Confession time: Over the years we've invested our fair share of paychecks into quality makeup brushes in an attempt to garner red carpet-quality results. (Can you blame us for wanting to look like Serayah Mcneill or Selena Gomez?)
Instead of spending serious cash on a bevvy of brushes that wind up collecting more dust than powder, E! Style Collective beauty pro Ashley Rebecca recommends cutting down your stash (blending, smudge, angled, stipling—who can keep track?) and rounding out your collection to include just these six brushes for a flawless face.
"It's not to say that other brushes are a waste of money, but they are technique-specific and definitely not necessary for everyday looks (and everyday people)," said Ashley. Instead of trying to buy everything at once, the makeup pro suggested buying more advanced tools as you need them and going with the following picks to start.
Powder Brush: Consider this brush your number one. It's the largest and most common of all makeup brushes with a wide head meant to cover large amounts of the face in one-to-two sweeping motions. Thick and fluffy bristles easily pick up all pressed powders—foundation, bronzer, loose and translucent. MUA Pro Tip: Want fuller coverage from your powder? Lightly mist the hair on this brush with water and mix with powder to turn light powder into a thicker product.
Foundation Brush: For all things liquid, utilize this medium-sized option (usually in goat or synthetic hair). It comes in a flat or sometimes tapered shape, which makes blending foundation on the skin super easy. MUA Pro Tip: Nix concealer brushes altogether and use this one for concealers, foundations, tinted moisturizers, BB creams and liquid highlighters (basically all cream face-base products).
Blush Brush: Think of this as a smaller, more compact version of your powder brush. This medium-sized brush perfectly targets the T-zone and cheekbone areas of the face for strategic application of powder blushes, bronzers, cream blushes, liquid blushes, liquid highlighters and any type of accent powder or cream really.
Brow Brush: Thou shalt not ignore thy eyebrows. Groom brows into place with the spoolie end and fill in bare patches with the brush end. Use with all brow products—brow gels, powders and pencils included. MUA Pro Tip: Also employ the spoolie side to lightly tug at and soften out pesky mascara clumps.
Eyeshadow Lid Brush: Use this flat-head brush to apply 90 percent of you eye makeup. The soft, flexible bristles are close together and laid flat, perfect for applying powder eyeshadow, smudging cream eyeshadow and loosening dark pigments.
Eye Blending Brush: Smoky eye? Or how about a smoky under-eye? You're covered. This dome-shaped brush has shorter hairs on the sides and longer hair in the middle to blend shadow into the crease. MUA Pro Tip: Want to make sure you're blending thoroughly? Use this brush in a windshield wiper-esque motion in the crease to ensure perfect blending every single time.
Hourglass No. 1 Powder Brush, $65; Bobbi Brown Professional Foundation Brush, $42; Kevyn Aucoin The Blush Brush, $48; Chantecaille Eyebrow Perfector, $23; Hourgalss All-Over Shadow Brush, $30; NARS #42 Blending Eyeshadow Brush Blending Brush, $32