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For a makeup artist, brushes hold a very special place in their hearts. You spend years building and shaping your collection, with new brushes coming in and old brushes wearing out. But there are some brushes that just feel right, and that you keep bringing back into your set.

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I am no exception. Here are my favourite brushes, the ones I feel most attached to. You could call them my must-haves but the term is used so widely nowadays that it has lost its sense of importance. I guess they’re the brushes that I’d grab in a fire situation and that I would be truly upset if they were discontinued (though sadly, one has already).

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
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I’ve only had this brush for about 6 months but its versatility has made it indispensable. It works just as beautifully with cream, liquid and powder products and really is a do-it-all brush. I have bought a few so I always have one to hand.

Benefit Get Bent Eyeliner Brush (discontinued)
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This mini brush has been in my personal makeup bag for about 4 years now. I went to buy a few replacements… but alas! it has been discontinued. I have 3 or 4 other full size bent liner brushes but none can compare. The firm bristles of the Get Bent brush really give a steady and even eye line. My other brushes are all just too soft to really get the sharp point of a cat-eye the way my Get Bent brush can.

MAC 228, 217, 239, 224 brushes
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Much as I have a love-hate relationship with different MAC products, you can’t fault their brushes. The 217 and 239 are the bread and butter of all shadow brushes. The 217 is also a great liquid concealer brush. Whether applying shadow or blending it out, these two are the business. The 228 is my favourite eyeshadow detailer brush. The Real Techniques one is pretty good, but the MAC 228 is the perfect balance between firmness, density and softness. The last MAC brush, the 224 is my favourite socket brush. It’s the best one I have tried for blending/ applying cream shadows and blending out powder shadows.

Japonesque 913 Smudger brush (travel size)
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This brush is just so easy to use, especially when using it to add definition to outer corners in smokey eye looks. It’s also great for smudging shadow just under the eyes. The density and soft/firm balance is just right for me. I need to hunt out the full size smudger brush and then buy a few in case they’re discontinued!

What brushes could you not bear to part with?

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