Last week I cleaned ALL of my makeup brushes.. to the average person that may not sound like a mammoth task but believe me.. it was! When I had them all out drying on the side I was shocked at how many I’d amassed that I rarely use and wondered to myself how few I could actually narrow it down to. Being the procrastinator that I am those brushes sat on that side for almost a week and being as lazy as I am I couldn’t be bothered to go and get them in the morning to do my face so I actually managed without them entirely for a few days. I used a sponge for powder but otherwise got along okay with cream products.. when I DID reintroduce brushes I decided to pick a minimal set and see how I got on.. surprisingly well as it turns out.
Obviously it’s nice to have a brush for every purpose but if you’re just starting out or (like me very soon) looking to downsize your tools for travel you really don’t NEED that many! It will differ from person to person but I personally want a brush that can serve as powder/bronzer applicator, the Blush brush from Nanshy is the perfect size for me, it could obviously apply blush too however I prefer an angle for that.. I actually like the Contour brush for applying my cheek colour but this is probably because I apply it high on my cheeks and in such a way that it almost acts as my contour. I’ve found it suits me better than on the apples of my cheeks and yeah okay, maybe it’s a bit 80s but hey, I like it! The angled brush also doubles as a contour if I’m so inclined so again.. multi-tasker! If you’re looking to work with as few tools as possible those that can work double duty are worth their weight in gold!
Eyes are tough, this is where my collection is a little out of hand. I want something to lay down colour, something for the crease, to highlight my brow, to smudge my liner, to DO my liner.. the list goes on. All I REALLY need is a flat, tapered brush which can be used for an all over lid colour but the sharper edge can work well to contour the crease. You have to learn to blend well if you’re going to do away with a ‘blending brush’ but if you’re fairly modest with shadow (like me) and don’t tend to do anything too outlandish then you can definitely get away with just the one brush like the Shader from Nanshy. I would miss my smudger so I have to include the Pencil, I’m not a neat liner of eyes but find you can get a totally intentional looking smokey look if you smudge out your kohl with a little brush.
There are so many brushes I could add to this list and if you’re looking for a more comprehensive collection you can get excellent value sets like this one (which includes all of these brushes) or this that will set you up for any and every possible makeup eventuality but if I had to tell you my absolute essentials these would be they.
Which brushes could you just not live without?
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