I Couldn’t Live Without These 7 Makeup Brushes

Last week I talked about some of my ride or die beauty products and was asked what my must-have brushes were. I have a LOT of brushes, so I experiment with a few different types/brands, but there are 7 brushes that I use pretty much every day (fair warning, they are all due for a wash this week).

Real Techniques Blush Brush


This brush is a little newer to my collection, but of the 4 or 5 different brush brands that I’ve tried blush brushes from, this is my favorite. I like that it’s a little tapered, because that means I can get a more angular blush look if I want without having to manipulate the brush itself. It’s fluffy without being too loosely packed, it picks up product very easily, and does a great job of blending.

Real Techniques Powder Brush


I’ve been using this powder brush for the last couple of years to set my makeup with loose or pressed powder (I actually own two; one for myself and one for my freelance kit). I love how big and fluffy the bristles on this brush are! The size makes it an ideal setting brush because it covers a lot of ground in a short period of time.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

hg-brushes-3I use a lot of different brushes to blend in my liquid or cream foundations, but I always come back to this one (the Sigma 3DHD brush was a very close second though). The bristles on this brush are very densely packed but soft so it really buffs in the foundation for an airbrushed finish. It’s also one of the few foundation brushes I’ve found that doesn’t seem to soak up too much product so I can use less foundation with no coverage problems.

Sigma E06 Small Eyeliner Brush

hg-brushes-6As far as eye liner goes, I typically reach for liquid or pencil on a day to day basis. When I want to do a really killer cat-eye though, I definitely reach for gel liner. My favorite brush to apply gel liner with is the Sigma E06. I have another angled liner brush from the brand, but the size of this brush is perfect. It’s so small and precise that I can do a very sharp wing without a lot of hassle. The small size also gives me more variety as far as how thick or thin my wing is.

MAC 217


I have a few different dupes of this brush, but nothing beats the original imo. The bristles in this blending brush are a little on the firm side, but it makes a perfect blending tool for the crease of my eyes or the outer corner. I also love to use this brush to blend my under eye concealer!

Sonia Kashuk Fan Brush

hg-brushes-5When I’m doing a powder highlight I almost always use this fan brush from Sonia Kashuk. It’s duo-fiber so I use the lighter bristles to apply the product and then use the denser, darker bristles to blend. I might be doing that backwards, but it seems to work!

Sigma E40 Blending Brush

hg-brushes-7Of all the brushes on the list this is my hands down favorite! If I had no other eye brushes, I could still use this one to do a full eye look. This is perfect for blending through the crease of my eyes because the fluffy bristles really do a great job of diffusing the colors.

What brushes can you not live without? Let me know in the comments below!

Love and hugs,




8 thoughts on “I Couldn’t Live Without These 7 Makeup Brushes

  1. Have you tried Make Up Forever brushes? I have some and love them! The quality is great. I always go back to those because how soft the bristles are.

    1. I haven’t actually! I try to keep my brushes drugstore to mid-price point range since I tend to spend money on lots of other things. I think the most expensive brush I own is a MAC Kabuki brush. I do always touch the MUFE ones when I’m at Sephora though lol. I like their handles too, they look luxurious.

    2. I have a MUFE kabuki. I accidentally let it soak too long once when washing brushes and the shellac covering split. I simply took it off to find wood underneath. I’ve had it about 7 years!!! I got it in a loose powder kit. Very happy with it!

  2. And I bought the base brush by RT at a “junk store” where stores send merchandise they need to get rid of. It was so lovely, I went back and bought the contour, blush, and a small brush I’m using to blend out shadow, apply highlighter, and to apply powder under my eyes to set my concealer. SOLD on these! I like them better than Ecotools!!!!

    1. I have a lot of different brushes but I’d say that Sigma and Real Techniques have been consistent favorites. I still really like Sonia Kashuk and EcoTools as well but the bulk of my collection is Sigma and RT.

  3. Love the RT brushes! When I moved a few years back my good makeup brushes never made it to the new place (sigh), so I’ve been trying to rebuild my collection. Madly in love with the RT blush brush for blush and bronzer. I just bought another from with their sale (around $6!), and I am tempted to get another set of their eye brushes. I use the buffing brush and Expert Face Brush a lot, and for powder the RT all purpose brush works beautifully for me. I also have the Sonia Kushak fan brush (but never use it..sad, I know!).

    The MAC 217 is on my holiday/birthday wish list as is the Hakuhodo S111BK blush brush (I’d really like the Suqqu cheek brush, but I cannot rationalize the cost for doing my own makeup). Tempted to add the Sigma E40 to that list now. I’ve heard great things about it!

    1. I’ve been using the Sigma E40 for a couple of years now I think and I use it every single time I do my eye makeup without fail. Even if I just want a quick, easy look I’ll use it. Totally worth it.

  4. Great post! I just got my first RT brushes. I got the Core Collection set and I’m liking it! I really love the contour brush for powder highlight. I’ve been eyeing the blush brush. I LOVE my elf angled blush brush, but I’ve started getting braver with more pigmented brushes, and the elf picks up a little too much product.

    My favorite brush in the world is the elf small angled liner brush. It’s great for brows, gel liner, and using eyeshadow as liner (my favorite liner technique). It even works as a lip brush in a pinch. I also really like the RT beauty blender dupe.

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