10 makeup brushes everyone needs

You may or may not know that my background isn't strictly in the beauty realm but I actually have a degree in industrial design. One thing I learned from my shop days is how important it is to have the right drill bit, a sharp saw, and a good pair of safety goggles (I know, really sexy) to maximize efficiency and technique. Really, makeup application is no different. Simply getting the most expensive tools isn't necessary but having the proper tools can have a big impact on the finished result.

I've gone through so many years trying out all shapes and sizes of makeup brushes, from the biggest kabuki to the tiniest precise liner, that I've found a really nice rhythm of which brushes work best. That's why I thought it would be helpful to share a list of the standout must-haves from each category and what I use them for.

Face Brushes


Powder Brush - Sephora Pro 59 Precision Powder Brush
You'll want to look for something large enough so you don't need to constantly pick up more powder and small enough that it fits into the contours of your face. Being super soft like this Sephora one is also imperative!

Foundation Brush - Sephora Pro 56 Flawless Airbrush
I love synthetic, dense brushes for buffing liquid foundation in without any streaks. This one in particular has great reviews and works infinitely faster than traditional flat foundation brushes.

Angled Blush Brush - Sigma Beauty F40 Large Angled Contour Brush
My favorite type of blush brush is one that is white and angled so that it hugs the apples of the cheeks plus you can see how much product you've picked up so you don't overdo it.

Precision Highlight Brush - Sephora Pro 73 Precision Blush Brush
This one is technically a blush brush but it works so well at applying powder highlighters to just the tops of cheeks and high points of the face. It's also a super soft one!

Eye Brushes

Inner Corner Highlight - MAC 228
If you like adding that little pop to your inner eye corners to brighten your daily look, this is a must-have. Trust me, it's not easy to apply it properly without a teensy brush in your arsenal.

Smudge Brush - NARS 45 Brush
This short, dense brush is a must-have for smudging a dark color around lash lines. It's what I use daily to "line" my lower lashes with eyeshadow, which tends to last longer on me than pencil eyeliner.

Precision Blending Brush - Sigma Beauty E32 Exact Blend Brush
I use this to apply the deepest color to the outer crease area. LOVE this one for those with limited lid space!

Lid Brush - Sephora Pro 14 Shadow Brush
I use this to put on my main lid color. It's larger than my crease brushes so it can smooth on shimmery shades really nicely.

Blending Brush - MAC 217
Ah, the infamous 217! This brush has a cult following for good reason. It's the perfect density and size to blend out shadows for that perfect transition. Sometimes I just use this brush and nothing else on simple makeup days. The white bristles are also a great indicator for when brushes need to be washed again.

Large Shadow Brush - NARS 40 Brush
I love these kinds of larger fluffy brushes for applying my browbone highlight since you just need one big sweep to get the right amount of soft color down.

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