The truth is, walking into Sephora, Ulta or a department store looking for a new makeup brush or possibly your first set of makeup brushes can be extremely intimidating. Every brand today seems to have their own line of brushes and they each claim to be the essentials of the brush world. So do you really need 15 brushes to put on your daily makeup? No, unless decadence is your style then more power to you. Lets break it down to the brushes that are worth your investment and the others that can be a splurge after your year end bonus.

 

Must-Have Brushes:

 

Blush Brush

Tom Ford Cheek (06) Brush photo temptalia.com

Tom Ford Cheek (06) Brush photo temptalia.com

An amazing blush brush is worth the investment. Once you find the right one this brush can do everything. Some brands will also refer to this brush as a powder brush, but the key is not in the name, it’s the shape of the bristles that make all the difference. The domed bristle shape of a blush brush allows you to determine the amount of color you apply to your face.  You can also highlight, define and contour your cheeks. If contouring is part of your daily routine consider a blush brush with a slightly angled head to help with easy application of blush and contour. Use this brush to apply any lighter coverage powders, like blush and bronzers.

 

Fluffy Shadow Brush

MAC 213 Fluff Brush photo sephora.com

MAC 213 Fluff Brush photo sephora.com

Used to apply shadows, blend harsh lines and quickly apply color, this is the number two pick on the list of brushes worth the extra dollars and cents. Flexible bristles allow you to diffuse the color and help to blend. Small to medium sized shadow brushes are best for getting multiple-uses out of a brush. This brush is also called a small blending brush in many lines. There are an array of sizes in these types of brushes, note that the smaller the brush, the more concentrated your color application will become.

 

Angled Liner Brush

MAC 266 Small Angle Brush photo nordstrom.com

MAC 266 Small Angle Brush photo nordstrom.com

If you love gel liner or powder liner and crave a precise line, then a small angle brush is next of your list of essentials. Look for a brush that has flat head and stiff bristles. This brush can also be used to apply generous color for a classic smoky eye or a cut crease.

 

Foundation Brush

Real Techniques Essential Foundation Brush photo thenotice.com

Real Techniques Essential Foundation Brush photo thenotice.com

A foundation brush is used to apply liquid or cream formula based foundations or concealers. Look for a brush with an angled or slightly pointed head and densely packed bristles. These shapes will be the best for providing coverage and creating an airbushed look. If you are more of a powder girl, skip this purchase completely.

 

Spoolie Brush

Anastasia Beverly Hills Spoolie Brush photo welovetoshop.com

Anastasia Beverly Hills Spoolie Brush photo welovetoshop.com

This is a brush that simply does not get enough love. A spoolie brush is the best kept secret for beautiful brows. One end of the brush resembles a mascara applicator while the other has a wand with small soft bristles and a slightly angled head. Use your spoolie to help brush brows into place as well as filling in with color.

 

Bonus Brushes:

 

Contour Brush

MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush  photo nordstrom.com

MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush photo nordstrom.com

With a gently angled cut, the contour brush gives you the control to contour precisely.  The dome shape of the brush ensures that you can control the amount of color that you apply with every stroke.

 

Kabuki Brush

Sephora Kabuki Brush photo stylebust.com

Sephora Kabuki Brush photo stylebust.com

This large brush is best for all over face application with powders, like a mineral foundation or a setting powder.

 

Fan Brush

Sephora Fan Brush photo sephora.com

Sephora Fan Brush photo sephora.com

If you are looking for a way to take your highlighting game to the next level then you need a fan brush. The name rings true to its shape and with the fine row of bristles, you can use the fan brush to lightly apply highlight or dust away excess product.

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