(Top: brushes left to right - stippling brush, buffing brush, contour brush, kabuki brush
Bottom: top to bottom - blending brush, shadow brush, angled brush)
Choosing the right makeup brushes can be a difficult task. There are so many decisions to be made: synthetic or natural, large or detailed, soft or firm. And then you need to be sure it wont lose it's bristles or shape, it's going to be soft enough, it'll hold and dispense product well... the list seems endless.
Because of this, I spent most of my makeup-wearing years using my fingertips. While this is fine for BB creams and cheek stains, when it comes to meat and potatoes of our makeup there really is nothing like a good quality brush to give us a more seamless finish.
So I've sorted through my brushes and come up with my own core collection so you don't have to hunt them out yourselves. Here it is:
(Left to right: stippling brush, buffing brush, contour brush. All RealTechniques by Samantha Chapman)
- Stippling Brush -
I use this brush purely for blush. The duo fibres allow it to pick up a good amount of product whilst still distributing it evenly and smoothly across the face with no harsh lines or blotchiness. The blunt edge makes it easy to build up the product (great for fast application and lessens the spread of bacteria).
- Buffing Brush -
My holy grail of all makeup brushes (when the need arises, I sometimes use ONLY this brush!). Absolutely brilliant for foundation application. Provides a perfectly smooth finish with NO streaks or patchiness. Recommended to brush virgins and professional makeup artists.
- Contour Brush -
As the name suggests, this brush is great for contouring. However, I mainly use it for highlighting. It's tapered point makes for precise application and the fluffy body blends it out nicely to give a natural glow and blend away any 80s-style hard lines.
(Kabuki brush - The Body Shop)
- Kabuki Brush -
I use this for, you guessed it, powder. I also use it for bronzing the cheekbones, temples, bridge of the nose, forehead and neck. Although we don't want any part of our makeup to look anything less than satin smooth, it's particularly bad when bronzer goes splotchy on us. This is usually down to the application process rather than the bronzer itself. That's why it's important to invest in a good quality brush that'll make you look glowing.
Although this is interchangeable with a powder brush, this kabuki brush is so soft I can barely even feel it! This is one of my oldest brushes and it still holds it shape and has had zero bristles break free.
(Left to right: angled brush W7, shadow brush, blending brush, both Bare Escentuals)
- Angled Brush -
This brush serves one purpose only: defining the eyebrows. Although in the past an eyeshadow brush seemed sufficient, it is well worth investing in an angled brush instead. It's perfectly formed to do the job effectively and efficiently. The 'angle' of the bristles makes it easy, when held horizontally, to achieve a more angled brow shape (e.g. a pin-up look) but also, when held vertically, it's easy to opt for a more natural brow. The density means minimal fallout and a precise application (fundamental for eyebrows).
- Shadow Brush & Blending Brush -
I've been using just the two (sometimes one!) brush for eyeshadow for a while now and it seems that's all I need (even for intricate makeup looks). The shadow brush allows me to pack on the colour whilst the blending brush smooths out any harsh edges. The perfect pair for a minimal / natural look and for a smokey / contoured eye.
All thoughts and photographs are my own.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section below.