If I had to pick one thing in the beauty realm that I can’t seem to have enough of, it’s makeup brushes. It may be a little bit of a problem, but you know what… (I don’t really care :p).
Brushes are so vital in good makeup application and there are so many out there that do such a good job, and I love finding out which ones are the best. I believe that investing in good quality brushes is important but I also recognize that they can do quite the damage to your wallet.
I have quite a few favourite brushes in my collection that are great quality and happen to be very affordable as well, so I am here to share them with you!
My Top 12 Brushes
I have chosen brushes that I would use in a full face makeup routine and that I cannot go without. These for me are essential as they do their job very differently from each other. I have a few different affordable brands here that are great quality as they don’t shed (which is a huge importance for me) and they apply the make as they are supposed to, versus brushes that pick up product but don’t apply evenly or don’t pack on the pigment as they should.
I have not included sponges as a part of this post, however, they are a tool that I do use regularly in my routine. If you are interested in me writing a post on all the makeup tools I use then leave me a comment below 🙂
When I am not using my beauty sponge, this is my go-to foundation applicator. This brush is so nice and dense and beautifully rounded that it evenly applies the foundation. I find that it doesn’t soak up too much product so you don’t have to worry too much about waste and it’s a smaller brush so it easily gets into the little contours of the face such as around the nose.
I have used this brush so much and yet it still looks like new. All of the Real Techniques brushes I love but this happens to be one of my favourites.
So, to save the confusion, this brush “technically” is a highlighter brush, and you can feel free to use it for that, but I LOVE using this brush for my under eye powder.
As I have a dryer complexion I try to not use too much powder (which is why I haven’t included a powder brush in this collection). Instead, I love going in with this brush under the eyes with my translucent powder as it fits nicely around the contour of the eyes and it doesn’t pack on too much of the product (avoiding all eye wrinkles as much as possible!)
It’s great for lightly dusting over the bridge of the nose, chin and forehead as well.
This brush is a dream! Probably one of my favourite bronzing brushes I have used. It’s a thick dense fan brush that is ultra soft and blends bronzing powders beautifully, which is super important so that you don’t look muddy. You can use it to carve out your cheekbones, forehead and jawline with the long flatter side and then blend out the lines with the thicker side.
All the NYX brushes feel so luxurious and stay looking like new. This brush is made with synthetic fibres so it is also a great option to use with liquid bronzers.
If I am applying any sort of face makeup, bronzer is a must for me, otherwise, being so fair I look very washed out. Having a good bronzing brush is a must in my collection.
This blush brush by Morphe is a really nice one. It has natural hair bristles made out of Goat hair which ensures that it will pick up the product well and distribute it nicely on the cheeks. In other words, you will get the colour pay off that you are looking for!
It’s a great angled shape to work around the cheekbones with and is one that I will definitely replace once this one is done. I don’t ever go without blush even if I am doing a minimal makeup routine, as I feel that warmth to the cheeks brightens up your smile and your eyes which I love to showcase, so a blush brush is important in my collection.
How I use this brush is also not “technically” what it is intended for, however, it works really well as a highlighter brush. Its meant to be used as a super large eyeshadow brush, but in my opinion too large for the eye. I have larger eyes and I still wouldn’t choose to use this on my eyes, but as a highlighter brush it amps up the shine.
It has synthetic bristles but acts like it has natural bristles as it picks up the products beautifully. I love using it in circular motions on the apples of my cheeks and then bringing it up along the high point of my cheekbones. It’s also small enough that you can nicely highlight your nose without losing your contour.
I love creating shine on my face, especially because I have a dry complexion, so I am always grabbing my highlighter brush and this is the one I go to the most.
If you are looking for the perfect brush to create a soft crease colour that’s perfectly blended out, this is your brush! Basically, I believe that everyone needs a brush like this in their lives. It is a natural Goat hair bristle and it is the perfect size for giving a great wash of colour to the crease.
I think if I had to choose one brush out of all of them that I couldn’t go without, this would be it. Having well-blended eyeshadow is so important as you don’t want your makeup to look messy and too much. This brush will do its job and fast, and because it is a natural hair brush, it will get better the more you use it.
Can I say that this brush is in my collection simply because its pink and rose gold? :p well I maybe could but I actually really love this brush for how nicely it applies an all over lid colour.
I especially love using it with shimmery shadows by picking up the product on the brush and then spritzing it with setting spray as the eyeshadow just pops on the lid this way. It’s a great size brush for the main lid and also blends beautifully into the crease.
I definitely plan on getting more Luxie brushes in my collection as they are just so pretty!
This brush is a must-have for building those darker colours in the crease and along the upper lash line. It is an important brush in my opinion for doing a smokey eye. Because it tapers to a point, you can direct the product with great control and placement and have maximum pigment. I have a few crease brushes but this one is by far my favourite.
Sigma brushes are also cruelty-free so that’s a really nice thing to consider that I personally love about the brand.
If you are a Jaclyn Hill fan then you will know how much she loves her flat definer brush. That’s actually what prompted me to first try this brush, and what do you know, she wasn’t lying about how good it is!
This brush is perfect for getting colours right in along the lower lash line. I especially love using it for darker colours to create a smokey lower eye and I pretty much use it every time I do my makeup to help the eyes to pop.
You also have the option of using this brush with a gel or liquid liner to put in the water line.
This is the go-to brush to smoke out your lower lash line. I always use it in conjunction with the E15 Flat Definer brush above. I usually pack on a deep colour along the lash line with the E15 and then blend it out with a softer colour using the E30 to create the perfect smokey eye.
Its a nice tight pencil brush with synthetic bristles and I havent found a brush to replace it.
I use a lot of loose pigments in my makeup routine as I love the sparkle that I get and this brush is perfect for applying them. It’s very flat on one side and wide on the other so it is very precise with pressing the pigment in. It’s also beautiful to use with cream products as it is synthetic and being flat it won’t eat up the product.
I actually love using this brush in particular for my highlight areas on my eyes. So the inner corner of the eye and along the brow bone.
If you are a winged liner girl like me then you will want to pick up this brush. You know how hard it is to get the perfect sharp wing? You won’t have that problem with this one. I have used this brush when doing other peoples makeup or my own because out of all the angled liner brushes that I have ever used, this one has done the job the quickest and easiest.
It is a super tiny angled brush which I think is the key. I haven’t found one quite this tiny before, but it makes being precise and creating the perfect sharp wing a breeze. I especially love using it with a nice gel liner.
All of these brushes I am in love with and will probably always be a staple in my collection. I love the gold details in a lot of them and they have really lasted me a long time.
Let me know in the comments below what are your favourite brushes that you use and if there are any I should try that you think I might fall in love with!