Many people wonder what kind of brushes they should have in their arsenal. One look at my professional brush roll and people get really overwhelmed. The 50 odd brushes I use on clients is definitely not what I use on myself. I have a much smaller collection at home. There are a few basics and a couple multi-taskers that will leave you with a manageable amount. Nice brushes don’t come cheap but if you invest well and take care of them, your brushes will last you a long, long time. Here are some useful brushes that will go the mile for you:
From left to right: Chanel Powder Brush #1, Sephora Collection Classic Mineral Powder Brush #45, Bobbi Brown Blush Brush, Nars Flat Concealer Brush, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Brush, Stila All Over Shadow Brush #5, Smashbox Definer Brush #15, Space NK Crease Brush, M.A.C. Small Angle Brush #263
1. POWDER BRUSH – A powder brush will serve you well. You can use it for both loose setting powder and compact makeup. Look for one made with natural hair bristles or a combination of both natural and synthetic. Chanel’s Powder Brush is extremely soft and luxurious feeling.
2. BRONZING BRUSH – I like a large, short-bristled brush for this. You can get more control for contouring and the large head will also make it easy for blending into the jaw and hairline. Sephora’s Mineral Powder Brush is a great mulit-tasker. It’s synthetic bristles are super soft and can handle bronzer, powder, creams, and liquids.
3. BLUSH BRUSH – I personally don’t use blush much (and when I do, I usually use a cream), but having a separate brush for this will be useful. Choose one with soft bristles that is medium-sized. Bobbi Brown’s has tapered sides, making it easy to apply.
4. CONCEALER BRUSH – I have two. I have one for under the eyes, and a smaller one for stubborn spots. I find that having a small one allows me to get the concealer right where I want it, making my life so much easier. For the under eye area, I prefer one that is wider and flat with tapered bristles. Because I use creamy formulas, I like synthetic brushes for this purpose. Nars’ Concealer Brush gets right into the corner of my eyes and Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage Brush has a fine tip perfect for hiding imperfections.
5. STANDARD SHADOW BRUSH – I use this for applying lighter colors all over the lid. A medium, slightly fluffy brush is great. The All Over Shadow Brush by Stila is a perfect size for lids.
6. ROUNDED DEFINER BRUSH – Choose one that’s short and slightly stiff with a tapered top. It’s perfect for blending darker colors into the crease and bringing the shadow to the lower lash line when you want a smokier look. I like Smashbox’s Definer Brush. It’s soft but puts shadow right where I want it.
7. BLENDER BRUSH – Larger than the rounded shadow brush, this is fluffy and slightly tapered, making it great for blending shadows together and diffusing color. Space NK has a lot of good, inexpensive brushes but I like the Crease Brush for this purpose.
8. EYELINER BRUSH – The one I prefer to use on myself is flat and angled. I find it easy to use and I can switch from doing a bold winged liner to pushing shadow into the lash line for a more natural look. M.A.C. makes a Small Angle Brush, which is very flat with a fine angled tip, making it easy to use for multiple things.