The following brushes are my favorites (my essentials) for making makeup application easy:
Normally, I use my fingers for applying foundation, but when I really care about looking polished, I usually use a combo of my fingers and a brush. I do love sponges, but I feel like they waste more make-up than brushes (this is only my theory, I have no idea if it is true) and this is a story about make-up brushes, but if you want a good recommendation for make-up sponges, I love Beautyblender!
I have a narrow delicate Cream Blending brush by Bobby Brown, which is fine enough to blend next to eyelashes and gentle enough for fragile skin around the eye, for some reason, I photographed the black brush above, instead. The brush by Cala was a gift from my sister in law, Kim. I love this brush, it is a bit thicker and wider than my Bobby Brown brush, but it is still refined enough to blend concealer at the lash line and because it is a larger brush, it speeds the process!
If you read Make-Up Tips to Help You Save Face, then you may remember my search for Secret Eye Brightening Powder by Laura Mercier. I found it! I use the above brush to apply a light coat of Secret Eye Brightening Powder over eye concealer. The powder sets the concealer and prevents mascara from bleeding under eyes!
If you read Make-Up Tips to Help You Save Face, then you may remember my blush fiasco, too. The blush above is the blush I wanted, It’s Nars – Orgasm… Yikes! I guess I never paid attention to the name, please don’t be offended. Look at this way, I must not be the only one who thinks it’s great!
Eye shadow brushes are my most important makeup tools!
The Overall Shadow Brush is used for eyelid base color and, in a pinch, can be used for contouring eyelids (I have, on occasion, had to go as far as pinching this brush’s bristles tightly together to line my eyes, when I have accidentally gone away without an eyeliner brush – I wish there was an emoji to reflect how I feel about this😜😍😬😂😏).
The red brush, (Lancome purchase-with-a-purchase) a gift from my sister Amy, is a good Contour Brush. When contouring, use an eyeshadow shade that is deeper than the overall lid color to create depth and or drama.
To use the Eye Definer Brush, by Bobby Brown, I wet it with tap water and dip it into a dark shadow color; such as Club by MAC, a cool brown or a deep navy to emphasize the lashline. My prefered brands for shadows are Laura Mercier, MAC or Bobby Brown, but there are so many others that are luxurious and lovely. After I line my eyes, I use the Pencil Brush by MAC (a favorite re-gift from my girlfriend Pam) to soften and blend the edges. If I want a stronger look, I will add another thin line of dark shadow close to my outer lashes after blending the first coat of liner. The Eyeliner Brush is great for brow powder, too.
I tend to let my brushes go too long between cleanings, but the one brush I clean every day is my eyeliner brush. I do this so that it will retain its precise shape. Makeup buildup will cause especially delicate brushes to expand and forever lose their original shape. Small brushes dry so fast that there is no reason to procrastinate.
If you missed Hey, Girlfriend’s 4 Good Reasons to Clean Your Makeup brushes post, you can read it here.
9 Essential Makeup Brushes
Cream Brush for foundation and cream blush
Under Eye Concealer brush
Super soft Tapered Blending brush for concealer powder
Blush Brush (in a pinch, can be used for powder and bronzer)
Overall Shadow Brush
Lid Contour Brush
Large Powder Brush (not pictured)
*I gave links for some of the brushes that I thought may be easy to confuse with other types.