The Beauty Brushes You Need

Two things dawned on me the other day while eyeing my full-to-the-brim cup of makeup brushes sat on my dressing table: one, ‘damn they are really due a clean’ and two, ‘why the hell do I need 20+ brushes within arms reach at all times when applying makeup?’. The whole cleaning palaver can wait till the weekend, but the overcrowding of the brush cup is a subject that I wish to discuss today. You see over Christmas I travelled home with minimal makeup in tow and a beauty bag that held just two brushes. Two. A buffing brush for base emergencies and a blending brush for eyes incase I decided it was eyeshadow time (spoiler alert: that time never came). And you know what? I survived and I don’t think I looked too horrendous; fingers are a glorious tool you see. So the question to ponder is – what beauty brushes do you really need? I think the answer lies in just six…

The Buffing Brush, a.k.a) Real Techniques Buffing Brush. Oh hello old friend. I’m currently trialling the Miracle Complexion Sponge (review in progress), but there will always be a special place in my heart for this. Foundation glides on with the aid of the synthetic bristles and I tend to whip on concealer, cream bronzer, cream blush, cream highlight with this too. Basically with anything creamy, out this comes.

The Powder Brush, a.k.a) Charlotte Tilbury Powder and Sculpt Brush. This narrowly missed out on a spot in my ‘Top of the ’13 Class’ post. It. Is. Awesome. Contouring is its prime function though I like to use it for pinpoint powdering, applying highlight, bronzer and blush. It’s my ‘do-it-all’ cheek choice.

The ‘Pack it On’ Brush, a.k.a) MAC 242 Brush. This brush is a newer addition to the ranks and is now the one that I use on a daily basis for eye colour – cream, powder, pigments, gel, whatever. It’s big enough to deposit the shade to the whole lid and the square-ish shape makes it a good choice for laying down some kind of wing or line along the lashes. The dense fibres make it a good one for packing on concealer when you’re in serious need of coverage too.

The Fluffy Brush, a.k.a) MAC 217 Brush. You know this one, right? It’s basically the eye brush of all eye brushes. In fact it’s fair to say that MAC bring it when it comes to eyeshadow tools – they’ve always got you covered. This brush in particular can make a smokey eye fool like myself appear to be knowing what they’re doing. Harsh lines be gone. Though it’s worth noting that it can also perform as an ‘all-over’ lid washer and a concealer blender when required.

The ‘Brush’ Brush, a.k.a) Eco-Tools Spoolie Brush. I’ve had this brush for years (can you tell from the ingrained fluff?) and after scouring online for it, it appears that it may no longer be in production but any spoolie will do. Of course their main function is keep brows in check, though I do employ mine from time to time to correct an overzealous mascara application. Plus ‘spoolie’ is just one of the best words in the beauty dictionary. Ever.

The Tiny Brush, a.k.a) Real Techniques Accent Brush. Small, but seriously multi-tasking. I propose that a tiny ‘detailer’ style brush will come in handy for both eye and lip applications; whether it’s for adding an inner-corner highlight, smudging out liner, applying shadow under the eye or lining the lips with something bold and bright, it’s one to keep in your clutches.

Six brushes – nothing more, nothing less; to paint on a plethora of looks from a smokey eye to a loud and proud pout. I have a feeling my brush cup is going to be looking rather roomy.

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