E.L.F. Brushes, Kabuki Brushes, MAC

Building up a solid makeup brush collection can’t be that hard… can it? To say I was overwhelmed when I first walked into my local cosmetics store would be the understatement of the century. As I gazed at row upon row of countless brushes in all sizes, shapes and colours a million thoughts ran through my head.

“A stippling brush? Dual ended something-something? Kabuki brush? I could’ve sworn Kabuki was some form of Japanese drama…”

For a long time I had only used the free brushes that came with my makeup products. But ladies the truth is that your makeup is only as good as the brush it’s applied with.

I decided to get serious and research the brush market far and wide to come up with a list of the 10 makeup brushes every woman should have in her makeup bag. So without further ado and in no particular order, here they are:


E.L.F. Brushes, Kabuki Brushes, MAC

1. Foundation stippling brush

Never apply your foundation with your fingers. If you’re looking for a flawless and airbrushed look to the skin, you should be using a stippling brush to put on your foundation.

My pick: MAC 187 Duo Fibre Face Brush

E.L.F. Brushes, Kabuki Brushes, MAC

2. Blush brush

I used to use the tiny blush brushes I got in my compacts but once I switched to a full-fledged blush brush the difference in the way the colour appeared on my cheeks was incredible. You better believe I tossed my compact blush brushes right in the garbage.

My pick: ecotools Tapered Blush Brush

E.L.F. Brushes, Kabuki Brushes, MAC

3. Concealer brush

Use this brush to conceal with precision. If you’re applying your concealer with your fingers you’ll be more likely to have some unflattering streaking. I love the coverage I get with this brush, especially under my eyes and in those hard to reach places around my nose.

My pick: Sigma F70 Concealer Brush

E.L.F. Brushes, Kabuki Brushes, MAC

4. Kabuki brush

If you use loose powder for setting your foundation or like to wear bronzer, a kabuki brush is a must-have. This brush blends powdered makeup evenly on your skin and gives you natural looking coverage.

My pick: e.l.f. Kabuki Face Brush


E.L.F. Brushes, Kabuki Brushes, MAC

5. Flat stiff brush

A flat stiff eyeshadow brush will let you build more intense colour on your lids in half the time. The stiff bristles of this brush pick up more pigment and distribute that colour over your entire eyelid. Oh and make sure you’re priming your lids with an eyeshadow primer for a long-lasting look.

My pick: MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush

E.L.F. Brushes, Kabuki Brushes, MAC

6. Blending brush

This eyeshadow brush is essential for seamless blending and also creates a nice highlight for your brow bone.

My pick: Urban Decay Good Karma Blending Brush

The 10 Essential Make Up Brushes

7. Smudge brush

Use a smudge brush to soften your eyeliner with some eyeshadow and prevent the look of harsh lines. Bonus: this is a great tool for creating a smokey eye.

My pick: e.l.f. Studio Small Smudge Brush

E.L.F. Brushes, Kabuki Brushes, MAC

8. Fine liner brush

For those of you who wear gel eyeliner, a precise liner brush is a necessity. Helloooo cat eyes. If you’re just starting out I would recommend investing in a bent liner brush which makes gel liner application a tad easier.

My pick: Real Techniques Fine Liner Brush


E.L.F. Brushes, Kabuki Brushes, MAC

9. Brow brush

Get double the product with your money by using a dual ended brow brush. If you don’t touch up your brows as part of your regular makeup routine, you should really start doing so as your brows frame your face. Fill in your eyebrows with powder or eyeshadow using the brush’s angled side, while using the other side to groom those bad boys into place.

My pick: Stila #18 Dual Ended Brow Brush


E.L.F. Brushes, Kabuki Brushes, MAC

10. Lip brush

If you’re an avid lipstick wearer or have a lip gloss palette, get a lip brush.  You’ll use less lip product but still get all of the coverage you need. I always use this brush to create a precise red lip – a lip brush easily blends your lip liner and lipstick together to create a less severe look.

My pick: Bare Escentuals Covered Lip Brush


Did I miss anything? I’d love to hear your personal brush recommendations in the comments!


Header image: Cheeky Chic