While most makeup compacts come with mini brushes for application, it's quite helpful to have a good set of personal makeup brushes instead. The small brushes placed in compact blush and eye shadows don't often last long or apply the makeup well. Purchasing a set of makeup brushes is a good investment and one that shouldn't be too expensive.

When choosing makeup brushes, there are several different types of brushes to look for. First, you'll want to look for a large powder brush. These brushes have a large, round top with thick, soft bristles and are best used for applying powder evenly to the face. Powder brushes can be used for bronzer but should not to be confused with their slightly smaller counterpart, the blush brush. The blush brush is the perfect size to apply blush to just the right parts of the face. Using a powder brush for blush can often lead to lack of control as to where the color goes. Using a blush brush will give the definition and coverage you're looking for.

The majority of makeup brushes are used for the eyes. You should certainly look for a basic eye-shadow brush, usually just a small square of bristles for applying color all over the eyelid and beyond. However, if you're planning to use various makeup effects on the eyes, you'll also find it helpful to choose an angle brush for applying makeup neatly into the crease as well as on the outer corner. A fine-tip brush works well for adding eye liner or a line of dark eye shadow right on the lash line for an outstanding effect.

Finally, there are lip brushes. These brushes are typically fine-tipped and have very sturdy bristles. They are used to apply lip liner, lip gloss, or lipstick evenly and correctly. Because of the makeup being applied with lip brushes, you may need to wash them more frequently than the other types of makeup brushes.

Look for brushes made with natural fibers which will not irritate your skin or fall apart easily. Every couple of weeks, wash the makeup brushes in warm, sudsy water to remove any build up of makeup or dead skin cells. Store your makeup brushes in a moisture-free, clean bag or container and be sure they are not crushed under layers and layers of beauty products. Finally, if makeup brushes begin to wear out, spend a couple dollars and buy some new ones. Makeup brushes will not break your bank, but they will change the way you apply makeup.

Source by Jamie Jensen