December 8, 2014
Today I wanted to share a post that has been in the works for the LONGEST time! I originally wanted to make a youtube tutorial explaining makeup brushes…but then I realized it would probably be around 30 minutes long. Aint nobody got time for that.
Anyways, today I’m going to share with you the makeup brushes that you should have in your collection based on your skill level and general interest in makeup. I’m going to cover the basic brushes you should have, as well as the really helpful brushes that maybe you’d want to invest in as you go along. I’m going to name the three levels Beginner, Novice, and Expert for the sake of this post…but that doesn’t necessarily mean that if you are a beginner you can only have these brushes, and experts are required to have all of these tools. This is just based on my experience as I evolved in my makeup skills. So have fun with this list, and I hope it helps you find the brushes you need!
These are the perfect brushes for anyone that is just starting out with makeup, or aren’t really into full-faced makeup. These brushes will help you achieve a fresh, clean face, while keeping your makeup and tools to a minimum. These are also the brushes that I take with me when I travel, because these are the tools you need to achieve a basic face of makeup.
From left to right:
Real Techniques Powder Brush: This brush can be used for power foundation, or for setting powder. It’s giant, fluffy bristles make sure the powder settles evenly on your skin. I have also used this brush for bronzer when I want a light dusting all over my face for a nice, summery, bronzed look.
Real Techniques Multi-Task Brush: The name speaks for itself. I use this brush mainly for powder blush, but you can also use it for bronzer, foundation, or setting powder. The bristles are a little bit more dense which allows you to concentrate the product a little better.
Sigma E25 Blending Brush: This brush is my go-to eye-shadow brush for the crease. It blends out shadows perfectly! You can also use this for contouring your face!
Sigma E40 Tapered Blending Brush: This brush is also a great brush for blending out your crease. It allows for a little bit more intense of a crease. It can also be used to pack on shimmery color all over the lid and contouring your face.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Brush #12: This brow brush is all you will ever need for brows if you like to use shadows or creams to fill them in. The brush is very precise and it has a spooly on the end to help blend in the color. You can also use this brush to create a cut-crease eye shadow look, or for intense nose contouring.
Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki Brush: This is my all-time favorite liquid foundation brush. It blends out your foundation perfectly and picks up any extra foundation that you might have put on your face. Everyone needs this brush in their lives!
Beauty Blender (sorry this is a bit hard to see haha): I would chose either the Sigma brush or the Beauty Blender to start…but eventually invest in both. The beauty blender is the best tool for REALLY blending out everything on your face. When you get the sponge wet, it sheers out your foundation the perfect amount, and it makes it look flawless! And yes, there are drug store sponges that look like the beauty blender…and yes I’ve tried them…but I PROMISE you that the beauty blender works so much better than those.
Not pictured: Your fingers! Remember…your fingers are perfect for applying makeup and blending! Just remember to wash your hands before applying to avoid breakouts!
When I really started loving makeup, these were the brushes I invested in, on top of the beginner brushes. These take your makeup to the next level, but you still don’t have an overload of tools to choose from. These brushes allow you to create virtually all the makeup looks you’d ever want to create!
From left to right:
Sigma F35 Tapered Highligher: This brush is my favorite brush for setting my under-eye concealer. It fits perfectly with the contours of my face, and it holds onto the product well. You can also use this to set your whole face if you want.
MAC #187 Blending Brush: This is honestly the best blending brush I’ve ever used! Once I’m done with all of my face makeup, I run this brush all over my face to blend everything together for a seamless look. Because this is a MAC brush, it is pricey… but I like this the best out of all of the brushes I’ve tried. Make sure you look for one with natural hairs when you look for a blending brush. Those brushes work the best.
Nars Ita Brush: I love this brush when I want the perfect contour. It gets right into the hollow of my cheek and makes a great contour line. The plus is that when you sweep the brush up and down (instead of side to side when you contour) it blends out that bronzer perfectly!
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush: This is the drug-store priced contour brush that I love! It is short and very precise when you want to contour. It blends out your bronzer great too!
MAC #187 Flat Brush: This brush is the best when it comes to packing on shadow to the lid. It is also amazing to use with pigments and concealer. It’s a small, dense brush that is very precise! Sigma also has a similar version that works great!
