The Only 8 Brushes You Need in Your Makeup Bag

Anyone who has had their makeup done by a professional makeup artist knows that our kits can be pretty intimidating. We have more brushes at our disposal than Morphe so it’s easy to assume that as a makeup enthusiast, that you also need a huge range of makeup brushes to create a lovely makeup look at home! Well, I’m here to tell you that isn’t the case.  

But using the right makeup rushes really can make a difference, even in the hands of amateurs, and can help anyone get a polished look that makes the most of both their features and their favourite products. Using the right tools not only makes our makeup look better, it means we don’t waste product.

I’ve narrowed it down to the eight must-have brushes you’ll find yourself using again and again. Trust me — it’ll help you avoid wasting time and money on brushes bound for the “I don’t even remember what that’s for” pile.

And always remember that brush maintenance/cleanliness is key. Brushes can last a really long time if you take good care of them. I’ve had some of my professional brushes for over a decade and they’re still as good as new.

At least twice a month you need to give your brushes a nice wash with shampoo and leave them out to dry. They’re going to last longer and you’re going to get better makeup application that way. See my post on how to wash your brushes without ruining them here.

All of the brushes I will be speaking about are personal favourites and are from My Kit Co however please note that I AM NOT sponsored or paid by any brand and none of the links are affiliates. They links to the brushes on the website but there are alternatives out there.

1. Buffing Foundation Brush

Using a foundation brush is one of the best ways to get a flawless, professional-looking finish. A brush allows you to apply a light, even coat that’s always streak-free, and then blend it into the skin for a barely-there look. My absolute favourite is the Flawless Foundation Brush.

The brush has a gently curved brush head made from Takelon fibers and blends cream, liquid and powder formulas to a high definition finish. The angle of this brush fits snugly into the contours of the face making this a great tool for contouring too.

My Flawless Foundation™ Brush £18.50

Alternatives that you can try:

MORPHE Pro Deluxe Buffer Brush (M439) £17.00

NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Foundation Brush £14.50

HUDA BEAUTY Face, Buff & Blend Brush £22.00

2. Powder brush

The medium My Flawless Powder Brush is perfect for that final touch of translucent powder to set a makeup look or to naturally apply bronzer. The brush is super soft and has a large rounded Takelon fiber brush head that delivers an even blend of powder or cream formulas across the skin. Each bristle has an ultra-fine tip made for high definition skin finishing.

My Flawless Powder™ Brush £18.50

Alternatives that you can try:

MORPHE Elite Precision Pointed Powder Brush (E3) £19.00

TOO FACED Mr. Right Brush £30.00

CHARLOTTE TILBURY Powder & Sculpt Brush £35.00

03. Concealer brush

Some concealers come in a self-applying stick or pen, so this brush is one that many people skip, but that can be a mistake. Concealer brushes can get into those areas that your fingers can’t get into and blend. Especially if you’re a little older and your skin is a little crepe-y around the eye area, in those inner corners, a concealer brush is really going to evenly smooth the product out.

I also like to use concealer brushes around the nose to even out the redness. I prefer to use two different types of brush for concealing: a soft brush like My Smoothing Concealer brush which is a flat-tipped concealing brush that has been created to smooth out concealer to achieve a sheer, natural finish, or a concealer buffer brush like No142 by Zoeva. This style of concealer brush allows you to apply and blend full-coverage products flawlessly, with ultra-fine bristles to distribute the right amount of colour.

My Smoothing Concealer™ Brush £12.00

ZOEVA Concealer Buffer Brush (142) £10.00

Alternatives that you can try:

HUDA BEAUTY Face Conceal & Blend Dual-Ended Concealing Complexion Brush £22.00

HOURGLASS Vanish Seamless Finish Concealer Brush £35.00

4. Blush brush

One brush you should never be without is a blush brush. “The softer the brush, the more delicate the application is going to be. The more dense the brush is, the more colour you’re going to get. Many blush brushes have a slight angle, which follows the natural contour of the cheekbones and helps to ensure you put the right amount in just the right place.

This super soft, synthetic, tapered brush is shaped to fit the contours of the face, whether buffing in powder, applying blush, or even foundation.

The shape and texture of the brush allows for a flawless finish every time.

