When I first started using makeup, choosing and purchasing makeup tools and brushes overwhelmed me. I didn’t know what are the essentials vs nice-to-haves, the differences in materials and brands, or simply the purpose of various brushes. This post is a basic guide for those new to makeup. Hopefully you will find this useful and easy to understand! I have also included information on my personal collection in the bottom.
For everyday basics, a few tools will get the job done. Here are my recommendations on the essentials:
- Beauty Blender – Great for foundation, concealer, blush, and powder. An absolute must! I use this everyday to apply liquid foundation, under eye concealer, spot concealer, and under eye setting powder. If you use this exclusively, you won’t need a foundation or concealer brush.
- Foundation Brush – Provides easy application and the right brush won’t give you any streaks.
- Concealer Brush Blemishes – Never use your fingers to cover blemishes! It’s full of bacteria and a brush will be much more effective in covering up the spot.
- Concealer Brush Under Eye – A larger brush for the under eye helps to buff and reduce creasing.
- Blush Brush – A tapered brush allows a natural application. Use a light hand because this will pick up a lot of product.
- Powder Brush – Multi-functional–can be used with powder foundation, bronzer, blush, and setting powder.
- Eyeshadow Brush – There are so many eyeshadow brushes for different purposes: blending, contouring, smudging, etc. This Tarte double-ended brush will be enable the everyday eye look.
Natural vs Synthetic
Makeup brushes are either natural or synthetic. The best choice depends on the product you will apply with it. Natural brushes are typically made out of animal hair or fur, and are more expensive. They are softer than synthetic but tend to shed more. They are also harder to clean because they hold on to products so well. They are best used with powder-based makeup such as eye shadow, powder blush, powder bronzer, and finishing/setting powder. Synthetic brushes are made out of nylon and polyester. They allow more precise and smooth application. They are best used with liquid and cream products such as liquid foundation, concealer, cream blush and gel eyeliner.
Brushes are costly investments, so it’s best to purchase a starter kit or purchase one at a time. Take time to do your research and have fun practicing! Make sure to take good care of your brushes by cleaning them regularly with a makeup cleanser or DIY solution. I like to use dish liquid soap and olive oil on a 3:1 ratio.
Here are the brushes I have in my collection.