As a freelance make-up artist for 12 years and a Beauty Advisor for several lines, I look for brushes that are versatile and can be used for blending any area of the face. When putting together your brush collection, whether a novice or expert in make-up, there are 10 brushes everyone needs to have.
1. MAC #217 ($24 maccosmetics.com)
This brush is perfect for shading and blending shadow or concealer. MAC’s brushes are numbered so there is no specific brush for any area of the face. Easily apply smoky details on the eyes or blend concealer evenly with this brush.
2. Face Secrets Eye Contour Brush ($6.49 Sally Beauty Supply)
Perfect for applying eye shadow to the base of the lid. Use this brush upside down to deposit more color since the shape of the bristles is in a “V” and forms to the lid perfectly. Made from pure pony, this brush is not processed or dyed.
3. Lancome #17 Blending Brush ($29.50 Nordstrom)
The natural hair bristles that make up the #17 brush is the right tool for blending shadow in the crease. Use circular motions for best results.
4. Tarte Airbuki Bamboo Powder Foundation Brush ($26 Sephora)
Made from harvested bamboo and synthetic bristles, this paraben free brush gives you an airbrushed look. And as a bonus, this product is cruelty free. This brush is one of the best kabuki’s on the market because it gives a polished finish to your complexion.
5. Giorgio Armani Beauty Blush Brush ($44 Saks Fifth Avenue)
This blush brush with natural hair, which is good for the skin, has a soft texture and features curved bristles that shape cheekbones. Quick tip: Deposit color at the tip of the brush to add more pigment to the skin.
6. Estee Lauder Foundation Brush 1 ($36 Macy’s)
Estee Lauder created the ultimate foundation brush. Each brush in the Lauder collection is sculptured and trimmed with precision. According to Esteelauder.com, the wooden handles are short and lightweight allowing for a smooth, even application.
7. Bobbi Brown Concealer Blending Brush ($30 Nordstrom)
Concealer brushes should blend your product evenly. A flat brush, such as Bobbi Brown’s, allows you to build your concealer with ease, while MAC’s #217 helps with blending. Quick tip: You can use this brush wet to apply wet/dry eye shadow for a bold look.
8. Chanel Angled Powder Brush #2 ($60 Dillards)
Chanel’s #2 brush is perfect for loose powder or powder foundation, and your product won’t look heavy. With an angled shape, your brush doesn’t deposit large amounts of powder on your face.
9. Face Secrets Smudge Brush ($6.49 Sally Beauty Supply)
This brush is excellent for eyeliner, lipliner, or adding precise applications of concealer to blemishes. The sable blend bristles allow the brush to be used wet or dry. Blend pencils evenly with this brush to make a smoky eye.
10. Lancome Retractable Lip Brush #9 ($26.50 Nordstrom)
The synthetic material on Lancome’s #19 brush allows for wet/dry use and is versatile as it can double as a concealer or eyeliner applicator. This brush is great for travel as it retracts. Quick tip: Load your lipstick onto the brush and retract for travel. Great for touch ups.
All of these brushes are versatile. You don’t need a lot of brushes to start a collection. You just need good brushes that will last for years if you take care of them. Clean your brushes with brush cleaner to sanitize and remove make-up.