Wondering why your makeup doesn’t look like the perfect results you see on Instagram? We’re calling it: your brushes are probably to blame. But with the latest innovations guaranteeing a faster and more flawless application than ever before, there’s never been a better time to update your tool kit. Here’s our ultimate brush edit of the ones that’ll totally change your makeup game.  

3 jars filled with makeup brushes

For pro-worthy setting powder

Real Techniques Brush Crush Volume 2 Powder Brush

Take a peek inside any makeup artist’s kit – whether they work with brides, bloggers or A-listers – and you’re sure to spot Real Techniques brushes, created by Sam and Nic Chapman of Pixiwoo fame. The quality is incredible, and there really is a tool for every job. But if you’re set to buy just one brush, make it this one. The ultra-plush fluffy design gives you a perfectly powdered finish. No wonder the pros love it. 

For touch-ups on the go

EcoTools Retractable Kabuki Makeup Brush

EcoTools brushes are among the beauty industry’s best-kept secrets. We know lots of experts who rate them over much plusher brands, thanks to their ultra-soft bristles and recycled materials. This one, which can be stashed away with a lid, is genius for your handbag: think less mess, less space taken up and less risk of bacteria and breakouts. Use it to swirl on blusher or bronzer, or to buff in a mineral foundation. 

For an airbrushed base

Revolution Pro 230 Dense Buffing Makeup Brush

Not happy with the finish you’re getting from your foundation? Give it a whirl with this slick tool. It buffs in liquid and cream bases in a matter of seconds, to give a finish like an IRL Insta-filter. Pores are blurred and skin’s left smooth, thanks to the smart domed head. Check out the new Revolution Pro eye brushes, too. 

For a dreamy smoky eye

B. Cosmetics Eyeshadow Blending Makeup Brush

Cut-crease perfection here we come! This fluffy blender is a worthy addition to your kit. It nestles perfectly in the socket line and is super-soft, so harsh lines are eliminated without lifting away the colour.

B. Cosmetics B. Cosmetics Eyeshadow Blending Makeup Brush £6.99 Buy Now

For killer contouring

e.l.f. Precision Sculpting Brush

Not got the hang of contouring? Meet your fast track to razor-sharp cheekbones and a Kardashian-worthy jawline. Those short, firm bristles allow you to target both cream and powder contour products exactly where you want them. Swipe on, then work in short, straight motions to smooth out lines without disturbing the colour.

e.l.f. Cosmetics e.l.f. Precision Sculpting Brush £6.00 Buy Now

For seamless blush or bronzer

Lottie London Powder Power Brush

Even your standard powder brushes deserve an upgrade. This little gem creates an insanely even finish, distributing just the right amount of pigment so you’ll never spend time correcting OTT cheeks again. It’s fab value for money, and there’s no shedding after washing it, either.