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The Top 6 Essential Makeup Brushes

You Asked: What Makeup Brushes Are Essential and What Ones Can I Skip?

In this week's "Ask Bella" post, where we aim to make the cosmetics world a clearer place, we're talking makeup brushes. As in, out of the 2,657 varieties out there, which ones it is essential to own. Because our lovely reader Willowtree asked us. And because in the immortal words of Vanilla Ice: "If there was a problem yo I'll solve it." All you have to do is email

"Question: With so many makeup brushes out there and usually they are quite pricey, could you advise which ones should be essential."

Do you know, Willowtree, that I once had a friend who had a new makeup brush for each individual eyeshadow shade . . . until I told her that it would be much more cost-effective to buy a good brush cleaner (I swear by Mecca's Brush With Success Conditioning Cleaner, $22, for ease of use) and STOP BUYING BRUSHES. Because they can be costly as you said. And, unless you're a pro makeup artist, the majority of them are unnecessary. Even Bobbi Brown says so. There's only really six brushes that your average person needs: a concealer brush, a foundation brush, a big blending brush, an eyeshadow brush, an eyeliner brush and a brow brush. This will take care of your basic needs and then add other fancy fan brushes to your Christmas List — I do.

Keep reading . . .

  • The Body Shop Lipstick/Concealer Brush ($14.95): As the name suggests, get more bang for your buck by using a concealer brush to apply lipstick too. After cleaning thoroughly obviously!
  • <product target="_blank" href="">Kit Cosmetics Foundation Brush</product> ($44.95): You'll use this one the most so if you're going to splash the cash on one brush, make it this one.
  • Manicare Popping Punk Duo Powder + Foundation Brush ($23.95): We adore the coloured bristles and the fact that it doesn't leave stray hairs all over our face! Plus, the dual-ended brush is great for travelling.
  • <product target="_blank" href="">Australis Eyeshadow Brush</product> ($6.95): The price may be cheap, but the quality's still definitely there. And because of the synthetic bristles, the brush is multi-purpose; great for gels, crèmes and powders.
  • <product target="_blank" href="">Benefit Get Bent Eyeliner Brush</product> ($27): As well as the tongue-in-cheek name, we love that this brush has been ergonomically designed on a 30 degree angle to help get that precision line.
  • <product target="_blank" href="">Smashbox Angled Brow Brush</product> ($29.95): This stiff brush is great for adding pigment to patchy brows. I've also used it as a liner brush if I'm without all my tools!
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