Building a Basic Brush Set
Like any fine art, good makeup application can transform the canvas of your face from plain to perfection. It always helps, however, to have the right tools.
So how much do you need to spend on brushes? Well, if you apply makeup every day, it’s worth it to invest some money in a good set of brushes. With proper care, they can last for years and provide even, consistent makeup application. To help narrow down the endless choices, we went to one of the top makeup artists in the business, Bobbi Brown, for the essential brushes that you cannot live without.
This brush’s firm, tapered bristles make it easy to apply concealer on hard-to-reach areas like the inner corners of your eyes and along the lash line. You can also use this brush to spot-apply cover-up on blemishes.
Bobbi says: Make sure that the bristles are firm and soft, not hard and scratchy, considering how delicate the skin by your eye area is.
Use this when you’re trying to achieve medium to full coverage. Make sure the bristles are made of a high-end synthetic material so the foundation won’t streak and the bristles won’t swell with age.
Bobbi says: For a natural look, use your foundation brush to apply moisturizer and then use the same brush to apply foundation afterwards. The leftover moisturizer on the brush dilutes the foundation so that it goes on sheerer. I especially like this trick because it allows you to get multiple finishes out of one foundation.
Face Blender Brush
This three-in-one brush is ideal for those just starting to build their brush collection, and it’s also convenient for travel. Use it to apply bronzer, blush or a Shimmer Brick. I think this is a great brush for shimmer because the bristles deposit the color in an extremely sheer wash.
Bobbi says: This utilitarian brush has so many uses. It’s perfect for easy makeup application, whether you’re at home or traveling.
Eye Shadow Brush
This brush’s small, fluffy bristles pick up just the right amount of eye shadow to sweep across your lower lid.
Bobbi says: A good-quality eye shadow brush will have natural, soft, rounded bristles with beveled edges, which avoid creating any harsh lines.
Ultra Fine Liner Brush
The bristles on this small brush are synthetic, dense, and they curve to a point. The ultra-fine tip makes it perfect for a precise application of gel eyeliner.
Bobbi says: It’s my favorite brush for the precise application that gel liner requires.
You can purchase Bobbi’s set online, or build your own collection from different brands. If you can afford it, splurge on natural hair brushes over synthetic brushes. While many companies also sell brush cleaner, my super-saver secret is to use Palmolive dish soap; it leaves the brushes soft and also helps to break down any oils from your skin.