5 essential brushes for your makeup kit

model backstage makeup brush

Navigating the world of makeup brushes is certainly a minefield…

What’s the difference between an angled kabuki brush and a flat angled kabuki brush? And how do you know which product works best with which brush? To simplify matters, we’re bringing you our beauty editor’s guide to the five most essential brushes and what they do. Get ready to brush up!


kim kardashian
The kabuki brush
A classic kabuki brush is a total all-rounder, a multi-tasking tool that makes makeup application a breeze. This round-shaped brush can be used to apply blush, bronzer and any other powder formulations. It’s like the little black dress for your makeup bag – perfect for any occasion.
Simply Essential F3 Angled Kabuki Brush, $26.99 and Osmosis Colour Bronzer in South Beach, $88

gigi hadid
The angled flat kabuki brush
The super dense, flat angled bristles in this brush lend themselves to some seriously flawless foundation application. The width of the brush and the synthetic fibres mean you’ll always have an even distribution of product, which can be buffed in with ease for a sheer finish or layered for a fuller level of coverage.
Simply Essential F5 Angled Flat Kabuki Brush, $26.99 and YSL Touche Eclat Le Teint, $97

liu wen
The concealer brush
This brush is a winner for concealing those niggly little areas under the eyes and around the nose, where your larger foundation brush just can’t reach. The precision tip is also a dream when it comes to hiding pesky pimples.
Simply Essential F7 Precision Concealer Brush, $15.99 and Estee Lauder Double Wear Waterproof All Day Extreme Wear Concealer, $55

The highlighter brush
The term ‘strobing’ is one we’re all familiar with by now and it’s going nowhere fast! Applying your liquid, powder or cream highlighters flawlessly requires the right tools, and a small brush such as this one will give you a naturally lit-from-within look in all the right places. Use the brush to apply your highlighter along the tops of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, Cupid’s bow and top of the forehead.
Simply Essential F8 Small Highlighter Brush, $15.99 and Benefit Dandelion Shy Beam, $45

natalie portman
The blender brush
While you might be a fan of using your fingers to apply your eyeshadow, nothing can beat the flawless finish and precision application that comes with using the right brush. This angled fluffy brush is perfect for applying not only the base shade of your eyeshadow but also for blending a darker shade into the crease.
Simply Essential FE2 Angled Blender Brush, $15.99 and Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Prismatic Eye Shadow Palette in Summer Seduction, $75