I never paid much attention to application tools in my early days of wearing makeup. I smeared foundation and concealer on with my fingers, applied blush with a stiff, flat brush, and blended my eye shadow with the included sponge applicator--or whatever I could find.
As my teenage years progressed I found myself experimenting with brushes from the art supply store, from fine-tipped watercolor brushes for liner to small flat brushes for hiding zits.
Now that I'm a "grown-up" I have amassed a pretty decent collection of brushes, all with unique purposes that help me put my face on in the most precise way possible. I have quite a few, but three in particular get the most usage.
1. Dior Professional Finish Fluid Foundation Brush
I decided to splurge and use a gift card on this foundation brush. When I brought it home and started using it with my liquid makeup (usually Arbonne Intelligence CC Cream) I was super happy that I picked it up. The soft, densely packed bristles gently blend product without absorbing too much or leaving streaks. The flat surface can also be used to stipple down once product has been applied, leaving your skin with that airbrushed look.
I also like using it to buff in bronzer when I'm contouring, as the stiffness of the bristles makes sure the product gets blended in, avoiding any telltale streakiness.
2. NARS Angled Eyeliner Brush #47
I love this brush for its super-fine edge and stiff bristles, which are great for a precise cat-eye. Mine has a silver ferrule because it was made prior to a redesign, but it's just as trusty as the new version. I sometimes use it to line my waterline with gel liner, but the angled edge makes it perfect for stamping on a cleanly-lined cat-eye.
For this look, I dipped the brush in a bit of dampened matte black shadow to give myself a coal black, opaque cat-eye. I also use the brush to apply black eye shadow over long-wear liquid liner, which can look shiny and/or take a while to dry on its own.
3. Lise Watier Definition Brush
I already made brief mention of this brush in my doe-eye makeup tutorial, but I truly think this is the must-have style of brush when it comes to shadow. If you're looking for somewhere to start, a long-bristled crease or definition brush is your best bet.
Well-blended shadow is the sign of someone who knows what they're doing, and thankfully this brush style is really easy to find--at multiple price points.
What brushes would you be lost without?