I decided that it's time for a brush post here. Brushes are so important when applying your make-up that I would say good quality brushes are even more important than good quality make-up. You can achieve a nicer result using good brushes with not so good make-up than the other way around. I'm always on a hunt for good new brushes, I have tried several brands while building my collection. I made this list with the most basic brushes that I would purchase if I was just beginning to get serious about make-up. For this post I've chosen all MAC brushes for the simple fact that they are widely available and great for starting to build your kit.
Here are the five brushes I have chosen:
MAC 130, 129, 239, 217, 266
First of all, you are going to need a good foundation brush. There are several possibilities regarding the shapes or the bristle types, but I would recommend something with either synthetic or synthetic and natural bristles, like this MAC 130. The mixture of the two types of hair will ensure flawless application. Synthetic brushes are typically better for applying cream or liquid foundation, because they don't absorb the products. If you're looking for a more affordable alternative, I really like the Real Techniques buffing brush as well.
Next, you are going to need a brush for powder, blusher, and bronzer. The MAC 129 can do all these tasks for you. Now I'm going to be honest, this is not my favorite brush in the whole wide world because I find it a little scratchy, but I couldn't think of a more versatile brush than this. I could think of better brushes for powder, blusher or bronzer, but not united in one product, like the 129. It's big enough to use for powdering your face, gives you enough control to put blusher on your cheeks, and, with the slightly tapered head, you could even do contouring.
It's time to concentrate on the eyes now. You will first need a flat shader brush with firm bristles to pat on color to your lids. For this purpose, I couldn't think of anything that works better than the 239. If you prefer something with a larger head, you could try the MAC 252 or the Laura Mercier All Over Eye Color Brush, which is one of my personal favorites.
This brings us to the crease work phase in our imaginary make-up application process and to the most versatile brush on my list: the well-known 217. You can use it to apply shadow in your crease, blending out any harsh edges; but you could also use this brush on your face, to contour your nose, or maybe even to add highlighter.
Even if you are not planning to use eyeliner, which would be the classical use of an angled brush, this one will come in very handy for your kit. You can use it to fill in your eyebrows, or to apply shadow under your eyes, or to concentrate color in your crease. The 266 is made of natural bristles, it has a synthetic version too, the 263, but I prefer the 266.
Which brushes do you think are essential?