My Make-Up Brushes

Before I really got into make-up, I never used proper make-up brushes - I just applied it with my fingers or used the little brushes that came with compacts, which I know is a really bad habit and probably contributed to why my skin looked worse rather than better when I first started wearing make-up regularly. However, in more recent months I've started building up a brush collection, and it's making a huge difference to how my make-up looks when I apply it. It's also been something of a revelation that I didn't need to spend a lot of money on my make-up brushes. There are still pricey ones I'm lusting after (MAC 217 anyone?) but equally there are so many good, affordable brands out there that you can quite easily build up a decent basic collection for around £50.

I keep my brushes in a Tunnock's Teacakes mug my sister E bought me for Christmas. I like it as it's quite an unusual way to organise my brushes and makes it easy for me to find the one I'm looking for rather than rummaging in my make-up bag. Plus it gives the mug a purpose as we don't have space in our kitchen mugs so I haven't used it to drink tea out of (well at least not yet, I haven't got that desperate for a brew!).

L-R: Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, EcoTools Airbrush Concealer Brush, Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush, Models Own Powder Brush, Real Techniques Blusher Brush, The Body Shop Eyeshadow Blender Brush, Real Techniques Shading Brush
I don't have that many brushes compared to some people - just seven, although that would have seemed like a lot to me even a couple of years ago! That said, I would like to perhaps get a paintbrush-style foundation brush as an occasional alternative to my Real Techniques foundation brush and maybe a bronzer brush in the summer, but right now this is enough for me to do most looks.

Foundation brush - Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
This is the most recent addition to my collection and I have completely fallen in love with it in the short time I've had it. Whereas the more paintbrush-style foundation brushes can sometimes leave your foundation looking a bit streaky, the domed shape of this one means you can buff it in much more, helping you to blend the colour and build it up much more easily. I genuinely don't think I'd be without this brush now.

Concealer brush - EcoTools Airbrush Concealer Brush
This is my absolute favourite of all my brushes. As someone who regularly gets breakouts and still has a few scars from my bad habit of picking my spots (attractive I know), being able to conceal my spots is a vital part of my beauty routine. What I love about this brush is that as well as using it to paint on concealer, it also works really well as a stippling brush to help me build up the coverage a little more. Plus I like the wooden handle as a nice contrast to the pastel rainbow of my Real Techniques brushes.

Blusher brush - Real Techniques
I really like blusher as a way to brighten up my face, especially if I'm not wearing much other make-up. This brush is absolutely perfect for applying colour to my cheeks - it's got a great rounded shape, with lovely fluffy bristles and is fat enough to pick up plenty of product but also blends the colour really nicely to avoid the dreaded clown-face. Plus it's so, so soft, which is always something I look for in a make-up brush as there is nothing worse than that feeling of bristles scratching your face.

Eyeshadow brushes - Real Techniques base shadow and shading brushes, Body Shop eyeshadow blender brush
For someone who claims not to wear a lot of eyeshadow, I use my eyeshadow brushes a heck of a lot. I got my two Real Techniques ones a few weeks ago in a make-up swap and since then I've used them most days - the base shadow brush just to do a wash of brown or ivory shadow for everyday looks, and then the shading brush if I need to do some blending with another colour for a special occasion. I also have my Body Shop eyeshadow blender brush as an alternative when the shading brush is out of action, for example if I've used it to do a different look and don't want my make-up to look sludgy.

Powder brush - Models Own
With powder brushes, bigger is definitely better, and this Models Own one is huge! I have to admit I wouldn't necessarily have looked at Models Own for brushes but after Sali Hughes recommended them in her Guardian column I decided to pick this one up. And it is brilliant, picking up just the right amount of product whilst giving plenty of coverage so you can just sweep it over your face as a quick finishing touch to your make-up. Very, very impressed.

The last thing I want to stress is to make sure you take care of your brushes! I wash mine once a week - normally on Sunday as that tends to be my 'home' (read: blogging) day - then leave them to dry so they're ready for Monday morning. You can buy special brush cleaning products from the likes of MAC but I find baby shampoo does just as good of a job for far less money. If you give them a good thorough but gentle clean once a week then they should last for a good while and stay in good condition.

Are any of these make-up brushes in your collection?


  1. I'm the same with brushes...only recently starting to realize how important they are! I just got a set of Real Techniques ones so am looking forward to trying them out. Hopefully I'll like them as much as everyone else :) Danielle x

    1. The Real Techniques ones are great, I was a bit reluctant to try them at first but I bought the blusher brush and then it just evolved from there! For the amount they cost they're definitely worth the investment.

  2. I keep my brushes in a mug too. It's definitely a nicer way to store brushes than just your bog standard holders. The MAC 217 is on my brush wishlist, actually all MAC brushes aside from the ones I have are on my wishlist.

    Raise The Waves

    1. MAC has some amazing brushes. I'm still kicking myself for not buying the Masterclass ones when they came out earlier in the year. What MAC brushes do you have?

  3. The way you keep them is so adorable, mine are shoved in a draw haha!! xxx

    1. Thank you! I love that mug, I thought it deserved a better life than just being used to drink tea out of. My brushes used to live in my make-up bag but they were a pain to find in the morning - this is much easier!