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The Best Makeup Brushes For Creating A Full Face – According To An Expert MUA!

The Best Makeup Brushes For Creating A Full Face – According To An Expert MUA!
Louise Hopkins
Writer and expert2 years ago
View Louise Hopkins's profile
I have come such a long way since I first fell in love with makeup, nearly three decades ago. Back then, makeup brushes were never heard of!The only thing close to an eyeshadow brush was one of those little spongey applicators that would be put into palettes, while my fingertips were my biggest makeup tool for applying foundation! There was no need for a brush but, fast forward to today and the mere thought is sacrilege. 

In today's ever growing beauty industry, the makeup brush or brush set has become a staple in everyone’s makeup bag. In fact, it is now a guessing game to work out which brush is used for what, which can be confusing for a makeup-loving newbie. They can also be quite costly, therefore finding the right brushes can be a minefield…


Do We Need Makeup Brushes?

I guess the question is ‘do we actually need them?’ and my answer to that is ‘hell yes!’. A makeup brush is your tool for creating a perfected, airbrushed look. Gone are the days when only a professional make-up artist could give you this flawless look - with the likes of YouTube and Instagram, there are makeup tutorials everywhere to help you learn how to perfect those looks by yourself, at home.

Natural Or Synthetic Makeup Brushes?

You may be thinking, should you opt for natural bristles or synthetic? Well this is really just a personal choice and, for me, it comes down to ethics. I won’t use products tested on animals (I feel that today there is no reason to be testing on animals at all) but I think both bristle types work just as well as each other.

Looking After Your Makeup Brushes

My best advice to you is, once you find your holy grail of brushes, to look after them! Clean them every week with a good brush cleaner, and they will serve you well for years to come!

Want more help on how to look after your brushes? Have a read of our How To Clean Makeup Brushes blog!

If you are someone who has either never picked up a makeup brush or someone who has, but still can’t figure out what they are all used for, look no further. Because I buy brushes like they are going out of fashion, and I can point you in the right direction…


After applying my relevant skincare, I apply my foundation. And the brush I reach for most frequently right now is the Smashbox Blurring Foundation Brush. It's cruelty free, synthetic and works well with creams, liquids and powders. A middle of the road price point of £25 also makes it appealing, and with its domed shaped head, it reaches everywhere easily dispersing product for a smooth and even application.


When it comes to concealer, I love theIT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Dual Airbrush Concealer Brush #2. At only £22, this brush is a game changer. I believe concealer has always been best applied with fingers, however one end of this dual brush has a flat side that can act just like your fingertips. As a result, it’ll help diminish the look of dark circles and blemishes around the nose. The other end is a domed fluffier brush, which allows you to buff out and blend until your desired look is achieved!


The Nanshy Face Perfector Brush is ideal for the smaller areas of the face and great at lightly setting your face with powder - oh and it’s only £11.95 too! This tool really is a multi-use brush as it is also great for applying your blush and your bronzer too. Its synthetic bristles sweep colour onto your cheekbones and, with it being a smaller brush, you can use it to apply product to the exact places on your face that you want them!


Whilst multi-use brushes are fab and can simplify your routines,  I do love to have just one brush that is dedicated to my bronzer. Bronzing is all about giving you an all-over radiant glow and, ideally, a bronzer brush should be big and fluffy. This is so it can be used all over your face, down your neck and around your temples... My favourite brush right now is the Real Techniques Powder Brush which is beautifully large and fluffy and, at only £10.99, it's a steal!


The bareMinerals Diffused Highlighter Brush isa lovely lightweight tool. It's a cruelty free, vegan brush that features super soft bristles to help provide a buildable glow with seamless blending. At £22, the tapered tip allows for targeted application onto the high points of your face - such as the cheekbones, bridge of your nose and your cupid's bow! Highlighter, for me, was always the one product I found hardest to place on my face, therefore having a tapered tip helps so much!


Another of my favorites for your makeup bag is the MAC 224S Tapered Blending Brush. This brush will take your blending skills to the next level - trust me on this!. Splendidly soft and ultra-comfortable on the skin, this expert tool costs £23.50 and allows you to pick the exact right amount of product up and blend into your crease perfectly, and all with very little fall out.


If you’re someone who struggles with winged eyeliner, the Sigma E06 Winged Liner™ Brush will make the process so much easier! And, at only £11.45, it is worth having in your tool kit. It’s so tiny you’ll be able to make your wing as sharp as you want it! If wings aren’t for you though, it's not a problem... You can still use this brush to create darkness at the lash line and give your eyes definition - because defining your lash line can make all the difference to your eye look. Also, this brush can double up as the perfect tool for adding in delicate hair strokes to your brows!

Subscribe To GLOSSYBOX

Now you’ve got your makeup brushes sorted, you’ll of course want new products to use them with! Well, subscribe to GLOSSYBOX and you’ll receive five incredible beauty buys straight to your door every month! You'll also get a whole host of other benefits, including access to the Glossy Lounge, 25% discount on all GLOSSYBOX Skincare products and priority access to our Limited Edition boxes!
Louise Hopkins
Writer and expert
View Louise Hopkins's profile
Makeup is different for everyone and it definitely started to change for me as I hit my late thirties. At this stage in my life, I also decided on a career change, choosing to qualify as a makeup artist - which set me on a course to find my holy grail products... After thorough research, I found that there are definitely certain formulas that look better on mature skin, as well as specialist techniques that help you apply makeup better. That’s what I’m all about now - I love finding products that work in the best way for all individuals.