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I have been trying to amp up my game in the makeup department, changing some techniques and adding more contouring etc. One area I need help with is proper brushes. I seem to end up using Q-tips and latex sponges. What type of brushes/applicators do you use? I have both cream and powder makeup, and do all over color and fine detail work.
Nos, really, you are far too kind.

My advice just comes from personal experience. I used foam sponges for years to do just about everything and then someone bought be a makeup brush set, I've never used anything else since. I use actual brushes for applying everything from foundations to eyeliner, creams and powders. I use a stippling brush most of the time for cream foundations. It takes some getting used to but there are a lot of tutorials on Youtube on how to properly use one. Brushes can be expensive but there are some nicer mid-level price sets out there. Sephora has some of their own brand that are pretty nice. They will usually come out with some nice sets around Christmas time. For the top I would go with MAC, Hakuhodo or Sigma. I really don't have much of a preference over real or synthetic hair. There are of course cheaper brushes but they tend to shed and you end up with little brush hairs mixed in with your makeup. Some brushes might shed when you first use them but stop after a couple of uses.

I hope that helped some!
I'm useless in this department really. I still use the foam/latex sponges but they do tend to start taking the make-up back off. Raven, queen of make-up, is right about brushes they are brilliant for just about anything you want to do. Just don't use decent or expensive brushes if you apply any liquid latex, it kills them. I don't know any proper names for brushes, I just have a mixture of shapes and sizes. And blend, blend, blend! That's the key.