Making FacesMaking Faces: The Most Essential Makeup BrushesAnnamarie Tendler

These are 6 makeup brushes you can use to create literally any look.  The first 4 are essentials.  The last 2 are also great to have and may make your life a lot easier, but aren’t necessary. Good brushes are expensive, but if you take care of them – i.e. wash/disinfect them and store them with care – they should last for years.  You can definitely buy cheaper brushes, but you will notice the bristles will fall out and they might not hold up as well, resulting in having to re-buy brushes, which can cost you more than if you invested in more expensive brushes in the first place.

I listed the equivalent high-end brush for each brush pictured, but that doesn’t mean that is the only good version of that brush.  If you want to buy brushes that are a bit less expensive (or a different brand) just use this as a guide for how the brushes should look and feel.

(from right to left)

1. Blush Brush – For applying blush (obviously). (like MAC brush 116)

2. Fluff Brush – For applying shadow to the lid area. (like MAC brush 213)

3. Small Tapered Brush – For apply shadow with precision into the crease.

4. Small Angled Brush – For applying gel liner like MAC Blacktrack. (Like MAC brush 263)

5. Small Flat Tapered Brush – For precision application of shadow into the bottom lashes. (like Make Up For Ever brush 5N)

6. Tapered Blending Brush – Good for applying shadow to the crease and general blending. (Like Make Up For Ever brush 14S)


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  1. I love your makeup posts! Very inspiring for a makeup enthusiast such as myself. However, my question is this: How should I properly clean and dry my makeup brushes?

  2. I’m pretty sure that should be, “from Left to right”