THE 32 BEST MAKEUP BRUSHES FOR EVERY STEP OF YOUR ROUTINE
Whether you crave a specific makeup brush for every single need or err more on the multitasker side, there is a brush for you. Ahead, discover the best luxury makeup brushes for every step of your beauty routine, from foundation to contouring and beyond.
While we certainly enjoy indulging in beauty’s best bronzers, glowing highlighters, and lightweight foundations for a radiant complexion, those products can’t deliver a flawless finish without the right makeup brush. Makeup brushes are an essential part of any makeup routine, as each brush has a defining role within each step. Case in point: Concealer brushes are meant for camouflaging the smallest imperfections, so they need a smaller, more precise brush head to access hard-to-reach areas, whereas a feathery bronzing or blending brush has a robust round head to cover larger areas of the face. Celebrity makeup artist Kale Teter explains, “When looking for makeup brushes, I generally think of them as all being individually important, rather than sticking to one brand or type.”
Each step of your makeup routine should call for a unique makeup brush, but for novices, Teter suggests “a good basic set that includes a foundation brush (flat or fluffy, depending on how you like to apply), a big fluffy brush you can use for powders and bronzer, a bit smaller fluffy brush for blush and highlighter, a flat eyeshadow brush, a fluffy eyeshadow brush, and perhaps a brow spoolie.”
When building your dream brush set, take the time to do your research, and have fun exploring and testing the different options. Leigh Adelman, president of premier makeup brush brand Artis, says that “brushes, especially the Artis brushes, are designed to be multifunctional (you can use all of our brushes with liquid, cream, and powder formulas across makeup and skincare products), so you can use one brush for your whole face. That said, some people like to have several brushes, each with their own purpose. Our brushes are designed to be intuitive to your needs, so whether you want one brush or 10, you can achieve the results you’re looking for.”
Whether you crave a specific brush for every single need or are more on the multitasker side, there is a brush for you. Ahead, discover the best luxury makeup brushes for every step of your routine, from foundation to contouring and beyond.
Best Foundation Brushes
An iconic brush I simply cannot live without, Chanel’s Les Pinceaux de Chanel 2-in-1 Foundation Brush is a short-haired, perfectly tapered foundation brush that adapts to every crevice of the face for a smooth, even foundation application. Whether you’re applying liquid or pressed powder foundation, this brush will ensure full coverage for a glowing complexion without any unsightly streaks.
When applying makeup using a foundation brush, start by dotting the product on your forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin, then use the brush to blend it over your entire face in even strokes. Expert tip: Make sure to start in the middle of your face and work your way outward.
Artis completely changed the makeup brush industry by elevating the design and the performance of its brushes. Our favorite, the Artis Elite Mirror Oval 7-Brush, is enhanced with the brand’s signature CosmeFibre monofilaments for a flawless foundation application. Expert tip: This brush can easily double as a foundation and skincare brush. That's the beauty of the brand: “Artis brushes are designed to be multifunctional, so you can actually use one brush for your entire face,” explains Adelman. What’s more, the bristles feel pillow-soft against the skin and reveal a flawless finish.
Dior Backstage Beauty is a signature beauty brand dedicated to delivering runway-ready looks. Its Light Coverage Fluid Foundation Brush 11 is the ideal intro brush: Designed to simplify makeup application, this foundation brush effortlessly builds seamless coverage of both liquid and cream foundations. Its tapered, layered “cat’s tongue” shape helps blend the foundation for fast, easy application, leaving you with a second-skin light-coverage effect. For the best results, take up a small amount of foundation with the light-coverage fluid foundation brush and apply it to the T-zone, making sure to blend and smooth the product outward as you go. For touch-ups, lightly dab the areas requiring additional coverage until the product has melted into your skin.
Legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath has, unsurprisingly, created the ultimate foundation brush with her namesake Sublime Perfection Foundation Brush. Tested backstage and in real life, this large foundation brush allows for the even application of foundation, while slightly waved, synthetic EvoFibers deliver superior pick-up for immaculate blendability, glide, and distribution. The soft, lightweight bristles are also super easy to clean, making this a great brush option for those with sensitive or blemish-prone skin.