When I started using makeup, sponge tip applicators were the extent of my makeup brush knowledge, however my curiosity for makeup soon had me ditching the sponges and spending all my money on every brush I could get my hands on. So I have created a list of brushes that will cover you for all your makeup needs. I have my recommendations of each type of brush in brackets (please note that the photo may not always match the recommendation)
Blending brush– (MAC 217)
As you can probably work out this is a brush I like to use to blend out eyeshadow. It can also be used to apply eyeshadow however this will most likely result in fall out (eyeshadow falling under the eyes) and will give more of a wash of colour on the lids.
Crease brush– Louise Young LY38
These brushes are like a miniature version of a blending brush, usually tapered, they are perfect for creating cut creases and for general precision work in the crease.
Flat shader brush
One of the absolute essentials. A good flat shader brush will be quite stiff and won’t have a lot of give. This brush is perfect for apply eyeshadow onto the eyelids, it prevents fall out and you can use the tip of the brush for eyeshadow application under the eyes and on the lashline.
This is such a multi-purpose brush. It should have a thin width, be soft and have a little give in the bristles. These brushes are great for: filling in eyebrows, eyeliner and even applying eyeshadow in smaller areas such as the top and bottom lashline
Pretty self-explanatory I would say that this brush is not an essential for beginners as the angle brush is usually easier when first starting out with liquid, gel or cake liners.
Again a self-explanatory brush. A good contouring brush will be small, fluffy and have an a slight angle to it. When contouring it is easiest to make a fishy face and follow the contour below your cheekbone using a colour that is only two shades darker than your face powder with a cool undertone.
Blush/ Powder brush
There are so many of these! They come in all shapes and sizes and materials. My advice for buying a powder brush is to go with one that is a) really soft and b) is no bigger than your cheek when the bristles are splayed out. This will make it easier to control where the powder is going. My favourite ones are duo fiber stippling brushes.
Dense Foundation brush- (Sigma Round Kabuki Brush)
Okay these brushes are not essential if you prefer to just work with your hands, but boy, these are my life saver. They give you a better coverage than a standard flat foundation brush but you can really work in into the skin giving a flawless finish. The only downside to these brushes is that they tend to suck up a lot of product so to minimize this effect I generally apply my moisturiser with them.
For newbies to makeup I don’t think you need all these brushes. I would say you need a:
– blending brush
– powder brush (go with a duo fiber stippling brush so that you can use it for contouring, blush and powder)
– flat shader brush
– angle brush
That should be plenty to learn with. I would also say that if you can get your hands on a generic brand Beauty Blender then that would be great for foundation or your hands usually gives the most natural finish.
There are a few brands that I highly recommend when it comes to brushes. (I have only included brands that have reasonable pricing because this is a post on starting a set)
Real Technique brushes