Tested and Approved: Makeup Brushes
The gradual process of investing in all of the above brushes was a tough one, especially with the more expensive ones of the lot. But since weeks have passed after using them every day, I have no regrets. Makeup application with the help of a brush can make or break just how precise and natural your overall look can be. While it’s not important to buy 3 different foundation brushes like I have, a few key items in your vanity may be quite necessary - a brush for bronzing and blush, another for applying liquid or cream foundation, a lip brush, an eyelash curler and a big fluffy powder brush for blending. That being said, here are the details on the specific brushes in my collection (from left to right):
- Tarte Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush - Applying foundation with a domed or stippled brush is far superior to applying with the average sponge or even your hands. With a brush like this, less product is utilized resulting in a more natural and less “painted” like finish on your face. In addition to the Tarte Foundation Brush I would also recommend the Shiseido Foundation Brush or the Tom Ford (if you’re feeling splurgy). Avoid paddle brushes and stick to a brush that’s more conducive to blending foundation.
- Sephora Pro Tapered Foundation Brush #58 - Another foundation brush I bought on sale at Sephora that I use primarily for applying concealer. The soft, tapered bristles are just delicate enough to blend foundation and concealer around the eye area for, again, a blended and more natural finish. Notable mentions for this purpose include the Sonia Kashuk Pointed Foundation Brush or the Japonesque Pro Pointed Foundation Brush.
- e.l.f. Blending Brush - I use a soft and angled brush to apply bronzer. You want to avoid a hard edge when contouring so the softer your brush bristles, the better. I apply bronzer starting from the top of my ear lobe toward the center of each cheekbone then gradually blending up and under in a 3 formation. I blend my bronzer and blush even further with an additional brush which will get to in a moment. For now, consider this e.l.f. brush as a great contender in your makeup brush collection. In fact, for the price you really can’t beat e.l.f. brushes across all categories.
- stila #15 Double Sided Brush - A two-in-one tool to apply eyeshadow on the creases of the eye contour and to blend out the results and perfect your final look. No better way to get more bang for your buck than a brush that serves more than one purpose!
- e.l.f. Studio Pointed Foundation Brush - Yet another “foundation” brush in my repertoire except this one is used to precisely apply powder around the eye area.
- Laura Mercier Smoky Eyeliner Brush - If a smoky eye is part of your everyday look, I highly recommend investing in Laura Mercier’s Smoky Eyeliner Brush. I have come across no other brush as pointy yet soft as this one. Great to use with powder eyeshadow or gel liner, this little baby really packs an effective smoky eye punch. I must mention the MAC Pencil Brush as a great alternative. Although it is less pointy, it is still very precise. Another brush I use on the daily.
- Benefit Blush/Powder Brush - This is my blush brush. I apply this above my bronzer on the cheekbone, curving up in a C formation. There are a ton of great blush brushes out there and most will serve this purpose just as well, regardless of price. In fact a blush brush was the very first makeup brush I ever owned. There’s no going back considering the rinky dink brushes included in most blush compacts.
- Dior Backstage Retractable Lip Brush - When it comes to applying a bold and/or bright lipstick, use a lip brush. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
- NARS Yachiyo Kabuki Brush - As a finishing touch to all the foundation, powder, bronzer and brush I’ve applied to my face, I do a once or twice over with this fluffy beauty. Blend, blend, and blend! Blending is the key to a refined and polished look. We can go bold but we should never go brash when it comes to makeup. The right makeup brush is here to help!