Must-have brushes in your makeup kit

They say the secret behind flawless makeup is using the right brushes … but with so many shapes and sizes on the market, it’s hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve rounded up 6 essential makeup brushes every beginner (of any age) needs in their kit.

Skin

Primer: Prep your face with a pumpkin-seed size dollop of primer, gently patting it in with your hands. Primer can even out the skin tone and help prevent foundation creasing into lines and wrinkles1.

Brush 1. Foundation brush

Get down to business with a foundation matched to your complexion; the goal being to achieve good coverage, using as little product as possible. A foundation brush can help apply liquid or cream foundation to the face with an even finish that fingers are not likely to achieve. Apply a small amount of foundation to the back of your hand or face, dip your brush in, and dab onto the centre of face, blending outward until evenly distributed. Don’t forget to add a little along the chin and jawline, and blend softly to avoid your head and neck appearing different colours.

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Concealer: Hot tip – this doesn’t need a brush. The warmth of your finger can help soften concealer so it applies to your face more easily. Using your finger, dab a small amount under the circle of your eyes and the inner corners, then lightly dab it in with your finger – don’t smear or drag.

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Brush 2. Powder brush

Once your foundation and concealer are on, set lightly with pressed or loose powder using a large powder brush to help disperse the product evenly over your skin. For mature skin, it can help to go light on the powder, as excess powder can fall into creases and create extra lines2. Dab powder in a downwards motion from forehead to chin and disperse with large sweeping motions across the face, ensuring even coverage and buffing where necessary.

Eyes

Brush 3: Double-ended brow brush

This brush packs the benefits of two brushes in one and helps fill in sparse and fine hairs to give fuller brows. One side features a small, stiff angled brush, and at the other a fluffy spiral to comb through the brows. Brush your brows into place, and then apply your brow product up and outwards using the brush end in short strokes. The spiral can be used to lighten the look by brushing the product more evenly through your brows, or brushing out any excess product at the end.

Pro tip: you can also use the angled brush end to dip into eye shadow and apply to the outer corners of your eye, angling upwards for a soft wing look (perfect for those who like a softer look or find liquid eyeliner tricky!).

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Brush 4: Eyeshadow brush

Every makeup lover should be in possession of a good eyeshadow brush that pats and blends eyeshadow into the lid. Start by gently dipping the brush (flat side down) into eyeshadow and tapping off any excess (fallout) before dabbing the product onto the mobile lid and then sweeping the brush over the lid evenly, blending and buffing lightly. As your skin ages, it’s important to choose flattering eyeshadow colour palettes. It can help to opt for matte shadow in natural, earthy shades, as shimmery or sparkly shadows can sit in lines and emphasise wrinkles3.

Brush 5: Eyeshadow blending brush

This brush is essential for achieving that flawlessly blended eyeshadow look, and can be a lifesaver if you’ve been a bit heavy handed with shadow. It has a much fluffier end, which helps buff out the harsh or stark lines and allow even distribution of eye shadow pigment across the eye. Start in the outer socket line (end of your eye) and move fluidly in and out along the socket line, in a smooth back and forth motion (like windshield wipers) until the shades look even and seamless.

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Cheeks

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Brush 6: Blush brush

The long, soft feathery bristles of this brush help apply blush subtly to your cheeks for a more natural glow. For mature skin, it can help to apply blush by keeping a relaxed face (avoids creating creases) and applying blush high on your cheeks above the apple, in a soft C shape toward the cheek bone.

Lips:

Don’t forget to apply a layer of gloss or lippie to finish the look – no brush needed. Satin-finish lipsticks may be a flattering option, as they tend not to accentuate lip wrinkles.

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