10 Beauty Brushes You Absolutely Need

Written by: Susan Hang


The best thing about makeup is that you’re never restricted to using a product as it was intended – everything is very moldable. And this very well applies to beauty brushes. It’s been a few years now since I’ve hoarded, scrapped, and replaced several brushes, but no matter what comes next, I reach for the same tools over and over. Here’s what they are:


Mac 129

This is my preference for blush over an angled brush as it’s more versatile in product placement – for times when I don’t want that “angular” effect (you know – where you go from the apples of your cheeks to your temples). It also doubles up for contouring when time is limited – hell yes to multitaskers.

Beauty Blender

This is obviously a sponge, but it replaces all my foundation brushes. Dry-skinned beauties, it is your savior. It’s the only tool I can get to apply foundation without the creases and cracks. I used to think a $20 momentary sponge was ridiculous but it’s really WORTH every single penny. Never going back.

Real Techniques Setting Brush

I’m PRO strobing as the new contouring and this setting brush conjures the ideal effect. It’s the perfect size and picks up more product than say a “fan brush”, but not excessive like a flat shader brush. It’s also rigid enough to intensify your highlighter on those particular points of your face.

Sigma F35 Tapered Highlighter Brush

When Charlotte Tilbury debuted her Powder & Sculpt Brush, I thought it looked rather familiar. That was when I converted my Sigma Tapered Brush into a sculpting brush and it has been life changing. It gathers enough color to create the kind of natural shadows I like. The tapered shape is also helpful in bringing out those cheekbones; needless to say, this is no longer my highlighting brush.

Real Techniques Blush Brush

My top choice when it comes to setting powders – loosely picks up product and lightly distributes it across your face (exactly how a setting powder should be applied). The bulb shape allows me to just wallow it across my skin and voila – undetectable, but stays put!

Mac 239

This is a basic flat shader brush perfect for packing color onto the lid. It’s small enough to only place color on the areas you intend on covering – not the entire surface of your eyes (#AsianEyeProblems). I also love the stiffness of the bristles, which is great for dragging eyeshadow onto your lower lash line.

Sigma E65 Small Angle Brush

I’ve been using this brush for the last 7 years to fill in my eyebrows and it has never failed me. It’s a bit denser than most angled brushes, which isn’t perfect for gel eyeliner, but that’s exactly why I love it – accumulates the right amount of product for me to quickly create lush brows when in a scurrying rush.


Louise Young LY13 Mini Socket Brush

Small-eyed girls (even regular or big-eyed girls) – you can thank me later. Whether you’re looking to smudge color onto your crease (sockets) or onto your lash line, this one triumphs. It’s soft, tiny and gets the job done without the irritation.

Mac 217

Probably the most versatile makeup brush to ever exist. If there’s only one brush you take from my list, let it be this one – from eyeshadow perfection to blending concealers/highlighters gloriously, this one does it ALL. You absolutely need more than 1. There’s no need to question why it tops EVERY single MUA and beauty blogger’s must-haves.

Mac 204

If you’ve got an eyebrow infatuation but want to avoid potential beauty blunders, get a spoolie – brush out those harsh edges and pull your brow hairs in the right direction. Don’t let the lash brush moniker fool you – this is a necessity for brow haven!

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You Should Also Read:
10 Foolproof Tips for Flawless Makeup
My Beauty Secrets
The Ultimate Mascara Review