A work-woman is only as good as her tools — and this is especially true when it comes to makeup application and finish. But there are just so many out there that it can be very difficult to know which brushes are "essentials" and which are just "nice to have".
I have lots of friends that come to me asking which brush should be used for what. To be perfectly honest, it's not an exact science — just like different painters love different sized brushes, so do makeup artists. A lot has to do with personal preference, and what you feel most comfortable with.
But, that's not very helpful if you don't know where to start. So to help navigate the heady world of makeup brushes, we got makeup artist and beauty guru Jacqui Arnold from Esstudio Galleria in Sydney to break it down for us. Watch the video above to see how to use them best, then click to buy her favourites below.
1. A large flat brush for liquid foundations. We like MAC's Brush 190 ($75).
2. A stippling brush to blend your foundation into your skin. We like the Real Techniques Stippling Brush ($24.99).
3. A medium-sized concealer and under-eye highlighter brush to get into all the small places that need extra coverage. We like the Real Techniques Concealer Brush ($22.99).
4. A slanted brush (great for beginners!) to apply blush and bronzer. We like the MAC Large Angled Contour Brush ($65).
5. A retractable brush that's great for bronzers and powder foundations — it's also super handy for travel. We like the Eco Tools Retractable Kabuki Brush ($24.99).
6. A large fluffy brush for setting and translucent powders to finish or refresh you look throughout the day. We like the Real Techniques Powder Brush ($27.99).
7. A medium eyeshadow brush to apply washes of colour. We like the Real Techniques Bold Metals Shading Brush ($15.99).
8. To apply darker pigments and control application, use a small flat brush like MAC's Small Eye Shader Brush 248 ($45).
9. A smaller fluffy brush will help you blend your eyeshadow for a seamless look — especially when doing a smokey eye. We like the Real Techniques Bold Metals Pointed Smudge Brush ($29).
10. A small, stiff brush is the best for applying eyeliner above and below the lash line. We like the MAC Pointed Eyeliner Brush ($37) and the MAC Small Angled Brush ($39) for this.