The best make-up brushes for your magic make-up bag

With the right make-up brushes you can achieve anything

Finding the right make-up brushes isn’t easy. They now all come in different shapes and sizes – some don’t even have a name, just a number. But whether you want to perfect a smoky eye or apply your foundation flawlessly, we can help you decide on the best make-up brushes that will be by your side through it all.

Top tip: If you suffer from sensitive skin and find that most make-up brushes irritate you, then you need brushes that are paraffin free. We recommend Spectrum brushes – all of their brushes are paraffin free, cruelty free, vegan and look heavenly!

It's all about the base

Foundation brushes

Once you’ve applied your primer, foundation is the next step. For this, a foundation brush is what you want. One, because without one the bacteria that’s on your fingertips will automatically be transferred to your skin – not cool. Two, a foundation brush will help your foundation to go on a lot smoother and more evenly than if you use your finger – it’s also less messy.

Finding a foundation brush isn’t as straightforward as you’d think, as it all depends on the type of foundation that you’re using and the coverage you want. For a full coverage that’s perfect for cream and liquid foundations, you’ll want to look for a kabuki brush, or one that contains duo-fibre bristles. For a lighter finish, you’ll want a lightweight stippling brush that has soft and silky bristles. When you’ve found your brush, simply put the foundation on your brush and apply evenly to your face.

Remember, different brushes equal different finishes.

Blend like a pro

Beauty blenders

A beauty blender is perfect for those with sensitive or inflamed skin, because it’s so gentle and non-abrasive, it shouldn’t irritate your skin as much as other brushes. A beauty blender can be used as an alternative to your foundation brush or for blending your liquid highlighter and concealer.

If you’re using it for foundation, you’ll want the beauty blender to be slightly damp, as this will give your skin some added hydration. The pointed end is perfect for those hard to reach places like under your eyes and the sides of your nose. The rounded area will do most of the work for you, so no need to press too hard on the rest of your skin. When using it for your liquid highlighter and concealer, you simply dab until it’s completely blended in.

Conceal those blemishes

Concealer brushes

The skin around the eyes is delicate, so when using concealer be sure to pat gently on under-eye circles. You can also add your concealer to any blemishes that you may have. Most concealer brushes are small, so this makes it easier to use the rounded edge of your brush to reach the nooks around your eyes and nose. You can do this by patting the concealer until it blends in with your foundation.

A great concealer brush is essential for maintaining flawless coverage. If you’re after one that’ll work best on cream and liquid concealers, then you’ll need one that’s dense with rounded bristles. The fullness of the rounded bristles can help blend out the product evenly.

Create a flawless complexion

Powder brushes

The best way to make sure that your foundation and concealer stays put all day is to sweep powder over your face with a powder brush, as this helps to lock your make-up in place. Some powders can leave your skin looking cakey as the powder settles into lines and creases. But by dusting the bristles of your powder brush across your face evenly, you should achieve a less cakey look and will stop your foundation from smudging.

To soften the finish, use a large, fluffy powder brush. You’ll want one that's able to cover your face with powder quickly, just in case of any powder emergencies that may arise whilst you’re on the move.

Find your glow

Bronzer brushes

For gorgeous, glowing skin you’ve always dreamed of, you need a trusty brush for your perfect bronzer. A kabuki brush is a great choice here, typically because they have a big, flat, round head which means you’re more likely to get an even finish. Due to its dense shape, it can easily pick up and lock loose bronzer – crucial when creating that sun-kissed look.

Load the kabuki brush with bronzer and tap it gently to remove any excess powder. Then, swirl the brush over the top of your hairline, temples, across the cheekbones, down both sides of the bridge of your nose, over your chin and jawline. Remember to dip in and out of the bronzer as necessary.

Get a pop of colour

Blusher brushes

For the perfect blush, you need the perfect tool by your side. The most effective blusher brush will have a rounded head with lots of bristles to give you a pop of colour. Swirl the bristles of your blusher brush onto the apples of your cheeks, and then hold it at an angle and glide it along your cheekbones. If you’re after a soft, natural flush of colour to your cheekbones, make sure to not overload your brush with blusher. You can always top up afterwards.

Throw some shade

All-over shadow brushes

Now onto the eye shadow brushes. If you’re still getting to grips with eye shadow and you don’t have an all-over shadow brush, then this is where to start. This handy brush will help you to seamlessly apply, layer and blend eye shadow over the entire lid. Basically, think of this brush as your eye base brush. Most all-over shadow brushes can help you to apply and layer to perfection, so it’s a key player in your make-up bag.

Use to apply eye shadow from lash line to brow bone. For added colour, use the flat side to pack on eye shadow, whilst using the brush tip to softly define the crease.

Blending mad

Blender brushes

If you’re a big fan of eye shadow, then you’ll already know that a blender brush is a key tool in your make-up bag. Whether you’re after the smoky look for a night on the town, or going for something more minimal, the blender brush can help you to achieve both of those looks – as long as you have the patience to blend.

A blender brush with soft bristles is a must. The softness of the bristles means you can soften your look and get a seamless application. What more could you want from a brush?

Wing it

Eyeliner brushes

A lot of eyeliners can already come with a brush, so why do you need to have a separate eyeliner brush? An eyeliner brush is great for a super precise application, which is helped by the angled point to perfect your feline flick, something that not all brushes can do.

The thinner brushes are designed for the application of gel, cream or liquid eyeliner. So the perfect flick can be achieved in an easy fluid movement. You can also use your eyeliner brush to lightly apply colour to your eyelids for a subtle, defined look.

For brows that wow

Lash/brow combs

To boost your look with effortlessly enhanced lashes and perfectly groomed brows, you’ll need a lash/brow comb. This simple tool can make a huge difference, as you can achieve easily separated lashes by the groomer helping to remove any excess mascara that may clump.

You can achieve elegant brows by using it as an eyebrow brush and combing them through before applying your eyebrow product. Brows help to frame your face and eyelashes help to widen your eyes. So complete your look with a 2-in-1 brush.

Glow getter

Fan brushes

Finally, to complete your look you’ll need a fan brush. A fan brush gives you the ability to sweep highlighter along the contours of the face for a winning, glowy finish. Along with your bronzer, highlighter can be added across your cheekbones and on the bridge and tip of your nose. The highlighter won’t remove the bronzer, instead it’ll accentuate it.

Top tip: A fan brush can also be used to sweep away any fallen eye shadow from under your eyes, and for brushing your face with powder or bronzer.