How Many Brushes Do You Use to Apply Your Makeup?

Published in: Just For Fun

Have you ever stopped to count? I did the other day, just for kicks, and was like, WHOA! No wonder I feel like I’m always cleaning those suckers.


From start to finish, for an eye look with 1-3 shadows, I probably average between 8-12 brushes.

  1. Foundation brush
  2. Blending brush to buff foundation
  3. Concealer brush
  4. Domed fluffy brush (to apply powder to set concealer)
  5. Powder blush for face powder
  6. Bronzer brush
  7. Blush brush
  8. Angled brush to fill in brows
  9. Flat eye shadow brush to apply color to lids
  10. Tapered blending brush to blend eye shadow
  11. Domed brush for crease
  12. Small pencil brush for lash lines

When I’m in a hurry, of course, I pare that waaay down to maybe a brow brush, a concealer brush, a powder brush, a blush/bronzer brush and a domed eye brush.

How about you? How many brushes do you usually use to apply your makeup?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,




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  1. Lorraine says:

    Love the photo! Is that the Sonia Kashuk brush set? those have such cute prints. and perhaps Chanel Lilis nails? you are rocking all your Spring manis, girl!

    I got an Estee Lauder foundation brush in a GWP but I never could get the hang of using it. Can’t see how they don’t just waste a lot of product when you use it. Or maybe I am using it WRONG. LOL Frugalista that I am I tend avoid buying brushes, and use ones I get as gifts or ones that come with the product.

    I typically use brushes for powder products- blush/bronzer or eyeshadow. So maybe 3-4 brushes daily average?

    I swear by my Body Shop Kabuki brush for face powders. Love that one and use it daily! I don’t think they make it anymore but they used to do mineral makeup. and I have a stript oval eyeshadow brush #184 that I adore(gift from my sis- but I would re-purchase). this brand is a vegan line with great products, try them if you get the chance.

  2. Agata says:

    I probably use about 10 brushes. Or maybe less. A brush for blending out foundation, powder brush, blush brush, highlighter brush, a brush for eyebrows, eyeliner and at least 3 for the eyes. I don’t use a concealer brush very often, I usually just work with my fingers. And I use the same brush for a blush and a bronzer (a stippling brush). But now I am starting to think maybe I need a bronzer brush…And also what kind of brush would you recommend for concealer (I usually use it only for under the eyes area).

    Happy Friday, Karen! Any weekend plans?

  3. Dominique says:

    Maybe only 2 ! I always prefer simple combinations blush + lipstick, Makeup on the eyes + gloss so I don’t need many brushes in fact. I change makeup very very often but I use few brushes.

  4. Mary says:

    Hi Karen,
    You look amazing as yoosh! πŸ™‚ I’m trying to find a good blush brush and also a flat foundation brush. What do you recommend? Also, what are you wearing on your lips? Love!!

  5. CrystalCandy says:

    I only use 4 brushes everyday, because I like to keep it simple when I work at the office, and I use my fingers to apply my foundation and concealer. I own more brushes than that, for all the other special looks. πŸ™‚ MAC #208 for my brows, Real Techniques powder brush, MAC #239, and It Cosmetics french boutique blush brush.

  6. Oooh this is fun to read. And you are looking fabulous as always πŸ™‚ Let’s see, how many brushes do I use… 11, sometimes 12.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | e.l.f. Shimmering Facial Whip, e.l.f. Body Shimmer, e.l.f. Radiance Enhancer and e.l.f. Shimmer Palette

  7. Carrie says:

    I would love for you to do a tutorial on brushes, such as showing what each brush looks like and how to use it. I see some eye shadow application tutorials online that say to use a large shadow brush or tapered brush and I don’t even know what those are. : )

  8. ritadebora says:

    I use (sometimes skipping number 1 and number 6):
    1. for foundation (if liquid)
    2. for setting powder
    3. for blush
    4. for eyeshadow
    5. for blending eyeshadow
    6. to highlight below the browbone

  9. Shannon says:

    Let’s see… for a typical work day:

    1) blush brush (blush/bronzer)
    2) angled brush for brows
    3) flat brush for eyeshadow
    4) (optional) fluffy tapered brush for blending eyeshadow
    5) flat eyeliner brush

    I’m skipping foundation at the moment because I’m embracing my skin’s natural beauty (read: I’m feelin’ lazy), but when I do use it, I use a domed fluffy brush.

