Using multiple brushes for different purposes can be intimidating, but once you do, I think you’ll see that they make your makeup application much easier and create a look that is much more polished and precise.
Below I have provided the basic brushes you will want to have in your collection for use on the eyes and the face, as well as what I call “extra credit” brushes if you want to get more in-depth.
I’ve also included my 3 favorite affordable brush lines: e.l.f., Sonia Kashuk and EcoTools. You will be able to find brushes within these brands to help you achieve the look you want, without spending a great deal.
Of course MAC, Sephora and Japonesque make some wonderful brushes that should last you a lifetime. However, they are quite the investment and if you’re just starting to use brushes in your routine, I don’t think it’s necessary that you go out and spend $200 on brushes 🙂
Some things to remember:
- Wash brushes a minimum of once a month, ideally, once every 2 weeks. For brushes used with foundations and cream products, I like to use a cheap clarifying shampoo like Suave Daily Clarifying. This will help to remove oils. For brushes used with powders, any shampoo will do. I use Suave shampoos because they’re cheap and effective.
- Synthetic brushes (taklon or nylon, not made with animal hair fibers) are best for cream and liquid products such as foundations, concealers and cream eyeshadows.
Natural hair brushes, made from goat, badger, squirrel, mink and sable hair are better used with powders like eyeshadow, blush, etc.
However! I strongly prefer using cruelty-free brushes with synthetic fibers. e.l.f., EcoTools and Sonia Kashuk brushes are cruelty-free and I encourage you to seek out brands that do not use animal fibers or animal testing, please.
- Store brushes upright in a jar or vase or laying flat. Never store with the brush side down or smashed into a makeup bag as it will ruin the brush’s shape.
BASIC EYE BRUSHES
Pictured above, from left to right: Sonia Kashuk crease brush from one of the Brush Couture sets, Sonia Kashuk brush from the basic Core Tools line, Sonia Kashuk brush from Core Tools line.
I have actually had the small shader and flat shader brush for almost 7 years! If you wash them and store them properly, you can ensure your brushes will last many years!
EXTRA CREDIT EYE BRUSHES
Pictured above is the e.l.f. C brush (left) and the angled brush-I can’t recall. The main thing to focus on is the shape of these brushes.
The C brush is wonderful for packing concentrated amounts of shadow on the lid and the angled brush is a triple threat as it can be for shadow, liner, or crease work.
BASIC FACE BRUSHES
From left to right: EcoTools Powder brush, e.l.f. Blush Brush, Sonia Kashuk-Kashuk Tools Synthetic Flat Top Multipurpose Brush, e.l.f. Essential Foundation Brush.
You want to make sure your powder brush is large, fluffy and soft to distribute a loose dusting of powder across the face. A blush brush should be small enough to dab and blend color onto the apples of the cheek and cheekbone. An oversized blush brush will deposit color on too large of a plane.
For foundation brushes, you have 2 choices: a flat-top kabuki style or a flat U-shaped traditional style. Many people are accustomed to the U-shaped brush, but I have found that this style is prone to cause streaking when applying liquid foundations. I love using a flat-top kabuki by stippling the foundation onto my face and then using the same brush to buff the foundation into my skin using small circular motions.
EXTRA CREDIT FACE BRUSHES
From left to right: Sonia Kashuk Small Duo-Fiber Core Tools, mark Concealer brush, e.l.f. Essential Blushing, Bronzing, Blending brush.