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The Best Brushes For Makeup Application


Good makeup brushes pay dividends. Whether bronzing or buffing, there’s little more luxurious than a set of hard-working, good-looking brushes. The right ones will render your own face painting skills irrelevant while providing a flawless, professional-esque finish to all your makeup.


The angled edge and crimped bristles of Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Brush, create a beautifully blended, flawless base. “Apply foundation using circular motions to create a beautiful flawless airbrushed effect on the skin, building a light to medium coverage,” advises Carla Wall, Hourglass lead Makeup Artist. When it comes to liquid and cream products, synthetic fibres are best because they don’t clog formulas and ensure excess product is kept to a minimum.



For spots, blemishes and dark circles, Mary Greenwell of Laura Mercier’s Makeup Collective UK recommends the fluffiest of fluffy brushes. Hourglass No.5 Concealer Brush is small enough for placement and precision, but full enough for buffing. What’s more, its synthetic fibers won’t pull skin, which is crucial around the eyes.


Space NK’s feathery Bronzing Brush dispenses the perfect amount of powder in a single swoosh. Made of supremely soft goat hair, not only is it stress-meltingly soft, but it also gives an airbrushed finish. Remember to tap excess powder rather than blowing it, the latter will spread germs, which is ill-advised for problem skin – or any – skin.



‘For rich and intense colour, use a synthetic brush with a long flat tip’ says makeup artist Wendy Rowe. Re-purpose Laura Mercier Flat Eye Liner Brush to do the trick. For a diffused smoky rendering however, work pigment into your socket line using Chantecaille’s feathery but firm Eye Basic Brush.


If in doubt of your contouring prowess, allow the By Terry Blush Brush Angled 3 to convince you otherwise. The slanted bristles allow for the most intuitive of cheekbone chiselling, taking the guesswork out of it. Start at the top of cheekbones and sweep the brush down to the hollows of your cheeks.



Vivid pigments require razor-sharp finishes. Nars Precision Lip Brush #30 is densely packed for great colour pay-off, whilst its tapered end does the precision work for you. To create a long-lasting base fill in the shape of your lips with your shade, blot with tissue then repeat.

Top Tips

Experts agree that all brushes, whether natural or synthetic, should be cleaned weekly. Thankfully, there are solutions that forgo the sink, and make the process remarkably easy.

  1. The Laura Mercier Brush Cleaner eliminates bacteria and handbag debris in a single spray.
  2. The Artis Brush Cleaning Pad comprises nearly one million antibacterial micro fibres to sanitise grubby brushes.

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