Tool Time: Make-up Brushes!

I have a lot of make-up brushes! A lot! I also have a lot of big hoop earrings and handbags! My make-up brushes are slowly starting to take over those collections. My excuse? I need them for work. You build quite a brush collection as a Make-up artist. This is because you lose them (I cry real tears when this happens) and need to replace them, only to find them at the bottom of your case. Sometimes you ‘acquire’ them when you are working with other artists and everything is everywhere. When you’re on a big job and need more than one specific brush (e.g. blending brush) then you realise why your collection is so big! Maybe I tell myself that to make me sleep easier at night! 🙂

All in all, for use at home I use only a couple. I make good use of the brushes or applicators that come with eye make-up palettes etc. So what do you really need? It is down to preference and what you need them for but here is my ‘should-have’ brush list.


Foundation Brush/ Concealer : I love using my hands to apply foundation on myself. I also have a few clients who prefer me to use my hands on them also. This is not with everyone. Great for liquids and creams this brush should be tight and synthetic.

Powder Brush: Human / Natural hair. Loose enough for foundation, setting, translucent powders etc. There are synthetic ones out there too.

Blush/ Contour Brush: Generally human hair, animal and rounded to apply powder blush or highlighter/ bronzer to cheeks. Using cream or liquid blush? I like my hands. It warms the product and you start with a little and build it up.

Ones I Love:

  • Real Techniques Expert Face and Buffing Brushes. Multi use, durable, flawless finish and affordable. Check out my review on them here.
  • MAC 190 Foundation Brush. One of the leaders in the brush game. Excellent liquid foundation brush that if used properly really doesn’t leave streaks.
  • ELF Powder Brush. Kabuki flat top style brush. Retails for approx. $3.00- (YES! You read that right)! It buffs foundation into the skin effortlessly. Although the names says ‘powder’ my liquid foundations loves it.
  • MAC 187. Dual Fiber brush. Great for that polished effect and flawless finish.
  • Eco Tools Powder Brush. Environmentally friendly and long-lasting.

Eyes/ Brows:

This is the category that makes my collection huge. I have said it before. It is all about ‘blending’.

Blending Brush: Fluffy brushes that allow you to create a wash of colour or gradient effect. Blend out edges and blur lines.

Eyeshadow brush: Flat stiff brushes to pack the product onto the eyes. Material of brush will depend on what you are working with e.g. cream shadows, powders etc.

Angled Brush: Great for those finer details. Likely to be synthetic although the density of the bristles will vary.

You don’t need a brush for every colour you put on or even every product (e.g. primer) get ones that multitask. Use your fingers too. Get stuck in.

Ones I Love:

  • MAC 266 Angled brush. I use this for filling in my brows as well as for gel eyeliner. Amazing little tool that I use for detailed work on my eyes for precision work.
  • MAC 217/ 224/ 226. All grouped together as they work great for blending. Fluffy, soft and blends out those edges and lines into other shadows. I also love them 217 and 224 for blending liquid concealer under the eyes.
  • Sonia Kashuk: Small/ Medium/ Large eyeshadow brushes. Great for putting colour on the lid. Allows you to build up your intensity.
  • Real Techniques base shadow brush. Great for laying your base but fluffy enough for blending.


Lip brushes are optional if I am honest as if you are using the product on you and only you, apply straight from tube. If you want more accurate placement then a small synthetic brush is ideal.

Ones I love:

Make-Up International London UK No. 5. This little brush is amazing. Long bristles and handle that are sharp at definition.

Royal and Langnickel Lip Brush. Synthetic and precise.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (standing) and Buffing Brush!MAC 187 and 190 brushes and ELF Powder BrushMAC Brushes 217, 224 and 226Make-up international NO.5 lip brush

There you have it, a couple of brushes worth having in your collection. As explained in the introduction, the brushes you are likely to have as a Make-up artist will be vast. You don’t need all of them for personal use at home. You don’t have to go out and spend a fortune on them either. It is best to think about what your budget will allow and what you actually need. Yes, most of the more expensive ones are long-lasting, that being said the more affordable ones are pretty good in comparison. You have to hold up your end of the bargain and look after them properly. Important to wash and dry them properly, store them correctly and to care for them accordingly. You will be surprised at how long they will last if you give them some TLC.

Brush talk! Beauty Holder Beauty Tips!

  1. Denser brushes pack on more product!
  2. Synthetic fibers are best for liquids, creams, gels and the like.
  3. Natural hair can be animal hair or human hair. Important for you to know this.
  4. Tapered or loose brushes do as the name suggest, deposit less colour.
  5. Brushes shed hair. If they are glued into the ferrule or handle and are not dried properly when washed they will come apart easily.
  6. Some brushes will irritate the skin. If you can, check how they feel before you buy.
  7. Cheap doesn’t mean rubbish. They also mean you may be able to afford to replace them easily. You have to decide if that is what you want.
  8. Art supply stores have some great brushes you can use also. I will leave out the ‘your face is a work of art’ comment.

This is for guidance as always. If you want more specific advice about brushes and what is best for you let me know. Hit me up on twitter @TheBeautyHolder or email me :

Hope you enjoyed this post! See you soon!

Besos! TBH! xoxo


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