It’s so tempting to overstock on beauty supplies. Makeup is one of the areas where women are prone to excess. This is true for makeup products as well as for makeup brushes. If there’s one area where the 80/20 rule applies, it’s definitely makeup brushes. Despite having a variety of makeup brushes, most women reach for the same ones over and over. Whether you are a makeup rookie or you want to get rid of unused tools to make your routine more efficient, keep in mind these makeup essentials:

Foundation Brush

Since creating the illusion of perfection is critical, you’ll want to select a good foundation brush. You will need to look for a round, fluffy and flat-tipped  brush. Because the bristles of this brush need to be stiff, the best alternative is to go for a synthetic one. For best results, use horizontal strokes to cover wrinkles and fine lines, but make sure to go with downward motions around your upper lip, jawline and chin for perfect blending.

Makeup Brushes - Foundation Brushes

Tarte Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush $32.00Youngblood Ultimate Foundation Brush $48.99Revlon Foundation Brush $9.99

Powder Brush

For powder brushes size is important since a smaller brush is easier to work with. The brush should be dome-shaped soft, round, large and made of natural hair. Some even think that this is the most important type of brush you can own since it’s great for contouring and shading in smaller areas. A small brush enables you to dust powder on just the T-zone instead of getting an overall matte effect.

Makeup Brushes - Powder Brushes

Amazing Cosmetics Velvet Powder Brush $32.00Too Faced Powder Poof Large Powder Brush $32.00Dermablend Powder Brush $32.00

Blush/Bronzer Brush

Again, you’ll want to choose a fluffy, dome-shaped natural brush for best results. Doing so helps you avoid unnecessary skin irritations. Pointed brushes should be avoided since they deposit too much color and are best used for contouring while fluffy brushes help you get a blended wash of color, according to makeup artist Quinn Murphy.

Makeup Brushes - Blush and Bronzer Brushes

ULTA Blush Brush $14.00Bare Escentuals Angled Blush Brush $20.00Revlon Blush Brush $9.99

Eyeshadow Brush

You’ll definitely become a lot more confident creating fun makeup looks if you choose the right brush from the start. Since we’re talking about the eye area which is highly sensitive and prone to wrinkling it’s worth indulging in a natural bristle brush. The brush should be small, stiff and flat. If you go for wide brushes, you’ll have a harder time controlling it, which might make the application sloppier. For application, simply sweep the brush over the lids starting from the inside outwards.

Makeup Brushes - Eyeshadow Brushes

ULTA Pro Wide Eyeshadow Brush $16.00Dior Backstage Makeup Medium Eyeshadow Brush $32.50Urban Decay Good Karma Multi-Tasker Brush $24.00

Eyeliner/ Brow Brush

This multipurpose brush is another makeup kit essential. Select a pointy angled brush. You can either go synthetic or natural with this one. Such a brush is tremendously helpful if you like gel liners as it helps you apply a thin line of eye liner that glides on smoothly with precision. This brush can also be used to fill in sparse brows with powder. For this purpose you simply need to use short strokes over your natural brow shape.

Makeup Brushes - Brow and Eye Liner Brushes

Smashbox Angled Brush #12 $20.00MAC #208 Angled Brow Brush (Eye) $25.00Laura Mercier Double Ended Eye Brow Brush (Pull Apart) $42.00

Lip Brush 

This is perhaps one of the most underrated brushes out there, but it’s essential if you prefer to place the accent on lips rather than on eyes and get that ultra seductive defined lips effect. Choose a small, flat, round-tipped brush. To use, cover the brush with lipstick and start blending from the center of the lips towards the edges using short strokes.

Makeup Brushes - Lip Brushes

Japonesque Retractable Lip Brush $14.00NARS Retractable Lip Brush #11 $35.00Kanebo Lip Brush $12.00