You know the saying, "you're only as good as the weakest link"? Well, that's kind of how I feel about makeup brushes. They can make or break a look, especially when talking about eye makeup (hence those sponge-y eye shadow applicators-- definitely the weakest link). The right tools will help you achieve your desired look more effortlessly-- let the brush do the work, ya know what I'm saying? Here's my top 4, go-to blending brushes that will have you blended to perfection.
Starting with the fluffiest, the MAC #224 is a cult favorite that is a staple in almost every artist's kit. There's lots of knock-offs out there (I own several of them), but nothing is quite like it. I use this one for the transition color to help all other crease shadows blend easier. It gives a blown out/seamless finish on the eyes and is always the first one I grab.
Next, is the other highly coveted (possibly the MOST coveted) MAC #217. Yet again, there's lots of dupes out there for this one (Sigma is the closest I've found), but I continue to buy the real deal. The bristles stay soft and hold their shape even after using them for yearsss, literally. MAC brushes are not cheap, but when you can use it every day for 5+ years, it is well worth the investment. I use this one for smoking out my outer corner and when I want that blown out/ smokey lower lash line. I've said it before, but if I could only use one eye shadow brush for the rest of my life it would be this one, and that is saying a lot!
The MAC #221 is one that I fell in love with as soon as I saw it. I instantly bought two for my kit and 1 for myself because it is that good. It's a baby version of the #224, it's less dense but has a longer set of bristles (than the #217) so you achieve an effortless blend even on the smallest of eyelids. For some, the #224 is too fluffy, it covers their entire lid. The #221 is perfect for those times when you want to blend out a cut crease or for more precise blending when the #224 is just too big.
Finally, the Stila #2 brush (YAY--not a MAC brush! Sorry guys, I genuinely am obsessed with them). It resembles an actual paint brush and is sort of like the MAC #221, it's long bristles and skinny form are perfect for softly blending out the crease. Although they market this brush as an under-eye concealer brush, I use this one when I want to soften a crease color but still have it defined.
Obviously, you don't need all of these brushes, but if you are makeup brush obsessed the way I am and really enjoy creating different makeup looks on your eyes, these are my favorites and top recommendations.