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Feb 11, 2013

My Top 5 Makeup Brushes

One of the most highly asked beauty questions I receive is what makeup brushes to buy to start out. Many quality brushes can be a bit pricey, so I will address both luxury and drugstore brushes I have found to work the best and last the longest.

I'm going to rank 1-5 based on what you must have in your collection (#1) to what you should have (#5). So keep reading to find out!

1. MAC 239 Flat Eye Shader Brush
This is a MUST HAVE brush for absolutely everyone and 100% worth the splurge. It is best-known for it's use to apply a color all over the lid. However, it can also be used under the bottom lash line, in the inner crease for highlight, for a precise line and literally anything else you want it to be used for on the eyes. Every brand has a eye shader brush, but trust me when I say this is the best one by far.

2. Eye Shadow Blending Brush (MAC 217, MAC 224Sigma E40, MUG Stiff Dome brush)
Just like you use the MAC 239 for the lid, you use a blending brush for the crease. There is a little variety in terms of the type of blending brush you may prefer. Some are more tapered, some are more stiff and dense, some are larger and smaller. I personally prefer the MUG Stiff Dome brush which I use on a daily basis! The MAC 217 is also great but is more expensive. The Sigma E40 and MAC224 are fluffier and bigger, so not as precise of an application. The bigger and fluffier the brush, the less control and accuracy. This brush not only is used for the crease but can be used for contouring on both sides of the nose.

3. Foundation Brush (Sigma Kabuki LineReal Techniques Expert Face Brush, MUG Deluxe Foundation Stippling brush)
A foundation brush applies a more full coverage and flawless application than simply applying with your hand. It is so easy to blend out and down your neck too. Plus, unless you are diligent about washing your hands before you apply foundation, touching your face with spread bacteria and cause breakouts. But, of course, with a foundation brush you must be diligent about washing it too. I love the Sigma F82 Round Top Kabuki and having been using it for over a year! The rest in the line are just as fabulous and I hope to try them out soon. The Real Techniques Expert Face Brush is more alternative and can be found at Ulta. It is also very soft and dense. The MUG stippling brush I have been DYING to try, but just by the looks of it, I know it would be wonderful.

4. Big Powder Brush (Sigma F30 or anything of the sort)
I love the Sigma F30 because it can be used to apply face powder to the t-zone or for bronzer. More recently, I've been turning to my Kabuki brush for face powder and solely using the F30 for bronzer. It is less of a contoured look, but you can still pinch the bristles a little to define and slim the face. This product is just great and can be used for multiple purposes.

5. Small, short and dense brush (anything like the MAC 219 Pencil Brush, Sigma E30 Pencil Brush)
Whether it's a pencil shape or more short and round, a small and precise dense brush can best be used for detailed eye looks and for small eyes. I love using a pencil brush underneath my lower lashes to smoke it out a little or in the crease for a defined/dramatic look. It can also be used in the inner corner for a bright highlight to make the eyes appear larger.

Coastal Scents and Sephora offer some great brushes too. Any brand works! It's just about the quality (soft and doesn't shed).

What are your must-have brushes?

xx, Ariana

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