Essential Brushes to Keep in Your Makeup Kit

Whether you’re a budding makeup artist or just a beauty enthusiast trying your best to build your kit, having the right tools for the job is essential. But with 101 techniques to do the same job, how can you ever know what you really need and what’s just an Instagram fad that’s not worth your hard-earned cash?

Well, it’s not as complicated as you may have thought. While there are endless options to stock your kit with, there are only a few tools all makeup artists would agree on that you have to include at a bare minimum.

One of the most important things to remember when investing in beauty tools is that quality matters, but the most expensive brush is not always going to be the best. You want to be looking for good quality synthetic fibres that have a handle heavy enough to provide you with a bit of control. Too light and you may quickly find your brush is harder to manoeuvre, too heavy and you won’t be able to achieve any level of finesse.

As for the kinds of brushes you need…

Foundation Brush

There are a multitude of different foundation brushes, each working best with a different kind of product and giving a varying finish. The most classic kind you’ll see is dense and flat headed with a domed end that allows you to paint liquid and cream foundations on for a natural looking finish.

Bobbi Brown Foundation Brush


Blending Sponge

Blending sponges are perfect for creating a flawless and airbrushed looking finish. You can use them with both liquids and powders and because you use them wet, they soak up less of your product so more of it ends up on your face. They’re particularly great for hiding texture and dryness when applying base products.

Melissa Sassine Blend and Set Flawless Makeup Sponge


Contour Brush

A contour brush has long, dense bristles with an angled head that is perfect for use with bronzer. Anyone who has ever bought a multi-kit of brushes will have ended up with a bronzer brush that is unrealistically huge. In reality, your bronzer brush should allow for contouring under the cheekbone and lightly building colour on your temples.

Nars Contour Brush 21


Blush Brush

Similar to a contour or bronzing brush, you want your blush brush to be in proportion with the areas of your face that you’re applying the product, so think something similar to the size of the apples of the cheek. A medium density, fluffy brush with a slightly domed end is best for lightly sweeping and building up coloured face products like blush.

Zoeva Rose Golden 126 Luxe Cheek Finish


Flat Eyeshadow Brush

This kind of eye brush allows for a dense application of shadow to the eyelid while allowing you to blend fairly well. The brush should be flat with medium density, long bristles and the head should be a medium size.

Eyeshadow Crease Brush

Thanks to its fluffy and soft bristles and slightly tapered end, an eyeshadow crease brush allows you to apply shadow to the crease with a generous amount of precision but also buff out your eyeshadow pigments without removing too much of the product and its colour.

Real Techniques Eye Shade + Blend


Concealer Brush

Most makeup artists will carry concealer brushes that have short and dense bristles with a slightly rounded end. These are great for when you need to cover with precision and get into all the nooks and crannies of the face like around the eyes, the corners of the nose and over any blemishes.

bareMinerals Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush


Powder Brush

This will be the least dense of all the brushes in your kit allowing you to gently sweep finishing powders over the complexion without disrupting your makeup application or applying too much product. The bristles will be long, soft and fluffy.

Westman Atelier Powder Brush

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