Must Have Makeup Brushes

Rebecca’s Cut + Fine Hair Focus


I collect more makeup than I do brushes and I think the main reason is that I’m really happy with a handful that I use very often, if not daily. Today I want to run through what I think are must have’s!


One. Sonia Kashuk Precision Pencil Brush No 31; Perfect for adding shadow along the lower lash line or concentrating very dark color on the outer corner or crease.

Two. IIID Foundation Brush by Maskcara Cosmetics; Fantastic for applying cream blush! The other end is great for applying cream foundation around the nose or in hard to reach areas of the face. It’s also fantastic for applying a cream concealer.

Three. Sonia Kashuk Blusher Brush No 02; This is flatter than the other blush brush and I like this for highlight OR contour in powder form.

Four. Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Crease Shadow Brush No 08; My favorite brush for applying a darker shadow to the crease of my eyelid.

Five. Classic Crease Brush #73; I almost exclusively use this to dust a skin tone matching shadow on my brow bone to soften the “edge” of my eyeshadow.

Six. Classic Multitasker Contour #55; Great for really adding a nice, deep contour under cheekbones with a powder contour.

Seven. Sonia Kashuk Large Domed Eye Shadow Brush No 20; I actually have two of these! It’s the only brush I use to apply eyeshadow all over my lid.

Eight. 30 Second HAC Brush by Maskcara Cosmetics; Love the flatter end for a cream contour, and the pointed end for foundation!

Nine. Sonia Kashuk Domed Blusher Brush No 29; Simply, there is nothing I could ask for in a perfect blush brush than whats provided in this one. Does the job, right about of fluffiness and very soft.


Just like the tools you use to style your hair make or break the style, I really think the tools you use applying makeup will determine how well it will apply + how nice it will look! My favorite brand, hands down, is Sonia Kashuk. I love the quality for the price, and I’ve never had an issue with hairs falling out or the brushes losing their shape!



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A Little Dose of Makeup says · 10.07.15

I always see the Sonia Kashuk brushes in Target but I never pick them up. I’ll definitely be checking out your recommendations because they sound great!

Danielle Smythe says · 10.07.15

AH!! Thank you so much for this post! I’ve been agonizing over which brushes I should put on my essential list. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! <3

Missy says · 10.07.15

This post could not have come at a better time! I’m trying to build my makeup brush collection with good quality brushes and will definitely check out your recommendations!

Lori says · 10.07.15

I have small eyes. Do you feel the eye brushes you included would work well for small eyes?

Kate N says · 10.07.15

How do you store your two-ended brushes? I keep many of mine standing up in a cup, but my brushes with bristles on both ends I don’t want to ruin, and they just roll around randomly! Any tips would be welcome 🙂 thank you for sharing all of this info!

Kate says · 10.07.15

I just lay them on top of my makeup storage containers, but I wish there was a better way!

Jennifer Peer says · 10.07.15

I’ve always admired your Sonia Kashuk brushes, but I don’t really need any new brushes so I can’t justify the purchase. I’m working on a blog post about my favorite makeup brushes, too!

JD says · 10.07.15

Hi Kate! I’m a bit confused by brushes #2 and 8. You called both of them the “30 Second HAC Brush by Maskcara Cosmetics” but they look to be different types of brushes. I clicked the link for both and the resulting page looked more like #8. Would you be able to clarify which is which?

Thanks so much! I’ve been trying to find some sound advice on different types of makeup brushes, so this was very timely for me 🙂

Charlotte says · 10.07.15 Reply
Alyssa says · 10.07.15

The Maskcara brushes are phenomenal. I love both of them for applying my foundation and blushes. they’re perfect!

Alyssa | Glitter and Grey

Joelle Chetlain says · 10.07.15

Ordered the 2 I didn’t have from Target. And they are 10% off! Thanks!

Lacey M says · 10.07.15

So I have been hearing you talk about your Sonia Kashuk brushes for ages and I’m never happy with mine, so last time I was at Target I picked up an “essentials” kit that has 3 eyeshadow brushes, a blush brush and an eyeliner brush- for $20! It has three of the brushes you mention here. I was super excited about it.

Erin says · 01.07.16

That is so great! I love getting deals like that! I can’t seem to find it online. Was it in the store or online?

Brittany says · 10.07.15

Do you have a suggestion for a brush kit? I’m thinking about my Christmas list (haha) and it would be easier to ask for one kit.

Kim says · 10.07.15

ah thank you for this! I really need a proper set of brushes!

Kim .. Instagram Lately!

alina says · 10.07.15

LOVE Sk brushes. Such a good deal for the quality. As far as synthetic bristles go, sonia kashuk and real techniques are my go-tos.

Dominique says · 10.07.15

These are beautiful brushes! I’ve heard great things about Sonia brushes. I use bh cosmetics brushes and by far have been my favorite ever!!! They are so soft and never shed, plus makeup goes on my face not everywhere else!

Liz says · 10.07.15

I love getting new brushes! You have a lovely collection!

xo, Liz

Melissa says · 10.07.15

SK #29 I agree is absolutley hands down the best blush brush I’ve ever owned. Contrarily, I bought SK #1 I believe and it’s super large and fluffy ( I do like how soft it is ) but it lost bristles like crazy for the first several months and it’s so fluffy that it’s hard to concentrate powder onto my face and I really feel like i’m just flinging it all over the place. Now that I see SK#2, I can see that the bristles are much shorter and will probably be much easier to work with. I will look for that one next time. I love the way they feel! So soft!

