From applying your foundation flawlessly and sculpting the perfect contour to mastering a well-blended smoky eye and highlighting your face, no makeup look would be complete without a solid set of makeup brushes.
While there are many brush brands on the market, we turn to MAC for these makeup accessory must-haves, as they are high quality, long lasting, and make the makeup application process simple.
Read up on our 5 favorite and most recommended- best of the best MAC brushes we think you should try:
1. The 219: Pencil Brush
If you want to get a precise, flawless cut crease or smudge out your eyeliner, the 219 Pencil Brush fits the bill. It has soft, smooth fibers that glide effortlessly across the both lower and upper lash line, giving your eye a smudgy yet perfectly blended look. The bristles are gathered into a pencil-shaped tip, hence its name, so it’s ideal for blending your eyeshadow into your eyeliner for a smoky effect.
If you love thick eyeliner but hate the harsh, sharp line it makes, use this brush to smoke it out and make it appear more natural. And, if you’re a makeup newbie and have trouble getting color in the exact place of your outer V, use this brush to sculpt and precisely define where the lines of the V should be.
Get it here for $25
2. The 239: Eye Shading Brush
This soft, densely packed eye shader brush is used to pack color on the entire lid. Its round edges and smooth fibers makes it possible to intensify any eyeshadow look by building up the eyelid color. It’s the perfect shape, too: big enough to pack color all over the lid yet small enough to not cause a mess all over the eye. It picks up a good amount of color and won’t irritate or feel too heavy on your eye.
Get it here for $25
3. The 217 Blending Brush
If for you perfecting a smoky eye involves ending up with raccoon eyes, chances are you’re not blending the shadows enough (or at all). A good blending brush will not only ensure your shadows don’t have sharp edges, but it will make the shadows appear more natural, giving it more of a gradient effect instead of unnatural harsh lines.
The MAC 217 Blending Brush is a must-have if rocking colorful or dark eyeshadows are your thing. It has fine, densely packed fibers and the bristles are stiff enough to pick up just the right amount of color. Its perfectly shaped dome comes in handy when packing color on the outer V of your eye, and its pointed tip fits perfectly in the crease.
Don’t have a steady hand? Don’t worry. The 217 allows for a precise application and is so fool-proof that it makes blending and shading a breeze. It can also be used for creamy products like your favorite glitter paint pot or a colored cream eyeshadow.
Get it here for $22
4. The 187 Duo Fibre Face Brush
If you’re stuck wondering how to get a J. Lo glow to your skin, then the 187 Duo Fibre Face Brush is the brush that can help. It has a large full circular head that applies foundations, tinted moisturizers, and cream products flawlessly.
Made from a soft blend of goat and synthetic fibres, you can use the brush to buff and lightly blend the product into your skin. It offers an airbrush effect yet still looks natural, and it makes your foundation look like a second layer of skin.
Love sheerer coverage? This must-have layers on as much product as you want it to.
Get it here for $42
5. The 129 Powder/Blush Brush
Just as its name describes, the 129 Powder/Blush Brush is a versatile makeup accessory that serves more than one purpose. It can be used to apply your face or finishing powder, and it can also be used to add some colored blush to the apples of your cheeks. The fibers are soft and form a full, rounded shape, perfect for applying powder in every nook and cranny and also for achieving a well-blended blush look.
Get it here for $35
Remember, just like switching out your toothbrush every few months, it’s important to keep your makeup brushes clean after every use. Dirty brushes, especially dirty face brushes, have product and bacteria built up on them, which can cause acne and pesky breakouts.
Read on to see how you can keep your brushes (and your face) clean and well-washed.
How to clean your makeup brushes
1. Run just the tip of the brush under lukewarm water to get it wet. Be sure not to get water past the ferrule (metal part), as this can loosen the glue that holds the brush together.
2. If you’re washing brushes that have cream, gel eyeliner, or foundation on them, dip the tip in some olive oil. This will loosen the cream product that’s on the brush and make it easier for you to clean. If you’re washing a brush that just has eyeshadow on it, skip this step and move on to number 3.
3. Pour some mild baby shampoo onto a paper towel and dip the tip of your brush into it. Swirl the brush around gently and the color will start to come off of the brush. Keep doing this until the majority of the color has come out.
4. Rinse the tip of the brush under lukewarm water and squeeze it lightly to get any excess product out. Keep cleaning the brush with baby shampoo until nothing but clear water comes out when you squeeze it under the faucet.
5. Place the brush face down to dry. If you let it dry facing up, the water will soak down past the silver metal part of the brush and the glue that keeps the brush together will loosen. Feeling fancy? Buy a brush roll and store your brushes in it to dry.
Cover photo: modeandmakeup.com