Whether you are starting your career as a makeup artist, or love to apply makeup on just yourself, there’s certain tools you need to complete a variety of makeup looks. I’ve always stated that the 2 things that make or break a makeup look are your primers and your brushes.
There are 4 main brushes you should have for your eye makeup…..
This brush is used to pack on color to the lid. It needs to be flat so you can pat on the eyeshadow over your eye primer, and it needs to be stiff so it picks up plenty of color.
The MAC equivalent is the #239- the Eye Shader Brush (MAC)
- Cost: $24.50
A cheaper alternative is the Makeup Geek Eye Shader Brush (Makeup Geek Store)
- Cost: $4.29
Both brushes work well in packing on color, and both are stiff. The MAC one is a bit larger and thicker than the Makeup Geek one. Technically, the Makeup Geek one is a concealer brush, but does not work well at all for concealer- it is MUCH better at packing on eyeshadows or pigments…
This brush is used for creating the perfect smoky eye, for feathering in darker eyeshadows, and for applying more color to the crease. This is my all time favorite eye brush!
The MAC equivalent is the #217- the Blending Brush (MAC)
- Cost: $22.50
A cheaper alternative is the Makeup Geek Stiff Dome (Makeup Geek Store)
- Cost: $7.99
This brush is just like the stiff dome brush but much softer- it creates a much softer blended look. It is used for blending shadow under the brow, applying a softer amount of color in the crease, and even for applying powder under the eyes to prevent that creasing throughout the day.
The MAC equivalent is the #224- the Tapered Blending Brush (MAC)
- Cost: $28.00
A cheaper alternative is the Makeup Geek Soft Dome Brush (Makeup Geek Store)
- Cost: $7.49
These brushes are very comparable- the only difference is the Makeup Geek one is a little bit smaller, which is actually better as the MAC one can be a bit too large for smaller eyes…
This brush is used for smudging eyeshadow under the lower lashline, for smudging eyeliner, or for creating a very defined crease. The smaller tip allows for more precise lines.
The MAC equivalent is the #219- the Pencil Brush (MAC)
- Cost: $23.00
A cheaper alternative is the Makeup Geek Pencil Brush (Makeup Geek Store)
- Cost: $7.99
There are really only a few brushes you need for the face- it really depends on what all you wear. But these 4 are the ones I use daily…
This brush is used for stippling foundation onto the skin for a more airbrushed finish. The bristles need to be stiff in order to hold up to the foundation and not streak.
The MAC equivalent is the #130- the Short Duo Fibre Brush (MAC)
- Cost: $38.00
A cheaper (and better) alternative is the Makeup Geek Foundation Stippling Brush (Makeup Geek Store)
- Cost: $12.98
I am completely honest on this one- the Makeup Geek one works much better for me than the MAC one. I say this as the Makeup Geek one has stiffer bristles which allows for more of a stippling effect and doesn’t streak like the MAC one. Granted the MAC one is softer against the skin, but it doesn’t give the airbrushed finish as much. These 2 brushes are quite different, but are used similarly.
This brush is used for applying darker powder under the cheekbones to create a contoured effect- it makes the cheekbones stand out and your face look slimmer. This brush isn’t absolutely necessary unless you want to contour your cheekbones, but I recommend having if you are a makeup artist…
The MAC equivalent is the #109- the Small Contour Brush (MAC)
- Cost: $32.00
A cheaper alternative is the Makeup Geek Deluxe Contour Brush (Makeup Geek Store)
- Cost: $7.89
Now these 2 brushes are VERY different, but they work the same way. I actually prefer the MAC one as the rounded edge allows me to get under the cheekbones for that more “chiseled” look. If you are just starting to contour though, you may want the angled brush as it’s a little easier to work with. If you do find an angled brush, make sure the bristles are stiff as you need enough powder to actually contour your cheeks- don’t use the fluffy blush brush as it will apply color all over the place. Just my helpful tip for the day ;)
This brush is used for applying powder blush to the cheeks. It needs to be angled so the blush is easier to blend, and it needs to be soft so it doesn’t pick up too much color.
The MAC equivalent is the #168- the Large Angled Contour Brush (MAC)
- Cost: $32.00
A cheaper alternative is the Makeup Geek Blush Brush (Makeup Geek Store)
- Cost: $7.49
These brushes are VERY comparable- I honestly cannot tell much difference between the two. They’re both soft and both apply blush beautifully!
This brush can be used for many things- light application of foundation, applying a small amount of blush to the cheeks, or for highlighting the top of the cheekbones. My favorite use is for highlighting as the bristles are soft and pick up little color, and it is small enough to not cover the whole face with shimmer. This isn’t an absolute necessary brush for your kit, but definitely nice to have.
The MAC equivalent is the #188- the Small Duo Fibre Face Brush (MAC)
- Cost: $34.00
A cheaper alternative is the Makeup Geek Cheek Highlighter Brush (Makeup Geek Store)
- Cost: $6.98
These brushes are VERY comparable- I honestly cannot tell much difference between the two. Just like the blush brushes, they’re both soft and both apply shimmer beautifully!
I hope this was helpful for all of you! For the lips, you only need a small flat brush to apply lipstick IF you are working on a client- most of us apply lipstick straight from the tube :)