When you think of your makeup collection, your mind probably zones in on your foundations, palettes, and highlighters. Makeup brushes probably aren’t the first things that pop into your head, but they’re the unsung heroes of your beauty routine. With your knowledge of the beauty world expanding, the free sponge-tipped applicators and small, scratchy brushes that come in your eye and cheek palettes just don’t cut it anymore.
But it can be hard to navigate the hundreds of types of brushes in the market, especially if you don’t exactly know what you need or what could be missing from your arsenal. That’s why we rounded up some essential brushes and what you can use them for. Read on!
You could have an amazing eyeshadow look and expertly applied lipstick, but they won’t matter if your base looks messy, cakey, and streaky. That’s why it’s important to be super particular about your base brushes. Foundation, concealers, and powders look so much better when applied and blended with good brushes. Here are some of our picks:
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Ever since Real Techniques was founded in 2011, the Expert Face Brush has been a go-to foundation brush for beauty gurus everywhere. It has short, sturdy taklon bristles that are soft to the touch and easy to wash. It's also dense and curved, so it will easily blend liquid foundations.
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, P603, Sephora
Sephora Collection Pro Brush Air Concealer #57
The skin under your eyes is super delicate, so it’s important to use a soft, gentle brush when blending in your concealer in this area. This brush is made of tightly packed synthetic bristles—perfect for picking up and blending out cream formulas. You’ll have no problem with concealer settling into fine lines when you use this brush.
Sephora Collection Pro Brush Air Concealer #57, P1,106, Sephora
Features & Shades Powder Ball Brush
This fluffy brush with nylon bristles is perfect for setting your base makeup with a pressed or loose powder. Since it’s synthetic, it won’t pick up too much powder, ensuring a cake-free finish.
Features & Shades Powder Ball Brush, P375, Watsons
Suesh Jumbo Angled Brush
Carve out the hollows of your cheeks with this angled brush. The shape allows you to apply your contour precisely, and the fluffy bristles let you blend it out for a more natural finish.
Suesh Jumbo Angled Brush, P550, Suesh
Wet N Wild Blush Brush
This super cute cruelty-free and vegan blush brush is made of polymax fibers to mimic natural hair, so you’ll still be getting a high quality brush at an affordable price. Since the bristles are synthetic, you can use this brush to blend out both powder and cream blush.
Wet N Wild Blush Brush, P199, Lazada
MUD Large White Fan Brush
Add some glow to your complexion using a large fan brush. It doesn’t pick up too much product, and its wide shape ensures that you’ll get an even application of sparkle on your cheekbones. Tip: You can also use this to brush away eyeshadow fallout!
MUD Large White Fan Brush, P995, BeautyMNL
Eyeshadow can be tricky to apply, especially if you don’t have the right tools. Ditch the sponge applicators and invest in brushes that can easily pack on color and blend out edges. Trust us, CGs: Using a good brush might just help you achieve the cut-crease you’ve been seeing on your IG feed.
Wet N Wild Small Eyeshadow Brush
Apply color onto your lids using a flat eyebrow brush. The soft bristles will pick up tons of shadow so you’ll get a really opaque finish. It’s small too, so you’ll get a precise application each time.
Wet N Wild Small Eyeshadow Brush, P99, Lazada
Zoeva 221 Luxe Soft Crease
The soft, curved head of this brush makes it a good choice for when you want to apply and blend out a transition color on your creases. It’s also dye-free and synthetic, so you can use it to apply cream shadows, too.
Zoeva 221 Luxe Soft Crease, P486, Sephora
Suesh Tapered Blending Brush
When you’ve laid down your lid and crease color, blend everything together with a small, fluffy brush like this one. It’ll make is so much easier to achieve a nice gradient from your crease to your brow bone.
Suesh Tapered Blending Brush, P450, Suesh
LA Girl Smudger Brush
This dense, tiny brush can be used to add shadow to your lower lash line for some extra definition. Just make sure not to pick up too much product so that you don’t experience any fallout.
