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Question: What are some of the best makeup brushes?

Answer: Everyone knows that the trick to flawless makeup application is the ability to pull of that “no makeup” look. When you’re applying foundation, eyeliner, and shadow, everything should look clean and precise. The best way of achieving this is investing in a good set of makeup brushes. Why spend money on brushes when you can just use your hands? Because it’s super efficient and has multiple benefits. While your hands are still capable of delivering a good look, brushes can help create a more even and natural look while also reducing breakouts. Isn’t that worth the extra money? With all the brushes on the market, there’s a lot to choose from and even more to learn. Here’s a crash course in the best brushes and how to use them.

The first and most important brush is the foundation brush. They’re typically on the large side, fluffy, and more expensive than their other brush brethren. A good foundation brush will give you a smooth, balanced look as long as it is applied in small dabbing motions rather than dragging the brush and creating streaks. Opt for a synthetic bristle brush that’s 100% cruelty free and easy to clean, like this one from Real Techniques. 

Next up are the eyeshadow brushes. While most people tend to apply their shadows with the tips of their fingers, using a brush will give those eyes a bolder, brighter look. For those of us trying to master the smokey eye, eyeshadow brushes are the magical key to success. Applying the first layer of your lighter shadow base can be done with a longer, fluffier, medium-sized brush. Finish off with asmaller, more dense brush on the outer edges of the eyes.

The prices of these brushes vary, ranging from $1 to $70. Brands sell their brushes separately or in handy sets. If you’re just getting started, purchase a “beginners” brush set to practice. Real Techniques offer affordable starter sets to help you perfect your look and technique.

Once you’ve picked out the brushes that are best suited for your makeup routine, the hard part is over. The surprisingly easy part is keeping those new brushes clean. Every two or three weeks, your brushes should get a nice scrub to prevent bacteria growth (yikes!). You can use a brush cleaner or mild soap/shampoo and run the brushes under lukewarm water. Afterwards, lay them down flat and let them airdry.

What do you think of makeup brushes? What are your own personal go-to brushes?