Best Makeup Brushes Must Haves

Published: October 28, 2014

One of the main things that can make or break a makeup look is the application. Not only do you need to be decent at doing makeup (practice makes perfect), you also need the right tools to achieve the look that you’re going for. Makeup artists are known to have mastered the application process of makeup, but if they don’t have the right tools to work with, the look they’re trying to achieve might not come out the way they had originally planned. Having the right brushes are essential for pulling together a beautiful makeup look. Makeup brushes can be a bit expensive, so feel free to start out with a cheap set and then start collecting the more pricey ones as you can. Eventually, they’ll start adding up and you’ll have everything you need. These are my top ten best makeup brushes must haves.

  1. Mac 217 Blending Brush

    This brush is basically my holy grail of brushes. I swear by it. Not only does it effortlessly apply shadow to the lid, but it also blends amazingly. This is a brush that just about anyone who is serious about makeup owns in their collection. It’s like a staple, if you will. I would recommend buying two, one to apply shadow and blend with, and then another that you always keep clean to blend out the lines as you need.


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  2. Mac 293 Shader Brusher

    If you’re looking for a brush that does a really great job applying and distributing shadow, this is the brush for you. Not only do you get great color payoff, you also have a good amount of control while using this brush. It makes applying shadow easier for beginners and more enjoyable for more advanced makeup lovers. It’s a great brush.

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  3. Real Techniques Buffing Brush

    Not only is this brush really affordable, it’s also like the holy grail when it comes to foundation brushes. The Real Techniques Buffing Brush leaves your foundation looking flawless, absolutely no streaks whatsoever. I personally don’t always enjoy using foundation because it can feel a bit much on my skin, but this brush does a good job of making it look nice and not feel like it’s too much.

     available for purchase at 

  4. Sigma E40 Tapered Blending Brush

    I know, I already mentioned a blending brush, but blending brushes are important! And honestly, you can never have enough. This brush does a great job of fitting right in the crease and sweeping product all along your crease area. It’s great at applying the color and diffusing the harsh lines that pigmented shadow can often leave, which usually looks rather sloppy. If you’re a beginner, you might want to start out with this kind of brush because it makes blending a little easier when you’re trying to get the hang of it. This is one of my main go-to brushes when I’m blending out my crease.


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  5. Mac 266 Small Angle Brush

    If you’re into winged eyeliner or doing up your brows this brush will help you out tremendously. Not only is it great for powder eyebrow application, it also works well with Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade too. And its size allows you to execute the winger liner better than you would have expected, as well as applying eye shadow underneath the bottom lashes. This versatile little brush will help out a lot in any makeup brush collection you have or want to begin.  

    available for purchase at 

  6. Real Techniques Setting Brush

    If you’re not into huge powder brushes like me, this might help you out just a little bit. It may look small, but it’s perfect for setting underneath your eyes. I also use it to powder my T-Zone, just press it all along your forehead and down your nose to your chin and you’re set! It’s really great for highlighting as well, the perfect size to run along the top of your cheek bones or down your nose!

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  7. Sigma F84 Angled Kabuki

    I looooove this brush for contouring. Because it’s rounded on the top it helps blend out the bronzer/contour powder as you apply it. You can also blend it yourself if you feel like the color payoff is too harsh. It also works really well for foundation as most kabuki brushes do, but I really love it for bronzer and contour powder.

    available for purchase at 

  8. Mac 219 Pencil Brush

    If you’re like me and love adding just a little bit of eye shadow underneath your lash line or in the corner of your eye for a highlight this brush does that perfectly! Because of its shape, when you’re applying underneath your lash line it’s easy to smudge it out a little and add that smoky effect everyone’s after. And because it’s so small and precise, it makes it easy to add a quick highlight to your inner corner or even your brow bone.


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  9. Real Techniques Contour Brush

    This brush is great for contouring, but it also blends out concealer effortlessly. If you enjoy the heavy contour look or like defining your cheek bones/face, just swirl this brush in your product and use a circular back and forth motion. This applies the product while simultaneously blends it out so it isn’t incredibly harsh. The under eye triangle concealer/highlight is really in at the moment, and a lot of people think that adding a thick triangle of concealer under their eye is a bit much, but using the contour brush buffs away the heaviness of it and blends it into the skin still leaving a subtle lightening and looks really nice. This is a great brush to have in your collection and really affordable as well.

     available for purchase at 

  10. Zoeva 127 Luxe Sheer Cheek

    This angled brush is great for applying blush or contouring your face. Because of its shape, it gets right in the hallows of your cheek and gives you that nice defined look in your face when using bronzer. And, because of its shape, it’s perfect for apply blush to your cheek bones without adding too much product and making you look like a clown. I mainly use it for blush, but you’re free to use it for whatever you need! That’s the great thing about makeup brushes, you can be creative and use them several different ways.

    available for purchase at 

Shopping for makeup brushes can be incredibly overwhelming at times, especially if you’re not really sure what you’re looking for or what they’re capable of doing. These are my best makeup brushes must haves that can literally create almost any look you try to achieve. It isn’t necessary to buy the exact ones, because they can be a bit expensive, but it’s easy to shop around drug stores or online to find cheaper ones around the same size. I would definitely grab the Mac 217 Blending Brush and a couple Real Technique brushes to start out with! I hoped this helped you on your makeup adventures!