Ok, so if you’ve ever fallen into the black hole that is internet makeup tutorials (aka all of us), then you’ve probably been exposed to the endless makeup brushes that those 15-year-old YouTube stars use. But which makeup brushes do you actually need? I mean, we love contouring as much as the next betch, and we also enjoy a perfect smoky eye, but do you really need a different brush for your crease, brow bone, and smudging? Not so much. Read on to find out which makeup brushes your vanity can do without, and which ones ACTUALLY need (and where to use them), courtesy of Jane Iredale’s new (and chicly designed) brush collection.
Jane Iredale’s Chisel Shader Brush is perfect for both powder and cream eyeshadows, and can be used to lay down the eyeshadow from the lash line to the brow bone so you won’t need another brush. The densely packed, short bristles make it easy to build layers of shadow without smudging.
2. Crease Brush
A brush with long, soft bristles helps to blend a multicolored eye look so you don’t end up with streaky raccoon eyes. If you’ve ever seen someone walking around with unblended eyeshadow, you know why a crease brush is necessary.
If you’re into powder foundations or bronzers, then a long-bristled, flat-topped brush like The Handi Brush can be used to dab on the powder, then buff out after applying. Since the bristles are so dense, you won’t lose or waste makeup in the application process.
If you’re a liquid foundation kinda betch, you need a large, rounded, densely packed brush like a Kabuki Brush for an application that you can buff on evenly for the best coverage. Yes, you really do need a different brush for each type of foundation. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.
If you want to properly achieve a transformation as dominant as Kim K’s, then you’re going to need a contour brush (and a lot of other work—but most importantly, a contour brush). The brush also doubles as a blush brush and is really used to enhance any/all features. Contour brushes should be of medium density and have an angled top. Those of you who still haven’t figured out how to contour can save a little money by not bothering with this type of brush.
6. Fan Brush
Ok, so you really only need this brush if you’re obsessed with highlighters. Which, if you’ve read this far into the story, odds are you take angled selfies just to get a glimpse of your glowing highlighter. There’s just something about having shimmering cheeks that makes us feel better about ourselves. A soft, long-bristled, fan-shaped brush should be dabbed into a highlighter and then spread above your cheekbones. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t believe in highlighter and thinks it’s all a scam to get us to buy repackaged eyeshadow, you can skip the fan brush.
Short, thin, angled brushes like Jane Iredale’s Angle Liner/Brow Brush will help to apply eyeliner and fill in your brows without making you look like Oscar The Grouch. So yeah, you need one of these in your stash.
A rounded, flat, dense brush with medium to short bristles allows you to apply and blend liquid or cream concealer evenly, and with control so you don’t end up having white rings around your eyes when someone uses the camera’s flash.
As much as I’d like to say I’m bad and boujee, I’m more like a medium and middle-class betch who still goes to the drive-thru at Taco Bell. Like, I have my own money, but I hate spending it. That’s why I rarely set foot in Sephora, for example—it’s a trap. For some reason, if I go anywhere other than the drug store for makeup, it’s like all my money suddenly evaporates. So when I’m in the mood for a new highlighter to enhance my fall glow, I’m hitting up CVS. Don’t judge me; my $4 e.l.f. does the job just as well as a $40 Urban Decay highlighter. Don’t believe me? Try out these amazing drugstore highlighters for yourself. You can send your apologies for doubting me in the form of Sephora gift cards. Please and thanks.
1. Milani Strobelight Instant Glow Powder
This intense strobe highlighter comes in super radiant, warm shades. All are diverse, buildable, and def non-fading. The sheen glow is healthy for most sensitive types and designed to look phenom regardless of skin tone.
2. e.l.f. Baked Highlighter
My secret weapon to achieving supermodel-esque cheekbones comes right in this $4 little packaging. Don’t let the cheap price deter you, though. The Insta-worthy highlighter is full of hydrating goodness, vitamins, and a bunch of other healthy shit we like such as sunflower, rose, and apricot oils. You can apply wet or dry for a non-dramatic reflection. Bless.
3. Physicians Formula Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls
This one is also a huge life-saver for me. Since it’s multi-colored, it gives the most natural-looking results without making me look like I’m a Cullen sister (sorry for the Twilight reference). Illuminating in all the right ways, it also blurs imperfections, doesn’t clog your pores, and has the most subtle sparkle.
