How Many Makeup Brushes Do You Use on a Daily Basis?

Published in: Just For Fun

Have you ever counted ’em up? For me it depends. Sometimes, it’s up to 30 (!) if I do multiple looks in the same day.


Once, though, I was able to pull off a makeup look with just two brushes, but that was a small miracle brought on by extreme circumstances…namely, me forgetting my entire brush bag at home before leaving for a trip.

But yeah, on a day-to-day basis, I typically use the following:

  • 1 domed eyeshadow brush to apply and blend (usually the MAC 217)
  • 1 tapered blending brush, again to apply and blend eyeshadow (MAC 224)
  • 1 flat eyeshadow to do more of the same (MAC 239)
  • 1 foundation brush to apply foundation (Hourglass No 2. Foundation/Blush Brush)
  • 1 kabuki brush to blend my foundation (MAC 182)
  • 1 additional domed eyeshadow brush to apply under-eye concealer (another MAC 217)
  • 1 fluffy powder brush for face powder (I have one from Burberry that I like, although I can’t remember the exact name)
  • 1 contour brush for bronzer (MAC 109)
  • 1 blush brush (MAC 129)
  • 1 tapered face brush for highlighter (MAC 139, or another 224. It depends on the product I’m applying.)

Hmm… That’s still 10 brushes.

I guess my attempts to streamline are a work in progress.

How about you? How many makeup brushes do you use on a daily basis?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Natalie says:

    I use 7-8, but that varies depending on the look too.

    2-3 eye shadow brushes (lid and a few blenders)
    a powder brush
    blush brush
    bronzer/contour brush
    eyebrow spoolie (a must)
    a highlighter brush, if I’m highlighting that day
    I use all Sigma brushes

    I think I could pair it down, maybe I’ll try your two brush feat of amazing-ness. It was so impressive, and your makeup looked amazing!
    Natalie recently posted … MAC Retro Matte

  2. Ebony Jay says:

    I use all my brushes on a daily basis -_- it’s a disease really lol (:

  3. breyerchic04 says:

    Three or four I guess.

    Flat shadow brush (currently using ELF C brush the most, also have a bobbi brown one I like, am about to buy MAC 239 I think though)
    Domed shadow brush to blend shadows (currently using one from myglam/ipsy for this)
    Flat top brush from mary kay if I wear mineral powder, if I use liquid foundation I just use my hands
    Mac 217 for concealer blending
    ELF blush brush

    I’m currently going through my brushes and buying lifetime brushes. I think I’m going with mostly MAC ones but I’m also interested in the new makeupforever ones.

  4. CatherineM says:

    Quite a few:
    – 1 Foundation Brush (Chanel or Shiseido)
    – 1 concealer brushe for pin-point concealing (Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Brush)
    – 1 Concealer Brush for under-eye or larger areas (Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Blending Brush)
    – 1 Powder Brush (Bobbi Brown or Sue Dewitt)
    – 1 Blush Brush (MAC 188,Japonesque Pro Blush Brush)
    – 1 Spoolie (for brows)
    – 1 Eyebrow Brush (Hakuhodo Kokutan Eyebrow Brush W)
    – 1 flat Eyeshadow Brush (Bobbi Brown Eye Sweep Brush or MAC 239)
    – 1 Crease Brush (MAC 217 or 226)
    – 1 Small Eyeshadow Brush for details or inner corner (Hakuhodo Kolutan T or Chantecaille Eye Perfector Brush)
    – 1 Eyeliner Brush (Dior Eyeliner Brush, MAC 266 or 211)

    That’s eleven brushes in total for daily use, but I could cut it down to just powder, blush, spoolie and MAC 217 for a very simple look.

  5. Eesha says:

    For me it’s almost the same as yours!
    Eesha recently posted … Review: Rouge G Guerlain lipstick in Garconne

  6. Chelsea says:

    I’ve never really kept track!

  7. At least 10: blush brush, two eyeshadow brushes, two blending brushes, a crease brush, a pointed brush, a precision brush, an eyebrow brush and a fan brush.

  8. I use 4-5. A face brush, full coverage face brush, concealer brush & 1-2 eye shadow brushes, depending…

    My makeup is 5 min or less with an infant around though :).

  9. Danielle says:

    I think I use about 10 haha. Every once in a while (if I’m doing a really quick makeup) I can use about 4.
    Danielle recently posted … Ipsy September 2013

  10. Barbara says:

    I never thought about it and I’m surprised I use so many (12!)
    – 5 eyeshadow brushes
    – Foundation brush
    – Concealer Brush under eye
    – Small concealer brush
    – Blush brush
    – Bronzer brush
    – Highlighter brush
    – Spoolie
    Karen I’ve been visiting your site every day since a year, but it is my first post:)

  11. Steffy says:

    I usually only use around 4 on a dayly basis. Usually I only use for my eyeshadow and powder 🙂


  12. Elle says:

    Also depends on the look, but on a normal workday it’s…

    foundation brush
    concealer brush
    fluffy brush to buff in concealer
    kabuki brush for finishing powder
    at least 3 eyeshadow brushes…

    so I guess 7? Never realized how many that was until now 🙂

  13. Mallory Barnhart says:

    It depends on how much time I have. On a full face today I’ll use

    Foundation brush
    Concealer brush
    Blush brush
    Contour/bronzer blush
    A dense, flat brush to blend my blushes together
    2-3 eyeshadow brushes
    Eyebrow spoolie
    Brush to fill in my brows
    Eyeliner brush

    So, 9 on a good day. I can get away with using 3 (eyeshadow, blush/bronzer, eyebrow) on a day I don’t feel like putting all the effort into it.

