The Best Makeup Brushes for Every Part of Your Beauty Routine
You have the right makeup—now it's time to stock up on the best-possible tools to apply it.
So many makeup artists tell us the key to flawless makeup lies in the application. Of course, you want to start with a good formula, but even the best makeup won't look right if it isn't applied correctly. That's where makeup brushes come in. There are so many different types of brushes on the market today, and there are different options for every type of product possible, from foundation, blush, and lipstick to eyeliner, contour, and bronzer.
It's also no secret that makeup artists carry a vast tool kit of just brushes. Celebrity makeup artist Edward Cruz, for one, once told us that he owned more than 500 brushes—and said that his oldest was about 24 years old. Surprised? If you invest in quality brushes, and take care of them over the years, they'll last a long while—which makes each of them a worthwhile purchase.
Brushes are also incredibly helpful in creating a wide range of beauty looks, whether you're going for that contoured, glamorous aesthetic, a natural "you, but better" face, or something in between. In fact, if you prefer natural makeup, that's all the more reason to have several workhorse brushes on hand—with the right tools, your makeup will blend seamlessly into your skin, leaving a more natural finish in every product's wake.
To get you on your way to better beauty days, whatever makeup style you're into, we rounded up the best makeup brushes you can buy right now. Here, our favorites—which are sure to be yours, too.
If you can get used to the slightly different application technique—and you should, since it's worth it—you will love this foundation brush by Artis. It can be used with any formula type (liquid, cream, or powder), and a little product is all you need to create a blended, seamless canvas. On the whole, the application process isn't drastically different—instead of stippling, you simply glide the brush around your face in soft, circular motions.
Shop Now: Artis Elite Mirror Oval 7 Brush, $65, www.nordstrom.com.
This happens much too frequently: You apply concealer over a blemish, and instead of concealing it, the blemish actually becomes more pronounced. That's a problem this concealer brush solves. It has dense bristles that offer perfect precision, so you can easily target and seamlessly camouflage any area of the face.
Shop Now: Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Concealer Brush, $38, sephora.com.
If you wear bronzer regularly, you'll benefit from using a brush specifically for this step. After all, bronzer is a product that needs to be diffused perfectly, so that it looks like the sun has touched you in the most natural way. This brush is formulated to do just that—it is fluffy and dense and distributes bronzer evenly and subtly all over your face (and body, too).
Shop Now: Marc Jacobs "The Bronze" Bronzer Brush No. 12, $78, sephora.com.
This two-in-one brush makes contouring easy for even the most novice contour converts. The fanned out, fluffy side can be used for highlighting the cheekbones, while the angled side is what you use to create contour lines. (The sturdiness of the tip makes it easy to do so.) Then, blend everything with the fanned-out side, and you're good to go.
Shop Now: Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Complexion Brush, $40, www.nordstrom.com.
It should come as no surprise that our favorite tool for eyebrows comes from the eyebrow expert herself, Anastasia Soare. It has a grooming spoolie for combing brows on one end and a stiff, angled brush on the other end, which is perfect to use for applying powders and pomades.
Shop Now: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush #12, $18, sephora.com.
To get a perfect cat eye (no mess or cleanup required!) turn to this fine-tipped eyeliner brush, which has a straight, firm tip that lets you create a clean line with liquid or powder formulas.
Shop Now: Make Up For Ever 250 Extra Fine Eyeliner Brush, $18, sephora.com.
You might be wondering why you even need a lip brush. After all, isn't dabbing on lipstick and rubbing it in with your fingers enough? If you want to get a clean line—and if you're using lip liner, too—then the answer is no. This brush's tapered tip helps you apply lipstick and blend it with liner for gorgeous, long-lasting color that won't budge.
Shop Now: Patrick Ta Lip Brush, $18, sephora.com.