A few months ago I posted an image on Instagram of my most used brushes. I still get regular questions about what brushes I use for my looks so I thought I'd do an in depth post on here about it! Click 'read more' for the full post.
Before we start I'll just say there are no 'luxury' or 'high end' brands in my collection. I think the most expensive brush I own is worth about $17.00. Yes, I'm on a budget but there is no reason that you can't learn to use cheaper brushes and get the same results as you would from high end brushes.
When it comes to the quality of makeup brushes there are a few things you might want to look for. Some of the things I look for include softness, shedding and the kind of bristles the brush is made from (natural or synthetic etc). Obviously sometimes brushes can be TOO cheap and this will affect the quality and application.
I also don't use just one brand.
Dense kabuki or buffer style brushes that feature synthetic hair will give a full to medium coverage. They can be used with powder, cream and liquid foundation as well as cream or liquid blushes.
These are used in either buffing motions all over or a dabbing motion over areas of the skin that require more coverage.
The synthetic hairs allow them to be easily cleaned and to collect minimal product.
- Angled Kabuki - I love this brush, it's amazingly sturdy and is quite large which makes for fast application. I especially like this brush for cream foundations or thicker liquid foundations. It's also great for blending contour.
- Flat Top Buffer - This brush features quite a short handle which is great for travelling. Like The Angled Kabuki, it is also very sturdy and blends out contour shades well. This brush isn't as dense as the Angled Kabuki but I find it easier to blend runnier liquid foundations with this one.
- RT Buffing Brush - This brush is a much softer version of the previous Flat Top Buffer. This brush feels like heaven on the skin and is great with liquids. I also use this brush with powder from time to time to set my makeup.
- RT Flawless Foundation Brush - I struggled with flat foundation brushes for a very long time until I found this one. For some reason this is the only one that I've used that doesn't leave a streaky finish to my foundation. I also had to find the right foundation to use it with and that was Illamasqua's Skinbase Foundation. It's not the quickest way to apply but it does give a flawless finish. I also use this brush to map out my contour before blending. Ideal for liquids.
- RT Deluxe Crease Brush - I use this brush for concealer. It works brilliantly with cream concealers. I very rarely use it in the crease which is it's intended use. It's beautiful and dense which makes it great for covering blemishes and dark circles.
- RT Stippling Brush - This brush works wonderfully with liquids that require a bit of buffing to achieve their full effect. When using something like a stippling brush it's important to be working with exfoliated skin as these brushes have a habit of kicking up dead flaky skin and ruining your base.
- RT Contour Brush - This works perfectly for it's intended use but it works a lot better if your contour is in powder form. I find it isn't dense enough to work with cream and liquid contour very well. I also love it for blush.
- Coastal Scents Synthetic Buffer - This brush is okay with liquid foundation but I much prefer it for something like a primer. I also use it for bronzer and blending out contour. Incredibly sturdy and easy to clean.
- Coastal Scents Natural Kabuki - This brush features a tapered end which is amazing for contour. If you only dip the tip of the brush into your powder contour or bronzer you'll notice that the shorter bristles around the tip will do all of your blending work for you!
- RT Miracle Complexion Sponge - This thing is my baby. You can use these kinds of sponges either wet or dry, I use it both ways. When wet this sponge will expand massively and feel really weird at first but you'll get used to it. I use this for applying thicker cream foundations and also for blending out contour and cream blush. It makes everything so quick and easy. Even if you don't contour your face I still totally recommend this sponge. It has a pointed end and a flat side. The pointed end is amazing for getting under the eyes and covering dark circles with ease. The price is amazing too!
- No Name Flat Concealer Brush - This came in a kit I got off eBay a long time ago. I use this brush in my brow routine to clean up the edges of my brow and make crisp edges. Very easy to find.
- Coastal Scents Liner Brush - This brush wasn't as dense as I hoped it would be (it's almost fluffy!) but I use it to fill in most of my brow before I add any definition. This kind of brush is also great for creating a softer start to the brow. No one wants Scouse Brow.
- Nail Art Brush from eBay - This is the angled brush I use if I want a really dramatic or defined brow. It's much smaller and denser than my regular brow brush.
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Angled Brush - Holy grail brow brush. Perfect in every way for creating amazing brows. Synthetic and really easy to clean.
I couldn't fit all of the names, sorry!
- White Nail Art Brushes - These came from eBay and were $2.50 for 15 brushes. Most of the brushes were perfect for use with liner. There was an array of styles. Some flat and squared and others bent at the ferrule like you might see with many brushes that are made for makeup. These are great, synthetic and very dense brushes, perfect for gel liner!
- RT Purple Pixel Point Liner Brush - This came in the 'Your Eyes/Enhanced' Starter Kit for eyes. It's quite big for a liner brush but if you use it correctly this can make your liner application very quick and neat! It also comes to a nice point that, with practice, can create a nice winged liner. I imagine this brush is quite hard to use if your liner is a bit dried up or just isn't a soft formula to begin with.
- Anastasia Beverly Hills - My holy grail brow brush is also a favourite of mine for applying liner. It's very thin which helps to create some really nice and defined liner! I also tend to use this for a very defined cut crease. No liner brush is better for a different style of liner than the other, it's a matter of self-preference and practicing with the type that you have!
- Coastal Scents Pro Blending Fluff - This is supposedly a dupe for the Mac 217. I wouldn't know, but what I do know is that this brush is awesome. I own three of these. The bristles fit perfectly into the crease and blend shadows flawlessly. The only downside to these brushes is that they stain a little but as long as you know your brushes are clean it shouldn't be a big deal!
- RT Base Shadow Brush - I love this brush for packing on colour and for blending. It's extremely soft and cleans up perfectly. Same deal as the last blending brush, it's made to fit into the crease and the longer bristles apply the eyeshadow while the surrounding shorter bristles help with blending.
- Coastal Scents Large Shadow Brush - This brush is for applying or packing shadow over a large area and it definitely does it's job! This brush might be too big for someone with smaller lid space but in saying that, you can control how much of your lid you're applying shadow too.
- Coastal Scents Crease Blender - I use this brush to get right into the crease and blend out shadows for a flawless finish. It can also be used on the lower lash line to buff out shadows. It features a tapered end which makes it easy to control how much eyeshadow you apply and helps with blending.
- Elf Crease Brush - This brush is basically a smaller, non tapered version of the brush next to it. I love this brush for buffing out liner and applying small amounts of colour to the outer V and creating cut creases.
I hope that helps! If you're wondering why I left out lip brushes, it's because I only own one and I very rarely use it! I mostly only use it for clients. If i'm applying a defined lip I'll choose to use an angled brush instead of a lip brush.
If you have any questions please leave them below!