Sigma E15 Flat Definer Brush: This brush is amazing when it comes to packing on shadow to your lower lash line. It’s very precise and it doesn’t allow for shadow fall-out. It’s also great to use for eyeliner (both shadow liner and gel liner) and for contouring your nose.
Sigma E20 Short Shader Brush: I am obsessed with the brush ladies. I use this brush to place+blend out shadow on my lower lash line, and it is my favorite brush to use when I’m blending out liner on my upper lid. It is a dense brush, so it still allows the liner to remain in a straight line, but it’s not as intense as a liquid liner. My current upper-lid liner routine consists of using a black kohl pencil to line my lash line, and then I dip the E20 into black shadow to blend out the kohl pencil.
These are the brushes that I’ve picked up over the years as my “extra” brushes. I use each of these brushes for only one of two techniques, but they are perfect for those techniques! I recommend getting these brushes (and the brushes from the first two tiers) if you are obsessed with makeup like I am or if you are a professional makeup artist.
From Left to Right:
BH Cosmetics Large Fan Brush: This brush is perfect for dusting a little bit of highlighting powder on your high points. Because it’s so big, it doesn’t let the shimmery highlighter get to clumpy.
Real Techniques Stippling Brush: This is my go-to brush for cream blushes. It blends out the cream blushes perfectly on your cheeks, and doesn’t allow for any weird overly-colored spots.
Sigma F55 Small Duo Fiber Brush: This brush is such an amazing blending brush, whether you are doing your whole face, or just your cheeks. Fiber blending brushes are so important…so at least get one for your face!
Sigma F86 Tapered Kabuki Brush: This brush is perfect for blending out under-eye concealer. It gets into the crevices perfectly because of its shape and because it’s a synthetic brush, it soaks up any extra product. I use this interchangeable with my beauty blender and micro mini beauty blenders (see below).
Sigma F88 Flat Angled Kabuki Brush: This brush is awesome for cream contouring. If you want a bigger, more spread out contour under your cheeks, this brush is for you!
Sigma F25 Tapered Face Brush: This is my go-to brush for all-over face powder. Because of its tapered shape, it allows me to get powder where I need it to go. I find that it maneuvers a lot better than other powder brushes.
Sigma P86 Precision Tapered Brush: This brush is perfect for cream contouring your nose or other small areas of the face. It helps the bronzer blend out perfectly, and it’s a very easy-to-handle brush.
Sigma E55 Eye Shading Brush: This brush is very similar to the E20, only it’s a little bigger and a little fluffier. This brush is another great eye-shadow brush that is perfect for packing on shimmery shadows, or even creating harsher lines with matte shadows. You can’t blend as easily with this brush, but it is a great one to have for creating great lines on your eyes!
Sigma P84 Precision Angled Brush: This is a great brush for blending any cream products around your tear ducks, around your nose, or any small area. It’s a dense brush, but it blends so beautifully! You can also use this to contour your nose and face with!
Sigma E30 Pencil Brush: This brush, in my opinion, is a must-have no matter what level you are at. This brush is perfect for blending shadows underneath your eye. I use it when I want to smoke out a color, but keep it pretty close to my lashes. You can also use it for any makeup that needs to be placed in a specific area of the face that needs minimal blending. I use this brush for every smokey eye that I do on myself, so if you are a big fan of smokey eyes, get this brush!
Real Techniques Lip Brush: I am not a huge fan of lip brushes (I don’t think they blend very well), but if you are working on other clients or friends, you should have a lip brush. I find it kind of gross if someone is touching my lips with their fingers! Lip brushes do their job, and if you can’t get your client’s lips perfectly blended…have them touch their own lips, or smack their lips together to blend!
Beauty Blender Micro Mini Sponges: First off…these sponges are the cutest sponges I’ve ever seen! Second…they are just as amazing as the original beauty blenders! I use these for blending out concealer and highlighter around my eyes and nose. It’s perfect for getting that concealer blended around your tear duct! Now, you can definitely get by without this product, but I love it and I’m so glad I randomly picked them up!
I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know if you have any questions about these brushes or if you’d like me to film a video tutorial on how to use these! I love comments and questions!
Shop The Brushes Below: