Once upon a time, when I was young and impressionable, I watched a YouTube beauty tutorial. Against the backdrop of some purposefully placed sponsored products, a beauty guru walked me through the steps of creating an effortless smokey-eye that would be perfect for an evening out. About 45 products and 30,000 brushes later, I came to the conclusion that this was neither effortless nor cheap.
Realized that, did you?
I know, I know. I was late to the party. This was before Modern Renaissance was the holy grail, before the days of ColourPop and Kylie Jenner Lip Kits, when pencil thin eyebrows and blue eyeshadow were still popular.
It's practically the Dark Ages, if you think about it.
I prefer not to think about it, actually.
Me neither. But after watching that video, I thought that I needed to spend the $50,000 (only a slight exaggeration) it would cost to get the right make-up brushes and tools for that perfect look.
Now that I'm older and wiser, I know I don't need to do that. So I thought I would impart some wisdom and create this guide on the make-up brushes that you do need (and the ones you don't) and where you can get the best bang-for-your-buck or the best deals on those brushes.
...you think you're wise on the subject?
Um, I've made a ton of bad decisions and if that doesn't give me some wisdom, I don't know what will.
Yeah, okay. Go ahead, then.
The Foundation Brush
You can't build a house on shaky, cracked, and crumbling foundation. You can't build a face on shaky, cracked, and crumbling foundation either. A good base can forgive a lot and it's usually what takes the longest (and costs the most).
The Concealer Brush
So you have your base on, but what about that annoying zit that's been bothering you? Or that redness that's peeking through just a little too much. That's why concealer exists, and I thank the Universe every single day that it does.
The Powder Brush
The world is fifty-fifty on powders, and I can understand why. If you have dry skin, powder tends to make it more obvious and like you have a drought on your face. But for those of us with an oily T-zone, powder is a life-saver.
The Blush, Contour, & Bronzer Brushes
A quick scan of any essential make-up brush article will tell you one of two things - you need a different brush for blush, contouring, and bronzer or you can use them interchangeably. I'm with the latter - the products are similar in their placement and the effect you get from each of them. Whether you're cream contouring or highlighting your cheeks with a little bit of shimmer, these brushes are all you'll need.
Let me know in the comments whether you agree or not! Keep an eye out for Pt. 2 where I go into eye brushes, because as everyone should know by now, that's a whole conversation in and of itself.
If you're interested in makeup (and since you're at the end of this article, I'm assuming you are), check out some of these posts: