawless Application Face Brush.

Cheeks: There are a variety of different blush brushes out there, but the ones I recommend are of the fluffy variety.  The fuller and rounder the brush is, the better.  I have a few that are more rectangle in shape, but I find those don’t really do much for me.  I love a blush brush that will deposit the colour on my cheeks perfectly; with a flatter, rectangular brush, I find I have to work with the product more to get a better application.

Contour: There are contour brushes out there and I do own a few, but you can actually pull a double whammy with an angled brush.  I have the It Cosmetics Radiance Brush which I always use with highlighting powder, however, the shade of the brush is perfect for applying bronzer to the hollows of my cheekbones and temples for that contoured look.

Eyeshadow: There are a number of eyeshadow brushes out there in a variety of different sizes, however, if you are just starting out I would recommend a medium to large brush that is fluffy (so it applies the product easier).  I use all my eyeshadow brushes on a daily basis because it depends on what kind of look I am going for, however, if you had to get one brush, I would just stick to a basic eyeshadow brush.  Mine is by Quo, which is available at Shopper’s Drug Mart.

Crease: This may be the most important brush you can buy.  When it comes to the crease area, this brush should be tall and fluffy as it is blending the colour on your lids.  This brush seriously makes all the difference.  The one I have is the Inglot 6SS, which is similar to MAC’s version but not as expensive.  Quo also has one but it’s more pointed at the end.  I would go for one similar to MACs or Inglots; it should be rounded at the top.

Eyeliner: This one is pretty straight forward.  The brush should be dense and have an angle.  Now with that being said, I tend to gravitate more towards a rounder eyeliner brush because I’ll use this on my lower lash line and it creates a more smoky effect.  I typically use eyeliner on my upper lash line so I don’t often reach for my eyeliner brush, however, it’s a good brush to have. I would recommend picking up a dual-ended brush with the traditional liner brush on one end and then a rounded one on the other.  I have one from Sephora, which is unfortunately discontinued, but they do carry a similar option.

Those are my top seven choices for brushes if you are just starting out your brush collection.  My collection actually started a few years back when I got a Quo brush set for the holidays.  I still use all those brushes to this day.  The holiday season is great for brushes because lots of brands and stores offer up some great options.  One thing to note about sets though: sometimes brands will diminish the quality of the brushes in order to offer their products at a great price.  I have heard this is the case with MAC brush sets (although if you ask a MAC employee, they will say it’s the same quality).

I believe that you don’t always have to splurge when it comes to brushes.  Tons of inexpensive brands offer up some good options.  I, personally, do not own a single MAC brush.  Why?  Because they are so expensive.  You can find a similar quality brush, for a fraction of the price, at either Sephora or Inglot (where apparently they are made in the same factory as MAC).  When it comes to brushes your best bet would be to feel the brush first.  It should feel soft, not synthetic or harsh.  I personally like animal hair brushes, however, I understand that they are not for everyone.  Tons of brands make great synthetic options, and I have a few brushes myself where you couldn’t even tell the difference.

What are your top makeup brushes?  Leave me a comment below.

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