Makeup Brush Essentials: The Ones Every One Should Own & Their Uses

Brushes. They are so essential for a precise makeup application. There are so many styles available to beauty fanatics and makeup artists alike now and it can get really confusing. I mean which ones do you really NEED, right? I remember wondering this when I first got out of makeup school and I think it would have been really helpful had someone pointed me in the right direction. But in the end, through a lot of trial and error and hundreds of makeup looks later I feel I have got a great collection of brushes to rely on for any look I'd like to apply. Today I am going to get down into the nitty gritty and tell you exactly which brushes you actually need so that you can save your hard earned money but still get a flawless makeup application every time. I'll get into my specific favorites and let you know which brands and model numbers I like best in another post soon, in this one I want to focus only on brush types so as not to confuse anyone. Of course I could recommend you a hundred brushes, each to be used for different techniques of makeup application but this guide is meant to save you time and money so I really tried to narrow it down to the real essentials and multi purpose styles. 

1) A Foundation Brush- Everyone needs one of these. You can choose from the stippling style, a beauty sponge or even a painter style brush. The style I prefer on a daily basis is a large round buffer style brush.

2) A Large Angled Face Brush for Contouring, Setting and Applying any powder products to the face- A good one will give you a really sharp contour line but can also be very multi purpose and easily be used to apply blush to the cheeks, highlighter to the tops of the cheek bones and use the baking technique by applying and brushing away loose powder to sharpen things up. 

3) A Flat Shader Eye Shadow Brush- This is great for applying a cream shadow or shadow base to the eyelid before applying any powder eye shadows, it's also an important one for packing color all over the lid. 

4) A Fluffy Dome Shaped Eye Shadow Blender Brush- Blending is key in any eye makeup look and will give the appearance of the colors melding into one another perfectly. This is the eye shadow brush I could not be without because it can be used to softly apply color to the lid, blend different colors layered over each other or blend out the edges as well. 

5) A Small Pencil Style Eye Shadow Brush- Small, tapered and pointed on the end just as a pencil is, these come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit your preference but they are most ideal for blending shadow under the lower lash line, in a more precise way in the outer corner of the eye or to create different types of eye looks with small detail work like the halo or a cut crease eye look. 

6) A Thin Eye Liner Brush- Straight or angled depending on your preference, this will be very helpful to a beginner or pro at getting a perfectly straight line every time and it will certainly be useful if you like to create a full on cat eye liner or just a small flick on the outer edge with powder, gel, kohl or liquid liner products. 

7) A Small Angled Brow Brush- This one is similar to that angled liner brush but it will be a bit smaller, a bit more stiff and more packed with brush hairs to fill the brows in very precisely with a powder or pomade product.  

8) A Lip Brush- This will be flat and ovaled at the tip. It can easily double for precise spot concealing but mostly it's incredible for smoothing spreading lip products into every edge of the lips perfectly. Of course there are those that can apply lipstick from a bullet with ease, but a lip brush certainly simplifies the process. 


There are a few brushes that I  find extremely useful for more detailed glamorous makeup and personally use on a daily basis but I think are less necessary for those looking to achieve a simple every day look. I still want to mention them because I think to some they could actually be essential as they are to me. So here they are:

1) The Fan Brush- These come in a variety of sizes. I like a smaller one for highlighting with powder, liquid or cream highlighting products. 

2) A Blush Brush- Having one specifically for blush that fits the apples of the cheeks nicely wether straight or angled and smaller then the larger angled contour brush, having this additional brush will make life easier.

3) A Concealer Brush for Under Eyes- These vary as with the foundation brushes. Having one to specifically blend and meld concealer product into the delicate under eye area is very beneficial. There are small beauty sponges, small flat painter style ones and small buffer brushes which are the kind I personally prefer. Each one will fit into the under eye area easily also reaching the inner corners for precise blending without disrupting the rest of the makeup. 

I get asked about which brush styles I recommend quite often so I'm glad I was able to put  it all together in one post for reference! Please do feel free to leave your comments, questions and recommendations in the form below or send me a direct message on any of my social media platforms and I will gladly respond and try to assist you on the subject if I can. I will also try to do a post possibly along with a video to follow this one pretty soon with all of my updated makeup brush favorites  with specific brands and model numbers.

Thanks so much for stopping by! 

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