Decorative cosmetics and accessories for makeup on grey background
Image: Shutterstock/Africa Studio

Our moms used Q-tips or their fingers to apply makeup and we all grew up with the little sponge stick that came in the eye shadow, right?  Or, better yet, who out there has the same blush brush that they have been using since high school?  This is a crime that many of us are all too guilty of.

It’s pretty gross and not very sexy when you really think about it. That’s a real shame, so we have assembled a list of the essential brushes you should have for a great look.  (And, always remember to keep them clean and to replace them periodically!)

Foundation brush

This brush will help your foundation go on smoothly and allow for you to apply a bit more where it is needed.  If you use a liquid foundation, stick with a synthetic brush.  Why?  It will absorb less of the foundation than a brush made of natural hair.

Powder Brush

Use this in place of the poof that came in your powder compact.  You will waste less makeup and it will go on much more evenly.  This brush is essential because a powdery and cakey face is no one’s idea of pretty.

Bronzer Brush

The slight angle of the bronzer brush will allow for the contouring that is necessary when applying bronzer. Though we sometimes mistakenly apply it like blush, it is NOT blush and should be applied in a more precise manner along the side of the cheek.  A good brush can mean the difference between looking like a pumpkin and looking perfectly tanned.

Blush Brush

A rounded blush brush that is not too dense will create a realistic and feminine look.  It will give the blush sheerness and an effortless look that is sexy and confident… not trying too hard.

Contour Brush

Make sure to get the right contouring brush because this can mean the difference between an amazingly high and sexy cheekbone, and looking like you may have drank a bit too much the night before. A blotchy and muddy face is never, ever a good thing.

Eye Shader Brush  

This is a small stiff brush that can apply eye shadow to the lid and below the eye to create a precise look.  The brush should be stiff but should move a bit so that it creates an even airy look. 

Bent Liner Brush

You need one if you apply liquid liner.  It will create a precise look that you simply can’t get with a pencil.  This innovative design makes it easier than ever to make it look just right.

Pencil Brush

This is a great smudging brush for when you are doing the creases of your eyes.  It is a somewhat long, soft brush that will create that perfect smoky eye we all love.

Soft Dome Brush

This soft brush is your blending buddy.  Use it for eye shadow or highlights right below the brow or to spread concealer.  It is versatile and a must-have.

You may not know it now but when you start using the right brushes, you will see – having the proper makeup tools can make all of the difference in your looks and in your confidence.  Knowing that your make up looks great and that you have invested time and money into your beauty will put a spring in your step.  So, get shopping!