Finding the right brushes and choosing the best

Once I started using makeup, the first thing I felt terribly deprived of was proper brushes and sponges. Earlier, applying face product would mean using my fingers and the only tools I knew were sponge applicators in the eye shadow pallets. To be truthful, I managed quite well with the applicator alone but never got that picture perfect transition and blending out of them. On the other hand, I was very reluctant to invest hundreds and thousands on single brushes and today this is what I have ended up with after trying to restrict being too indulgent:

Today I would break down what I have learnt the hard way about choosing the right tools for your face makeup.

For your face:

Choosing right for your base make up is important. For someone who is a beginner with face makeup, brushes can always appear rather difficult to handle. The factors to be taken into consideration while you choose the base makeup tools are:

  • The time you can spare for your face makeup
  • The finish you want
  • The time you can spare for cleaning your tools

Sponges: they are the best choice for natural finish and fast makeup application. Simply dab the foundation in dots on your face, dampen the sponge and buff the foundation on your face until completely blended. The major drawback of sponges however includes their longevity and they can drink up products and are rather difficult to clean up.

Brushes: the most popular choice is face brush but they can be confusing. There is fluffy powder brush, kabuki brush, stippling brush, fan brush, contouring brush, foundation brush, concealer brush, tapered brush and so much more. Which of these do you really need or do you need all of them? Well, you definitely do not need all of them unless you plan to become a professional and even professionals do not always need all of them either. If you want heavy coverage, go for the foundation brush and for natural finish a good stippling brush- either of the two is enough. For setting powders, blushes etc, you can choose a kabuki brush or a fluffy brush which are actually the same thing except that kabuki has a short handle and appears fluffier.


I have got a flat top kabuki brush, a tapered fluffy brush and an angled fluffy brush. Do I need them all? No. the flat top kabuki serves dual purpose of setting powder and stippling foundation. The tapered brush is perfect for contouring and reaching hard to reach corners. The fluffy angled one is rarely used and it simply is lying around. Sometimes, I put it to use when I have more patience for brushing off fallout eyeshadows or applying blush.

They are easier to clean but you have to clean them anyways at least after every 4-5times uses.

Fingers: The easiest tool of all and the best part is that there is zero investment and if you are too lazy about cleaning this is one “tool” you do not have to bother bout vigorous cleaning anyway. On the other hand, if your hands are dirty on the first place, they are not the best option for makeup.

For eyes:

Even if you are not prepared to invest in quality face tools, you should at least choose your eye makeup tools well for perfect finish. After much experimentation with different brushes, the conclusion I have come upon about eye makeup brushes is that three things are extremely important for eye makeup which you cannot do without.

pencil brush: these are multipurpose brush and can alone perform almost all task related to eye makeup. However getting a true pencil brush in a budget is difficult in India, and so the next best thing you can get is sponge tip pencil smudgers.

Blending brush: without blending brush, getting that perfect transition is next to impossible. So this is another brush that is important.


Sponge tip applicators: for packing eyeshadows densely on the eyelid, nothing can beat the sponge applicators. There are eyeshadow brushes for this purpose but I find this applicators easier to use and providing more coverage.


Buying your tools:

When it comes to finding quality tools within a budget, the indian market is an ordeal really. Even the real techniques brushes which are so raved about as affordable are not exactly what any average college goer and even a working woman would consider to be “cheap”. For me, any brush that does its job well is good enough and the brand name does not matters, nor the looks. I also do not see a point of spending 500 bucks for a brush with certain brand name when you do not even know how to use it correctly. So do not get crazed about the brands and instead search for similar quality at a more affordable price. I got all my brushes from a relatively unknown website called buyincoins where as you can see, my face brushes are actually sigma and real techniques dupes. As for the eye brushes, I suspect the blending brush is MAC 219 inspired but nothing like it and the rest of the synthetic brushes are at least original.

So far, the face brushes and the blending brush which I own for couple of years now are very soft and not scratchy at all. They never shed a hair on washing either. The new set of synthetic brushes are also quite good except a flat brush which is really scratchy and I use that for scooping out foundation from my fit me bottle. 😀

If you are seriously into brands then these are some of the best affordable options there is:

  • Vega professional range stippling brush
  • Vega professional range smudger
  • Vega foundation sponge( the round ones)
  • Colorbar smokin’ eyes smudger brush
  • Real techniques core brush set
  • Real techniques sponge
  • Faces foundation and conceal brush- this one is a dual sided brush I spotted at the stores and they were quite soft to touch.
  • Search with keywords “foundation and makeup brushes” and you would come across brushes with black handle and gold metal for clasping the hair on online websites like and They are available as sets of total 8 brushes for face and eyes and costs above 1200 bucks as far as I remember. These are actually the same brushes as the ones I have in terms of quality. The only difference is that each of my face brushes had cost 1USD-1.5USD which was approximately 62-80 rupees then.

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