The Best Makeup Brushes for Every Task in 2023

Fenty Beauty


The rumors are true; there’s a new Beautyblender in town. Unlike the OG, which works best when damp, this one is meant to be kept dry. It’s a dual-textured puff designed for use with powders to set, blur, and bake makeup. There’s even a little finger band for easy application.

For Blush 

While we can’t count on Rihanna to release new music anytime soon, we can certainly rely on her to deliver quality beauty products. This makeup sponge is three-sided, featuring a slanted edge for stippling, a mini-moon edge for concealing, and a rounded edge to buff the face. The best part is that it pairs effortlessly with cream, powder, and liquid products.

Power Pocket Puff Dual-Sided Powder Puff for Setting and Baking

Oversized powder brushes are usually the first option that comes to mind, but bigger isn’t always better. Targeted product application can be as effective, especially for those who prefer to keep their complexions dewy.“More often than not, I find myself using a large eyeshadow brush to set makeup with,” says Hughes. “Under the eyes, around the nose, around the mouth, it works beautifully and gives me the utmost precision. The bigger brushes serve a purpose, but I’ve found that you can do more with the smaller ones.”

Merit is known for perfecting the art of the no-makeup makeup, so naturally, its tapered blending brush is great at ensuring your makeup blends into skin properly. No harsh lines or obvious contours on their account, that’s for sure!

Laura Mercier

The realities of your daily beauty routine are something to keep in mind while choosing. Fans of full glam will want something different than makeup minimalists. “The lighter and fluffier the hairs are, the softer and more natural the application will be,” says Surratt. “The denser hairs offer more opaque coverage. I always test by running my thumb over the brush head to see how densely packed the hairs are, and if it is packed tightly, it’s going to deposit a lot of product onto the skin.”

Just a few pats with this cylindrical-shaped brush are all you need to cover any blemishes and imperfections. An added bonus is that the brush is quite tiny, so it doesn’t take up much space in your makeup pouch.

Hughes knows a thing or two about skin; with the work she does for celebrities like Ashley Graham and Rosie Huntington-Whitely and in her stylized Instagram selfies, she’s able to make each person’s complexion seem naturally flawless, the product of great genes rather than layers of product. Her tools of choice include a range of shapes, from the classic paddle style to bristle-packed domed brushes perfect for buffing.


The problem with base brushes is that oftentimes they soak up all of your foundation (which isn’t cheap!). Saie’s Base Brush, on the other hand, is super dense and designed to distribute product evenly across the skin without any wastage.


Number 3 Foundation Brush

Precision Makeup Sponge 100

Expert Liquid and Cream Concealer Makeup Brush


The best blending brush ensures that your skin looks airbrushed when used in conjunction with your favorite foundation. This one from Chantecaille achieves just that with its oversized flat top, which both buffs and blurs.

For Complexion Perfecting

Though powder is the final touch of most makeup looks, it’s the first brush worth considering. A good powder brush can enhance the entire application process and, if selected wisely, can be used to also apply products like bronzer, highlighter, and even blush. Given their importance, powder brushes tend to be one of the more expensive items within a collection. If you’re going to invest in one type of tool, they’re usually the safest bet.

Everyone has something they’re eager to put a little concealer on, but the makeup bag MVP is best when it’s paired with the right brush. If you’re looking to cover circles under the eye, a small, somewhat dense brush with soft fibers or hairs is ideal for working with the delicate area. Pimples can be hidden using a small detail brush to cover the offending blemish without spreading product around. Given the amount of different issues concealer can be used to address, don’t be afraid to utilize a brush that isn’t labeled specifically for that task. “If you’ve got an eyeshadow brush that works great under your eyes or a lip brush that is the right shape for detail concealer work, then just use it,” says Hughes. “There are absolutely no rules!”

Brush No. 1 Tapered Blending Brush


Surratt Beauty


If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only have one makeup brush, we’d recommend a powder brush for its versatility. This ultra-soft synthetic one from Hourglass takes it a step further with its dual-ended design featuring a large rounded side and a small tapered side.

For Concealer 

This Surratt Beauty brush is far from your average makeup tool; it’s akin to a fine work of art, as stated by the brand, which adheres to the Japanese philosophy of Monozukuri (craftsmanship) in designing all its products. Although a bit of a splurge, it’s carefully assembled by a skilled artisan using hand-tied natural fibers.

We’d be surprised if you’ve somehow made it this far in life without ever picking up a Beautyblender. It’s undoubtedly one of the best sponges on the market, guaranteeing an even, smooth blend every single time.

Real Techniques

Turns out, makeup brushes aren’t the only means of perfecting your complexion. If you want your base to look like a second skin, consider the acclaimed Beautyblender or MAC’s sponges to gently buff away product streaks. When it comes to setting, Laura Mercier’s Velour Puff expertly places the brand’s loose setting powder, while Beautyblender’s Pocket Puff is great for setting and baking to ensure long wear.

The allure of a sculpted, contoured look is impossible to resist, but achieving the effect takes practice. It isn’t enough to play with light and shadow to create contrast; you have to blend the products. Hindsight is 20/20, and it’s easy to spot unblended contour in photographs or on Instagram, but such mistakes are easily avoidable. If your contour product is powder-based, use a light hand and a fluffy fan brush that leaves an error-proof finish. Cream contour is all about precision and a detail brush that doesn’t let you make thick, harsh lines. No matter what you choose, be sure to buff everything in so that it merges with any foundation, blush, or highlighter.

Tsutsu Fude Concealer Brush

At under $10, there’s almost no reason not to try out this brush. Like all Real Techniques brushes, the affordable price doesn’t mean they skimp on quality—it’s soft, durable, and made from dense, rounded bristles to effectively conceal any dark spots and spot treat.

For Blending

For fans of setting powder, this velour puff really helps you seal the deal—it was designed to be paired with the brand’s iconic translucent powder, after all. Its large size is great for powdering your entire face quickly, as well as for baking underneath the eyes.

The wealth of blush formulations on the market means that more than one brush can be devoted to the category. On social media and YouTube tutorials, the focus is always on pigment, but those high-impact powder blushers need to be applied with care. A good rule of thumb is the brighter the hue; the wispier and softer the brush should be. Are you swiping on neon orange or magenta? Opt for a flexible and feathery tool, like the Surrat Cheek brush. Applying a nude beige or light tint? Go for the dense Tom Ford Cheek Brush to make the most of the neutral. Liquid and cream blushes can be applied with your fingers, but if you require a blush brush designed specially for those formulations, opt for a multi-purpose synthetic like Koyudo’s Maikko, which is excellent for applying and blending out liquids.


Rose Inc.


This angled foundation brush is a game-changer for those who view brushes as tools for painting their faces rather than just for blending. It’s made of synthetic vegan bristles and won’t absorb your foundation—just remember to use a brush cleaner regularly to prevent product buildup.

For Powder