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Before I really got into beauty I remember walking into Sephora and being completely overwhelmed by the vast selection of beauty brushes they had on the shelves. At the time I was only using three brushes; one for my powder foundation and occasional bronzer, one for my blush, and another for my eyeshadow. Looking back I now realize how naive and lazy I was! Having makeup brushes that do specific tasks is so important to having a perfect, polished look.

Now, I’m not saying we should have 20 makeup brushes in our bag, but I do recommend having brushes that can multi-task as well as hold up over time. So I’ve laid out the essential makeup brushes that will make your makeup routine much easier (and a little less confusing.)

Face Makeup Brush Guide

Foundation Brush

A good foundation brush will give you a clean, even look. If you use liquid and powder foundation, you want to find a firm and compact yet soft brush. If you only use liquid or cream foundation, I would recommend a more firm and narrow brush. However this brush is totally versatile since it can be used with just about any foundation.

Shiseido Foundation Brush, $30

Angled Contouring Brush

This brush is perfect for contouring your face and enhancing your cheekbones. Since it is angled, you can apply the color exactly where you want. I typically use this brush for blush and sometimes bronzer.

MAC Large Angled Contouring Brush, $35

Kabuki Brush

It’s more than just a cute name. The Kabuki brush is one of my favorites as I find myself grabbing it the most. It is used for all over products, like face powder and minerals.

e.l.f Studio Kabuki Face Brush, $6

Fan Brush

The fan brush is the go-to brush if you want a light dusting of blush or shimmer on your cheeks. With its shape, the brush allows for a precise application and even can be used to clean up any out of place powder.

Sephora Collection Pro Fan Brush #65, $27

Eye Makeup Brush Guide

Eyeliner Brush

This brush is essential for applying gel liner but it can also be used for shading on the eyelid or eye crease.

Ulta Eyeliner Brush, $3.99

Curved Shadow Brush

This brush has been in my makeup bag since I can remember. Just dab it on your favorite eyeshadow and sweep across the eyelid.

Maybelline Eyeshadow Brush, $5.99

Angled Shadow Brush

For a more precise look that you can’t get with the curved shadow brush, this angled tip brush will work to contour the brow bone, lid, and under the orbital bone.

Sephora Collection Pro Angled Brush #13, $13

Brow Brush

After you pencil in your eyebrows, you want to even everything out with a rounded, small bristle brush. But if you’re on a budget, I’d recommend going with this one from e.l.f. (plus, it’s only $1!)

e.l.f Essential Brow Comb + Brush, $1