1. Japonesque Pro Angled Foundation Brush (£19.50)
Applying foundation with a brush completely revolutionised my routine. Not only is it way more hygenic and saves valuable product, but it ensures precise application around the tricky eye and nose area. This brush doesn't absorb the product, but helps base to glide over the skin with ease; the flat brush shape smoothes out cream or liquid foundation, while the angled tip helps you reach everywhere your fingers don't. Although it's pricey, a great foundation brush will keep going for years - as long as you regularly clean it!
2. Real Techniques Blush Brush (£9.99)
I love the Real Techniques collection of tools, simply because they're super soft and a pleasure to use - making them perfect for professionals and novices alike. This delightfully fluffy brush is great for applying powder to the face, or buffing in a touch of highlighter. The varying sizes of the bristles ensure a super light finish, great for those that are scared of 'caking' or creating a heavy powdered look.
3. Crown Brush Powder Brush (£10.19)
This came within a bumper pack of brushes from the fabulous Crown Brush site (which are well worth checking out if you want to stock up.) It's a great multi-purpose powder brush that I use daily, providing enough grip to pick up my powder, distributing it evenly and lightly. It feels super soft and doesn't malt or lose bristles - unlike a lot of powder brushes which seem to leave more bristles on your face than anywhere else.
4. Barry M Blusher Brush (£4.99)
A recent addition to my collection, the new collection of Barry M brushes provide great value. This angled blusher brush is great for applying powder blusher or highlighter to the cheekbones, the shape aiding application and ensuring it looks as natural as possible. It's the perfect brush if you struggle with blusher: just buff it over the surface and delicately swipe it across the cheeks in an upward motion, building the colour as you go.
5. Crown Brush Pointed Crease Brush (£5.19)
Although I can't find the exact brush online, this is my everyday 'base' eyeshadow brush that's shaped like a finger to ensure it gets into the creases. It's fab at picking up nude shades and buffing them all over the eyelid, creating a great base which you can then blend a stronger colour into. I love brushes that do all the work for me, and this is definitely one of those.
6. Real Techniques Shading Brush (£6.99)
If you struggle with eyeshadow or wouldn't know where to start when it comes to a smokey eye, then you need this brush in your life. This shading brush is light and super easy to use, picking up eyeshadow and keeping hold of it until you start buffing; it's great at building up a colour result, or simply layering eyeshadow for a more blended finish. I love this so much I've got two.
7. EcoTools Eyeliner Brush (£5.95)
A great tool if you like your eyeshadow to be stronger around the lash line. You can either use this to apply shadow wet for a stronger finish, or work gel liner into the lashes for a more powerful finish. The angled tip helps you to work around the lash line more effectively, which becomes your best friend after a few practice sessions.
8. Kiko Cosmetics Liquid Eyeliner Brush (£10.90)
I love a little precision brush, particularly for creating a more subtle eyeliner-type finish. This is great used wet with dark colours and 'wiggled' gently along the lash line, creating a smokey finish. In order to get the best result, the bristles need to be sturdy and precise (as well as the same length,) and Kiko's version is a great addition to any collection.
So those are my must-have brushes that I couldn't currently be without. Do you have a favourite makeup brush brand, or are you a makeup brush novice?
All brushes featured are available online.