Before I started reading beauty blogs & watching youtube tutorials I owned a grand total of two brushes. A foundation brush & an eyeshadow brush. That was it. A big part of me thought; 'why do you 'need' all those tools when you can apply it with your hands?' - and I do still think some brushes are a tad unnecessary. However after buying my first Real Techniques collection and a couple of Mac brushes I can understand why they are so loved.
I keep all of my brushes in a Large Mac Brush Roll. This doesn't get the best reviews, but for me it is perfect. My collection consists of Real Techniques, Body Shop, Urban Decay & Mac brushes and the majority fit in the slots, a couple don't but the side zipped pouch holds all the others well. It's easy to clean & keeps everything together nicely without taking up lots of space.
Real Techniques Core Collection : (£21.99)
Real Techniques Starter Collection : (£21.99)
Real Techniques Powder Brush : (£12.99)
Personally I really love Real Technique brushes; they're cruelty free, don't shed and are very reasonably priced compared to most other brushes out there. The Core Collection is better used by me, although the angled brush in the Start Collection is great for applying powder to your eyebrows, although the other brushes aren't used as much as I'd like.
Body Shop Foundation Brush : (£12)
Body Shop Eyeshadow Blender Brush : (£10)
After discovering the Real Techniques Buffing Brush (Core Collection) my foundation brush has gone a bit unused, although it is a great brush & I do like that they are affordable, don't shed & again are cruelty free. The eyeshadow blender brush is a little uncomfortable to use and I haven't particularly used this a lot.
239 Eye Shader Brush : (19)
224 Tapered Blending Brush : (£22)
217 Blending Brush x 2 : (£17)
219 Pencil Brush : (£19)
266 Angle Brush : (£16)
210 Precise Eyeliner Brush : (£16)
Of all Macs brushes I think the 'eye' brush selection is probably the best and most versatile. I can't say a bad word about any of these brushes. They all do a great job of perfecting whatever eyeshadow look you're going for. I find the 'shader brush' best for applying very pigmented shades, and the 'tapered blending brush' actually more useful for applying some powder to under my eyes once I've used my Bobbi Brown Corrector/Concealer. The angle brush is one of my favourites as it's just so precise and can be used for both eyeshadow and doing your eyebrows.
168 Large Angled Contour Brush : (£26)
187 Duo Fibre Brush : (£32.50)
130 Short Duo Fibre Brush : (£29)
I'm currently struggling with the Duo Fibre brushes (both short and large) as they shed like no other brush I've ever used before, which is a shame. These are made for lightweight application of water-based foundation, emollients etc. however the amount of time I've spent picking black hairs off my face after using these is disappointing. I'm hoping if I keep using them maybe it will stop, otherwise they'll be bald! The Large Angled Contour Brush however is lovely. It is the perfect size to... well, contour your face with! It also blends out the product very well & I've not noticed any shedding from this at all.
If I were to condense this down to the brushes I use the most/what I find does the job (or multiple jobs) the best are; RT Powder Brush, RT Buffing Brush, Mac Contour Brush, Mac Blending Brush, Pencil Brush and Angle Brush. I'm pretty sure you could contently apply all necessary make-up with these six brushes! The rest are kind of just a luxury, and a lot were gifts I received for Christmas, which I am very grateful for.
What are your favourite brand/brushes?