I bought my first MAC makeup brush back when I was working for Clinique as a makeup artist. At that time, Clinique didn’t have makeup brushes and so we were taught to apply makeup with a Q-Tips, cotton balls, and a sponge. Funny right? It’s definitely not the easiest way to apply makeup. I slowly learned that although makeup brushes seem more professional, the best makeup brushes actually make it much easier to apply makeup.
The first MAC brush I bought was the allover eyeshadow brush, and after 13 years and thousands of uses – it’s still in perfect condition. Since then, I’ve collected a range of makeup brushes, different brushes from different brands. I have to say that MAC brushes are my favorite and definitely worth splurge, especially for the essentials. They are sturdy for controlled application and have lasted me many, many years. Yes, they are pricey (ugh!) but always consider the right makeup brush as a one time investment.
You probably see makeup artists using many different kinds of brushes. We don’t need them all – there really are only certain ones that even the best “at-home” makeup artists need. To help you mine through all the choices, here are my makeup brush essentials.
foundation (MAC #190): At this point, we know not apply our foundation with our hands. Between a sponge and a brush, a sponge often absorbs some of the foundation before it even gets on our skin. And hey, it’s also more environmentally friendly to use a brush (and much cheaper in the long term – this thing will last you forever.)
concealer (MAC #195): If you apply concealer (I’m so jealous if you don’t need to!), a brush is always better than using your finger. Putting your hands in your makeup will cause the color to change over time (same thing goes with the foundation). Aside from that, a brush will help you get more precise especially around the eye area.
blending (MAC #187): This brush is a “nice to have” but possibly my favorite. After applying my foundation, concealer, and powder, I use this brush to smooth my makeup before finishing the look with blush. It helps blend any streaks and remove any excess powder for a smooth finish.
blush (MAC #116): I always find that the brushes that come with blushes make streaky lines, whereas this brush helps get a more natural and blended look.
all over (MAC split fiber): My first MAC brush! This is a must for anyone who wears any eyeshadow, ever. It’s soft on the delicate eye area.
shading (MAC 275): If you ever wear more than one color eyeshadow, this angular shading brush easily applies color to the outer corners of your eyes or along your brow bone. Although there are separate blending brushes, I just use this same one to blend as well.
eyeliner (MAC 266): If you want to use your eyeshadow as eyeliner or if you’re using a pot eyeliner (check out my eyeliner guide here), this is the ideal brush. The angular brush gives you more control in application; instead of dragging the color along your lash line, you can gently press the color on.