The Only Makeup Brushes You Actually Need

It happens to all of us; we walk into a makeup store asking for one eye shadow brush and end up leaving with around 5 or 6 different brushes that the salesperson insisted we need, and by the time we come to use them, we can’t remember which one does what.

Ask any makeup artist, and they’ll tell you that their full professional kit has about 30 different brushes. Ask them again which ones they actually use, and they’ll probably tell you no more than 7 or 8. So, why do we keep buying unnecessary brushes? Probably because we’re inclined to think that owning all of these brushes will enable us to apply makeup just like the pros – or because the salesperson is so convincing and we can’t help ourselves. Whatever the case may be, to avoid confusion, here is a list of the only brushes you’ll ever need.

Eyebrows: 1 brush

This one is pretty simple; you need literally one small angled brush for perfect eyebrows, and this is only if you fill in your eyebrows with powder or gel. If you use eyebrow pencils, then you just need an eyebrow comb.

Eye shadow: 2 brushes

So, this is where most of the confusion is. You only need two brushes for literally any look: one flat brush to apply the eye shadow, and one fluffy brush to blend! You really don’t need a different brush for every colour you put on your eyelids because in reality, it’s just a matter of applying the eye shadow from lighter to darker shades. Easy!

Full face: 3 brushes

Yes, that’s right: 3! What most people don’t know is that you only need one blending brush or makeup sponge and one or two powder brushes, and that these can do literally everything for you.

You don’t have to get lost in all the brushes that exist to apply different products, or have a separate blending brush for each product applied – you don’t need to complicate your life!

Setting powder requires one brush for the whole face; you don’t need various ones for powdering different areas.

Foundation or concealer can each be applied using your fingers to dab the product all over your face. Blend it out using a single brush or sponge. Similarly, blush, bronzer and highlighter can all be applied using one brush – don’t listen to what anyone else tells you about needing an angled brush, a fan brush or any of those things that don’t make sense to you. No one has the patience to use a different brush for each product – we’re adults, so we multitask!

Eyeliner: 1 brush (optional!)

If you’re the kind of person who uses liquid eyeliner, you can skip this one. This brush is for the people who use gel eyeliner.

You probably didn’t expect the brush game to be this simple. The thing is, most products we use have applicators anyway, so we don’t need to make our lives difficult. Basically, you can use only 6 brushes for a full face, so don’t get lost in the mess, and the next time a salesperson offers you 15 brushes, show them this list and tell them they’re wrong!


Follow our #EnigmaMakeupTips to make sure you never unnecessarily complicate your life again.

By: Nada Motawe