There are so many brushes available for applying powders, foundations and creams to our faces, but only a few we would describe as absolutely necessary. These essential makeup brushes should be a staple of any box and will provide every beauty product lover with everything they need for a great look…

Brushes…For Foundation

A foundation brush is a must for anyone who applies a liquid foundation product and can be used first thing in the morning and taken to work for a mid-afternoon touch-up if you need it. A good foundation brush will have a fairly long handle and a small flat head with smooth, dense bristles that can work the makeup easily into every part of the face. Start off by applying the foundation in small, even sections, working the makeup in and blending it nicely so you don’t get any streaks.

…For Concealer

Once your foundation is on, it’s time to hide any problems you might have with your skin, such as spots, blemishes or dark circles under your eyes. A good concealer brush should have a small, well-populated head that you feel comfortable using in small, tight areas. The bristles should be soft enough to apply lightly, but strong enough to blend in to the rest of your skin. You can do this with your fingers, but make sure they are clean to avoid spreading further oil or bacteria into an area with spots.

…For Powdering

A good powder brush should allow you to apply powder evenly and smoothly across the face, resulting in a natural finish. Get a medium or large size brush with a dome-shaped head. The bristles should be nice and soft, and really good ones are now available as synthetic and cruelty-free if you want to do your bit for animal rights.

…For Angled Powdering

For a more striking look, you’ll need an angled powder brush. These brushes let you create contours for your cheekbones that give your face a slimmer, more streamlined look. Angled brushes look very similar to normal powder brushes but should have a slightly curved finish and allow you to be a lot more precise with your movements.

…For Blusher

If you want to add a little bit of color to your cheeks, then a good blush brush should be your go-to makeup tool. You’ll want one with a long handle and a medium-to-large sized head, which should be made from as soft a bristle as you can fin or afford (be aware that the softest brushes are generally made from natural animal hair if you are worried about animal cruelty). To use the blush brush, just tap your blusher onto the skin and confidently stroke outwards towards the hollow of your cheek.

…For Fanning

Fan brushes are essential for applying a lighter look and should be very lightweight with fine bristles. They can be used to brush off makeup that has stuck to your face in the wrong area and also help to reduce the effects of over-heavy makeup application or mistakes you might have made.

…For Your Lips

Lipstick is OK when you’re on the go, but for a more accurate application you should think about investing in a proper lip brush. You can use a lip brush for both lipstick and liner, and they should be long and thin-handled with a short, firm head to make your application as smooth as possible.

…For Eyeshadow

It’s time to throw out all those terrible little applicators that you get thrown in with your new eyeshadow and upgrade to a proper eyeshadow brush. These should have a linger handle and a flat, smooth head packed with short, dense bristles that make applying eyeshadow to your lids and brow a piece of cake. With a good brush, you’ll be able to have far more control and get a lot more creative with your style.

…For Eye Creases

Crease brushes are used to add that extra bit of oomph to your eyeshadow. They should look similar to a normal shadow brush, but come with a slightly tapered brush with soft bristles that allow you to add different textures, shades and colors to the eyeshadow base.

…For Eyeliner

To really make your eyes pop, an eyeliner bush is an essential purchase. The brush should have a long, thin handle and very short bristles that are squared off neatly to allow you to apply eyeliner accurately to the upper and lower lashes. You can also use them to mix up your eyeliner with different eyeshadow colors to create completely new and individual colors.