The Only Makeup Brushes You Need
Let’s put "need" in quotations shall we?! Because we don’t need makeup or makeup brushes for that matter - but it’s fun! I love playing with makeup but I do keep a minimal makeup bag because expiry dates are a thing and I only have one face. I don't like using a ton of product because I want my makeup looks to be natural while enhancing my features.
Depending on the products you use, you might want to tailor this list to suit you and your makeup routine! For example, if you’re using a lot of cream products, you may want to opt out of blush or bronzer brushes because you can just use your fingers! I’m a big advocate for using your fingers to blend in products because I think the warmth of applying product with your hands helps to blend it seamlessly into the skin.
Also! In terms of where to buy brushes, that really depends on your budget! There are amazing inexpensive brushes and amazing super expensive brushes! It all depends on what you want. For more budget options I like Elf brushes, Real Techniques and random brushes you find at winners (like Eco Tools). For more expensive brushes, I really enjoy using Bobbi Brown (which is where most of my brushes are from - a lot were gifted to me from my lovely older sister!). When purchasing pricey brushes, definitely wait until there is a 25% off or more sale. I know Bobbi Brown for sure has sales like that a few times a year.
Here are my top 5 makeup brushes:
I like a blush brush that has some longer hairs and shorter ones (similar to a stipple brush - although this one is a rounded stipple brush instead of one with a flat top). Stipple brushes are good because because it picks up not too much and not too little product! The Elf flat stipple brush is also a great brush option for cream blushes and bronzers.
I don’t use a liquid foundation, but I do powder or use powder foundations since I have an oily T-zone. I like using a dense brush for this because it picks up more product (ie. pigment) and applies it to the face, rather than having product get lost in the bristles. This is especially important since I want the maximum coverage that a powder can provide (since I don't like liquid foundation).
This brush is actually meant to powder but I prefer to use it for bronzer. I like a big fluffy brush because it doesn’t pick up too much product (bronzer can be crazy pigmented) and it also applies it more broadly over the face (avoiding harsh lines!). The trick with bronzer is to blend, blend, blend.
This is the eyeshadow brush I use to blend products in the crease and to darken the outer corner. I just wipe off eyeshadow colour between use so it doesn’t get muddied as I apply it to my eye.
Before I was using a brow pencil but I recently switched to a pomade because it lasts way longer, so I think I’m getting more value for my money. If you’re into pomades or brow powders, you’ll need an angled brush to apply the product precisely! I like this one because the synthetic dense hairs pick up product without messing with the brush shape so that I can create a precise brow. I really like that this brush doesn't have a "spooly" brush side on the other end (most brow brushes are dual-ended) because frankly, I don't use it ever!
These brushes aren’t absolutely necessary, but may be useful depending on your choice and preference of products!
Fluffy Eye Brush
Now this brush is good for two things. You can use it to blend eyeshadow in your crease OR (the way I use it) use it to apply powder highlighter on the cheekbone. I’ve recently adopted using liquid highlighters so I don’t need this brush anymore. But, it might be useful to you if you’re more into powder product.
Flat Eye Brush
You can totally use your finger to apply an eyeshadow all over your eyelid, however sometimes it’s nice to use a brush so you don’t get your fingers messy! A flat shadow brush is perfect for applying an all-over-the-lid shade.
Like I said, these brushes aren’t “must-haves” but they are nice to have if you’re starting out with makeup or if you need any ideas on how to minimize your brush collection. For the most part, I would stay away from buying pre-made brush sets that companies try to sell you because they generally have 1 or 2 good brushes and then the rest are kind of unnecessary. It’s best that you experiment with your makeup routine, see what you actually will use and purchase just those items!