(SPOT.ph) Falling prey to the siren song of mermaid-scale brushes? Experiencing a magnetic pull toward metallic finishes? Feeling an affinity toward unicorn horn handles? That’s all well and good for the ’gram, but before you stock up on every #aesthetic brush on the market, we suggest investing in versatile, user-friendly brushes that do the job minus the flash. Step up your makeup game with these power tools that are an awesome mix of high-end and drugstore brands.
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Here are 10 basic makeup brushes you need to complete your collection:
Big Powder Brush
This ridiculously fluffy brush from Marc Jacobs is worth the investment thanks to its sturdy construction and versatility—you can use it for dusting bronzer or blush on the contours of the face or to pat powder foundation all over. The brush features dome-shaped synthetic fibers that efficiently pick up powder (no need to keep dipping back in the pan), while the wide shape allows you to lightly sweep the product across the face, neck, and shoulders, providing even coverage.
Available online and at selected department stores.
Tapered Face Brush
This face brush from Wet N’ Wild is a vegan and cruelty-free option that looks and feels fancy for only a fraction of the price of similar tools. Decked out in a pretty pink chrome, the brush’s synthetic fibers, tapered shape, and ergonomic handle allow you to target exactly the parts of the face you want to dust with blush, bronzer, or highlighter—perfect for structured makeup looks. Plus, the slim dome is ideal for setting and baking the undereye area.
Available at Watsons and selected department stores.
Flexible Face Brush
Real Techniques’ blush brush is proof that you don’t have to sacrifice quality for affordability. Despite its thick, fluffy head, the bristles remain light and flexible, allowing you to gently swirl a light wash of blush on your cheeks without going overboard. Apply in a circular motion on the apples and nose bridge for a soft, natural look, or keep the blush on just the tops of your cheekbones for a sharper contour.
Available at Watsons and selected department stores.
Cream Complexion Brush
You’ve got to ace your base before moving on to the rest of the face! This brush from IT Cosmetics will give your cream products that skin-like, pore-blurring finish. The double-ended design will help you apply your cream complexion products with ease—you can use the larger end to blend out your foundation while the micro end is great for spot-concealing. The densely packed bristles are designed to help you apply your cream products.
Angled Face Brush
The angled shape of this Zoeva brush makes it handy for precise application of face products like bronzer and blush. You can also use it to blend out concealer under the eyes. The slanted tip is perfect for targeting the nooks and crannies of the face, like the hollows of the cheeks and the contours of the jaw. Plus, the synthetic bristles on this brush are ideal for both cream and powder formulas. Since they don’t soak up excess product, you can efficiently use your makeup products and avoid unnecessary waste.
Precision Highlighting Brush
If you’re obsessed with dewy makeup looks or beaming highlighters that you can see from space, keep a tool like this Make Up For Ever brush in your collection. The slim but flexible head allows you to apply illuminator exactly where you want it, while also seamlessly blending it out for a natural-looking shine. It has an elongated, rounded handle that provides a comfortable grip so you can get a perfect highlight every time. It can also double as a powder applicator—use it for touch-ups throughout the day to fight excess grease without cakey buildup.
See a list of Make Up For Ever branches.
A flat-top stippling brush like Sigma’s duo fiber face brush is a versatile tool that will help you customize the application of your cream products. To build up coverage, apply with light stipples or sheer out your products by applying them with a swirling motion. The loosely packed bristles promise a streak-free application that will blend seamlessly into the skin and give you a natural, air-brushed finish.
Angled Eyebrow and Spoolie Brush
Brows are an essential step in your makeup routine whether you’re rocking full glam or a no-makeup look. For brow beginners, perfecting your arches would be much easier with an angled brush. Try this tool from Benefit. The delicate bristles will allow you to slowly draw on your brows with powder or pomade, and is much more forgiving than a pencil, which can be tough to correct if you make a mistake. Once you’re done, blend the product and comb out your brow hairs with the spoolie on the other end for neat but natural-looking arches.
See a list of Benefit branches.
Crease Blending Brush
Whether you’re an eyeshadow expert or still learning the ropes of eye makeup, the first step of your eye look is usually adding color to the crease of your lid. Keep this brush from Sephora in your collection so you can lightly apply eyeshadow to your crease. The itty-bitty size will work for a variety of eye shapes (yup, even if you don’t have much lid space), while the flexible bristles and fluffy silhouette will allow you to blend out color on the crease without any harsh lines. Use it to build up transition colors with feathery light strokes that won’t make your eyeshadow look muddy.
If loose, fluffy bristles are ideal for lightly blending color, then flat, tightly packed bristles are perfect for packing on pigments in true-to-pan color. This brush from Fenty will allow you to lay vibrant colors on your lids, so you can rock shockingly bright colors that will stay put. It’s especially handy for metallic or glittery shadows that will make your peepers pop. Tip: Use it to pop shiny shades on your tear ducts to make your eyes look even more piercing.