They say an artist’s brush is the most important tool in their kit.
And it's the same for make-up artists, who swear by brushes to create a perfect canvas for their A-List clients.
So we tracked down cruelty-free make-up artist Justine Jenkins – who did Fearne Cotton’s make-up for her wedding! – to find out the brushes she recommends you invest in.
“Being a cruelty free make-up artist, it's important to me to use good quality synthetic brushes,” said Justine, who recently launched a new cruelty-free blog, Just Cosmetics.
“If you are looking to be cruelty free, do be aware that a lot of brushes are the by-product of the fur trade, so be careful when spending your hard earned cash.”
Justine Jenkins’ pick of the best make-up brushes:
Liz Earle Foundation Brush – £18.00 – John Lewis
Liz Earles brushes are 100% man-made fibres so they’re totally animal friendly. This brush is great for applying your foundation. The texture is soft so feels nice and smooth on the skin.
Hourglass No.8 Concealer Brush – £24.00 – John Lewis
I absolutely love this brush! It's the perfect size to reach the nooks and crannies such as under eyes, around the nose and chin. You can also use this to apply foundation if you only want to cover certain small areas of the face.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Angled Blending Brush – £15.95 – Cocktail Cosmetics
This is a great synthetic brush which makes blending eye shadow easy. To create a seamless finish, use light circular strokes.
Liz Earle Eye Colour Brush - £12.50 – Liz Earle
If you have a low budget, an eyeshadow brush is a key item to have. This will make the best of your shadow application giving you a nice even finish.
NYR Blusher Brush – £12.00 – Neal’s Yard Remedies
This is a very handy synthetic brush which works well with mineral powder blusher or powder blush.
Hourglass No.9 Brush - £20.00 - Liberty
This brush is a nice size to apply shadow along the lower lash line. It really picks up eyeshadow pigment so you can either create a soft smoke or intense line.
Bare Minerals Eye Liner Brush – £10.50 - ASOS
If you like to use a gel liner this is the perfect brush to use. The size is great for creating a feline flick or if you want to trace along the lash line for definition.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Large Powder Brush – £18.99 - Love Makeup
This large powder brush is great for giving your face a wash of colour. I would use this for bronzing. Dip your brush into the product, dab of the excess on your hand and apply to the areas where the sun would naturally hit your face.
NYR Lip And Concealer Brush – £8.00 - Neal’s Yard Remedies
This is a brilliant multi purpose brush which can be used as a lip or concealer brush. The shape and size is perfect for creating the perfect lips its also good for pin point concealing.
Justine also suggested popping into your local arts and crafts shop for decent-priced, good-quality brushes.
“Don't forget to check out your local art shop for good priced synthetic brushes - I've discovered some of my favourite brushes this way,” she said.
And our faves?
We’ve recently been lusting over Zoeva – it’s a German make-up brand that launched in the UK earlier this year.
The make-up brushes are something of a cult blogger favourite, and have everyone from Tanya Burr and Zoella to Pixiwoos and Essie Button raving about them.
The brushes are entirely synthetic (so entirely vegan/ cruelty-free) but they don’t compromise on price OR quality.
We’d recommend the Silk Finish Brush, £11.00 for flawless foundation application or the Smudger Brush, £6.50 for applying and blending eyeshadow.
But the Rose Golden Luxury Set, £55.00 is the perfect gift for a loved one – or just add it to your birthday wishlist (we know we will be).
What’s your essential make-up brush? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter, now.