The hardworking make-up brushes that'll up your beauty game

Posted by
Lucy Partington
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Stylist’s beauty editor profiles the new-generation tools you need in your makeup bag now.

Jump-start a well-rounded collection of brushes with Stylist’s guide to the crème de la crème of makeup tools. No kit is complete without them. 

From flexi-handles for a precise application of lipstick to curved bristles for sculpting cheekbones, read on for our top picks…

Best for lipstick


Ainsel Yoga Brush

This handle flexes to allow a better grip, giving a superprecise application. It’s double-ended too, with a finer brush for lining and a thicker one for filling.


Best for contouring

Zoeva Luxe Contour Artist Brush

Curved to adjust to all face shapes, the cleverly cut bristles mould to cheek bones,making defining easy for any contouring novices.


Best for powder

Sigma 30HD Max Kabuki

The triangular shape makes powder application foolproof, while the shorter side is ideal for buffing under the eyes without smudging eyeshadow.


Best for mascara

Morphe Metal Eyelash Definer Brush

Brushing lashes might seem high-maintenance but these metal teeth are the secret to clump-free mascara and a well-defined arch. They’re also good for separating lash extensions.


Best for concealer

It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Magic Eraser Brush

Short, sharp, dense hairs have been custom-cut to blur away imperfections.Use in circular motions under the eyes and over blemishes to disguise them.


Best for eyebrows

NARS #52 Eyebrow Brush

The firm, tightly packed bristles of this brush perfectly blend powder, gel or cream formulas through eyebrows. Apply product direct to the brows, then brush back and forth a couple of times for a feathery finish.


Best for cream blusher

By Terry Tool Expert Sponge Brush

Technically not a brush, nevertheless the curved, flattened edges of this sponge help to evenly diffuse cream blusher for the most natural looking of finishes.


Best for foundation

Estée Lauder Sculpting Foundation Brush

A short, lightweight wooden handle allows for greater control,while precision trimmed,curved bristles fit the contours of your face for seamless application.


Images: Ainsel / Cult Beauty / Beauty Bay / Morphe / Selfridges / NARS / Net-A-Porter / Estée Lauder


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Lucy Partington

Freelance beauty editor Lucy Partington is obsessed with all things skincare, collecting eyeshadow palettes that she'll probably never use, and is constantly on the hunt for the ultimate glowy foundation.