  10. Kei says:

    Four. I use a foundation, kabuki, blush and eyeliner brush. Keeping it simple since I rarely go beyond browns, golds and mauve for eyes and cheeks!

  11. Gowthami says:

    four πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ more than that makes me sick πŸ˜›
    Gowthami recently posted … Celebrity Makeup Vol.4: Miley Cyrus

  12. Aly says:

    I’m curious. Does anyone here really believe in the five-minute face? I mean, I’m a working mom of two, and yet it has never been attainable for me.

    • Tennyoceres says:

      You have to get products that multitask and you have to concede to a very simple makeup look. Start with BB cream/tinted moisturizer, eyeliner, and lip balm so you don’t fuss with a clean lip line. If you have an additional minute add blush and mascara as fast as you can.

  13. Kimmwc03 says:

    Most days it is four. But when I have more time it is eight.

  14. Danielle says:

    I know I use a decent amount of brushes: foundation, concealer, eye shadow (MAC 239), blending brush, bronzer brush, blush brush, highlighter, brows, and setting powder. If I don’t wear eye shadow then I can cut it down a bit. That’s just for my basic makeup. If I wear more eye makeup then I add on more brushes.

  15. Sakura says:

    Only 3: eyeshadow(I use light colors), brow powder, and Kabuki style for setting powder.

  16. Natasha says:

    Let’s see…
    1) lid color
    2)contour color

    If I’m in a hurry, I skip the blush and use a pencil for the eyeliner.

    Interesting question — one of those things that are on auto-pilot…

  17. Kim says:

    Oh, you’re making me hang my head in shame for that question. On a daily basis? One brush (for blush). Everything else is pencil or fingers. If I was actually going all out, I’d use one for my brows and a third for powder or bronzer and a 4th for shadow. I’m ashamed to admit that it only happens like 4 times per year… max.

    If I told you how (not) often I wash my brush blush, you’d probably smack me. After you gagged. πŸ™‚ This is like a Friday confessional!

  18. yelena says:

    love your make up as well as the expression on your face πŸ™‚

    Everyday: concealer brush, bronzer/powder brush, blush brush and eyeliner brush = 4

    when i’m using eyeshadow, add flat ES brush and crease brush atleast! so maybe 6 total.

    I would probably lose track of any more than that haha

  19. gio says:

    Let’s see… for a typical day I usually use 7. 4 eyeshadow brushes (one for the lid, one for the crease, one for the browbone and a pencil brush for the lower lashline), a foundation brush, a concealer brush and a blush brush. For special occasions, I use an angled brush for the eyebrows and another for bronzer. Only when I’m wearing a bold and dark lip colour I use a lip brush too.

  20. SweetMandy says:

    4 or 5 for my eyes, all from Mac : 239, 217, 219, 266 and sometimes 224.

  21. Marisa says:

    Excellent question. I would have to say that it depends on the occasion.

    For an everyday look, I usually 3 brushes:
    ~concealer brush
    ~Eyeshadow brush(s)
    ~And my fav, the blush brush. =)

  22. Meredith says:

    Fun question! Today I used: 1) foundation, 2) three for eye shadow/liner, 3) blush 4) bronzer, 5) finishing powder. Seven total. I had more time than usual today. Typically just foundation, two or three for eyes and one for blush.

  23. I just bought that Sonia Kashuk brush set and I’m in love! The brush quality is great and they are so pretty!

    I use 3-4 for eye makeup (shadow, crease, blender, eyeliner), 1 for powder, 1 for blush, 1 for bronzer. Dang, so 6-7 average!

  24. Liz says:

    I’ve been super lazy lately. So, on a typical day:
    Mac 182, a blush brush, a brow brush/lash comb

    On a less lazy day;
    a foundation brush, a powder brush, an eyeshadow brush, and blush brush, a brow brush/lash comb.

