In the beauty universe, everyone wants to put their best face forward and you know you’re all in when somehow you’ve managed to amass a huge collection of makeup brushes. The foundation of any makeup kit is its makeup brushes. Knowing how to use them correctly really pays off in the long run. Hence, it is recommended to invest in a good set of tools. There’s no shame if you are still applying the product with your fingers, we love to apply concealer and eyeshadow with our ring finger but it might be time to level up. Not to mention the more sanitary reasons to switch to brushes in this day and age. That said, with the number of brush options available today it can be so overwhelming that you might not even know where to start. But here’s the thing it might seem like you need tons of brushes but really you only need about twelve.

While makeup can be deeply personal and the type of brushes like their size, shape, bristles and etc, is all depended on individual preference but unless you’re a professional you do not need a hundred makeup brushes. So even if you’re somebody who is getting lost with your collection of brushes it’s probably time to narrow them down to the essentials. The key is to keep a few quality brushes and classics that work well for the targeted areas of your face to create to achieve a gorgeous makeup look all year round. Ready to get started? Below we’ve listed our guide to the most essential type of brushes that deserve a spot in your collections whether you’re a newbie or makeup junkie.

Keeping scrolling ahead to check out the list of the only makeup brushes you actually need:

1. Foundation Brush

The number of different styles of foundation brushes is seriously overwhelming and be very personal to each person. It hugely depends on how you like to apply and blend the product. The options include a wide array of angles fluffy or dome-shaped bristles. A great classic and foolproof tool is the flat brush. It works great with liquid or cream foundations and has better precision when painting your face.

Beauty Tip: Begin applying your foundation from the centre of your face then move outwards. Make sure your painting motions go upwards and down instead of back and forth. This will lay flat on any tiny natural hairs on the face for a smoother look.

Classic Foundation Brush | (Source:
Classic Foundation Brush | (Source:

2. Concealer Brush

A flat concealer brush is super useful when you need to apply the product more precisely all over the face. Similar to the flat foundation brush it lets you pick up thick products and blend evenly. That bright red blemish on your cheek? Gone! Moreover, you can totally also use this kind of brush to apply shimmery eye makeup or use it for advanced cut-crease eye looks!

Beauty Tip: Cover your brush with only a tiny amount of concealer then pat it under your eyes or any other areas of concern. Build with thin layers always and then gently blend until you achieve a skin-like finish.

Real Techniques Expert Concealer Brush | (Source:
Real Techniques Expert Concealer Brush (source:

3.  Beauty Sponge

I mean do we even need to explain the use of a beauty sponge? By now it has literally become a must-have product for everyone from makeup newbies to MUA professionals. It’s super versatile, you can use it for anything from liquid to cream products. Plus it won’t leave behind any weird lines or stray streaks from bristles, blending your base to perfection. Just remember to dab or tap in order to bounce the sponge on your face, never swipe.

Beauty Tip: Always, always, always get your sponge damp before using it unless the product’s instructions explicitly state otherwise. This prevents your sponge from soaking up all of your foundations and help blend your makeup as smoothly as possible.

beautyblender The Original | (Source:
beautyblender The Original (Source:

4. Fluffy Face Powder Brush

Whether you’ve got dry or oily skin you’re going to need to set your foundation and concealer with some setting powder. A fluffy powder brush ranging from a medium to large size works perfectly to set your face even buff and even blend out powder foundations. Look for one with soft bristles and a slightly domed shape that helps evenly diffuse the product and prevents you from applying too much powder at once. If you’re in a pinch you can even use this kind of brush to apply your blush or bronzer.

Beauty Tip: Always tap off any excess on the brush then brush lightly over the skin in a gentle patting motion. Focus more on the T-zone, temples, chin and any places that get naturally shiny throughout the day.

Real Techniques Powder Brush (source:
Real Techniques Powder Brush (source:

5. A Blush/Bronzer Brush

Smaller than a powder brush, a blush brush features a dome-shaped with long, super-soft bristles. Keep in mind the fluffier it is the less product it will pick up which is great for a soft wash of colour that can easily be built and blended. You really don’t want a harsh stamp of colour on your cheeks. This kind of tool is also ideal for your bronzer needs.

Beauty Tip: How you use your brush here is super important. For bronzer loosely sweep the brush in the shape of the number 3. Start from your temples, go across your cheeks then move to the jawline. For blush, focus on blending the blush from the apples back into your cheekbones and towards your ear for the perfect flush.

