These small makeup brushes make a big difference

Over the years I’ve come to learn that makeup brushes can make a tremendous difference in your final look. I used to scoff when a makeup artist would try to sell me a tool in addition to a pricy product, but now I’m a lot more willing to listen. And although it may seem like there’s an endless number of brushes everyone should have, that’s not really the case. With a handful of well-designed, high-quality brushes you can do just about anything.

In my opinion, the essential brushes you need are for foundation, blush/powder, bronzer and eyeshadow (I only have 2: a fluffy blender and denser smudger). My fingers work fine for just about everything else. In terms of specialty brushes, you definitely need a good eyeliner brush if you a cream, gel or powder. I’ve also found a fan brush is the best way to use a powder highlighter without looking like a disco ball. All the rest aren’t all that necessary, but I know you might want to add a few more to your arsenal…

Yesterday I picked up 2 new brushes for my collection, and I’ll admit that these purchases we’re not out of necessity. I’ll admit it: I usually steal spooly brushes from cosmetic counters to groom my brows. But lately I’ve been finding them to be a bit flimsy. I’ve been searching for an eyebrow brush with just a spooly (no foam smudger, no comb) on a nice, long handle, and the ONLY one I could find was Laura Mercier’s Brow Grooming Brush. Its stiff bristles are perfect for coaxing my brows into place, and I use it after applying my Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel to make sure everything is smooth and tidy. With a price of $10, I had no problem making this unnecessary purchase.

Now that Charlotte Tilbury has made me a born-again full-on lipstick wearer (i.e. liner, lipstick and gloss), of course I had to buy her lip brush. (On a side note, I worry that she may think I’m a stalker because I’ve written, tweeted and posted about her so much.) Its squared-off edges set it apart from the rest, as this shape helps get color into corners, and because it’s on the stiffer side, you get smoother application. The only problem: This brush isn’t exactly ideal for tossing in my bag for touch-ups on the go.

So that led me to yesterday’s second purchase, Kevyn Aucoin’s Lip Brush. I probably could have settled for a lip brush with a cap, but this retractable brush is probably one of the coolest I’ve ever seen. I didn’t even ask the price before saying, “I’ll take it!” (because how much could a lip brush really be?) so I was a bit taken aback when the register rang up $38. But with that said, it’s a small price to pay for a perfectly-painted pout—and no lipstick stains in my cosmetic case or clutch.

So what are your essential brushes?

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