It’s never too late to dive into the world of makeup. Some of us never outgrew the thrill of getting all dolled up, between playing in our mother’s makeup drawers as kids and finally having products of our own. Watching makeup tutorials on youtube is often a great place to start if you’re looking for simple makeup tips and how-tos, but there is simply too much variety and it can be overwhelming.
Similarly, walking into a makeup store or browsing brushes at a makeup counter can be a daunting task. There are so many brushes out there that do different things, and many different looking ones that claim to do the same thing). If you’re just starting out, you only need the basics. Brushes can be pricey, so it’s important to know exactly what to look for.
Here are our eight most basic must-haves when it comes to makeup brushes!
#1 Foundation brush
If you’re someone who wears makeup, chances are you’ve got a liquid foundation. Different applicators will give you different finishes. You can use your hands, but that can leave uneven streaks behind (some people also just dislike rubbing their faces). A sponge on the other hand might soak up too much product which can be wasteful. The most popular foundation brushes are the flat ones.
Mac 132 Duo Fibre Foundation Brush, $63
#2 Blush brush
A tapered brush that fits the contour of your cheek is important for precision when applying your blush. It may look easy to apply in general, but blush in the wrong spots can be less than flattering, depending on your face shape. You also want a soft fluffy brush for a more natural look.
Dior Backstage Blush Brush No 16, $77
Mac 116 Blush Brush, $64
#3 Eyeshadow brush
Sure, applying eyeshadow with your finger can look okay, but your fingertips tug on your eyelids and can make the skin sag over time. You can either pack on an eyeshadow (just use the brush to press on the colour) for a more intense look using a stiffer brush, or dust it on with a fluffier one.
Dior Backstage Eyeshadow Brush No 21, $47
Mac 287 Duo Fibre Eye Shadow Brush, $60
#4 Eyeshadow blending brush
If you are hoping to try a smoky eye, I highly recommend investing in a blending brush. It fits the crease of your eye perfectly and does the job of blending out your eyeshadow exactly where you need it the most. They’re usually fluffy to best diffuse and soften any unwanted harsh lines.
Dior Backstage Smudging Brush No 23, $56
Mac 224 Tapered Blending Brush, $58
#5 Concealer brush
Concealing blemishes, redness, or even dark circles can be the biggest challenge for many of us. Fingertips blend out concealer well, but aren’t the easiest tools for building up coverage. When concealer brushes were first introduced, they were mostly small stiff brushes that never quite achieved a flawless finish. Thankfully, times have changed! Choose a concealer brush with an angled tip roughly the size of your fingertip that is slightly softer so you can buff out your undereye concealer for the most natural finish. Meanwhile, the stiffer brushes are great for concealing spots!
Mac 195 Concealer Brush, $91
#6 Small angled brow brush
Everyone aspires to a perfect brow, whether you’re going for the Hollywood arch or the thicker straight K-beauty brows. The best way to achieve a natural brow look is to use an angled brush to fill in your brows (whether with a gel or powder) in short hair-like strokes.
Mac 208 Angled Brow Brush, $38
#7 Powder brush
Whether you want an all-over glow with some luminising powder or simply want to set everything with some translucent powder, a nice soft fluffy brush is great for this. You can even use a soft kabuki brush if you like.
Mac 150 Large Powder Brush, $79
Dior Backstage Powder Brush No 14, $104
#8 Lip brush
If you’ve got a well-loved lipstick that has become blunt with use, it might be tricky to get a nice clean line with your lipstick application. A lip brush allows for precision application, so you don’t have to clean up the edges of your lipstick quite so often. The best part is you can share a lipstick collection with your sister or mother, as long as you remember to use a clean lip brush each time.
Dior Backstage Lip Brush No 31, $42
Mac 316 Lip Brush, $41