Bobbi Brown, Blush Brush |(Source:
Bobbi Brown, Blush Brush (Source:

6. Contour Brush

Contouring can be so intimidating and so can the tools. You want to get one that smaller than your face but still bigger than your eye brushes. The most common one is the angled slanted brush that has soft but dense bristles. It should fit nicely under your cheekbone and work seamlessly just about doing the contour work for you.

Beauty Tip: Suck in your cheeks to find the natural hollows of your cheeks. Start from where your inner ear ends and lightly glide your brush back and forth just below your cheeks bones.

Real Techniques, Sculpting Brush |(Source:
Real Techniques, Sculpting Brush (Source:

7. Highlighter Brush

If you’re looking to enhance your natural glow opt for a fan-shaped brush that packs in a pigmented punch on all the high points of your face. The fanned out long bristles will give a more precise but diffused effect. You can even use it to brush off powder or spot correct any fall out from your eye makeup.

Beauty Tip: Sweep and blend the product over your cheekbones, cupids bow and any place you want to highlight where the light naturally hits your face.

Wet n Wild Fan Brush (Source:
Wet n Wild Fan Brush (Source:

8. Flat Eyeshadow Shader Brush

While you can always use your fingers it isn’t always sanitary and a flat shader brush is key for supplying eyeshadow to lids and getting an even opaque colour. This dense brush typically picks up a bunch of product at once but is also capable of applying a light wash of colour if you need. Perfect if you want to pack on your favourite shimmer shade or create a precise halo eye, opt for a medium size that’s more versatile.

Beauty Tip: After picking up the product with the brush, use light sweeping motions to apply the shadow to the lids. Additionally, you can wet the brush with setting spray then pat and press on the lids if you want maximum impact with your shimmer shades.

MAC Cosmetics Duo Fibre Eyeshadow Brush (Source:
MAC Cosmetics Duo Fibre Eyeshadow Brush (Source:

9.  Fluffy Eyeshadow Blending Brush

This is a crucial tool for literally any eye look you might ever do. A blending brush is your ride-or-die friend that blends your eyeshadows seamlessly and is ideal for smoking out eyeshadow. They are almost always tapered with soft fluffy bristles that blend out eye products to diffuse any harsh lines and contour the crease.

Beauty Tip: Use this brush in your crease and blend in a windshield-wiper motion. Going in back and forth motions along the socket will deposit colour, define the eye shape and diffuse it at the same time

Pro Arte Shadow Blending Brush (PE22) | (Source:
Pro Arte Shadow Blending Brush (PE22) (Source:

10. Eyeliner Brush

The eyeliner brush additionally comes in many different shapes, sizes, bristles, handles and even angles. Usually, at the end of the day with some experience, you figure out what works best for you. However, to start off, a slim super-fine tip brush is great if you’re looking to create thin precise lines. Another popular option is ones with tapered or slanted bristles. No matter what, its usually one of the smaller brushes in your collection.

Beauty Tip: Coat the bristles then apply it close to the lash line like you usually would with your liquid or pencil liner.

The Body Shop Slanted Brush  (source:
The Body Shop Slanted Brush (source:

11. Dual-Ended Eyebrow Brush

Even as a beginner to makeup you can’t deny the power of a good brow. Eyebrows are more important than ever whether you’re just softly filing in spots or creating a bold look. Here you need a firm, flat, blunt and angled bristled brush. The narrow and finer the brush is the more delicate and natural looking you can keep the lines. The key here is to opt for a tool with a spoolie on the other end that helps shape and comb your brows plus saves space in your makeup bag. It’s the perfect kind of brush that will work with most formulas like pomades, waxes, gels or powders and assist in blending. Alternatively, the spoolie is super useful when you want to de-clump your lashes too!

Beauty Tip: Use the spoolie to brush and shape the brows then use then flip it and use the brush to fill them in. Once that’s done you comb through them once again to blend and remove and harshness.

Anastasia Beverly Hills, Dual-Ended Firm Angled Brush |(Source:
Anastasia Beverly Hills, Dual-Ended Firm Angled Brush (Source:

12. Lip Brush

A precise lip brush for your lips is so underrated and often overlooked. It might seem a bit intimidating at first but once you get the hang of it you’ll never want to use the lipstick tube directly again. Often confused for a concealer brush this one is similarly flattened and curved in shape but is smaller and almost pencil-like. It allows you to be far more accurate when outlining and filling you’re your lips and helps diffuse any harsh lines.

Beauty Tip: After following the shape of your lips with a lip liner go in with the brush to soften the inside edge. Then swipe some product on the brush and apply to start from the centre of the lips and outwards

MAC 316 Synthetic Lip Brush | (source:
MAC 316 Synthetic Lip Brush (source:

Are you missing any of these key makeup brushes in your collection? Let us know in the comments below

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