Ok so, maybe I have collected a few brushes over the years! As a makeup artist it's helpful to have multiples in your kit, but in my personal stash I only need a few. For today's Makeup Monday I will be listing a few brushes that I feel everyone should own. I am going to go by MAC numbers & styles just to give you an idea of what to look for but you can pretty much go with the brand of your choice!
For those of you who are interested in going the vegan or cruelty free route, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) has great brushes as well as Cozette. I'm pretty sure Sigma and Crown brushes are synthetics as well.
208 - Small Angled Brush
This is a small synthetic angled brush that is perfect for anything from powder to cream products. For those who aren't comfortable using a fine pointed liner brush such as a 209, this is a nice baby step brush that can give you that classic winged liner without the headache. You can of course use this to fill in your brows as well. I prefer this one to the 266 simply because it's a little more dense and holds its shape better (the 266 is natural hair and I find it frays more easily).
217 or 222 - Blending Brush
Which you go for depends on what's best for your eye shape. The 217 is shorter and slightly fuller than the 222 and arguably the most popular of the MAC brushes. It works wonderfully to blend our any shadow and will help you create the perfect smokey eye, yet it's dense enough that it can move cream product just as easily. I actually love using this brush for concealer under the eyes! The 222 is great for those who have a smaller eyes, deep creases or for those who just want a more precise application of color. The hairs are slightly longer than the 217 so you can really get into that socket area easily.
239 - Flat Shader Brush
I think of a brush like this as a placement brush. Sure you could use a 217 to place color but think of it this way: The more dense the brush, the more color it will pick up and place. The fuller the brush, the less product it will pick up and place. If you want true color and intensity you want a brush like the 239. When I use a brush like this, rather than using swiping motions I really place and pack that color onto the lid (especially if you've got a primer or base on the lid). Then I go in with a blending brush to soften. You're less likely to get an uneven distribution of color this way.
109 - Small Contour Brush
I like brushes such as these because they are multi-purpose. You can use this for applying foundation, powder, contouring and buffing out product like a dream.
Cream blush users, this is great for you! I'm not a kabuki brush user, but if you chop the handle on this you could consider this a small kabuki. Small is ok in this case! It gets into all those smaller corners of your face better than a big powder brush, right?
Since we're talking essentials, I'm ending this list here. You could get away with the 109 as your multi-purpose, all-face-doing-brush and then later add larger brushes to your arsenal. Not everyone needs 3 eye brushes, but this is what I would recommend.