+ Makeup

Belle’s Must-Have Makeup Brushes


Foundation. bareSkin Perfecting Brush // This brush from Bare Minerals has a reservoir in the top for your liquid foundation and primer.  It delivers even, build able coverage, and is great for ladies with complexion issues.  One word of caution, however, it is a pain to clean.  For something less expensive, try this Revlon Blending Brush that gives a similar effect.

Spot Concealer. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage // Acne sufferers, you need this.  Add the right concealer, and this brush delivers targeted concealer right where you need it.  There’s no other brush like it.  It is irreplaceable.

Flat Concealer. Bare Minerals Complexion Perfecter // This is technically a foundation brush.  But with its flat shape and angled corners it’s perfect for applying concealer under your eyes or in tight corners.  And if you get acne on your cheeks, use the flat side to stipple on the concealer for a more natural finish.

I searched around, couldn’t find a similar brush in any price range.  Very unique shape.

Powder Brush. Marc Jacobs Face Sculpting Brush // Some makeup artists pooh-pooh powder.  It ages you; it exposes unevenness.  In my opinion, all you need is the right technique and a good brush to prevent that from happening.

This Marc Jacobs brush is dense enough to stipple, fluffy enough to get light coverage.  You can also use it to contour.  For something more affordable, this Real Techniques Angled Brush has similar qualities.

Angled Blush. Sephora Classic Angled Brush // I like to apply blush the Bobbi Brown way–a darker color on the cheekbones, a lighter color on the apples.  This stiffer, angled brush gives me good contour on my cheekbones.  This $3 e.l.f. brush has the same shape.

Fluffy Blush. Bobbi Brown Blush Brush // If you’re going to use her system, you might as well use her brush.  It’s silky, luxurious, and applies just the right amount of color.  In the summer, this brush and a bright, poppy blush is too perfect.  Try this Lottie blush brush.

Highlighter. Sigma Tapered Face Brush // The Sigma line makes wonderful brushes.  Well-made, high-quality awesomeness.  I use this brush to apply my beloved Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder.  It gives to a targeted, light coverage that is perfect for highlighters.

No Eye-Makeup Brushes? I just use my fingers to apply eye makeup.  The only eye brush I have is this Revlon Smokey Eye brush.

How to Clean Your Brushes. If I have time for a deep clean, I break out the baby shampoo and this Sigma Cleaning Glove.  If I need a quick cleanup, I just use water and a microfiber cloth to take the color off the brush.  You can also use makeup wipes to clean up brushes between uses.  And to keep your brushes looking newer longer, dry them upside down with this Benjabelle makeup tree.



  1. Jenn S. says:

    My jaw dropped when I read that you only own one eye brush! It is nice to be able to swipe color on with a couple fingers and go, though. Brush cleaning, though important, is never particularly fun – minimizing the need to is never a bad thing.

    I’ve also heard Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage brush is the the best in class, but I haven’t had the opportunity to give it a shot yet.

    I’ll need to try Bobbi Brown’s multi-brush approach to blush, too (talk about alliteration!)

    February 25, 2016/Reply
  2. Shelley says:

    I have that Marc Jacobs brush and I love it, but I use mine for foundation. It gives me that air brushed look and blends my foundation flawlessly. Another make-up “brush” must have is the beauty blender. I use it for dabbing concealer under my eyes and for putting on my Becca highlighters. I have also used it for blush and foundation. Love my beauty blender!

    February 25, 2016/Reply
  3. Jenna says:

    I bought the Laura Mercier concealer brush a few years ago on your recommendation. Earlier this week it fell down the sink drain. I’m having my entire vanity re-done next week so I’ll let the plummer know its down there but it was a sad day indeed. 🙁

    February 25, 2016/Reply
  4. Steph says:

    Belle- I also recommend the beauty blender solid cleaner for cleaning brushes. I am super diligent about cleaning my brushes because brushes can last forever if properly cared for! Thanks for this good piece, I feel like I need to check out the bareminerals brushes. Thx!!

    February 26, 2016/Reply
  5. Aparna says:

    Belle – love your blog. Thanks for doing this with crazy law school.

    I actually found this brush set in Amazon that was highly rated. I dont find them to be too bad,but then, I dont know what I am missing as I’ve only used MAC brushes before. Belle – are you up for doing a splurge vs save using these brushes?


    February 27, 2016/Reply
  6. Julia says:

    For the powder brush, you say all you need is the right brush and technique… do you have any videos that illustrate the technique!? I searched, but only found ones that showed how to apply foundation with the Michael Kors brush.


    April 1, 2016/Reply
    • Julia says:

      Ah I mean Marc Jacobs!

      April 1, 2016/Reply