My brush collection: How to make a small collection work for you

Hey guys! Let’s talk about makeup brushes.

Now, you might look at the title and then at my brush collection and think “but Margrét, that’s not a small collection” and you would be right. It’s not a small collection. However it’s not big either. I’m always lusting over new brushes and I think I could always keep buying brushes. But that’s my choice. What I’m here to tell you is that you really don’t need many brushes to do your makeup.
The great thing about makeup and makeup brushes is that you make the rules. While names of brushes or descriptions of what they’re meant to do are helpful guides you can always find more than one way to use your brush and that’s the great beauty of the whole thing.

That being said, I’m going to show you all of my brushes, tell you what I use them for and give you a couple of more suggestions of what you might use a similar brush for.

So without further ado, let’s dive in:
(Disclaimer: I own almost exclusively Real Techniques brushes. This is not a paid advert nor am I affiliated with them in any way. I simply think that they are quality, cheap brushes and they are the most easily accessible to me. You will find similar brushes by most other brush manufacturers)

  • buffing brush

    Real Techniques Buffing Brush. This is a dense brush. That makes it ideal for applying liquid products like foundation. This is probably my favorite foundation brush for most foundations. I like to apply the foundation first either with my fingers or just the brush and then buff it into the skin using this brush in circular motions. It’s a large brush which makes it most useful in applying or blending product on bigger areas of the face.

  • stippling
    Real Techniques Stippling Brush. This is another large brush ideal for blending foundation. It’s great for getting a really flawless finish on your face by stippling the foundation around into the skin. Make sure that you’re not dragging it around because it’ll leave streaks. This one will give you a great finish weather you use it for foundation, concealer or cream products like cream blush, bronzer or highlighter.
  • cheek brush
    Real Techniques Cheek Brush This is a smaller semi dense brush. It’s cut so that it’s narrow on one side and it’s tapered to a rounded point. This makes it extremely easy to blend out any type of product, the brush does all the work for you. This one is great for any type of face makeup. You could use it to apply foundation but it works great as a blush, bronzer, highlight or contour brush. Depending on how you turn the brush you can fit it in one sweep all over the apples of your cheek or fit it nice and tight into the hollows of your cheek for a contour.
  • duo face brush
    Real Techniques Duo-Fiber Face Brush: These are lovely (and I’ve got two). Super fluffy and not dense at all which makes it easy to pick up small amounts of product. It’s also cut tapered to a point which makes it so good for blending. I like to use this to lightly powder all over my face or in bronzer if I want a light subtle warming up of the face. I also use it in contour colors if I want a really natural contour.
  • pointed foundation

    Real Techniques Pointed Foundation Brush: This is a flat brush cut to a point. It’s great for applying product but it’s rather small so I find it tedious to apply product all over my face with this one. However the way it’s cut makes it very easy to get into all the nooks and crannies of the face. Around the nose or under the eyes, any little hard to get to places. It’s also lovely for concealer and even highlighter.

  • contour

    Real Techniques Contour Brush: This one is very lovely, one of my absolute everyday brushes. It’s called a contour brush, and the way it’s cut makes it fit exactly in the hollows of you cheeks it’s true, but I hardly ever use it for that. I like to use this one to blend out my concealer all over. It could also be used for blush, highlighter or in powder to set concealer.

  • duo contour

    Real Techniques Duo-Fiber contour brush: Like the last brush this one is a contour brush and it’ll fit perfectly for that. It’s a duo fiber brush which means it’s denser in the bottom and less dense the higher up the bristles you go. That makes it great for blending and for not picking up too much product. I love this one for setting my concealer. I’ve also used it for highlighter because it gives such a pretty finish.

  • angled eyeliner brush

    Real Techniques Angled Liner Brush: This is a really tiny little angled brush. It’s great for any kind of gel or cream eyeliner and makes creating a winged eyeliner look really easy. I, however, use it on my eyebrows and think it’s perfect for that. It’s great for both outlining the brows and filling them in.

  • eyebrow

    Real Techniques Angled Eyebrow Brush: This one is much larger and less dense than the last brush. It makes for really good natural eyebrows, but if you have small eyebrows or prefer smaller eyebrows it might be too big. It’s also harder to get details with this brush. I like to use it if I want really natural and bold eyebrows, but I also use it to apply eyeshadow on the lower lashline or highlight the browbone or the inner corner of the eye.

  • pointed liner brushes

    Real Techniques Pointed Eyeliner brushes: These kind of brushes are lovely eyeliner brushes. They’re also really great for any kind of detail work you want to do anywhere on the face. Need to spot conceal a spot? You can use these. Want to do a really sharp wing, use these in the liner and a clean one in concealer to clean up the edge. Use it to do abstract art work all over your face, go crazy!

  • detailer

    Real Techniques Detailer Brush: This is a tiny version of the pointed foundation brush. It’s itty bitty. And it’s great for so many things. You could use it to apply eyeshadow very precisely. You could use this (as I do a lot) to clean up your eyebrows or lips with concealer when you want a really sharp line. You could use this to apply lipstick. These kind of brushes are also great for blending concealer on spots when you don’t want to spread their bacteria on other places of your face (just make sure that the brush is clean and you clean it again before using it).

  • tiny smudger brush

    Real Techniques Accent Brush: Now, I know I said that the last brush was tiny. But it has nothing on this one. This one is really really really tiny. I love this one to apply eyeshadow to the lower lashline and to highlight the inner corner of the eye. It could also be used for the same things as the last one.

  • crease buffer

    Real Techniques Crease Brush: This is a large dense rounded eyebrush. It’s great for blending out eyeshadow and I also like it to apply cream eyeshadows to the crease. It fits pretty nicely in the crease so it’s great to use there for applying or blending. Because it’s a buffing brush it’s also pretty great for blending concealer.

  • duo eye brush

    Real Techniques Duo-Fiber Eye Brush: I love love love this brush to blend eyeshadow, on the lid, in the crease and on the lower lashline. It’s also good for applying a light wash of color in the crease. Like the other Duo-Fiber brushes it’s denser at the bottom and very loose at the top. Super soft and great for blending.

  • base shadow

    Real Techniques base shadow brush: These are my favorite eyeshadow brushes. They’re great for applying eyeshadow all over the lid, in the crease, blending, applying or blending on the lower lashline, all depending on how you turn them. They’re flat and tapered to the point so they’ve got so many sides to use for different thing. They’re also rather fluffy so they’re nice and soft on the eyes.

  • angled eyeshadow brush

    Real Techniques Angled Eyeshadow Brush: This one is angled and fluffy. It also has a lot of uses. I mainly use this one to apply eyeshadow in the crease and to blend.

  • body shop eyeshadow
    The Body Shop Eyeshadow Brush: My last brush and my only non-real techniques brush. This is your basic average flat eyeshadow brush. It’s absolutely amazing for patting eyeshadow all over the lid. It can also be used in all kinds of detail work all over the face.

So that’s that! Those are all my brushes!

Remember that these are only suggestions. The most important thing is to experiment and find out how to make your brushes work best for you. If you have that one eyeshadow brush which makes your foundation look amazing go for it! It’ll take you forever but if you’re up for that it’s your choice! There are no rules.

What are your favorite brushes? Do you have a weird way to use a brush you own? Do share!

Until next time,


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