Best Makeup Brush Sets For You, Based On Skill Level

I’m grateful that I have very few photos from my early teen years. Otherwise, you’d be able to see the horrible harsh and streaky makeup that plagued me from ages 13 to 16. I could’ve used a guide of best makeup brushes for every skill level, starting with level I-have-no-clue-what-I’m-doing. My first tools for makeup application were the generic cheap sponges that came with a pressed powder compact. I even struggled with those eyeshadow applicators that were foamy, flimsy messes. Then, I had a clever idea of using paintbrushes from an art kit I’d gotten as a gift — what a disaster that was.

My makeup didn’t start looking decent until I was able to do my research and buy a few starter brushes. My first buy: a fluffy powder brush. After your first brush purchase, it becomes addictive. Here I am today with more brushes than one face could need. If you’re going through the early stages of makeup, a great brush kit for beginners with directions and labels can be a savior. But even old pros like me have to update their brush collections every now and then. Whichever category you fall under, know there is a brush for you (and see which of them I've linked below!)

1. This Kit Is Perfect For Blending Beginners

eBoot Makeup Brush Set, $13, Amazon

One of the biggest mistakes I made when I started using makeup was leaving it streaky. Blending everything into your skin is important, and this kit has everything you need to pat in your foundation (foundation brush), smooth streaky concealer (oval toothbrush curve brush), and soften a harsh contour (flat contour makeup brush and blender sponges). There's even a makeup brush cleaner included, so you don't make the rookie mistake of letting breakout-causing bacteria thrive on your brushes.

2. Here's Every Brush You Need To Create A Smokey Eye

Beauty Junkees Eye Makeup Brush Kit with Case (8-Pieces), $24, Amazon

Smokey eyes can be tricky to master, but with the right brushes, it will be so much easier. The great thing about this kit is that each brush is labeled, so you don't have to guess which one is for all-over shading, blending, or defining the crease.

3. Challenge Your Brush Skills With This Oval Brush Set

BeautyKate 10 Pcs Pro Oval Toothbrush Makeup Brush, $20, Amazon

If you're comfortable using regular makeup brushes, take your makeup application to a new level with these. Their unique curved shape and wide paddle-like bristles make self-application easier, getting the brush as close to you as possible, so your contour and highlight comes out perfectly.

4. Not Totally Comfortable With Brushes Just Yet? Try These!

BMC 3pc Dual End Latex Free Blender Sponge Brushes, $16, Amazon

It took me a while to get the hang of brushes after using sponges for so long, but with this set, you'd be able to switch between both, depending on your comfort level.

5. A Complete Brush Kit For Every Skill Level

SHANY Artisan's Easel - Elite Cosmetics Brush Collection, $25, Amazon

Whether you're a professional brush wielder or a total novice, this kit will be an excellent beauty resource for anyone. Each brush is labeled and comes with a guide that explains what it's used for. And even if you don't need the guide, you get 18 brushes for under $25 — oh, and this set has a five star rating!

6. An Amazing Rotating Brush For Automatic Blending

Keten 360 Degree Rotating Handy Vibration Brush, $25, Amazon

Maybe you've already mastered the art of blending, or maybe you don't even know what blending is — either way, you want this brush. It rotates to do all the blending for you, and reviewers are loving it. Reviewer Ashley Sudders said, "I have never been good at doing make-up, in fact I'm actually pretty terrible at it. But this makeup brush even makes me seem like a professional makeup artist!"

7. The 2-in-1 Brush For The Makeup Minimalist

It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Complexion Perfection Brush No. 7, $34, Amazon

If an entire collection of brushes isn't something you want to commit to, this is the one brush you need to have. It's technically a combo foundation/concealer brush, but because of its dual ends, it could be used for blush, bronzer, contouring and highlighting.

8. A Four Piece Beginner's Kit For Foundation

Featherstroke Makeup Brushes 4 piece Big Brush Makeup Brush Set, $39, Amazon

If you're a beginner, you may not be prepared to be overwhelmed by an entire set with 12 different eyeshadow brushes. Instead, start with the base of all makeup — even foundation. These four fluffy brushes take care of everything, from application and blending, to contouring and, finally, setting.

Images: Amazon (8)

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