My Everyday Essential Makeup Brushes

essential makeup brushes

So if you’re like me and have 46982 makeup brushes, then you’ll know that having the correct makeup brushes is one of the secrets to a flawless application. If however you have no idea what brushes to buy then below are my everyday essential makeup brushes for a day time look!

essential makeup brushes

I’ll keep this post as minimal as possible, my bare essentials, and I’ll mention optional extras that could help complete your look where relevant. I’ll also give you alternative brand options if I can and point out where your fingers may be able to do the job instead too!


FYI – The above is my ‘everyday face’ – my eye look is only ever a sweep of one colour so only one brush is needed for this! Below are the essential makeup brushes I used to create the above everyday look.

Firstly, it’s probably a good idea to point out that when I started to build my kit – MAC was the number 1 brush brand to have, there were no Irish brands and very few else that were popular. So I’ve bought every MAC brush ever and still have a majority of them and still rate them. I used MAC for all the shoots you’ll see here in my portfolio! For that reason you’ll still find lots of MAC throughout this post, but I’ve mentioned alternatives.


essential makeup brushesUp until recently I’ve been using the MAC 266  brush. It was finally time to retire it through as it was becoming a little out of shape and not giving me the definition it used to. I have moved on to the Inglot 31T this week and have been having a good brow day every day since! This retails at just €14, it’s the only Inglot brush I’ve used so far and will invest in more soon!

Other brow tools that I use but that are non essential would be a spoolie brush, mine is MAC but I’m not fussy about the brand of this, it’s just to brush the brows through to spread the product a bit.


essential makeup brushesTo cover up any blemishes with a cream concealer I use the Blank Canvas F17 Camouflage brush but your finger can do the job for this too to be honest! It’s only €6.99 and a handy one to have. To blend my under eye concealer I use a dry Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge – You can tap lightly with your fingers to do this too but won’t get the same finish.


essential makeup brushesThis MAC 187 Duo Fibre brush been my go to since 2008! I find stipple brushes get the job done quickly, as well as flawlessly. I don’t have time for a buffer brush I find they take ages, the same with those flat paint brush style brushes, they just take too long to achieve the same look. The priciest brush in this post but it will last forever so a good investment.

Other brush types to consider depending on your preference would be a buffer brush as mentioned. I’m a little impatient and don’t like to spend too long on my makeup but if you’re ok with that then the Blank Canvas F20 Flat Buffer Brush is one to consider. In terms of using your fingers for foundation – erm, best of luck with that!

Contour / Highlight

essential makeup brushesWho doesn’t love a good contoured face? For powder I use either the Blank Canvas F15 Small Tapered Brush which you can also get in Black, or the Blank Canvas F28 Fluffy Contour Brush. These brushes also double up to use to Highlight, and the F28 I use on eyes too. You don’t always need to use a brush for its purpose – experiment!

An additional brush I would recommend for highlighting if you don’t want to double up on the above, is the F05 Fan Brush which I use. For cream contouring I generally use my Concealer brush but I have recently bought some Sculpt brushes so I’ll let you know how those go!


essential makeup brushesI use the MAC 168 Angled Brush or the Blank Canvas F04 Angled Face Brush – they’re almost the exact same! These are actually meant for contouring but I prefer to use them on my cheeks for blusher. I always have, even on models in my portfolio. I sometimes also use the very tip to apply Highlighter if I want it a little harsh and sculpted looking rather than natural

Powder / Under Eye

essential makeup brushesThe MAC 150 Large Powder brush is what I use to set my foundation or the Real Techniques Bold Metals Arched Powder Brush – the MAC brush has withstood the test of time for sure, and the RT one has a gorgeous Gold handle. Heavy price tag though. To set my under eye concealer I use the Real Techniques Setting Brush – it’s perfect for under eyes & not harsh,


essential makeup brushesI left eyes until last because there are SO many brushes you can have in your kit for eyes. For my every day look I only use the one colour swept across my lid, blended in my crease, and blended under my eye and the MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush does all of this and takes 5 seconds to do applied with a quick and light hand. Alternative would be the Blank Canvas E25

essential makeup brushesFor a night time look or something more fancy with my eye look (the above is just a wash of colour really) I would use a Flat Shader brush and a Blending brush. I have MULTIPLE of each of these. I can’t tell the difference between my MAC 217 & Blank Canvas E26 or my MAC 239 & Blank Canvas E24. I can’t complete an evening eye look without either of these!

There are so many more eye brushes that I have, but I wouldn’t deem them ‘essentials’ so I won’t go into them in this post. Any questions let me know, I hope it helped that I mentioned alternative brands to each recommendation and also which ones were not totally essential in the above.

Where to get these

The Blank Canvas Cosmetics brushes I mentioned above are also available on Cloud10Beauty and of course you can get the MAC brushes in Brown Thomas. Real Techniques are in Boots and lots of pharmacies and Inglot brushes can be purchased online or in stores.

Any questions let me know! What are your everyday essential makeup brushes? Do let me know!

AJ sign off