It was about a year ago that I showed you my top five brushes. But a lot can happen in a year, and so I thought it was high time that I delved into my brush collection and shared it with the internet once more.
This time I thought that I would show you some of the brushes that I use on a frequent basis. This isn't my entire collection, but the brushes that I think are really handy for anyone to have. To keep things organised I've them into categories. This is just a rough overview of my brush habits, but I hope that it will be useful to those of you who are getting to grips with the what's what of brushes, and what works for a normal person on a normal day.
Real Techniques Buffing Brush // MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush // Sigma Eye Shading Brush // Mac 217 Blending Brush // Crown C158 Angle Liner/Spoolie Brush // Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush
This brush category is pretty self explanatory. I don't wear a full face of makeup every day, but if I do these are what I use. The buffing brush is fantastic for working in foundation quickly, or even concealer if you're particularly short on time. My weapon of choice for covering blemishes or under-eyes is normally the crease brush photographed above. Its tapered shape keeps the coverage where you need it the most and fades the rest of it out seamlessly into your foundation/skin.
For simple eyeshadow application nothing beats a good flat shader and blending brush, and these are my faves. The first is brilliant for packing colour onto the lid right where you want it, and the other is fantastic for getting rid of any harsh lines and putting colour into your outer corner/crease. I've tried dupes for the MAC 217, but to date I haven't found anything as soft and that does the job quite as well.
I never used to be a daily brow girl, but since finding this it's a pretty quick job. I use the angled end with powder shadow to fill in any sparse areas, and then comb through with the spoolie. So quick, yet it makes such a difference. Finally, I like to use my contour brush for blush. I find that the shape disperses the product really well if you're going for a quick job, and I do love my blush!
MAC 187 Duo Fibre Brush // Real Techniques Accent Brush // Crown C404 Small Duo Face Brush // Maybelline Liner Brush // Real Techniques Contour Brush // Real Techniques Pointed Foundation Brush
This set of brushes are the ones that I would be most likely to use when getting ready for a special occasion when I want to wear a little more makeup. You may notice an abundance of duo fibre face brushes in the picture above. I love these as they are perfect for applying cream products, but work wonders with powder, too. The big one is brilliant for the 'flawless' foundation application (or bronzer), whilst I like to use the little one for highlighter or cream blush.
Another guilty pleasure of mine for a night on the town is a good old bit of contouring. I'm a fan of using cream products for this, which is where my RT pointed foundation brush comes in. This gets right into the cheekbones and can be blended out using my buffing brush (see everyday section). The RT contour brush is great for gently patting some setting powder onto precise areas of the face. This is because it's filled with soft, dense hairs which makes it pretty good for building up pigmented blushes, too.
What's a night-time look without some eye makeup? When it comes to applying gel liner I'm actually a huge fan of the brush I got free with my maybelline liner. It's flexible yet precise, making it easier for me to avoid mistakes. If you prefer a smudged-out look then the RT accent brush is ideal. You can use this to drag eyeshadow under the eye, or pop some pigment into the inner corner. It's a very versatile little tool!
MAC 275 Medium Angled Shading Brush // MAC 150 Large Powder Brush // MAC 109 Small Contour Brush // MAC 316 Lip Brush // Crown C207 Sable Angle Liner Brush // Sigma Small Tapered Blending Brush
These are the brushes that I don't always use, but I will always have in my collection. My lip brush is one of these brushes. Though I don't wear stand-out lipstick that often, when I do want the perfect pout I would be lost without it. The brush is stiff which makes it a lot easier to follow the outline of your lips and make them really crisp. A good lip brush is essential for getting the most out of any lip shape.
Another super handy tool is my big, fluffy powder brush. If I've applied some setting powder to my skin, I use this to brush off any excess. It might not sound like much, but using the right techniques and having the right tools to do so makes a world of a difference. I would also be lost without my MAC 109. It's seen me through everything from foundation application, to cream AND powder blush, and even contouring. An incredible multitasker, and perfect for traveling!
I always find myself grabbing for my MAC 275 when I'm doing my eye makeup. It's dense, yet very soft which makes it perfect for a quick wash of colour, especially if correcting any mistakes with a nude shadow! I use this for highlighting my brow bone, too. For eye makeup, I wouldn't be without my Sigma tapered brush. When I'm defining my crease, this blends the colour in all of the right places. Plus, its tapered shape means you can adjust your pressure and grip to achieve many different techniques!
I'm definitely not telling you guys that you need to run out and buy all of these. I just hope that by sharing my personal preferences I can give you some ideas on which brushes are best for you. If you are totally new to the brush world, you can see my five desert island brushes post here. As far as MAC brushes go, for the most part there are plenty of other brands with great quality brushes that are much cheaper. I would recommend checking out Crown Brushes, they have some really great dupes.
Where's your favourite place to buy makeup brushes? Share your tips in the comments!
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