Master Class: Makeup Brushes

It’s no secret that the key to flawless makeup starts with the right brushes. Application and technique are made that much easier with good brushes leading the way. We’ve created a list of brushes that every makeup bag needs and why!

1. Foundation brush
Using a foundation brush is one of the best ways to get a flawless, professional-looking finish. A brush allows you to apply a light, even coat that’s always streak-free, and then blend it into the skin for a barely-there look. 

2. Powder brush
This brush is perfect for the application of powder foundations, such as mineral makeup, or for that final touch of translucent powder to set a makeup look. 

3. Concealer brush
Some concealers come in a self-applying stick or pen, so this brush is one that many people skip — but that can be a mistake, according to the pros. 

4. Blush brush
One brush you should never be without is a blush brush. Many blush brushes have a slight angle, which follows the natural contour of the cheekbones and helps to ensure you put the right amount in just the right place.

5. Eye shadow brush
This simple brush is ideal for applying a powder eye shadow smoothly and evenly over the entire eyelid. Never again use the plastic and foam applicators that come packaged with many eye shadow colors. Look for a brush with flat, rounded bristles, and for this brush in particular, the pros recommend you go natural, not synthetic. 

6. Blending brush/sponge
This brush is a must-have for those who like to blend shades at the crease of the eyelid for those softly smoky eye looks.

7. Angled brush
A lot of people think of this as a brush for the brows, but it is incredibly versatile, and is great for applying cream or gel eye liner, or even applying a powder eye shadow as a liner.

8. Lip brush
Applying lipstick or gloss straight from the tube seems easy when you’re in a rush — but using a lip brush allows for more precise application, and means you can apply color more evenly. Retractable brushes are the best because they’re great for those on-the-fly touch-ups. A lip brush is also a good way to get more use out of vibrant shades — so that vivid orange shade you spent good money on isn’t wasted — if it’s too “out there” for every day wear, use the lip brush to blend it with a softer shade.

Try: For affordable brushes try the Real Technique Collection ($25, ulta.com). It’s ideal for starting your makeup collection.