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Hello.

Welcome to Andrea Fontana Beauty. I document my favorite products, tips and moments as a freelance makeup artist and esthetician. Hope you have a nice stay!

As Seen on The Knot

Dre Does a Brush Guide

This has been the most requested post so here it is! It took some time to really choose which brushes are my favorite since let's be honest...I have way more than I'm going to show below. But I've chosen my top 12 brushes that I think every woman needs. Now some were purchased in sets or years ago, so they might not be available for purchase right now. However, the point is the shape and type of brushes. If a brush as a really unique shape, I've made sure to choose it only if it is still available. I'll leave links to all of the ones that I can at the end of the post, as well as information as to which were purchased in a set. I've also taken the pictures of the face brushes next to a normal sized nail clipper, so you have a guide for the approximate brush sizes. (Sorry if some are a little dirty, but I used them before I took these pictures...haha)

1. Foundation brush: My favorite is the Expert Face Brush by Real Techniques. I love this brush for the unique shape and because of how dense it is. It's really good at applying foundation evenly. A lot of people like flat top buffing brushes because you can get a really good natural looking application, but I find this brush gives me a similar finish. It's also great at getting around your nose and chin because of the rounded shape. 


2. Concealer Setting brush: Now I didn't include a brush for concealer because personally I prefer applying with my fingers. I find the warmth of my finger tips melts the concealer just right to give a more natural look when covering. However one place you can't skip out on is setting your concealer, especially under your eyes. A small fluffy brush will do the trick and as I've talked about before I love the Setting Brush by Real Techniques. It's slightly pointed at the tip, so it gets right under the eyes nicely. It's also fluffy enough to apply just the right amount of product. 


3. Contour Fluffy Brush: Now I know everyone doesn't contour their faces, but I still think a fluffy medium sized brush is important. It's a great multitasking brush. You can of course use it for contouring, but also for applying highlight or even blush in a pinch! I really like this one called the Contour Brush from Real Techniques (are you seeing a trend here yet? But more on that later...). It's the perfect medium size. 


4. Flat top dense medium brush: This brush is great for cream products. The synthetic dense fibers are great for picking up and blending cream products. So once again this brush is great for blushes, bronzers, or highlighters. The size is perfect as well. This one is called the Buffing Brush by Real Techniques but many brands make a similar one.

5. Fluffy blush brush: Everyone needs a brush for blush and I'm obsessed with this one from Sonia Kashuk. It's available at Target and it's a must have. It is super soft and going strong after at least 4 years of use. The thing I like most about it is the density. It's pretty fluffy so it doesn't pick up too much product, so it allows you to build up cheek color to just the right amount. I think the packaging looks a little different now.


6. Powder Brush: Now this brush is the least unique but it's still a must-have. In order for your makeup to stay all day or night long, you need to set it with powder. This is simply a large fluffy brush from a Sephora set from at least 5 years ago, but it's obviously great quality and has worked so well setting my powder all of these years that I still haven't needed a new one. 


7. Eye Shader Brush: This is another typical brush shape, but it's another must-have. You need a good  flat shader brush to pack color onto your lids. This is another Sephora one that has lasted me years, but every brand of makeup brushes sells a dupe for this.


8. Fluffy Pointed Shading/Blending brush: So this brush is extremely unique shaped but I had to include it because it is a dream for blending the outer "v" of your lid (aka the outer corner). It's fluffy enough for blending but the pointed tip gives you enough control to make specific shapes. I just love it and use it for almost every eye look that I do, so I'm being serious when I say you must own it! It is called the Base Shadow Brush by Real Techniques.


9. Fluffy blending brush: The key to beautiful and smooth looking eyeshadow is blending. That is no secret. While I own and recommend having multiple blending brushes of different densities and sizes, a simple fluffy brush is the first step. This one is the E35 Tapere Blending brush from Sigma Beauty but many companies make great ones. 


10. Definer Pencil Brush: Whether you want to do a dramatic crease, outer v, smokey eye, or natural eye, a pencil brush will work wonders in applying the darker shades where you want them before you blend them out. They are dense and great for smudging color into the upper and lower lash lines as well. This one is the Smudge Brush from Ulta and is a great size for getting into all of these places. It's a great multi-use brush. It is years old as well though, so it could be hard to find this exact one.


11. Eyeliner brush: A fine pointed eyeliner brush is key because it can do a lot for your lash line. Whether you use it with gel eyeliner, eyeshadow, or to smudge out pencil liners, it gives you precision. So make sure it has a nice density and a good tip. I got this one free with a Sigma Beauty purchase but it is the mini version if their E05 Eyeliner brush. 


12. Angled Brow brush: Lastly, we have a brow brush. I use this one every day to fill in my brows with shadow and I love it. This shape also works nicely if you want to smudge out pencil eyeliner, or set your liner with eyeshadow for a smokier look. This is another shape that you can find easily from a lot of other brands, but I have to say I love the quality of this Real Techniques one.


So those are my favorite brushes! As you can tell I'm obsessed with the Real Techniques brushes because they are amazing quality for the prices. They are extremely soft and durable. I also love my Sigma Beauty brushes, however they are a little more expensive. If you have the money, I say invest in the Sigma ones, but if not the Real Techniques ones are amazing as well. 

Now for where to purchase
Brushes 8 and 12 came in a 5 piece eye starter set from Real Techniques for $18 that you can find below online or at Ulta.
http://realtechniques.com/shop-collection/your-eyes-enhanced/starter-set

Brushes 3 and 4 came in a 4 piece core collection set from Real Techniques for $18 that you can find below online or at Ulta.
http://realtechniques.com/shop-collection/your-base-flawless/core-collection

Brushes 6 and 7 came in a 7 piece Deluxe Antibacterial Brush set with a case for $60 from Sephora.
http://www.sephora.com/deluxe-antibacterial-brush-set-P197107

The rest were purchased individually:
Brush 1 is $9 below online or at Ulta.
http://realtechniques.com/shop-collection/your-base-flawless/expert-face-brush

Brush 2 is $8 below online or at Ulta. 
http://realtechniques.com/shop-collection/your-finish-perfected/setting-brush

Brush 5 is $17.18 online or in stores at Target. 
http://www.target.com/p/sonia-kashuk-kashuk-tools-domed-blusher-brush-no-29/-/A-14346298#prodSlot=medium_1_49

Brush 9 is $14 below. 
http://www.sigmabeauty.com/product_p/e35.htm

Brush 10 I couldn't find online anymore but lots of brands including Sigma Beauty make pencil brushes. 

Brush 11 is $12 below.
http://www.sigmabeauty.com/product_p/e05.htm

Hope this gives you a place to start or add to your brush collection! 
Have a beautiful day,

Dre

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