Brushes 101 – The Essentials

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Brushes are the one makeup thing that most people struggle with. There are so many brushes on the market that can be used for so many things that one can get easily confused. So here’s a little line up for what I think are the perfect brushes for everyday use. My offering here is not the cheapest you can get, but I am a firm believer of the ‘quality over quantity’ philosophy, as a good brush, if well taken care of, can be one little good investment you won’t need to replace for a while.

Now in my opinion brushes need to feel soft on the skin, so the first step would be to throw away those brushes that have scratchy plastic hair and replace them with something that is more gentle on your skin. Also bare in mind, makeup brushes have a specific name suggesting what they should be used for but you don’t necessarily need to follow the rules, as for most things do whatever you feel works best for you!


  • CHANEL Foundation Brush – This one was a limited edition brush part of Chanel’s essential travel brush set. I like this one as it is very soft and dense and has a flat top which I find great for blending the foundation in and achieve a natural finish. Another brush I like for the same purpose is the Real Technique’s Expert Face Brush (£9.99).
  • BOBBI BROWN Foundation Brush (£32) – Now this is an example of the ‘not used for what it says on the tin’. Despite being a foundation brush I myself do not enjoy a classic flat brush for foundation, as I find it gives a streaky application, I’d rather use it to apply concealer under my eyes, if I ain’t bother to use my fingers, or for a more precise loose powder application.
  • MAC 116 Blush Brush (£28) –  Again I prefer this one for contour instead of blush has it has a tapered top that fits perfectly in the hollow of my cheeks. Also a great multi tasker as I use this one for highlighting as well. Another one I’d like to try for contour is the Real Technique’s Bold Metal Contour Brush  (£22) as it looks like a good one to achieve the chiseled cheekbones look.
  • CHANEL Blush Brush no. 4 (£33) – The one in the picture is the small travel size in the aforementioned set. I found it to be my favourite blush brush as it is very soft, kind of flat yet dense which I think helps in picking up the perfect amount of pigment and avoid the ‘clown/Victorian doll-like’ effect on the cheeks.


  • BOBBI BROWN Eye Definer Brush (£24.50) – If I had to keep one brush and on brush only that’d be it. I think this is THE brush for someone like me who’s not able to achieve a decent cat eye no matter what. This brush is perfect for the job as it is slightly thick, soft yet stiff enough to line the eyes in one sweep, all you need to do is move the brush and the rest will come by it self. Also great for filling your eyebrows.
  • MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush (£21) – I use this one to pat on eyeshadow for a more pigmented effect.
  • MAC 217 Blending Brush (£19) or BOBBI BROWN Eye Shader Brush – Both of them, as the name would suggest, great for blending eyeshadow out or for a sheer wash of colour. To be honest, my favourite between the two is the Bobbi Brown as it has a flat top which makes the blending process a bit quicker than with the 217, but it seems to have been discontinued.

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