Using the right tools for applying your makeup is essential to getting the best results. Over time, you learn what works best for you. Some people prefer a blending sponge, some people prefer brushes, and some use a combo of both. I prefer to use brushes. Every so often, I reach for my blending sponge, but 99.9% of the time, I prefer brushes.
The beauty industry is ripe with all kinds of brushes. If you enter “Makeup Brushes” into an Amazon search, you will get thousands of results. With this many choices, it could seem impossible. Over the last few years, I’ve tried a variety of brands and brushes. For YEARS, I used the same 4 (yes, 4) MAC makeup brushes. I remember when I bought them, and it was the first time I had also bought higher end cosmetics. I was obsessed with their black eyeshadow, Carbon, as they seemed to be the only ones at the time to have a true black eyeshadow. Mind you, this was back when they were still cruelty free. In fact, I still have 3 of the 4 brushes that I bought that day. Do I use them? Nope. They just sit in a drawer. Because they are natural fibers, I don’t reach for them. Since going cruelty free, it grosses me out to use brushes made with animal hair.
Fast forward to about 2 years ago when I started getting serious about my makeup. I slowly started acquired brushes that were made with synthetic fibers. Enter my new found love of beauty Youtubers and I soon had a collection of WAY TOO MANY brushes. Over the last couple of weeks, I did what you are supposed to do to your closet every so often. I took them all out of their home and put them in a drawer. As I used them, I put them back in the cup. I vowed to myself after 2 weeks, that I would get rid of the ones I don’t use. Let’s just say, it was a lot. I am keeping about half of what I have currently. Its hard to believe that I have that much excess. How did I get to that point? The answer is simple…trial and error. I would take a chance on a brush, and it would either work or not. The result is about a dozen brushes that I cannot live without.
As a side note of this little experiment/project, I learned an important makeup lesson. Even though a brush is labeled as doing one thing, it could very well suit me doing something else. One of my favorite Youtubers, Laura Lee, uses this delightfully looking fluffy brush when she puts eyeshadow in her crease. But that brush is way too big for my little monolids. As much as its an essential to her, I have zero use for that brush. As I started to think outside of the box, I found exactly what I liked, regardless of its intended purpose.
Here is a round up of my essential brushes. And yes, a lot of them are Morphe Brushes. I was definitely introduced to this company through watching Youtube, but I use them every day because I love them.
*This was a generally recent find for me. Beauty guru Laura Lee uses this brush on her channel to apply foundation. I would see tweets about how this brush was so amazing. I didn’t think it could be THAT amazing. So, as I was getting frustrated with a blending sponge, I decided to try it out. I was not disappointed. I can’t imagine applying foundation with anything else now. I also use this brush to blend in concealer.
*This is a very standard addition to the list. Everyone needs a big powder brush. This one is perfect. I was formally using a regular, full powder brush. However, the Vegan Morphe set came with a tapered powder brush. I love it. Its also dense enough to use with pressed powder as well.
Face-Contour & Highlight
*Again, this is another recent find for me. This brush offers a subtle and precise way for me to put contour in my cheek bone area and around my jawline. If I use too big a brush in these areas, it becomes too much and my face looks dirty.
*When I first started buying Morphe Brushes, I bought an inexpensive set to start with. I figured if I was happy, that I would invest further. I bought the 10 piece Vegan Set. First of all, it is extremely cute, since it has blue handles and pink bristles. Second of all, it was $20. In that set, there was a Tapered Blush brush. I use this brush for 1 thing; to apply bronzer to my forehead. I used to use it for my cheekbones, but its just too big. I linked the set at the end, or click the link above for the version of it in the Gold Series. Eventually, I want all my face brushes to be from the Gold Series.
*I love this brush. It is the perfect shape and density for blush. I originally bought this brush as part of a 4 piece set that was on super clearance at Target. To this day, its the only brush that I really use out of the set.
*The Basic Series at Morphe is extremely affordable. They are exactly what they suggest. They are basic. Nothing special about them. With that being said, for my eyeshadow brushes, this series is my go to. The MB43 has the perfect shape for getting powder highlight exactly where it should go.
*I originally bought this brush to do what it says, to apply concealer. It worked terribly for concealer, but I found out by accident that it is perfect for cream highlighters. I see cream highlight normally applied with a blending sponge, but this method never works for me. But this brush really does the job so well.
*Every girl needs gel liner in their arsenal. More importantly, they need a good liner brush to apply that fabulous gel liner. I think I went through 3 different liner brushes before I stuck with this one. I spend too much on one from Sephora and it was painful to use. This was also part of that first set I bought.
*I love using flatter brushes to apply my lid color. The precision of a flatter brush prevents shadow getting too high and from me looking like a clown. The one pictured is part of the Vegan Set, but there is a great one similar in the Basic Series as well, the MB20.
*If I had to pick my favorite brush, it would definitely be a tie between this brush the MB13 and the next one on this list, the MB46. I usually use this to put a lighter, base color all over my lids. Its like Baby Bear’s porridge; just right. It is big enough to use over the whole lid, and dense enough to not get shadow everywhere. It is also what I use to do the final bit of blending.
*What can be said about this brush. First of all, it is the perfect crease brush. Again, with my eye shape, it can go very wrong, very fast. But the density and precision of this allows me to create a normal crease. I recently bought a back up of this one as well. If you have monolids, I would say this is a must have.
Precise Primer Application
*Listen, I hate using my fingers to apply makeup. I only use my fingers to apply glittery stuff and used to use it to apply Colourpop’s Super Shock Shadows. Used to is the operative word. But I hate when my fingers are all dirty with colors. This little brush is so tiny, that I’m shocked they don’t call it something else. I suppose it could be used for very precise application of concealer, but I don’t use it for that. I use it to apply glitter primer on top of shadow. Yes, this is the only use I have for it. It offers a certain precision to adding glitter primer that your fingers don’t offer. Plus, its one less time your finger is in your eye area.
*When Colourpop first introduced brushes, they were giving them away with certain orders. This was how I got this one. And I was so pleasantly surprised. Its perfect for packing on their Super Shock Shadows and diffusing the edges a bit.