  14. Ingrid says:

    I usually use between 7-10 depending on if I’m using a contour and highlighting powder. There are times when I use just my fingers and no brushes.

  15. Iris says:

    I use five: a cream eyeshadow brush to apply eye primer, an all-over eye brush for eyeshadow, face powder brush, blush brush, and lip brush.

  16. Mary says:

    I don’t wear a lot of makeup daily now that I’m not working. I didn’t think so anyway until I started to count, and I’m using more than I thought I did. I use:

    Powder brush
    2 different brushes on brows
    Eyeliner brush
    1 shadow brush

    Foundation/concealer/cream blush are applied and blended using fingers.

  17. Michelle says:

    5: Concealer brush, cream shadow brush, powder brush, eye liner brush & a lip brush. In the summer I use my fingers to apply my cream blush.

  18. Joanna says:

    1 Spoolie
    1 Flat brush for clean up

    1 Pencil Brush
    1 Blending Brush
    1 Eyeshadow Brush
    1 Angle brush (for wing liner)

    1 Foundation Brush
    1 Kabuki Brush
    1 Fan Brush to apply highlight
    1 Powder Brush

  19. Liz says:

    Eyes can really vary. 1-4

    blush 2 (1 to apply, 1 to blend)

    face 2

  20. Irene says:

    I thought “whoa, ten? That’s a lot!” but then i realized I also use a lot of brushes… and I don’t even apply eyeshadow everyday!
    So, I always use 3 for foundation, powder and concealer, one for blusher if I can’t apply it with my fingers; then we have a spoolie (when I remember to brush my brows) and, sometimes, a 217-like for the eyes. That makes… 6, in a normal day of simple make up. Quite a lot!

  21. Let’s see normally …
    Bobbi Brown full foundation brush
    Two Bobbi Brown blush brushes (I use one for setting powder)
    MAC 217 eye blending brush
    MAC 239 flat eyeshadow brush
    Bobbi Brown eyeliner brush

    So 6 total

    But for travel, I can get by with …

    A Merle Norman travel blush brush that collapses but can be used for powder, bronzer, and blush (just wipe it off well in between)
    A Bobbi Brown double-ended eye brush that has an eyeliner brush on one side and a flat eyeshadow brush on the other.

    So 2 is my mandatory minimum

    I do like the new Bobbi Brown travel brush set that you can buy as part of the Bobbi and Katie bag (all about the travel brushes)

    But when I’m really trying to get a look just right, I would add a Sephora smudge brush and a Bobbi Brown sweep brush to my like to use list. So 8 is about my max.

  22. Rica says:

    Well, let’s see…

    1. Foundation brush: Real Techniques Stippling Brush or Expert Brush
    2. Powder brush: Real Techniques Powder Brush or Dior Summer Blush Brush
    3. Blush Brush: Royal & Langnickel Silk Green Blush Brush or MAC 168
    4. Contour Brush: Real Techniques Contour Brush or MAC 109
    5. Flat Eyeshadow Brush: Bdellium Tools 777 Shadow Brush
    6. Taper Dome Brush: MAC 217 or Sigma E25
    7. Big Shadow Brush: Bdellium Tools 779 Large Shadow, 769 Angled Contour, or MAC 227
    8. Setting Brush for undereye concealer: Real Techniques Setting Brush

    I thought I would use more but turns out I keep it below 10 :D. Well, I still have different options for each purpose but daily I only use about 8 brushes.

    Truthfully, I think I could do with only 2 brushes and everything else with my fingers, but who likes dirty hands… Gotta love makeup brushes

    x Rica, a self-proclaimed brush hoarder 😛

  23. Maggie says:

    Hmmm…on a daily basis? 1-3. :). But for full disclosure, I don’t put on a “full face” of makeup. Just tinted spf, concealer, powder foundation, bronzer, brow pencil and some lipstick. So, every day, a small powder/blending brush–for the places I need powder. A spoolie to blend out my brow pencil. And a blush/contouring brush for my bronzer. Concealer and spf I just apply with fingers and lipstick I typically apply straight from the bullet. But for a full face…? I would need…2 for brows (wax/primer, brow powder), 5-8 for eyes, 2-3 for cheeks (blush layering), 2-4 for contouring, 2 for lips, 3-6 for base (concealer, foundation, primer), 1-2 for powder. So WOW. My max is about 30 brushes for just ONE look.

  24. Nadja says:

    Karen what do you have on your lips? love the look! thank you

  25. MARLA ROBINSON says:

    I try to keep it simple if possible. About 8.

  26. Michelle M says:

    4 for the eyes–one to pack in on, one for the crease, one for blending, and one for highlighting the brow
    1 concealer brush
    1 powder brush to set the face
    1 blush brush
    and sometimes a brush for setting the concealer.

    So 7-8. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

  27. Kay says:

    I typically use 3 -4 brushes on a daily basis because I use my fingers a lot.

  28. Kim says:

    A blush brush – that’ all. I almost never wear shadow or powder so all my stuff is either in pencil form or applied with my fingers (BB cream). If I could ever find a cream blush I liked, I’d probably be down to zero brushes. I guess it also saves on washing time! 🙂

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