When I had my first mineral makeup samples in my hand, I hadn't got a mineral makeup brush yet. So I tested out the powders with a variety of different brushes. I was surprised how crappy some of the brushes were, with their uneven, coarse bristles.
The first brush I bought was a kabuki, for my mineral base. At that time I didn´ t even know what most of the other brushes on the site were for. Now I own a small collection, and yes, they live in a pretty tea light glass.
Good quality brushes are veeeery important when it comes to mineral makeup:
* Even and precise application -- only a good brush can ensure this.
* The mineral makeup brushes tend to be more compact and have shorter bristles. This keeps the makeup from getting sucked up deep into the bristles.
* Softness: you need to rub in the makeup in little circles, and the hair should not scratch the skin
* Should be able to withstand everyday washing, without losing hairs or shape (mineral makeup brushes have to be washed often).
If you want to get the best out of your minerals, invest in a brush. "Invest" doesn´t mean "spend": the best mineral makeup brushes are supposed to be those from Everyday Minerals, and they cost $11.00 - $12.00; the one I use for foundation is from Lumiere and cost me around 6 canadian dollars. That´s not a lot for a brush that will serve you for years, and can be used with regular non-mineral products as well.
Here is my collection, all of them from Lumiere:
Left to right:
* Fiber-optic: great for strong-coloured blush. Even if you use the brightest colour ever, it picks up very little and applies it very delicately. This brush is magic.
* Small eye buki: for eyeshadow on the entire lid.
*Two eyeshadow brushes: on for applying small amounts of eyeshadow, the other for concealer.
* Big eye buki: for the correctors and foundation on the eyelids and around the nose.
* Blush brush: for blush and bronzer.
* Kabuki: for the base. I hesitated for a long time between this and the flat top, but decided to go with the kabuki because I like a lighter application.
* Double duty eye one end is for the eye crease and the other for blending eyeliner / applying shadow as liner.
* Retractable goat hair brush: this one I got for free with an order. It´ s a great blush / bronzer brush for travelling, I retract it almost all the way, then the compact tip works for applying corrector.
I am pleased with my collection because I actually use all of them all the time, and I know (more or less) what to use them for. No brush is superfluous. The only thing I feel I'm missing is a big fluffy brush for the base / finishing powder.