Best Makeup Brushes & Tools

Flawless makeup is as much about the application as it is the products, so that means you'll need the best makeup brushes and tools to make your skin look great. You can spend your entire paycheck on the best foundation money can buy, but there's a chance it won't look as great as it could if you're applying it with the same old sponge. For the longest while, I was using my fingers to smear foundation all over my face.

When I ended up with streaky makeup, I’d be so upset, and I broke out so much because I didn’t know how to apply makeup correctly. Or, if an eyeshadow palette came with its own flimsy brush and applicator, that’s what I’d end up using. It was horrible for my makeup and for my skin.

When I finally learned about the best makeup brushes and tools for my skin, everything improved. This $20 brush set I use is the softest in the world. Now, my foundation practically melts into my skin. And for contouring like an Instagram guru, this set is my go to. As a former makeup novice, I feel it is my duty to share these with you, so you can get the best makeup (and skin!) yet.

1. A Brush Set For Buttery Soft Application

Yoseng Foundation Oval Makeup Concealer Powder Brush Set in Rose Golden, $20, Amazon

This brush set is life changing, seriously, and I say that from personal experience. Not only does its form make self-application easier, the bristles are packed fuller than a traditional makeup brush, making each brush in the set feel extremely soft against your skin. That softness means no harsh foundation lines post-application.

2. Holy Grail Sponge For All-Over Blending

beautyblender Original Makeup Sponge, $20, Amazon

Every beauty guru and makeup artist swears by this beautyblender sponge. There are many beautyblender dupes, but the original is still the best. Why? Because the sponge is made from a latex-free antimicrobial foam, it's safe for sensitive skin and fights back against bacteria — where other sponges fall short. The special shape also allows you to use the tip to get product anywhere you want it, and with a twist of the wrist, you can feather out the product for streak-free finish.

3. Get Clean Brushes For Flawless Application Every Time

JAPONESQUE Brush Cleanser, $19, Amazon

For better looking makeup and skin, cleaning your brushes regularly is necessary. It's easy to skip because it can be time consuming, but with this solid brush cleanser, you can cut your time in half. It's formulated with goat milk that dissolves any brush impurities, all while it conditions bristles.

4. Every Brush You Need For The Perfect Contour

Sculpt and Blend 2 - 10 Piece Brush Set, $28, Amazon

Contouring is an art form, and just like Picasso, you'll need an arsenal full of brushes like these. Why this set? The dual fiber brushes can easily apply liquid and powder products for flawless blush, bronzer, and powdered applications. Users are saying these brushes are great because no hairs fall out after washing, and one reviewer said, "I suggest BH as a source for inexpensive, quality brush sets that has a great variety for beginners."

5. Easy Application With A Sponge That Blends For You

KINGDOMCARES Handy Vibration Makeup Powder Blending Puff, $20, Amazon

For days when you can't stand the patting and blending of a traditional sponge by hand, this power blender does the work for you. You can use the vibrating triangle brush on liquid or powder, and reviewers are saying the powered application dramatically cut down on their getting-ready time. One fan said, "It requires no extra effort on your part. It really feels gentle on my sensitive skin; which I love."

6. A Sculpting Brush That Makes Contouring Easy

EYX Formula Pro Sculptor Contouring Makeup Brush for Sculpting the Cheekbones and Jawline, $9, Amazon

You've watched all the 'how to' contour videos there are and still can't get it — try this brush. It's shaped to fit the angles of your face where you would naturally apply your contour. Its synthetic bristles are both antibacterial and hypoallergenic, which means the brush is a good fit for sensitive skin, too.

7. Blending Sponge Brushes That Are Mess-Free

Hotrose® Set of 3pcs, Cosmetic Make Up Liquid Cream Sponge Brush Set, $8, Amazon

Blending with a sponge can get makeup all over your hands, but these sponges have easy-to-use handles to avoid messy makeup accidents. Sometimes the most helpful fix (like adding handles to makeup sponges) ends up being the simplest.

8. Get In Every Corner With This Precision Sponge

The MakeUP Bullet - 2 Units, $18, Amazon

Those hard-to-reach corners around your eyes, nose, and mouth can be tricky to reach with a regular sponge, but these small, pointed sponges fit over your fingers like gloves, so you can blend in the trickiest corners. Plus, no more putting dirty, bacteria-carrying fingers over your skin.

9. Protect Your Foundation From Eyeshadow Fallout

Shadow Shields, 30 Count Box, $11, Amazon

One of my greatest makeup fears is applying flawless foundation and attempting a dramatic eye, only to have eyeshadow fallout ruin everything. With these shadow shields, that'll never happen. Reviewers are saying this pack is the must-have, and one even said, "And you can secure it in several different ways depending on what you need. It even helps you get the correct angle on your eyeliner if you extend it out past the corner of your eye."

10. A Brush For Smooth & Glowing Skin On-The-Go

e.l.f. Retractable Kabuki Brush, $6, Amazon

Unfortunately, carrying your full makeup brush collection around is just not practical, so this retractable brush is perfect for touchups on the go. Reviewers are saying it's soft and compact, and one said, "Perfect for my travel makeup kit! Keeps the brush nice and also keeps any makeup residue off my other items."

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Images: Pexels (1); Amazon (10)