The Six Essential Brushes
January 24, 2016
After going to college and narrowing down my excessive makeup collection, I realized I had a lot of makeup brushes I didn't use or need. I ended up narrowing it down to a simple six that I use every day. Obviously everyone's different and likes to apply makeup in unique ways, but this has really helped me to feel like my life is less cluttered, which is something I've had issues with lately. Most of my brushes are Real Techniques, because I find that they're soft and durable while still being cheap.
1. Powder Brush
This is a great basic brush for all around powder products. I especially like it for bronzer, because the fluffiness helps to create a subtle tanned effect by blending everything out. It can be used with regular powder to set the face, but I like something else a little bit more for that (see #4). This is also great for smoothing any harsh lines with blush or contour. My powder brush of choice is the Real Techniques Powder Brush.
2. Blush Brush
For this one it might not hurt to have a second on hand, because using a clean blush brush can really help the correct color to show up on your cheeks, instead of muddying it with other shades that were previously on the brush. My personal favorite blush brush is the Real Techniques Multi Task Brush from the Travel Essentials Collection. The shape of this brush is more dense, yet still somehow fluffy, which picks up powder and blends it incredibly well. I also like how it's small, so I don't end up looking like I've been slapped in the face. This 'multi tasks' (get it?) as a bronzer or highlighter brush as well.
3. Angled Powder Brush
In order to create a contour with powder products, which is how I like to do it, this brush is key. It's thin, so it fits well into the hollows of your cheeks, it's angled, so it maneuvers easily over your face, and it's fluffy, so the powder distributes and blends perfectly. I've been using the Sephora Pro Angled Blush Brush #49 recently and it has yet to fail me.
4. Setting Brush
Instead of using a big fluffy brush for powder, I enjoy a smaller and thinner brush. I use setting powder on concentrated areas, like under my eyes and my chin, so I find that a small brush works much better. I also use tapping motions instead of blending, which doesn't disrupt the concealer underneath the powder. This brush can also be used to blend concealer or apply highlighter. My personal favorite is the Real Techniques Setting Brush.
5. Fluffy Blending Brush
I basically use one type of brush for my eyeshadow, which is a fluffy brush. It works for both blending shades on the lid and in the crease. I'd suggest having a few of these on hand, for similar reasons to having multiple blush brushes. When doing a smokey eye, it's nice to have a second clean brush for extra blending. I really love the Real Techniques Expert Crease Brush, but it's unfortunately limited edition and can only be found in this set. However, one of the most praised blending brushes is the Mac 217, so you can't go wrong with that.
6. Shader Brush
This is a bit of a bonus, because I really love doing smokey eyes and wearing eyeshadow on the lower lash line. Not everyone does this, but if you're interested, invest in one of these. The one I love is the smallest brush in the EcoTools Bamboo 5 Piece Eye Brush Set. It's the perfect size and helps create the best sultry, smokey look.
What are your essential makeup brushes?