The Essential Guide to Beginner Friendly Makeup Brushes

When you’re starting out with makeup there’s a lot to learn, so you’re going to want to keep it simple when it comes to tools and techniques.

Simple, and effective. 

When buying makeup brushes it’s helpful to establish what types of brushes you actually need to achieve the makeup look you’re trying to create.

So, we’ve put together a list of the most important makeup brushes (and in my opinion the best makeup brushes) for achieving any basic makeup look under the sun. 

These are the staple makeup brushes you need in your collection. 

The Essential Guide To Beginner Friendly Makeup BrushesThe Essential Guide To Beginner Friendly Makeup Brushes

What do makeup brushes do?

Different types of makeup brushes have different purposes, but generally makeup brushes are designed to apply and blend in makeup to achieve different finishes and effects. 

This list of high quality makeup brushes is designed to explain how these brushes work differently to apply foundation, blush, contour, highlighter and eyeshadow

For a base that just glides right on after primer, try buffing in your foundation with the elf Ultimate Blending Brush. This multipurpose makeup brush is designed to blend in everything from liquid, to powder, to mousse. It’s a dense synthetic brush, with a dome head that can blend product in seamlessly when you use broad circular motions. It can also be used with blush and bronzer making it an essential makeup bag staple if you like to pack lightly.

To maintain a dewy finish, some cream and liquid products work better when they are lightly dispersed and stippled onto the skin. The elf Small Stipple Brush is a Youtuber-favourite for a reason. This lightweight synthetic brush has two layers so you can layer colour lightly for a seamless, airbrushed result. This bargain brush really stands up in terms of quality and will not be replaced from my makeup stash anytime soon.

Everyone needs a good fluffy powder brush that can cover a lot of area and blend in any harsh lines. We recommend the INIKA Vegan Powder Brush, which is a large, synthetic brush perfect for applying pressed and loose powders to the face and body. Simply dip this prush into your preferred powder, tap off any excess and swirl on to apply. This brush can also be used to blend out any messy blush or bronzer.

To sweep blush seamlessly across the cheeks you need a fluffy, slightly tapered brush to create precision. The Real Techniques Blush Brush is the ultimate blush brush, using synthetic bristles to disperse pigment softly onto the cheeks. This brush makes applying blush easier, as you are less likely to get overly pigmented results.

Contouring is the art of chiseling your cheekbones, or shaping your face using a 3 motion to frame your profile. For this purpose we strongly recommend the Nude by Nature Contour Brush 04. This ergonomically designed brush uses soft synthetic fibres tapered to apply contour with precision. It helps to apply the product evenly and smoothly and blends the product in for a soft, chiseled look.

The Real Techniques Setting Brush is a multipurpose brush designed to apply powder very precisely. This makes it the perfect brush for applying powder under the eye, highlighting the high points of your face, or even concentrating contour. It has soft Talkon bristles that are perfect for buffing out even the most pigmented colours.

To create a defined crease you need a few tools. The Real Techniques Perfect Crease Duo comes with two good makeup brushes that work to create a defined look. The Crease Prep brush works to layer a neutral shadow on the base of the eye, while the Defining Crease Brush has long fluffy bristles that help with the precise application of shadow to that area of your eye.

A fluffy blending brush is essential to any eye look. The Crown Brush Pro Blending Fluff Brush is perfect for blending colours together and diminishing any harsh lines or patches. This brush uses high grade Capra care, which is easy to clean and maintain. It’s a natural hair brush that picks up pigment easily and blends it seamlessly.

The Spectrum A18 Oval Concealer Brush is a small, flat heard brush with a rounded tip designed for expert precision. ideal for applying concealer on targeted areas like blemishes, this prush is also perfect for uder the eyes, nose and mouth. It has flexible, Talkon bristles, which are synthetic, cruealty free and gentle on sensitive skin. We recommend this brush for use with all cream and liquid products.

A kabuki brush is a verastile tool, perfect for applying mineral makeup and other liquids and powders. The Aspect Minerals Kabuki Brush is a Vegan, synthetic brush that has triple milled fibres to pick up every last pigment. It also layers products lightly for a buildable approach. It blends like a dream and provides a seamless finish.


While these brushes are chosen at a beginner price point, many of these have become staples in my own brush collection because of their quality and versatility.

If you’re still not sure where to start we also stock many beginner-friendly makeup brush sets that come with a range of useful brushes to suit your needs.





Brand and product inclusions are at the sole discretion of Adore Beauty. We do not seek or accept payment from brands or individuals listed in our guides.






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