The 6 Makeup Brushes Everyone Needs to Own

Updated 04/17/19
Best makeup brushes: Lucy Williams makeup bag
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There are two types of people out there: those who use makeup brushes and those who don't. For the latter camp, it can be an overwhelming minefield of strange jargon and seemingly complicated items, all of which are used for various purposes. But it doesn't have to be so confusing: We scoured the internet for the best brushes that makeup artists mentioned over and over so you can shop the exact pieces you need in your makeup bag.

While many makeup artists we've talked to have suggested that you forgo a brush for foundation (and use your fingers instead), there were plenty of others who have said brushes are key to creating incredible everyday makeup looks. From the correct bronzer brush to the type of blusher wand you need, we've hunted down the five you need in your beauty arsenal. Keep scrolling for our guide on the six makeup brushes every person should own.

#1: Flat-Top Foundation Brush

Opt for a densely packed flat-top brush to apply your liquid or powder foundation—this will enable you to buff the product into the skin for an almost airbrushed effect. "It fits in every little nook and cranny of your face to completely blur away every pore and every fine line for your most flawless skin," says It Cosmetics co-founder Jamie Kern Lima of the brand's Heavenly Luxe Buffing Foundation Brush (£35).

best makeup brushes
It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Buffing Foundation Brush $35
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best makeup brushes: Bare Minerals Luxe Performance Brush
Bare Minerals Luxe Performance Brush $24
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best makeup brushes: YSL Beauty Touche Éclat Foundation Y-Brush
YSL Beauty Touche Éclat Foundation Y-Brush $35
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#2: A precision brush

The easiest way to ensure you get a decent contour on your face (and we're not necessarily talking Kim Kardashian West levels) is to take a precision brush and add some definition. Charlotte Tilbury is a fan of the precision brush and uses it to add contour to faces. She suggests looking in the mirror and then sucking in your cheeks and following the natural hollows. Makeup artist Mary Greenwell also recommends a slightly angled contour brush to give your face definition and a light contour.

Key Buy:

best makeup brushes: Zoeva Cream Cheek Brush
Zoeva Cream Cheek Brush $13
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best makeup brushes: Chantecaille Sculpt Brush
Chantecaille Sculpt Brush $35
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best makeup brushes: Delilah Angled Contour Brush
Delilah Angled Contour Brush $38

#3: A bronzer brush

After applying your contour, adding bronzer all over your face will give you an allover glow. But you don't want to use your precision brush for that; you want to use an actual bronzer brush. As Tilbury says, "Once you've finished contouring, use a bigger bronzer brush to create a sun-kissed finish to the skin and remember to blend, blend, blend."

Key Buy:

best makeup brushes: Charlotte Tilbury Bronzer Brush
Charlotte Tilbury Bronzer Brush $60
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best makeup brushes: Space NK Powder Brush
Space NK Powder Brush $35
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best makeup brushes: No7 Body & Face Brush
No7 Body & Face Brush $11
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#4: Concealer brush

Now, the kind of concealer brush you require depends on the size of your face, according to makeup artist Lisa Eldridge. She always opts for a flat concealer brush but will choose different sizes, saying they're great for patting in colour and around shadowy areas such as the nose and the mouth.

best makeup brushes: Anastasia Beverly Hills Concealer Brush (#18)
Anastasia Beverly Hills Concealer Brush (#18) $18
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best makeup brushes: Sigma Beauty F75 Concealer Brush
Sigma Beauty F75 Concealer Brush $13
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best makeup brushes: No7 Concealer Brush
No7 Concealer Brush $8
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#5: Blusher brush

While you might be thinking, Wait, I need a brush for a bronzer and blusher? the truth is it all comes down to size. While you want an allover glow from your bronzer, for which you need a big brush, when it comes to blusher, you need something slightly smaller to get the apples of your cheeks. Contributing Byrdie editor and trained makeup artist Amy Lewis agrees: "A smaller brush is needed for better control when it comes to blusher," she says.

Key Buy:

best makeup brushes: Delilah Blusher Brush
Delilah Blusher Brush $38
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best makeup brushes: Real Techniques Blush Brush
Real Techniques Blush Brush $10
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best makeup brushes: CYO Powder Brush
CYO Powder Brush $6
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#6: Spoolie brush

A spoolie brush, in case you're wondering, helps to tame eyebrows. Not only can you add colour to your brows to fill them in and make them seem thicker, but they also have a spiral brush on the other side to comb your brows too. Kim Kardashian West's go-to makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, likes to use this brush to help set brows too.

To get the best out of your brows, Dedivanovic says that he starts by brushing the brows with a spoolie and then lightly fills them in anywhere they need it with a brow pencil. After that, he defines the shape by taking a brow brush and shadow: "I use one that's one shade lighter than the pencil I used beforehand, which softens the look and adds dimension."

Key Buy:

best makeup brushes: Morphe M413 Brow Spoolie Brush
Morphe M413 Brow Spoolie Brush $5
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best makeup brushes: Smashbox Lash & Brow Lifter Brush
Smashbox Lash & Brow Lifter Brush $12
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best makeup brushes: Benefit Angled Brow Brush & Spoolie
Benefit Angled Brow Brush & Spoolie $17

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