When you’re starting out with makeup knowing what makeup brush does what can be a bit mind-boggling, so I thought I would list my must have makeup brushes, what they do and how I use them
You might find that with makeup brushes the packaging might say its say for example a concealer brush, but it might be used for something completely different like laying down eyeshadow or filling in your lips.
I use a variety of different brushes from high-end brands to high street. Right now my favourite brand for brushes is Real Techniques as they offer great quality brushes at affordable prices. If you take good care of your brushes and wash them regularly they can last years at a time as ive had the MAC 217 for at least 5 or 6 years.
- MAC 109 (£28) – This is a contour brush which is fantastic for powder products, it has tightly packed hairs so it will pick up a lot of pigment. I usually use this with something like MAC Harmony Blush or Smashbox Contour Powder. I wouldn’t use this for anything other than contouring as it does tend to pick up a lot of colour and you don’t want clown cheeks if you do use it with blush.
- Royal Foundation Brush – I found this brush by complete accident when I was looking at Watt Brothers a few years back. It’s ridiculously cheap like £2.99 or something like that, but it has been one of my favourite brushes to use for foundations since around 2013. There’s just something about the bristles that just applies foundation flawlessly. If I’m honest, I actually prefer this over the MAC 190 Foundation Brush I bought last year. This type of foundation brush is best for things like creams and liquids, it’s also really good for cream contour if you want really sharp definition
- Real Techniques Setting Brush (£7.99) – This is my favourite setting brush ever! I remember I used to always use massive powder brushes that were almost as big as your entire face. I think I came about this brush when I was watching a YouTube video by Pixiwoo and they were saying how it’s better to use a small setting brush as you can control where you want the powder instead of setting your entire face. You’ll find this brush is really good for setting under the eyes because of its size not to mention it makes a good contour brush as well if you don’t want a really stark contour this will be perfect for you.
- MAC 217 (£20) – The 217 was one of my first makeup brushes from back in 2010 and to be fair, yes its expensive but for a 6-year-old brush its held up pretty well. Back in 2010 I don’t think there was anything like the 217 to me anyway it was one of a kind and I didn’t use anything else. The 217 is fantastic for a number of things like applying sheer washes of colour to blending out colours seamlessly and sometimes I used it for face powders around the nose and under the eyes. The only thing I didn’t like about the 217 was, it wasn’t synthetic so I couldn’t use creams with it and I tend to use a lot of creams on the eyes.
- MAC 266 (£16.50) – This is the real hair version of the MAC 263 which is synthetic, I’ve never really use cream products on brows so it just stood to reason I should get the 266 as its good with powders. I’ve had this brush for 4 years now I think and its in as good of condition as the day I bought it. The 266 is a great brow angled brush for applying powders because of the sharp angle you get really clean and crisp brows which has always been a favourite of mine.
- Laura Mercier Finishing Eye Brush (£26) – Now this is a brush I have never used for eyes, ive always used this for either under eye concealing or for under eye setting as the brush is so small it gets right in to the places a large brush couldn’t. The sculpted fibers act as a reservoir to pick up and release product while gently buffing and delivering colour to provide smooth, even coverage. I always tend to use this with the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder as it applies enough product and never too much.
- Real Techniques Fine Liner Brush (£5.99) – Literally one of the best eyeliner brushes i have ever used simply because it really is very fine so you get really crisp lines, I usually pair this up with the Illamasqua Precision Gel Liner in Infinity and you get the most beautiful liner.
- Real Techniques Pointed Liner Brush (Comes as part of a set) – This is one of my newest brushes that i recently got as part of the Collector’s Edition Eyelining Set. As the name suggests it’s quite a stiff and pointed brush which for me works best when applying liner in the waterline. I haven’t really tried applying eyeliner the way i would with the Fine Liner brush but it seems like it would apply a great line.
- Daniel Sandler Concealer Brush (£12.25) – This brush is also quite new but I find myself reaching for this more than i would my MAC 195, there is just something about it that makes applying concealer a breeze. I find using it for under eye concealing and highlighting the best. Its think I love it because its like it mimics the shape of your little finger to gently disguise under-eye dark circles when you use it with concealer.
- Bdellium Tools 772 Small Shader (£7.50) – I love this brush for putting on colour to the lid as it picks up a lot of colour and blends it at the same time, it’s almost like the MAC 239 but fluffier. I’m not sure if this is synthetic or not but it does seem to work well with cream eyeshadows. There’s not really much I can say about this brush other than I really like using it.