Makeup Brushes: Starting Kit

Having the right tools to apply your makeup is just as important as having the right makeup. There seems to be hundreds of brushes out there, in all shape and form imaginable, all serving the same purpose. The thing is, one brush can serve many purposes. There are no definite rules to this; with experience, you’ll learn what works best for you. So, let’s get into this. Here’s a list of 10 essential brushes and/or tools (5 face brushes and 5 eye brushes)!


  1. Makeup Sponge

Makeup sponges have become a staple in every makeup bag. They apply and blend foundation, concealer and even setting powders to a flawless finish; they are also great tools for baking. They are very multipurpose and these days, you can find them everywhere in many different shapes. They can be used to achieve a very light and natural coverage, as well as to build up your foundation. The added moisture of the wet sponge (yes, soak up that sponge!) also serves to prevent a powdery, cakey finish.


(Sorry for the dirty makeup sponges)


  1. Foundation Brush

Whether your foundation is in liquid, cream, powder or stick form will determine what brush better suits your needs. For liquids, creams and sticks, a big and dense kabuki-like brush will create a fuller coverage, while duo-fibre brushes create a lighter coverage. Remember to blend the foundation into the skin with a light hand. Applying too much pressure will only move the foundation around in a streaky manner. For powder foundations, a large powder brush is preferable for a light application. To obtain a full-coverage finish, a short dense brush works best.


Sigma Flat Kabuki – F80, Makeup Geek Face Buffer Brush, MAC 130 Short Duo Fibre Brush, Sephora Collection Pro Flawless Light Powder #50


  1. Powder Brush

To apply setting powders, a big brush with softer bristles is your best bet. You can also use this type of brush to apply a light layer of powder foundation or to blend out the edges of a contour or bronzing powder. Giving that you wash your brush in between applications, it can also serve to apply bronzer. A big fluffy brush is the perfect tool to give a subtle warmth to the outer edges of the face. A smaller brush to set smaller areas that are often more problematic can also be very useful. (for example, the under-eye, around the nose and between the eyes)


Sigma Tapered Highlighter – F35, Sephora Collection Pro Flawless Light Powder #50, Sephora Collection Pro Featherweight Powder #91


  1. Blush Brush

The blush brush is often a hit-or-miss. I’ve found that medium sized tapered or angled brushes seem to work best for most face shapes. Also, opt for soft bristles rather than dense ones to obtain that nice flush look.


Morphe E4


  1. Concealer Brush

The makeup sponge is a great tool to blend out concealer, but a small dense concealer brush can come in handy for precise blending and application. It can help with blending out spot concealing and those hard to reach places like the inner eye area.

Kat Von D Lock-It Edge Concealer Brush, e.l.f. Small Precision Brush
  1. Blending Brush

A big fluffy brush is the perfect tool to apply a light wash all over the lid, to blend in a transition colour and to blend throughout the process. This brush is the secret to a perfectly blended out eye look.

Sigma Tapered Blending – E40, Makeup Geek Soft Dome Brush
  1. Crease Brush

Smaller tapered brushes will allow for a more precise eyeshadow application in the crease, thus giving depth and dimension to the eye look. They can also be used to blend edges with more precision if you do not wish to blow out the eyeshadow.

Makeup Geek Pointed Crease Brush, Sigma Blending – E25
  1. Shading Brush

To apply all over lid colours, pigments and glitter, you need a flat dense brush. To intensify the colour or the finish of your eyeshadow, pigment, etc. wet your brush with a little makeup setting spray. A shading brush will allow you to pack on the colour with more intensity.

Sigma Eye Shading – E55, e.l.f Eyeshadow “C” Brush
  1. Small Angled Brush

A small angle brush will serve many purposes. Not only will it apply gel eyeliner, it can also create a soft diffused wing or a nice crisp cut crease. It can also be used to apply eyebrow powders or pomades.

Quo Liner/brow/yeux/sourcils
  1. Pencil Brush

A small pencil brush is essential to blend out eyeshadow on the lower lash line (or on the upper lash line). A good blending session is all that stands between that seamless smoky eye and that I’m-hung-over-and-did-not-wash-my-face-before-passing-out-the-night-before-look.

Sigma Pencil – E30, Makeup Geek Pencil Brush


These 10 brushes/tools should be more than enough to accomplish a wide variety of looks. I hope this helps you sort things out! Thank you so much for reading, xo Jamie A.

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