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We say it time and time again: often, it's not what makeup you have on your face, but how you apply it. That's why your brushes and tools can have a huge impact on the end result. We're talking the difference between a streaky finish and flawless lines and edges. Of course, no one ever said it was easy to lock down your squad. Finding your foolproof brushes is a challenge, since there's no right brush for everyone.
How do you navigate the world of beauty tools when it seems as if there's a new option every time you hit the store? Fret not, because we've put together this handy-dandy cheat sheet to bookmark — and consult before adding anything to your cart!
Ahead, a quick guide to the basics of makeup brushes: What are the most popular options typically used for? What shapes are most effective for different formulas? Plus, other important tips. Of course, feel free to get creative and forge your own path — this is just a reference point to get you started.
Click through our slideshow for the tips and tricks to master brush shopping — then, tell us which brushes you love in the comments below.