4. L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator
L’Oréal’s True Match line is designed to match and blend seamlessly with everyone’s cheekbones, regardless of shade or undertone. Each shade consists of its own unique warm or cool undertone, so you can easily mix with your foundation and use it all over. Since it’s v creamy, it blends in well, and like, honestly, you can pick this up on your next Target run. What’s not to like?
5. Revlon Photoready Insta-Fix Highlighting Stick
For the inner Snapchat thot inside of us, this highlighting stick is everything we never knew we needed. Making you look selfie-ready at all times, the must-have pink light shade looks amazing on everyone (seriously, even our fave celebs) with no filter required. It reflects perfectly under some good lighting, so you hardly ever need the flash for your next photoshoot, and since it comes in the easiest applicator ever, it’s basically mistake-proof, too.
I miss the simpler days when all I had to do with makeup was put some powder on my face, draw a line on my eye, and put a shit ton of mascara on. Now, I have to worry about painting my entire face different colors so that my cheekbones look on point in my selfies. Because all the filters in the fucking world aren’t enough, I guess. I should be thankful, honestly, because it seriously steps up my Instagram ratio, but it’s a lot of fucking work to make your skin look like it naturally glows without looking like you spent at least an hour on your contour. That’s not including the times you mess up and have to start all over.
Me every fucking day ^
Simply wearing enough bronzer to convince people you got a shitty spray tan doesn’t cut it anymore. Of course, there will always be another thing to add to our faces that makes us look more extra than we already are. That, my friends, is a shimmery, holy-looking highlighter that’s supposed to make you glow like you’ve never glowed before.
Assuming you’ve already chosen a highlighter to last you like, 2 weeks tops, it’s honestly fucking annoying and inconvenient when you can’t settle on a perfect highlighter for your skin complexion. It is such a life-ruiner when you spend half your rent check on a palette but end up loving the blush and bronzer and absolutely hating the highlighter. Like, it’s bad enough you spend your entire life savings at Sephora buying other
shit necessities. It’s even worse when you go home and try out yet another fucking highlighter only to be like, “well, now that I look like I just poured gold glitter on my face, I may as well run to the nearest rave.” Then, you have to suck it up and go with it because there’s no way in hell you’re throwing out an Urban Decay powder.
Since I’m completely over this bullshit, I’ve done us all a fucking favor and found the best highlighters for your skin tone so you can look like the glowing goddess you are all the time. Because you, at the very least, deserve to shine like a goddamn diamond.
For Pale Skin
If you find yourself thinking you always look pasty no matter the season, find a highlighter that’s pearlescent in color. Using a highlighter with pink or gold undertones on a light skin tone may actually cause your friends to worry about your health. BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl leaves a smooth, subtle shine with a white finish. If you’re going for a look that shows everyone you’re a fucking queen with an ice-cold heart, try NARS Illuminator in Copacabana. It’s a light-reflecting liquid in a glistening pearl. To add some color, mix with a golden bronzer and light pink blush.
For Medium Skin
You already have tan skin or you just vacay somewhere in the tropics every two weeks. Now, you just need to enhance your tan and make people more jealous of you than they already are. For warmer skin tones, find a highlighter with a light pink hue or one in a golden shade. If you’re trying to enhance a rosy glow, go with Lancôme Glow Subtil Silky Creme Highlighter in Buff Lights. If you’re trying to look like you laid out in the sun for hours without stepping outside of your house, go with Natasha Denona Face Glow Cream Shimmer in medium. This stick applicator gives you the perfect sun-kissed dewy look if you can’t make it to the beach. Just swipe right on your face.
For Dark Skin
For darker skin tones, aim for highlighters that have a rose gold or darker bronze variation. Since you probably don’t want to look you’ve aged 10 years overnight, stay away from silvers, pearls, or icy-looking shades—they will give you a gray look that just doesn’t look cute. Immerse your face in
a bottle of rosé a color that reminds you of rosé by using Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Highlighter in Sparkler. If you want something that enhances your skin tone, go for a shade like Dior Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder in Bronzed Glow.