LA Girl Smudger Brush, P349, BeautyMNL
Since kilay is life, it’s only appropriate to use brushes and tools that’ll help you achieve full, thick brows. When looking for brow brushes, make sure they have stiff, sturdy bristles that can mimic the look of hairs or can easily fill in sparse areas.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyebrow Brush #7B
ABH is known for its brow products, and you shouldn’t be sleeping on their eyebrow brushes either. This one has angled bristles to help you draw in your hairs, and a spooly so that you can blend everything out.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyebrow Brush #7B, P1,225, Sephora
Detail Duo Eyebrow Brush
For a more budget-friendly option, try this dual-ended brush. It also has an angled brush on one end and a spooly on the other, making it really travel-friendly.
Detail Duo Eyebrow Brush, P149, Calyxta
Suesh Spooly Brush
If you’re blessed with lush, thick brows and don’t really need to use any product to enhance them, keep them neat by brushing them up with a spooly. You can also use it to remove any base makeup that got on your brows.
Suesh Spooly Brush, P200, Suesh
Usually, makeup like eyeliner and lipsticks have their own applicators you can use to apply them, but there’s nothing wrong with being ~extra~ and completing your kit with some of these brushes.
Nichido Lip Brush 277
If you find yourself having a hard time applying liquid lipstick with a doe-foot applicator, try a lip brush instead. It’ll allow you to fill in your lips without exceeding the lip line. Using a lip brush and layering on lipstick also prolongs to staying power of the product.
Nichido Lip Brush 277, P168, Watsons
Urban Decay The Finger Brush
Sometimes, your fingers are your best applicators, but if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, Urban Decay came out with this brush that gives you great control, too. Use it to pack on eyeshadows or even for doing your nose contour.
Urban Decay The Finger Brush, P1,565, Sephora
Revlon Double Ended Eyebrow Brush
While this is an eyebrow brush, you can use the comb part to separate your lashes and remove clumps from your mascara. The effect? Longer, fuller-looking lashes.
Revlon Double Ended Eyebrow Brush, P700, Lazada
BYS Angled Liner Brush
Apply gel and cream eyeliners with ease using this angled brush. The stiff bristles are lined up in the perfect width, so you’ll get a nice, clean, and thin line every time.
BYS Angled Liner Brush, P199, BeautyBeat
Take the guesswork out of picking and choosing brushes for your makeup kit by investing in a brush set. They usually come with options for complexion and eye brushes, but there are also sets curated for each aspect of the makeup application.
Sace Lady 10-Piece Face And Eye Brush Set
Get yourself a complete set in one fell swoop by ordering these brushes. It comes with brushes for your face, eyes, and brows. Since they’re made of synthetic bristles, you can also use them to apply cream makeup.
Sace Lady 10-Piece Face And Eye Brush Set, P799, Lazada
Zoeva Rose Golden Complete Eye Set
If you consider yourself to be a makeup pro, then this eye brush set will definitely excite you. It’s made up of 12 natural and synthetic brushes, with the bristles held together in rose gold ferrules. Use it to create tons of intricate, colorful eye looks.
Zoeva Rose Golden Complete Eye Set, P4,087, Sephora
EcoTools Start The Day Beautifully Kit
Going on a trip? Take some travel-friendly brushes with you, like this set by EcoTools. It comes with five essential face and eye brushes, and also a tray to store them in.
EcoTools Start The Day Beautifully Kit, P750, Calyxta
How To Care For Your Brushes
It’s important to take proper care of your brushes so that they’ll last you forever. Store them in a dry, open area in a cup or brush holder. Bathroom counters are a definite no-no because the humidity from your shower can turn your brushes into a breeding ground for bacteria. It's even better to find a brush holder that comes with a cover so you don't have to worry about dust falling into your brushes.
Wash your brushes every week (especially if you use them every day!) using a gentle shampoo. Make sure not to get the ferrules wet, since water can loosen up the glue keeping the bristles together. When you’re done washing them, allow them to dry overnight. Place them on a ledge, like a shelf or a countertop, with the brushes facing outward. This makes sure that water won’t get into the base and your brushes will keep their shape as they dry.
Check out this video to learn how to properly wash your brushes: