The Essential Makeup Brushes Everyone Needs in Their Makeup Bag


It’s not true that you need hundreds of brushes to create the perfect base. You just require the essentials and of course, you need to know how to use them. The right brushes with the right technique will help you create the look that you want so it’s important to know what you are looking for. 

With there being such an extensive amount of brushes available on the market, this can make it quite difficult to know exactly what brushes you actually need. In this blog we will uncover all the essential makeup brushes that are necessary, including how to use them correctly and any tips that will help you along the way.


How many makeup brushes do I need?

Believe it or not, you do not need an excessive amount of brushes to apply your makeup. However, it is important you have the correct makeup brushes for your base and eyes. You can create a professional look by using only 5 or 6 brushes, as long as you have the correct ones, you can even save money by finding a brush that offers multiple uses. For example, a large powder brush can be used for setting powder and applying bronzer, using a blending brush is great for both eyeshadow and blending out concealer under the eyes. Similarly, an angled brush used for brows and eyeliner can also work well when applying lip product and contour around the nose.

makeup brushes blog post

What makeup brushes do I need?

1. Foundation Makeup Brush

If you are looking to achieve a flawless coverage and a precise, even finish then using a foundation brush is an absolute must. But, picking the right foundation brush is all dependent on what coverage you want and the type of makeup you are applying, whether it is liquid, cream or powder. It’s best to stick to natural bristles for powder, and synthetic bristles for liquid products. Synthetic bristles absorb less product, meaning that the liquid product will stay on the bristles and apply your foundation more effectively. If you are looking for more full coverage then a buffing foundation brush might be a better pick for you. If you want to achieve a medium cover then opt for a powder foundation, applied with a flat top brush.                                                    

The Brushworks No.2 Buffing Foundation Brush features super soft taklon synthetic bristles, ensuring that your cream and liquid products glide on smoothly and evenly, while being extremely gentle on the skin. With a density scale rating of 5, it strikes the ideal balance, offering just the right amount of fluffiness without compromising on control. The brush’s gentle yet firm touch effortlessly blends and buffs foundation, resulting in a flawless complexion. 

For best results:

Apply a small amount of foundation onto the brush or the back of your hand, then use the brush to blend the product onto your face. Use circular buffing motions to work the foundation into your skin, making sure to blend down your neck for a seamless, flawless finish

Did you know:  Synthetic brushes are more suitable for people with sensitive skin.

number brush

2. Powder Makeup Brush

A powder brush is an absolute necessity to have when applying makeup, you will find that most makeup brush sets will always include a powder brush. This is a large, fluffy and versatile brush that you can use for different beauty jobs. It is perfect for setting powder, and can also be used to apply bronzer, just wipe clean the brush on a towel before using bronzer to your brush. This is a simple tool to use for beginners, best used for applying blusher. Just simply dab the brush into the powder of your choice and tap off any excess, gently apply the powder across your face using light patting motions. 

The Brushworks No.5 Powder Brush features an ergonomic handle that ensures optimal control, allowing you to effortlessly blend your powder products for a professional finish. It boasts a remarkable 0 on the density scale, making it an exceptionally fluffy brush. 

TIP: Tap off any excess product before applying.

number brush

3. Highlighter / Bronzer / Contour makeup brushes

Most people will use multiple brushes when applying highlighter, bronzer and contour but you can actually get away with finding one versatile brush that you can use for all three. It’s a no-brainer to have one of these, both useful and cost effective. If you are a beginner then you are better off starting with a multi-tasking brush. This is super easy to use and a great way to save your money. 

The Brushworks No.3 Multi-tasking Brush is designed to seamlessly blend cream, liquid, and powder products, ensuring even application. For powder products, swirl the brush in your chosen product, making sure to tap off any excess, and apply to the face using light sweeping motions. For cream & liquid products, apply the product to desired areas and blend into the skin using light, buffing motions, for a seamless finish.

TIP: Apply bronzer first and then highlighter.

multi tasking brus

4. Eye Crease Makeup Brush

The eyeshadow crease brush is a must have in your collection. You can use this versatile brush to create a smokey look, you can blend all over your eyelid or target the crease exactly. Using a crease brush will add extra depth to the eye to create the perfect eye shape. When applying eyeshadow, the most important thing to consider is the blending. A crease brush will do exactly this, whilst also being useful to target the crease of your eyelids.

TIP: It’s all about placement – make sure you are targeting the crease of your eyelid.

no eye crease brush

5. Angled Eyeliner Brush

An angled eyeliner brush is great for getting that sharp, winged eyeliner look. This is also a great tool to use when filling in your eyebrows. The stiff, yet soft bristles allow for precise control, they can easily reach into the crease and corners of both your eyes and brows, helping you create the perfect look.

The Brushworks No. 21 Precise Brow Brush effortlessly picks up powder, liquid and cream products, allowing you to fill in your brows with ease. This super-dense brush enables you to fill, shape, and define your brows. Not only is this brush grey for filling out your brows, its versatile use will also help you smudge out your eyeliner to create a wing.

TIP: Just simply to fill in sparse areas with short, feathery strokes, following the natural arch of your brows for a polished and defined appearance.

eyebrow brush


It really isn’t about the quantity of makeup brushes in your kit, it’s more about having the right brushes and technique to help you achieve the perfect base. Explore our Brushworks and So Eco makeup brush collections to help you find all the brushes you need to perfect your makeup.