The 5 Makeup Brushes Every Makeup Newbie Needs

Plus, one you kinda, sorta, probably should pick up while you're at it.

ByCaitlin M.

If mascara and lipstick are the bread and butter of beauty, then makeup brushes are the knife. You can't make a good sandwich without the proper tools. (Who's hungry now?) And, although there might be endless options of brushes to choose from, unless you're a makeup artist or a makeup enthusiast, there are really only five brushes that are essential for any makeup kit. These five will help you create any look you need and a lot of times, can work double-duty. So, without further ado, these are the five brushes you really need. (Plus, one more you should add to your shopping cart if you're feeling adventurous.)

1. The foundation brush: This one seems like an obvious choice. If you're going to apply a foundation of any kind, you should get a brush to insure an even distribution and natural finish. This brush is really a non-negotiable when it comes to creating a flawless canvas. This brush is typically firm and wide with a slight dome shape to spread liquid foundation. Some brushes have a bit more fluff to double with powder foundation in a pinch as well.

real techniques face brush

Try: Real Techniques Face Brush ($6.09, Target): This affordable brush works well with liquid and powder foundation, earning it a 2016 Reviewers' Choice Award.

2. The concealer brush: Another solid option to add to your collection is the concealer brush. You'll know a concealer brush when you see one thanks to its unique flat design. The bristles will be flat, compact, and most certainly angled a bit to get into the tough-to-reach spots (around the eyes and nose!). Think of this as the most paintbrush like brush.

 Kat Von D Lock-It Edge Concealer Brush

Try: Kat Von D Lock-It Edge Concealer Brush ($24, Sephora): This unique sculpted design is perfect for covering just the spots you want.

3. The angled/contour brush: This one might not be as necessary as other brushes, but trust us, when you need it, you need it. Defined by its (typically) angled, flat design and tight bristles, this brush is ideal for carving, defining, or highlighting specific areas. Use it with your favorite contour kit to get those chiseled cheeks.

elf Contouring Brush

Try:  e.l.f. Contouring Brush ($6, Target): With a slender design, you can define and highlight like the best of 'em.

4. The blush/powder brush: This brush can live under several different names: blush, bronzer, powder, setting. But ultimately, it's a wide, fluffy brush that is meant for powders—of any kind. Use it on your cheeks with blush and bronzer, on all over with setting powder, or even on your décolletage with a touch of highlighter. 

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Powder Brush

Try: IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Powder Brush ($48, : This do-it-all brush is as sturdy as it is fluffy. Use it all over for whatever your powdering needs might be.

5. The crease brush: So far we've only given you options for the face, but let's not forget the eyes. A crease brush is essential for applying pigmented shadow all over the eye, namely in the hard to maneuver crease. You'll know you've got a crease brush thanks to it's light, rounded tip.

Wet 'n' Wild Wet n Wild Crease Brush

Try: Wet 'n' Wild Wet n Wild Crease Brush ($.99, Target): Probably the most affordable brush on the market, this synthetic brush contains two-toned bristles so you can see just how much product you're applying.

Bonus brush: The makeup sponge: OK, it's not really a brush, but it's a solid option to add to your beauty bag. The porous texture, pointed tips, and blending ability make a makeup sponge ideal for foundation and concealer application. 

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

Try: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ($5.99, Target): This easy-to-use sponge has a pointed tip and a flat surface to spread across the face and get into hard-to-reach corners.

Now that you've gotten the lowdown on which brushes are essential to your makeup kit, be sure to learn the proper way to clean your brushes so they stay makeup free, safe from bacteria, and in tip-top shape!

What makeup brushes are your essentials? Share with us your picks!

About the Author
Caitlin M.
Senior Editor at Influenster. Runner. Music lover. All things nachos. Follow me on Instagram: @caitlinsmiller