The 5 Must-Have Brushes for Every Make-Up Bag
The essential make-up brushes you need!

Makeup brushes. They’re not exactly an item you bounce out of bed to spend money on, but they’re definitely more exciting than coat hangers or hair ties.

Still, if your brushes are looking a little worse for wear, it might be time for you to invest in a few more tools to keep your look feeling fresh and polished.

And don’t panic! Unless you’re a professional, you really don’t need 25+ makeup brushes in your collection.

Here are five makeup brushes you actually need to ensure your products perform at peak potential.

Best Bronzer Brushes

A high-quality bronzer brush (i.e., one that doesn’t leave stray brush strands on your cheeks) is essential if you’re someone who goes for that sun-kissed, I-swear-I-just-have-naturally-olive-skin glow.

If you’re applying a matte bronzer, using a brush with a rounded head that covers a large surface area is key. This kabuki brush by Napoleon Perdis or the Real Techniques Powder Brush are top picks, and you can snag both of them from Adore Beauty for under $30!

If your bronzer is more shimmery than sheer, a sculpting brush like this one by Make Up Forever might sever you better. You can use the slanted side to define your cheek bones, while the dome side works great for highlighting. Two in one!

Bronzer Brush Napoleon

Best Flat Eyeshadow Brushes

A flat eyeshadow brush will help you dial up the drama factor in no time. They pick up product easily and will ensure you apply your shadow evenly. They’re great for smudging or creating hard shadow lines, but they also work just as well if you just want to add some subtle colour or shimmer to your eyelids.

They’re generally pretty affordable, too, so you can have a few on rotation if you often switch between shades. This one from Mecca Max does the job nicely and at just $9.99, it’s a total steal!

Mecca Max eyeshadow brush
Mecca Max flat eyeshadow brush

Best Eyebrow Brushes

Nothing says ‘I’m ready to take on the world’ like some serious primed brows. Which is why you need a trusty eyebrow brush in your kit that you can depend on. They’ll help you direct your brows into position and blend or tidy up any excess brow pencil product.

Yep, this is one super multipurpose brush you’ll want 10 of (but one will probably do).

The e.l.f Eyebrow Duo Brush includes an angled brush on one side (to contour and make your brows look fuller), while the wand at the other end will comb stubborn hairs into place.

e.l.f. Eyebrow duo brush
e.l.f. Eyebrow duo brush

Best Blending Sponge

Ok, so sponge isn’t exactly a synonym for brush, but this is still a really great make up tool to have on high rotation.

If you’re used to applying foundation with your hands and blending with your fingertips (no judgement – in fact loads of make-up artists recommend this technique), the idea of a blending sponge might send you into a spin. But they’re fairly low-cost and great to have on hand when you’re struggling to get that natural look.

A sponge will help you to build up your product evenly – and remove excess product to avoid that overdone, cakey appearance foundation can cause. They work best with lightweight liquid formulas, and you’ll want to make sure you clean yours on the reg.

The MCoBeauty Magic Makeup Blender Sponge will deliver a flawless finish every time – and the dusty pink colour will look cute in your make up kit.

MCoBeauty Makeup blender sponge
MCoBeauty Magic makeup blender sponge

Best Blush Brushes

Sure, you could get away with using your bronzer brush to apply blush, but it’s wise to have a separate tool at the ready so you can achieve that fresh-faced, rosy glow like a pro. Look for a brush that’s soft, fluffy, and a little tapered – this will ensure it picks up just the right amount of product.

The Real Techniques Blush Brush will give you a flawless, head-turning, oh-she-glows look every day.

Final word of advice? Rinse your bushes regularly. Like, every week regularly. Dirty brushes can wreak havoc on your skin, which no amount of make-up can cover.

Want more beauty tips? Discover the 5 best products to treat pigmentation over here.

Real Techniques Blush brush
Real Techniques Blush brush

For more make-up ideas read Hard-Working Eyebrow Products for Taming the Perfect Arches

Kristina Roach

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The 5 Must-Have Brushes for Every Make-Up Bag