My Flawless Face™ – Medium  £18.50

Alternatives that you can try:

MORPHE Elite Precision Pointed Powder Brush (E3) £19.00

5. Eye shadow brush

You don’t need a handful of brushes to create lovely blended eyeshadow. Just 3 brushes; an eyeshadow brush for packing on the colour, a bullet brush for precise colour application and a blending brush to blend the colour out.

You need to look for a brush with flat, rounded bristles and My Shade & Shadow™ brush is your perfect multipurpose eyeshadow brush. This super soft yet densely packed brush picks up product without any fallout and lays colour down beautifully. This simple brush is ideal for applying a powder eye shadow smoothly and evenly over the entire eyelid.

My Shade & Shadow £13.50

Alternatives that you can try:

HUDA BEAUTY Build & Blend Dual-Ended Eyeshadow Blending Brush £14.00

ZOEVA Luxe Classic Shader Brush (232) £10.00

6. Blending brush

My Blending Shadow™ Brush is a must-have in my kit and for those who like to blend shades at the crease of the eyelid for those softly smoky eye looks.

My Blending Shadow™ has a soft full rounded brush head made from natural fiber and is essential when creating natural and more dramatic eye looks and works well with both powder and cream formulas. This is one of those brushes that I always have in both my personal and professional eye makeup brush kits. It is ideal for blending eyeshadow and applying highlighter to make your makeup pop.

Pro – My Blending Shadow™ £16.00

Alternatives that you can try:

ZOEVA Luxe Crease Brush (228) £10.00

URBAN DECAY Pro Tapered Blending Brush E209 £16.50

7. Detailing eye shadow brush

The Pro – My Detailing Crease is one of the brushes that my clients are surprised that I recommend in my top 8 must have brushes My Detailing Crease™ has a gently pointed brush head made from plush natural fibers. The silky fibers allow for exceptional product pick up and dispersion while the crafted tip fits snugly into the crease of the eye, helping to achieve an expertly defined finish. Great for precise application of shadow under the eyes for a blown out smokey look too!

Pro – My Detailing Crease™ £16.50

8. Angled brush

A lot of people think of this as a brush for the brows, but it is incredibly versatile, and is great for applying cream or gel eye liner, or even applying a powder eye shadow as a liner. It can be used for everything, not just the brows. It’s one of those brushes where I sanitise it and I do something else with it. Ideally you want to look for hair that is short and quite firm to get precise results such as detailed brows and winged eyeliner such as My Sharp Angle Brush.

My Sharp Angle™ £13.00

Alternatives that you can try:

ZOEVA Screen Queen Wing Liner Brush (317) £9.00

CHANTECAILLE Eye Liner Brush £23.50

HOURGLASS No.10 Angled Liner Brush £31.00

With these 8 brushes in your makeup bag you can apply almost any makeup product. Just remember that you can apply cheap makeup with a good brush but you will always run into problems when using bad brushes. That’s now to say that they must break the bank as there are many great brushes out there and the ones mentioned in my post today are some of my favourites ranging from affordable to luxury.

Let me know which are your favourite brushes and tag me in photos of your brushes on Instagram @makeupbyclaire01

If you have any other useful tips on brushes that I can add to this post, please post a comment or comment on this post on my Instagram. All additions will be credited.
Follow this blog for more tips on makeup, hair and beauty, info and tutorials. If you have any ideas on what you want me to write about or give step by step tutorials on, please email me at

Don’t forget to check out my website –
Claire xx

Note: This blog post DOES NOT contain affiliate links.

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Best Budget Beauty Buys under £12

As you all know I’m a professional makeup artist, Media Makeup Tutor and blogger and am completely independent. My blog posts and Social Media are not sponsored or paid for and I don’t receive free products to review therefore all opinions are my own and correct at the time of posting.

As a woman and a makeup artist I like to have high end makeup and skincare products in my professional makeup kit and also my personal makeup bag however over the years some high street products have become much, much better and therefore there is now a time and place for these products in our lives, both personally and professionally.

I’m based in the UK and so we unfortunately don’t have shops such as Walmart or Ulta Beauty however we do have Boots and Superdrug which stock a range of products at different prices as well as websites such as Beauty Bay, Feel Unique, Look Fantastic and Cult Beauty.

Here is a list of my favourite budget buys that I think are definitely worth the money (all under £12) and are a must for your beauty routine.

MUA Pro Base Primer Oils £4

These products are excellent value and are in my makeup bag (and professional makeup kit). Having used many different facial oils in the past, mainly from high end cosmetics companies I have personally decided that the MUA 24K gold oil and their Pro Base Oil Stick are amazing. For clients or anyone with dry skin including myself they not only ass moisture to your skin but also provide a base for your makeup to grab onto and give you a flawless looking application.

