Five makeup brushes every makeup lover should own

My go-to makeup applicators are my fingers. Aside from instantly having 10 tools, they're the easiest to control and don't require a special cleaner to wash out. However, certain makeup products are impossible to apply with fingers (think powder foundations and gel liners!), and it's difficult to get a smooth and seamless finish without the proper tools. That's why it's still important to invest in a good makeup brush set.

Of course, if you're doing work on a client, makeup brushes are non-negotiable as they are the hygienic and professional option. Makeup artists stock up on a lot of different brushes, and often with multiples of the same kind of brush so they don't have to keep cleaning during a session. For normal people like us though, we just need a few brushes to get our face on everyday. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the large number of choices available, read on! We've narrowed the list down to just five brushes to start you off.

All-Over Face Brush

This is a fluffy, dense brush that allows you to apply foundation, blush, highlighter, and setting powder. It can also apply liquid foundation! It should be dense but not overly so that it can't blend out powders, and the bristles should be mid-length or about the length of your thumb's knuckle to its last bone at the base.

The face brush is a must-have for newbies, as it can serve multiple functions. Try the Morphe E1 Deluxe Powder Brush (P1,400 at or Zoeva Luxe Face Definer (P1,240 at if you can afford the splurge, but the e.l.f. Complexion Brush (P250 at department stores) works as pretty well, too.

Angled Cheek Brush

Your ideal angled cheek brush should do two things: it should sweep your blush beautifully from the apples of your cheeks upward, and it should perfectly contour your cheekbones from your ears downward. The width of your brush may depend on the width of your face but we recommend using one with smaller width of around an inch for better control.

The bristles should be fluffy but still dense enough to pick up and blend the product on your face. The Bobbi Brown Angled Face Brush is a new release and retails for P3,000. It is a combination of their Face Blender Brush and Blush Brush, designed for both coverage and precision. There are similar cheaper options from Suesh and Charm.

Base Eyeshadow Brush

Your base eyeshadow brush has one job, and that is to pack eyeshadow on your lids smoothly and evenly. This brush should be around the size of your fingernail, and made of very soft bristles because the eyes are extremely sensitive!

The typical round fluffy brush shape works well, but do you know what works better? A flatter, longer head that's almost like a concealer brush except with natural bristles. This can apply eyeshadow wet or dry and get it as solid as possible. The Suesh Large Eyeshadow Brush (P450 at performs amazingly well at a reasonable price point.

Eyeshadow Blending Brush

If you've ever wondered how pros are able to blend their eyeshadows without muddling up the colors, the secret lies in technique and a good blending brush! It will instantly level up your eye makeup game, which is why eyeshadow brushes are still pricey even if they're smaller than face brushes.

The bristles are carefully formed to make your eyeshadow blend seamlessly, so it's important to re-shape them after washing and protect them when in storage. You can also use these as a precision highlighter or nose contour brush. The MAC 217 Blending Brush is probably the most famous in this brush category, and while it's a serious investment at more than P1,000, it's hard to beat its seamless finish.

Angled Eyebrow Brush

An angled eyebrow brush is a definite must-have particularly for those who prefer eyebrow powder or gels over pencils. The bristles are usually a bit on the stiff side, so that it holds it shape even as you run it through your brow hairs. Because it has a precise stroke, you can also use this for applying gel eyeliner. 

The Zoeva Brow Line (P436 at is perfect for the job, or you can get Charm Double-Ended Eyebrow Brush (P300~ at and Marionnaud No. 38 double-ended eyebrow brush (P90 at Watsons) which come with a spoolie, so you can easily soften those edges for a more natural look.

Natural or Synthetic Bristles?

Natural hair brushes are usually made from squirrel, goat or horse hair - yes, they are animal derivatives but there are also  cruelty-free natural makeup brushes available in the market. These are the best type of bristles for powder products as the bristles pick up juuust the right amount of product and blend them seamlessly.

Synthetic hair is a more accessible and often cheaper option. The bristles are mostly made from man-made plastics like nylon, which don't absorb as much moisture as natural bristles do. This makes synthetics more ideal for applying wet formulas like liquid foundation or cream eyeshadow. 

Buying brushes individually allows you to build your collection according to your needs, but you can also opt to simply get a brush set to save yourself the trouble. You can also spring for under P500 recommendations if your budget is tight.

What brushes do you have in your collection? Any HG recos for these basic brushes?