Sarah says · 10.07.15

What do you use to clean your brushes? And how often? My best intentions on cleaning often fall short….!

Jillian says · 10.07.15

I love the Sonia Kashuk brushes!! Funny story…. I went out of town for a weekend trip and in the mass hysteria of checking out of our hotel (this task is always ridiculous with a toddler) I somehow managed to leave my brush roll behind. So I had ZERO brushes. I had to go out and buy all new brushes, I went to Target and bought the Sonia brushed out of need and desperation. Turns out they are SO much better than the brushes I lost!


Tiffany W says · 10.07.15

I love Sonia Kashuk brushes. Has anyone tried Inglot brushes? They are awesome, too. Also, brushes from Senna Cosmetics are great quality. My brushes from them have lasted more than 14 years.

Erin @ Her Heartland Soul says · 10.07.15

I love a good makeup brush!

Her Heartland Soul

Sarah @ Foxy's Domestic Side says · 10.07.15

Thanks for this! I have one of her brushes and really like it. Will be getting some of these other ones too.

Rachel says · 10.07.15

Yes! I have been waiting for a post like this, I will defiantly be looking into these. When you get the chance, I would love it if you could do a post on different foundations(:

sahara says · 10.07.15

Thank you so much for this post! I have those double ended contour brush but I never thought I having another brush for deep contouring like the #3 brush!

Clever Girl Reviews says · 10.07.15

I’ll have to try the SK blush brush!

Evelina says · 10.07.15

I love my flat kabuki foundation brush. It’s my only pricier brush (Sigma) but I can’t live without it! All my other brushes are e.l.f. and they do the job!

Beatriz says · 10.07.15

This is really helpful!! Thanks for sharing, I’ve been looking for a good set of brushes for a long time and I think I’ll be buying these ;D

Beatriz // Classy and Trendy

Riley says · 10.07.15

How do you clean your SK brushes?

I had the flat topped brush and loved it until I washed it (using baby shampoo and being very careful to keep the water from getting into the glue area of the brush). The bristles fell out like rain.

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement as that brush was a favorite. It applied liquid foundation better than any other brush I’ve ever owned. I won’t repurchase, though, feeling that I can’t justify the expense if it’s not going to hold up.

Kate says · 10.08.15

OH man thats such a bummer! I actually just washed them a few days ago and didn’t have that issue 🙁 I wonder if you got a dud brush. That’s annoying though!

Paige says · 10.08.15

Do you have a recommendation on an all over powder brush or a foundation brush? One to apply a cream foundation and one to apply a setting powder or mineral veil? Thanks!

Blushed Away says · 10.08.15

I want to buy new brushes but I didn’t know wich ones to get but now I do! They seem great!

KC S. says · 10.08.15

What brush would you recommend for applying a liquid foundation? I know in your videos you often just put it on with your hands, but I prefer to use a brush. Any recommendation?

Bonnie says · 10.09.15

The Sonia Kashuk brushes are so good. Love this post, and the effort you put in x

Melody says · 10.10.15

The Sonia Kashuk Blusher brush looks ah-mazing. Personally, the one brush I love is the Hourglass double-double ended brush that is great for traveling, and can be used for foundation, concealer, blush… you name it. But you have a lovely collection here!
xx Melody ::

Laura says · 10.16.15

I’ve never heard of Sonia Kashuk brushes before. I’ll definitely give them a try! Thanks for posting 🙂
xo Laura

Melanie says · 10.19.15

I don’t have many make-up brushes!! Thanks for the tips on getting some good ones! =)

Melanie | Toots & Dilll

Makeupbyrose says · 10.24.15

Thank you for posting this. I am curious. Who makes the number 6 brush on your list? The classic multitasker contour brush #55? It looks really nice.

Windi says · 11.13.15

I also love the Sonia Kashuk brushes! I would recommend the Sonia Kashuk eyeliner brush with the bent tip to anyone who uses gel liner from a jar.

For good brushes at a lower price point, you can find e.l.f brushes at Target for $1 to $6 a brush – no joke. The eye shadow and liner brushes are surprisingly good and non-shedding. I tried several other brushes and all did the job without issues.

Erin says · 01.07.16

Hi Kate. Love the post! Thank you. I also thought you used and loved Tarte brushes, no? I think I will still go ahead and try the Tarte the Buffer brush. It looks fantastic. I need a good powder brush.

Kate says · 01.07.16

I like Tarte brushes but my favorite brushes are Sonia Kashuk!

Erin says · 01.07.16

Gosh good to know. Thank you!!

Liz Caprella says · 05.23.17 I use this brush comparable to a sigma, it’s a great foundation brush and softer than the sigma in my opinion! It’s totally free besides shipping, one of my friends told me about it and shared the link with me so if you’re interested here you go!! 😊

Nikki Sweetthings says · 11.05.17

I love the dual-ended brushes that you listed here, by Maskcara Cosmetics. They seem like they would be good ones to pack for a stay somewhere. You would have two less brushes to carry.

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the.morningdew says · 09.20.18

If you are interested in vegan and cruelty-free makeup brushes I highly recommend you to check this brand: Nanshy
The Necessities Collection is an award winning set. You can check the reviews 😉

Kristine Melcher says · 05.19.19

Greetings!! What kind if brush would you use for a contour vs highlight. Thank you!

Kate says · 05.21.19

I’d use a light fluffy brush for highlight and a smaller more compacted brush for contour!