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Makeup Brushes You Need

The Only Four Beauty Brushes You Really Need

Fact: You know the wide array of makeup brushes presently cluttering your bathroom counter and/or makeup bag? While each does serve a purpose, when it comes down to it, you probably don't need all of them. If you're looking to clear out the excess, discover how to whittle your brush collection down to four (yes, four) of the bare basics when you read more.

  • A fluffy powder brush: This one's easy. The cornerstone of your brush collection should be a large, natural hair powder brush, such as Estée Lauder's Powder Brush 10 ($44). As long as you clean off the makeup residue after each application, this brush can be used for setting powder, blush, bronzer, and just about any other powder you can think of. Need to contour with a sharper angle for under your cheekbones? Just squeeze the bristles together to create a more concentrated look.
  • An eye shadow brush: To achieve an all-over eye look, reach for a brush that has short, stiff, skinny bristles, like Dior's Large Eyeshadow Brush ($29). This brush works double-duty: it covers the entire lid with shadow, it gets into the nooks and crannies of your eye crease, and the tips can be used to apply shadow below your lower lashes. You can even use this one to sweep on concealer. And who doesn't like a brush that works hard?
  • A blending brush: Sure, this one may seem a little excessive, but it is a necessity. A blending brush, like Lancôme's Blending Shadow Brush #17 ($30), can help your shadows mesh seamlessly for a natural effect. It's perfect for achieving a dramatic smoky eye. Also, since it acts like a mini blush brush, you can use a blending brush to apply loose powder to blemishes for added coverage. Just make sure to clean the eye shadow pigment off of it first.
  • An eyeliner/brow brush: It's always smart to have a brush that will keep your look sharp and precise. A small, angled brush, like The Balm's Eyeliner Brush ($8), enables you to define your brows with shadow. It also gives your eyes a more natural look by allowing you to line both your top and bottom lash lines with powdered or pressed shadows.
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