*Affiliate links used. Full disclaimer details here.
I remember my first makeup brushes. I had two – one classic fluffy blush brush from Sephora and one fluffy blending brush for eyeshadow. That was it. I somehow created a full face using those two (and my fingers). There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using the tools God gave you – your hands – but as I’ve learned more about makeup, I’ve learned the importance of what the right tools can do for the application. Plus, it’s a lot cleaner than having your hands covered in foundation and eyeshadow. Here’s the makeup brushes I use daily.
I’ve done a couple of makeup brushes posts already regarding building a CORE collection (see Part I, Part II), but this is my personal expanded stock. I may not use every single one of these daily, but these are the brushes I would immediately replace should they broke or got lost.
Sigma Flat Kabuki F80 | The first foundation brush I really remember making a difference was a flat top buffing brush like this one from Sigma. Now, I have 2-3 similar brushes in my collection, but the F80 is a cult favorite for applying foundation quick and giving an airbrushed appearance. It also helps build coverage in certain areas without making the finish appear cakey.
Kat Von D #20 Face Brush | This one has been my most-used big, fluffy face brush but any large fluffy brush will do. I use this to set my foundation with powder. The insanely soft, synthetic bristles don’t disturb the liquid/cream makeup underneath.
Sonia Kashuk Classic Blush Brush | I have two of these – they’re definitely a must have in my collection. I use these interchangeably for blush or bronzer but more often, it’s my bronzer brush. It’s pinched just enough to apply the color exactly where you want it in a diffused manner and the natural bristles pick up the right amount of product, as well. A great multi-purpose brush.
ELF Angled Blush Brush | A solid budget buy, this brush is my go-to for blush. I love a good angled brush for blush application because it makes it easy to fit the apples of the cheeks towards the temple. Plus, this one is so affordable!
Morphe M406 Duo Fiber Brush | Another must have in my routine, this duo fiber brush is what I use after I’ve applied all of my face makeup and need to blend it all out so there are no harsh lines or over-application of color. It just softens the entire look and when I DON’T use this brush, I notice immediately that things just don’t look as natural.
Real Techniques Setting Brush | Another multi-purpose brush, this can be used to set concealer under the eyes, apply highlighter to the cheekbones or apply a light dusting of eyeshadow all over the lid. I like to use it for the latter. After I apply eyeshadow primer, I use a light dusting of face powder to ‘set’ it so my eyeshadows blend easier and don’t leave those skipping marks on the lid.
MAC 224 Fluffy Blending Brush | An original makeup brush of mine, this was one of my first MAC purchases and it performs just as well as it did nearly 10 years ago. This is one of my favorite fluffy blending brushes to apply crease color to the lids. It’s not too big and not too narrow to apply the right amount of color through my crease.
MAC 217 Pinched Blending Brush | I also purchased this brush shortly after the 224, and it’s probably the most versatile eyeshadow brush you can treat yourself to. I’ve been known to use this brush to create an entire look. It works well to apply color to the lid, through the crease, and even in the outer corner. You can even pinch the bristles together to buff shadow into the lower lash line.
For me on the daily, I use it either for lid color or the outer corner to deepen up a look.
Sigma E30 Pencil Brush | This brush was purchased a couple of years ago when I realized the importance of buffing shadow into the lower lash line to make the eyes appear larger and will never go back to just simply lining the inner waterline without applying a bit of shadow into the lashes. Also great to apply darker colors to the outer corner of the lids if you have small lid space.
MAC 263 Angled Liner Brush | This is a MUST HAVE if you use gel eyeliner. I have tried multiple brushes for gel/cream liners and always go back to this one (which was the first brush I used for gel liner. It just stuck with me). It’s extremely thin, super soft and never creates a patchy/skippy line. It’s also so easy to create a wing.
Anastasia Beverly Hills #7 Brow Brush | This is a great dual-sided brush – I own two. Perfect for powder or pomade for the brows. This brush is stiff enough to ensure a clean application with a convenient spoolie brush on the end.
ELF Flawless Concealer Brush | My go-to brush for applying highlighter to the cheekbones, nose, and wherever else you like to glow! It’s tightly packed and ensures the highlight is exactly where you want it.
Sigma F70 Concealer Brush | This brush is great not just for concealer, but to sharpen a winged-liner-gone-awry, as well as, to clean up brows that don’t have as crisp of an edge as you’d hoped for. Its very soft, synthetic brushes pick up and hold just the right amount of concealer and the flat sides of the brush make it easy to create those crisp lines.
I hope you found the makeup brushes I use daily to be helpful. What brushes would you need to replace if they broke or got lost? Any I should try? I’m always on the hunt for a good, new brush but with so many costing a lot of money, I hesitate unless I get a good recommendation. Let me know in the comments!