I start my routine by using a MAC 217 ($24) to blend my under eye concealer. Haven’t found anything that works better. Seriously. Sometimes the classics are classic for a reason.
Next, I use my IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Flat Top Buffing foundation brush ($48) to apply powder foundation. I haven’t found one yet that it doesn’t work with beautifully. It would probably work fine with liquid or cream also, since the bristles are synthetic.
When I fill my brows, I typically use a pencil, then groom with the spoolie end of another tarte brush, the double-ended brow brush. I got it in a set with their Amazonian clay brow mousse ($28), but the angled brush end also works well with powder or tinted wax. I don't think it is available by iotself. Really nice to have all my brow needs met with one brush.
Lately I've been applying bronzer with a nifty little brush I got in a set from Bare Minerals last year, but I seem to go back to my Sonia Kashuk flat topped buffing brush all the time. The Bare Minerals brush is a travel size wide paddle brush with a concave dip in the middle, making it look like a blush brush with a bite taken out of it. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be for sale anywhere. The Kashuk brush was a limited edition a few years ago and isn't part of the regular offering at Target. It looks like a smaller version of the IT Cosmetics brush above, but with a smaller head and not nearly as densely packed.
For blush, I always use my SEPHORA COLLECTION Pro Angled Blush Brush #49 ($32), unless what I'm using is super dark, bright, or very heavily pigmented. Then I use a Sonia Kashuk duo fiber brush ($12.99). There might be better brushes out there, but this one gets the job done with no fuss and a nice low price.
If I am using eyeliner (which is to say, just about every day) I use my tarte double-ended liner brush ($22). The skinny end can’t be beat for gel liner, and the smudging end is perfect for applying powder or for blending out pencil. A real workhorse, and very well-made.
I use a pretty wide variety of eye shadow brushes, probably too many to name a favorite. That said, I do seem to reach for my SEPHORA COLLECTION Pro Crease Brush ($20) a lot.
I have quite a few brushes besides these, certainly far more than I need, but these are the ones I reach for over and over. They all are just right for the way I apply my makeup at a price I'm willing to pay. What brushes do you find yourself reaching for again and again?