    When I’m going out, too many to list.

  25. Elaine says:

    I use roughly 8-10 brushes on a daily basis. Of course if I’m going out, I’ll use more and if I’m in a rush, that number of brushes drops dramatically. I’ve been loving my beauty blender so that helps as a 2-in-1 when blending out foundation and concealer. Love your pictures!

  26. Yaaay for Sonia Kashuk brushes!! πŸ˜€ haha! Usually I am pretty minimal when it comes to brushes. On average I probably just use my Bobbi Brown Angled Eyeshadow brush, Sonia Kashuk blending brush, Sonia Kashuk Smudge brush and pencil brush, Sonia Kashuk powder and blush brush and a spoolie. πŸ™‚
    Becca @ The Beauty Sample recently posted … The Beauty Snaps

  27. Charisma says:

    I use 8 brushes on a daily basis and 12 for going out / date night looks.
    Charisma recently posted … The Balm Cosmetics Haul

  28. Katherine G says:

    I probably use 2 or 3 when I do wear makeup, and 4 or more when doing crazy eye looks. The 2 I use would be for my bronzer and face brightening powder over my BB cream (since I don’t wear foundation anymore, really). If I use more than 4 I am doing some crazy eye look with 500 different colors hahahaha.

  29. Dani says:


    MAC 109 to contour, blush, bronze, and powder highlighters.
    Sonia Kashuk Blush Brush sometimes for blush, obviously. Or loose powder.
    MAC 193 for foundation
    Sometimes I use my BeautyBlender if that counts
    BareMinerals Max Coverage Concealer Brush (it’s actually one of the only good BE brushes)
    Sonia Kashuk Flat-top Multi-Purpose Brush for Powder Application or Dior Airflash (AWESOME brush)
    MAC 266 for eyebrows
    I use 7 brushes for my eyes??? lol, did not realize it was that many. I don’t always use all of them though. Maybe usually five.

    So about 8-10.

  30. Tiffany says:

    My everyday – just 3. But one is dual ended πŸ™‚ I was actually just thinking today that I should set my concealor. Would love to know what brush and powder you use for that!

  31. Wendy M. says:

    Loving the bling on Tabs! πŸ˜€

    I’ve never actually counted how many brushes I use… so this is a good chance to count.

    1. Brows
    2. One for my lid
    3. One for my crease
    4. Another to blend out
    5. Lower lid
    6. Foundation
    7. Concealer
    8. Setting powder
    9. Under eye setting powder
    10. Blush
    11. Bronzer

    Whew! Sounds like a lot. XD

  32. Desiree says:

    Such an interesting question! I never fully thought about it till now. Here are the brushes I generally use everyday as I use it: brush(moisturizer/primer)
    2.Sonia Kashuk pointed foundation brush/224 or something similar (concealer)
    3. Elf flat top brush(powder foundation)
    4.beautyblender(no product)
    5.mac 165 (bronzer)
    6.mac 168(blush)
    7.mac 165(highlighter)
    8.powder brush(setting powder)
    *i use 2 different 165’s
    Desiree recently posted … Origins Modern Friction

  33. Petra says:

    Today – none (mascara, some under eye concealer and some cheekstain (both blended with my fingers)

    But a normal working day:
    2 brushes for eyes – flat and a tapered(at least)
    2 blush brushes – one for contouring and one for the blush (could probobly pare it down to one but where is the fun in that?!)
    but that is probobly it brush-wise

    On week-ends though I take out the full artillery, then we are probobly up in 12-15 brushes

  34. MonicaP says:

    Just four.

    dome brush for crease
    stiff dome brush for highlight first, then use for outer v
    blush brush
    powder brush


    MonicaP recently posted … Style and Co., Curvy Fit Ex-Boyfriend Ankle Jeans

  35. Iris says:

    I’m currently using four: face powder, blush, eyeshadow, and lip brush.

    It’s usually five with an extra eye brush for primer but my current primer has a built in brush.

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