They say that the right set of tools can completely transform your craft.
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Granted the saying probably wasn’t intended for make-up purposes, but we think it translates pretty well and we’re willing to bet that a decent portion of your application woes can be fixed with a quick equipment overhaul.
The quality of your make-up brushes determine everything from finish to blendability while the shape and ‘cut’ of the bristles alter distribution, intensity and precision. Ever wondered why your beyonce-inspired smokey eye doesn’t quite cut it despite the fact that you’ve purchased identical products and followed Sir John’s tutorial down to a tee? If you used the double-sided sponge applicator that came with the palette, you never stood a chance.
The good news is we’ve got you well and truly covered. Whether you’re looking to achieve that fresh-faced #Iwokeuplikethis glow or eyebrows that can be deemed ‘on fleek’, we’ve got the tools you need to make it a reality. Scroll through our beauty kit edit to get the scoop on the must-have make-up brush sets of the moment…
Sigma Brow Goals Brush Set, £50, cultbeauty.co.uk
“A properly shaped, fuller brow enhances a woman's features”. These wise words belong to celebrity brow expert Anastasia Soare and we're inclined to take note considering that the vast majority of her A-list clientele will see her and only her for all their brow maintenance needs. Create the perfect arch with this professional set from Sigma. Use the E80 for grooming, the E75 for filling, the E06 for defined, hair-like strokes and the E71 for your brown bone highlight.
Zoeva Rose Gold Vol. 2 Luxury Set, £55, zoeva.co.uk
Got a slight obsession with all things rose gold? These are undoubtedly the make-up brushes for you. They'll sit beautifully atop your dresser with all your other pink-toned hardware (we're totally with you on the rose gold thing) and the seven-strong set will transform your make-up routine from dull to dazzling with no extra effort required. We adore the 142 Concealer Buffer – goodbye halo eyes!
Illamasqua Set of Five Make-up Brushes, £80, net-a-porter.com
We love this set from cruelty-free make-up brand Illamasqua. Featuring five precision brushes for eyes, lips, cheeks and highlights, it has everything you need to create a flawless, professional make-up look at home. Plus, it comes with a sleek black case and a handy mirror, making it easy to stowaway in your gym bag.
Real Techniques Mini Brush Set Trio, £9.99, boots.com
This adorable miniature travel kit is your answer to perfect application on the go. Designed by london-based make-up artist duo Sam and Nicole Chapman, each brush provides flawless results in a matter of seconds. Featuring a flat concealer and foundation brush, an eyeshadow applicator and a blush brush, it's perfect for complete everyday application. Carry it on the plane, to a festival or to your next weekend getaway.
Aveda Flax Sticks™ Special Effects Brush Set, £50, aveda.co.uk
Smokey eye queens, rejoice! The Aveda Special Effect brush kit has the smouldering look down. Use it to effortlessly blend your eyeshadows into a seamless gradient. The bristles are made with a fine taklon fibre to minimise fall-out when applying product and the handles are made from eco-friendly flax. Here's to boosting your make-up game and the planet's!
Charlotte Tilbury Set of Five Color Brushes, £115, net-a-porter.com
We can hardly believe that Charlotte Tilbury launched her eponymous make-up line just three years ago. It seemed to instantly position itself among the beauty greats and it's not at all hard to see why. The entire collection is both innovative and easy-to-use and this luxury brush set is no different. The brushes offer faultless application of eye, cheek and lip colour with each item being precision-shaped for optimum results. The handy kit comprises a wide blusher brush, tapered eyeliner brush, eye smudger, eye blender and lip brush – beautiful!
Lottie London Best of the Brushes Collection, £19.99, superdrug.com
Think you have to splash out to upgrade your make-up tool kit? Think again! The Lottie London Best of the Brushes Collection could be all you need to fully revamp your make-up application skills. This set contains the stars of the Lottie London brush range for an all-round selection of make-up bag essentials. Consider your foundation, concealer, brow, contour and shadow needs, sorted!
Dior Backstage Brush Set, £112, johnlewis.com
When the aim is perfect coverage and precision application, it doesn't get better than Dior. The Backstage Brush line is one of the most coveted collections in the make-up industry – not surprising considering it's immeasurable quality and its popularity amongst some of the world's best make-up artists. This deluxe set includes five of the line's hero brushes in a chic pouch that protects the bristles. Create a dewy visage with the fluid foundation and powder brushes and maximise your lips eyes with the lip, shadow and liner brushes.