The Ordinary Coverage Foundation, £5.70

This is one of my go-to foundation for those days where I don’t feel like I need a lot of coverage. I would say it’s a light-medium, buildable foundation that’s better suited for normal to dry skin. It lasts 6-8 hrs on my skin and it’s really hydrating, so it doesn’t cling to any of my dry patches. The colour match is also AMAZING. I use the shade 1.2P and other than MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC15 I’ve yet to find another foundation that matches my skin tone just as well. It’s definitely a natural to dewy foundation so if you like the natural look with good coverage, this is a great foundation.

Revolution Pro 4K Blush Palette in Pink, £8

Different looks call for varying shades and levels of blush, and this colourful quad doesn’t disappoint. Blend, mix or isolate to create your perfect tone. These blush shades are highly pigmented so a little goes a long way and this palette also has a beautiful highlighter/blush topper. I am light – Medium skin toned, and all of the shades look lovely on me and would definitely suit a light skin tone.

Max Factor Masterpiece High Precision Liquid Eyeliner, £8.99

As you all know, I love my Gel Eyeliner Pots but sometimes you just need a quick and ready-to-draw alternative. You have two options with this unique paddle-shaped tip: keep it classic or dial up the drama. This eyeliner glides on smoothly use after use and is a quick and easy way to switch from thick to thin line.

Rimmel London Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal, £4.99

A fail-safe favourite among smoky-eye fanatics, this blacker than black liner won’t run or smudge, fade, melt off, or dent the wallet when it comes to replacing it. This soft, precision Kohl Kajal liner glides on smooth and creamy. The waterproof formula withstands tears, sweat, humidity, rubbing – and whatever else the night might throw at you!

L’Oreal Castor Oil-Enriched Paradise Volumising Mascara £11.99

This mascara is my holy grail mascara and has replaced Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara and Tarte Lights Camera Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara in my personal makeup bag and professional makeup kit. The formula is lovely, not too thick but makes lashes look naturally long and thick without clumping. This mascara has a nice smooth texture and it won’t smudge during the day and is also easy to remove.
The only downside is that it must be replaced every 6-8 weeks as it dries out quite quickly but at this price, it won’t break the bank.

Maybelline Color Sensational Mattes Siren in Scarlet £6.99

These lipsticks come in 37 shades and don’t disappoint. Maybelline’s Color Sensational Loaded Bolds give dramatic depth and bold colour intensity, even with their nude shades. They have single stroke coverage with impact that is truer and crisper on every lip tone. 

 Batiste Rose Gold Dry Shampoo, £4.99

This scent is exclusive to Superdrug and is so much more than a grease dissolver. This beauty favourite adds volume and has a lovely fragrance, but most importantly, facilitates an extra 30 minutes in bed! What more could a girl want in the morning?

Garnier Micellar Water Oil Infused Dry & Sensitive £6.99

If you are looking for an efficient, yet gentle cleanser that removes all makeup, even waterproof, and also cleanses the skin of dirt and impurities whilst leaving your skin feeling nourished, then this is the cleansing product for you!
This cleanser is especially suitable for dry, and sensitive skin and I use it every day. Don’t be put off by the oil in the product as it doesn’t clog pores or cause breakouts, but adds enough essential oils to hydrate your skin, eliminating any dry patches.

Garnier Nutri Bomb Coconut and Hyaluronic Acid Tissue Mask £2.99

Everyone knows that I love a good soak in the bath with a book and a face mask however I have a new favourite treat. I have dry skin, sometimes with eczema and this mask gives my skin an intense hit of hydration. This milky sheet mask is packed with a milky serum enriched with coconut milk & hyaluronic acid, what’s not to love about that combination for your skin?
I also like to use the excess serum in the package as a moisturiser for my face and neck when I get out of the bath.

As with all my blog posts this is my opinion and is not sponsored or paid by any brand and none of the links are affiliates. They link to the brand’s Instagram accounts.

Follow my blog for more tips and tutorials on makeup, hair and beauty. If you have any ideas on what you want me to write about or give tutorials on, please post a comment

If you liked this post, please share with friends and family on Social Media/email, and please also let me know in the comments what your favourite budget beauty products are.

Thank you for reading 💋

Claire xx

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