Essential Makeup Brushes for Beginners

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

'Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.'
Gwyneth Paltrow

Hey folks,

It's always really nice buying makeup products, from lipsticks to foundations to brow pencils and what not…that warm, fuzzy feeling you get in your belly when you finally find the perfect shade of your new favourite lipstick - for those of us utterly in love with makeup…you know what I’m talking about J.

However it can be really frustrating after thoroughly envisioning yourself in Genevieve's skin sporting a classic smokey-eye look with perfect red lips and sculpted cheekbones, then the moment of truth comes: you look into the mirror to behold the ‘wow’ and you find yourself looking like you have a black eye or your very expensive lipstick looks like it belongs to someone else...that can be a major bummer. One sure way to ensure that you get your money’s worth from any product you purchase is to ensure you also invest in the right make up tools which brings us to today’s post. 

I know some of us have our lazy moments when we decide to use those foam wands that come with eyeshadow palettes but that never really gives the desired ‘bang’, I’m one of those who believe that if I’m spending a million bucks on makeup then I better look like a million bucks. So here I’ll be sharing with you some essential makeup brushes that will help take your makeup game from a shaky-2 to a strong-8.

First thing to note is that you can always buy an affordable brush set that has zero to minimal shedding and there are lots of them in stores lately for as little as N5000 and they can work just as well. Here are some must-have brushes that I believe are essential for everyone’s makeup bag:

Foundation Brush

Foundation Brush: Personally, I believe this is the first and most important of makeup brushes for beginners. Using the right brush helps to blend and buff foundation into your skin giving it that smooth, airbrushed finish. This particular half-sphere kabuki brush is reminiscent of a flat top kabuki brush and I use this to apply foundation in a stippling motion (light tapping motion) to get an airbrushed finish. It's best to use this with cream or liquid formulas. This brush can also be used as a Blending Brush after you have applied all of your face makeup for a more seamless and airbrushed effect. 

Powder Brush

Powder Brush:  It is used to apply mineral powder by using a circular motion to buff the powder into your skin and honestly the fluffier the brush the better – the brush pictured here isn’t very fluffy so I mostly use one of the fluffier brushes pictured above. Using a brush is much better than using the powder puff in your compact as this guarantees you will use less product and end up with an even, natural-looking finish.

Concealer Brush

Concealer Brush: This brush is firm and tapered at the end allowing you to brush on concealer for that coveted airbrushed look. Concealer brushes are designed to conceal blemishes and even out skin tone to avoid having dark and fair patches all over your face. Lately, I prefer to use a blending sponge to apply my concealer and most days I just don’t bother with concealer or makeup generally – I’ve just been really tired so I just do my brows and walk away.

Eye-Shadow Brush

Eye-Shadow Brush: This brush is used to apply any type of eye shadow colour, giving your lids a smooth finish and a more intense pigment than if you had used those foam wands that come with the palette. I hardly ever apply eye-shadow for my everyday look so this is for that rare moment when I decide to apply color to my eyes.

L-R: Angled Eye Brush and Brow Brush

Angled Eye Brush and Brow Brush: Pictured above are two different brushes but quite similar. The angled eye brush (pictured left) is used with gel eyeliners or along your crease to define your eyes. The brow brush on the other hand is used when you are filling-in your eyebrows, it is also angled so that you can get all areas of your brows. Both brushes can be used interchangeably and they will perform just fine.

Lip Brush

Lip Brush: This brush is for a more defined lip, it allows you to define the edges of your lips making that colour ’pop’. However, you will require some patience when using this brush to avoid smudges. 

There are other brushes like the blush brush, contour brush, stippling brush and so many others but these ones are more or less the holy grail of brushes so if you are new to the whole makeup life, I suggest you start with these six.

Blending Sponge

I mentioned earlier that I like to use a blending sponge to even out my concealer and foundation so I use this blending sponge pictured above alongside inexpensive cosmetic wedges also pictured above. These two are great with liquid formulas for a flawless finish – the key is to get it damp before you use it and to apply products in a dabbing motion. 

Cosmetic Wedges

After investing in all these brushes, it is also advisable to keep them clean at all times so always remember to wash your brushes at least once a week. You can use brush cleaners and shampoo but for lazy days I like to wipe my brushes clean as soon as I’m done with them using baby wipes or makeup removal wipes. At the end of the week I do a more thorough cleaning with a mixture of mild shampoo in warm water. After repeatedly swirling the brushes in the mixture, I rinse thoroughly and I leave them to dry flat on a towel…never dry upright, it will cause the water to drain into the glue of the metal casing and your brush will begin to shed which is not pretty.

To purchase some affordable brush sets, check out Accessories ng, my makeup ng, and the5kshop here and here.

Thanks for reading this really long post, I apologize and I’m also really grateful.

Till my next post,

Hugs and  Cherry kisses,



  1. I usually would consider myself semi fashionable and can probably score a 7 where things like clothes, nails and hair are concerned but for makeup...sigh. I get tired thinking of it

    1. can be so exhausting which is why lately I try my best to keep it simple.
      Stay strong hun!


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