Pro Dish: The Five Makeup Brushes You Actually Need

deluxe-embed
Whether you're a beauty newbie or a makeup veteran, you've probably found yourself confounded by the amount of different makeup brushes available for your face-painting needs. I mean, seriously, how many different sizes and shapes of brushes could we possibly need to get the job done? To get the dish on the top makeup brushes that we actually need, we reached out to Sonia Kashuk, makeup artist and founder of Sonia Kashuk Beauty. If you've never tried Kashuk's tools before, let us just say that you are missing out — her inexpensive yet extremely high-quality brushes have been our go-tos for years. Whether you're a beauty newbie or a makeup minimalist, there's no need to go out and purchase a huge pro set of makeup brushes and tools. With only five brushes, you can create most basic makeup looks — and then some.
For Foundation:
If you thought a sponge was where it's at for your base application, think again. Nothing creates a more even finish (with less product!) than a foundation brush. "A more domed-shaped brush is great for foundation because it helps alleviate streaks, evenly buffs foundation and concealer into the skin, and is perfect for targeting specific hard-to-reach areas," Kashuk says. (That's why she designed her Pointed Foundation Brush.) To get the most natural finish, Kashuk recommends tapping (not wiping) the foundation brush, building the product as you go, and to keep application as sheer as possible under the eyes.
For Blush and Bronzer:
For application of powder blush (or for applying setting powder or bronzer to larger areas, like your forehead or neck), Kashuk recommends a fluffy powder brush: "The hairs are soft, supple, and feel luxuriously soft on the skin, plus it delivers just the right amount of color for a more sheer application. Apply in a circular motion to control the movement and overall application." We like Sephora Collection's version, made with goat hair bristles.
For Shadow: For more detailed powder work, Kashuk relies on a small, fluffy shadow brush (try this one by MAC) to do double-duty. "A shadow brush is one of my favorite tools because it offers a sheer application that’s perfect for a light dusting of shadow over the eye," says the makeup artist. Plus, Kashuk says that this small wonder is perfect for strategic mattification (without dousing your whole face in powder): "Look for a dome-shaped tip. It's great for contouring and applying powder to specific areas."
For Brows:
When it comes to your brows, you may decide to leave well enough alone, but trust us: brushing your brows into place with a spoolie brush is best things you can do to 'wake up' your face in the morning. Says Kashuk: "I prefer to use a spoolie because it latches to the brow hairs for better control. When brushing the brows, follow the growth of the hair and natural contour of the brow line. The motion should go up and out toward the hair line, with the spoolie slightly bent."
For Liner:
To finish off your eye look (especially if you're going for a smokier look), you'll want one last brush in your kit: a smudge brush. "This tool adds the perfect definition to the eye area...it's great for blending pencil or gel liner, and can create a softer smoky eye." The best part about this type of brush is that it can be used to create a variety of looks; simply wet the brush to create a bolder look, or use it dry for a more smudged, diffused effect.
Feel free to add to your collection as needed, but if you want to get more adventurous (and have everything you need in one cute, matching set), we love Kashuk's Deluxe Travel set — a perfect deal at only 20 bucks, and is there anything cuter than its portable, futuristic white case? We think not.
Sonia Kashuk Deluxe Travel Brush Set, $19.99, available at Target.
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page!

More from Makeup

Contouring can, as we've shown before, look scary. But, enhancing your cheekbones or jawline doesn't have to be frightening — or require the skill of a ...
Leather jackets, new jeans, cozy sweaters — we’re all for building up our fall wardrobes around this time of year, but we also like to give a little love ...
If you're guilty of perennially picking at your pimples (try saying that 10 times fast) or you've battled cystic bumps since your teenage years, chances ...
When I was eight years old, I knew nothing about makeup. Did that stop me from collecting palette upon palette of colorful shadows and sparkly tubes of ...
Even though the last day of summer isn't technically until September 22, we're already starting to feel the cozy embrace of fall. Our sweaters are ...
Anyone who has been to Sprinkles knows its cupcakes are so delicious that you wish you could taste them all the time. Now, you can — or at least you can ...
Attention royal family fans: There's a new Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in town and it's regal AF
(Paid Content) Some beauty trends from decades past always manage to circle back — they’re just too good to keep locked away in a previous era! Now you can...
“I love cleaning my makeup brushes,” said no one, ever. Okay fine, some people do get great satisfaction from washing their beauty tools, but we're not ...
Pat McGrath posted three photos from the Versace fashion show to Instagram that tease a new product she's working on. The first shows Gigi Hadid with ...
Every morning, before I steep my morning tea, I scroll through my Instagram feed taking note of all the standout swatches, 60-second videos, and ...
Here's the good news about brown eyes: They're easy to play up, since brown is a mix of the primary colors. This most-common of eye colors is a gorgeous ...
I don't consider myself a vain person, but when I think of my #goals, having Cate Blanchett levels of skin perfection is right there at the tippy-top. Well...
Base makeup is one of those notoriously hard beauty products to shop for. Like picking out jeans or bras, the process takes time, commitment, and patience...