Brush It Up: 12 Brushes You Should Own and How to Use Them

Each brush has a specific purpose. The length, material, and thickness of brushes differ and it is important to know the differences to get the best outcome in your makeup application.
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Next to choosing the right colors for your skin tone, the tools used for application are the most important part of having a polished and flawless look. My advice to all my clients has always been to invest in great quality makeup brushes. I still use brushes that I purchased 15 years ago and because of their high quality no one would ever know how old they were. Whenever I am asked which brushes to purchase, I usually recommend the Sigma Essential Kit of 12 brushes. It provides all the basic brushes needed to create both day and evening looks. I have used the brushes in this kit at countless weddings and runway shows and they have proven to be an incredible investment for me in my makeup career.

Each brush has a specific purpose. The length, material and thickness of brushes differ and it is important to know the differences to get the best outcome in your makeup application. Below are the descriptions and proper use of the brushes in the Essential Kit and what I believe are the most vital brushes for your collection:

Brush 1 (E05 Eyeliner): The E05 is a synthetic brush that I typically recommend using for gel liner and liquid liner. It is dense and stiff to provide the straight sharp lines you are looking for but it is soft enough to feel comfortable against your skin.
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Brush 2 (E30 Pencil): The E30 is a pencil brush that I like to use for the outer corner of my eye for a smoky effect. It helps to soften and smudge out lines. Since it is also a sharp precise brush it allows me to add details and highlights to my eyes that I might not be able to do with other brushes.
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Brush 3 (E40 Tapered Blending): the E40 is used for eye shadow blending. The key to successful makeup application is blending. Foundation, eye shadow, concealer, blush and contouring always look best when lines of separation are properly diffused and blended. Using this fluffy brush to swipe back and forth between your crease allows colors to blend beautifully with each other. Another use for this brush is to apply concealer, when you dab instead of rub in the concealer with this this brush, it provides better coverage with an airbrushed effect.
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Brush 4 (E55 Eye Shading): The E55 is a small shader brush that holds a lot of color so you can have an even application across your eyelid. I love using this brush for my runway shoots and for more dramatic looks. The color payoff of this brush is amazing and an absolute must have in any collection. You can use this brush anywhere on your eyelid since it is so small and precise. I mainly use it in my crease, my brow highlight and lower lash line.
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Brush 5 (E60 Large Shader): The E60 brush is a large shader brush. It is similar to the E55 in that it will help you pack on a lot of color where you need it but it is larger so you can cover more area in a shorter amount of time. I also like this brush to put on my under eye concealer.
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Brush 6 (E65 Small Angle): The E65 brush is a small angle brush. It is ideal for applying powder or gel liner to your lash line. I personally like to use it for filling in my eyebrows. This brush is extremely skinny which allows for a sharp and defined line.
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Brush 7 (E70 Medium Angled Shading): The E70 is an angled shading brush. It is used for a much softer application of shadow. It is also a perfect size brush for brow highlight.
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Brush 8 (F30 Large Powder): The F30 is a large fluffy powder brush. It can be used for all types of powder for your face. I like to use it for all over coverage of foundation powder or finishing powder. It is too big to use for blush but perfect for any kind of pressed powder. It provides you with even coverage all over your face.
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Brush 9 (F40 Large Angled Contour): The F40 is a contour brush that fits perfectly into the hollows of your cheek. It can also be used to apply blush and cheek highlights.
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Brush 10 (F50 Duo Fibre): The F50 is a duo fibre brush. I am particularly impressed with the function of this brush. It has a hybrid of synthetic and natural fibers. The synthetic fibers place the product on your face and the natural fibers allow you to buff the product and create an airbrush effect. This brush is perfect for liquid and cream foundations. If you have dry skin, I recommend this brush for your translucent finishing powder to set your make up. It won't pick up too much product that may dry your skin further.
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Brush 11 (F60 Foundation): The F60 is a flat synthetic brush used for any type of liquid or cream based product. It is traditionally used for liquid foundation but I prefer it to apply my primer before makeup application and for any under eye concealing.
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Brush 12 (F70 Concealer): The F70 is used for concealer in small difficult to reach areas. I have also found that it is great for applying my lipstick as well as eye shadow in the inner corner of my eye. Since I have so many uses for this brush I try to keep a few of them in my kit.
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