Despite my job (assessing hundreds of beauty products day after day), I am all about simplicity when it comes to my own routine. On second thought, maybe I’m all about simplicity because I spend so much of my time sorting through products? Anyway, my grooming regimen is very minimal; efficiency is my M.O.
This may explain why, generally speaking, I don’t really care for makeup brushes. My fingertips do just fine for my everyday look. Plus, I enjoy the tactile sensation of smoothing on a tinted moisturizer or tapping cream blush onto my cheeks. It’s like finger painting for adults. Except it also hides my dark circles.
That said, there is one brush in my kit that I can’t seem to part with: the fan brush. So named for its shape (or my affinity toward it), a fan brush is the Swiss Army knife of makeup applicators. Its splayed bristles pick up just the right amount of pigment no matter what you use it with—or how.
When I need a little more polish for, say, a wedding or another special occasion, I use it in any of these five ways: 1) to sweep on foundation to feathered perfection, 2) to add a subtle (and not too rosy) touch of color to my cheeks, 3) to highlight and contour cheekbones, 4) to set makeup with a finishing powder, or—my favorite trick—5) to dust off any eyeshadow fallout under the eyes.
It’s a great beginner brush as well since, again, it doesn’t pick up too much color so there’s minimal risk of getting streaks or an uneven application. (Once, I even used it to apply a face mask. Wild, I know.) One brush, so many uses. Your move.