| December 12, 2012

When it comes to buying makeup brushes, the number of options available can be overwhelming. Which ones do we really need?

For the answer, we turned to makeup artist Sonia Kashuk. The Sonia Kashuk Beauty founder tells us which brushes are best and shares her tricks for how to use them best.

Her five must-have makeup brushes are: 

  • Precision Powder Brush
  • Blush Brush
  • Spoolie
  • Pointed Foundation Brush
  • Smudge Brush

With these tools (available from most major brands) you can achieve any look!

Sonia Kashuk
Precision Powder Brush

"A precision powder brush is one of my favorite tools because it offers a sheer application that’s perfect for a light dusting of shadow over the eye," Sonia says.

How To Use It:

  • It has a dome-shaped tip that is great for contouring and applying powder to specific areas.


Blush Brush

"A blush brush is perfect for applying powder blush," Sonia says. "The hairs should be soft, supple, and feel luxuriously soft on the skin —delivering just the right amount of color for a more sheer application."

How To Use It:

  • Apply in a circular motion to control the movement and overall application.
  • In a pinch, you can also use this for your powder too!

"For brows, I like to use a spoolie to shape and tame unruly hairs," Sonia says.  "I prefer to use a spoolie because it latches to the brow hair for better control."

How To Use It:

  • When brushing the brows, follow the growth of the hair and natural contour of the brow line.  The motion should go up and out towards the hair line, with the spoolie slightly bent.  
Pointed Foundation Brush

"Another must-have is a pointed foundation brush," Sonia explains.  "I like a more domed-shaped brush for foundation because it helps alleviate streaks, evenly buffs foundation and concealer into the skin, and is perfect for targeting specific hard to reach areas."

How To Use It:

  • Rather than wiping the brush back and forth, tap the brush on the skin then blend the foundation for more controlled application and adherence to the skin.  
  • Apply a sheer, thin layer of foundation, then build in areas where necessary.  Always be sure to keep application as sheer as possible in the under eye area. 
Smudge Brush

"Lastly, I need a smudge brush to add definition to the eye area," Sonia says.  "The smudge brush is great for blending pencil or gel liner, and can create a softer smoky eye."

How To Use It:

  • To soften color, avoiding a look that is too deep or harsh.
  • You can line the eyes with a smudge brush, wet or dry, depending on the type of finish you want to achieve.  A dry application creates a matte texture, while applying liner with a wet brush delivers a bolder look.