Ask any makeup artist and they will tell you that the one thing they can’t live without is their brushes. If we forget to bring blush, we turn a lipstick into a cream blush. If we forget our eye primer, we use a concealer instead. It’s a challenge to make up the rest of the face without our brushes.
True. You can use your fingers or sponge applicators that come with products to apply makeup. I use my fingers to apply my moisturizer, foundation and eye primer. But I always end up throwing out those sponge applicators or mini brushes that come with products like blush and eye shadow. Instead, I prefer to use a full-sized brush, because it offers more control to create a superior look. When I use the right brush, I get the look I want effortlessly, because the brush does most of the work.
Figuring out which brushes to buy can be overwhelming. I have narrowed the choices down for you. Here is my list of the five types of brushes every woman should own. Believe it or not, one of the brushes costs only $1. Don’t let the higher price of some of the brushes deter you. With proper care and cleaning, well-made brushes can last for many years.
A new addition to my kit is the the Mustaev V31 Blush Brush ($50). It’s an amazing brush made from high-quality, natural fibers and feels so lovely on the skin. Use the flat side to apply blush and hold it at an angle. Or use the point or top of the brush, to apply a contour color. You can find it at mustaevusa.com.
A less expensive option is the e.l.f. Studio Angled Blush Brush ($3). It’s not only a fantastic bargain, but it does a great job applying blush and contour. It’s synthetic, which typically means that it may not pick up powder products as well as a natural fiber. Target and Walmart carry it, or order online at eyeslipsface.com. Make sure to search for a coupon code to get up to half off.
The Trish McEvoy Brush 11, Precise Eye Lining for $26 is my favorite eyeliner brush. I bought one years ago and it is still in amazing condition. Use this synthetic brush to apply cream, gel or shadow eyeliner. Synthetic brushes are recommended for precision application, because the fibers lay close together, allowing a crisp line to form. Natural fibers have cuticles, so they absorb the product and, therefore, do not lay as flat. This brush is also well suited for filling in eyebrows, because the shape of the brush is similar to that of an eyebrow hair. Purchase one at trishmcevoy.com, or locally at Nordstrom, Neimans, Saks or Bloomingdale’s.
The Essential Eyeliner Brush from e.l.f. ($1) is a more affordable version of the Trish McEvoy brush. This one is a staple in my makeup kit and the price is right.
EYE SHADOW BRUSH – LID
The Stila #5 All Over Shadow Brush for $22 is my go-to lid brush. It is the perfect size to cover the eyelid with a base color of shadow. The point of the brush can be used to fill in the eyelid crease area as well. Order one at stilacosmetics.com or locally at Sephora or Ulta.
EYE SHADOW BRUSH – CREASE
Owning a specific brush for the crease area is important. The MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush for $32 is built to add color to the crease of your eyelid, while at the same time blending out the color perfectly. MAC brushes can be purchased online at maccosmetics.com, at MAC stores or by visiting a MAC counter at your local department store.
My favorite foundation brush is actually a sponge! The Beauty Blender for $19.95 and developed by makeup artist Rea Ann Silva, is the hottest thing in the beauty business. The Beauty Blender allows you to achieve a flawless texture and healthy, beautiful looking skin. Described by Silva, use it wet and bounce it around your face. There are also copy-cat Beauty Blenders which are around $5, but the original is worth the extra money. You can order and learn online at BeautyBlender.net.
There are a plethora of brushes at department store cosmetic counters, as well as at Ulta and Sephora. Book an appointment with one of their makeup artists to learn how each brush works. You will be sure to find the right brushes for your makeup needs.
PHOTOS: ANGELA GOODHART