Essential to every make-up artist’s kit, make-up brushes are a must-have when it comes to creating flawless beauty looks. But for those of us who aren’t make-up artists, knowing which brushes to invest in and, more importantly, how to use them can seem a little daunting. "You don’t need a thousand brushes, just five or six good ones," advises Ruby Hammer MBE, Urban Retreat Make-Up Salon Creative Director at Harrods. With this in mind, we spoke to some of the industry’s experts for their tips on the key brushes essential to all kits...
The Foundation Brush
What's It For: Offering more control than using just your fingers, a foundation brush helps ensure streak-free, flawless coverage.
Expert Tip: "Use lots of little brushes in a soft tickling motion to pick up on little imperfections rather than slapping make-up on", advises renowned make-up artist Val Garland backstage at Antonio Berardi
We Love: The cleverly tapered Marc Jacobs The Conceal Full Cover Correcting Brush; it’s perfect for getting into those hard-to-reach areas around the nose and under the eyes.
The Buffing Brush
What's It For: With flawless, hyper-real skin a fundamental element of every make-up look this season a buffing brush is essential for creating that covetable air-brushed effect. It’s the brush you just can’t do without.
Expert Tip: "Use a stippling and swirling motion to ensure you get the most natural application," advises Hannah Martin, Global Pro Artist for Bobbi Brown.
We Love: Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Brush for delivering the right amount of formula each time and the ultra-polished finish it delivers.
The Eyeshadow Brush
What's It For: A make-up bag staple, experiment with brush shapes and bristle textures for everything from soft washes of colour to beautifully blended smoky eyes.
Expert Tip: "I love an angled eye shadow brush. If you press the tip into a very dark colour, you can then push it into the lash line for a soft, defined eyeliner look," says Hannah Martin.
We Love: Bobbi Brown’s extensive collection of eyeshadow brushes and the sharp angle on the Sisley Eyelid Shade Brush.
The Brow Brush
What's It For: Big and bold is beautiful when it comes to brows, so a good brow brush is essential. Use a spoolie brush to comb hairs into line, then fill in with powder using a high-precision tapered brow brush.
Expert Tip: "Big brows are better brows in my opinion and really help define the features of your face. Careful eyebrow grooming with brushing, filling and styling will help you to achieve this season’s fuller and thicker yet natural brow look," says Danielle Kahlani.
We Love: Doubling up with the Dual-Ended Brow Definer from Bobbi Brown.
The Kabuki Brush
What's It For: A great alternative to traditional powder, blusher and bronzing brushes, the rounded shape and dense bristles of the multi-tasking kabuki brush make it ideal for applying loose powder make-up to large areas of the face.
Expert Tip: "The brush's purpose is to blend make-up evenly on the skin and create a very natural looking coverage. Although traditionally used to apply powder, it’s also great with liquid foundation too" says Danielle Kahlani.
We Love: The incredibly soft, natural glow you get with the Dior Professional Finish Kabuki Brush.
The Lip Brush
What's It For: A must for creating a beautifully-defined pout with smudge-proof staying power. Helpful for mixing different colours, a lip brush should be your go-to tool to create this season’s textured lips.
Expert Tip: "You need to have a lip brush to apply lipstick properly. A round headed brush gets a great shape and one with synthetic hairs means that it is easier to clean," says Tom Pecheux for Dolce & Gabbana Beauty
We Love: The handbag-friendly Dolce & Gabbana The Retractable Lip Brush.
More To Know
Complete your kit with a domed bristle blush brush and master the art of highlighting with a specially designed contour brush. We love Dolce & Gabbana’s The Blush Brush and Marc Jacobs’ The Shape Contour Brush. While not technically a brush, the award-winning BeautyBlender is a must for creating a flawless complexion with an ultra-professional finish.