As a beauty director I cross paths with professional makeup artists day in and day out. I never miss the opportunity to ask them a question - one of my favourites is what is the one item you think we all need.
"I get this question a lot," says makeup artist Clint Dowdell, global ambassador for the brand Nude By Nature.
"And my answer is always this - makeup brushes."
"Look at it this way, if you were going to paint a wall, would you use fingers or a brush?
"I’m a huge advocate of finishing off applications with the fingers to really warm it into the skin, but to get a smooth, professional application, brushes are required."
Seems pretty clear. We need brushes, according to Clint. And so we have to ask the next question - which ones exactly and what for?
"Depends on the job," he says.
"For each job there are specific brushes, so a liquid foundation needs a liquid foundation brush and so on."
But, if you want surefire brushes that will cover you go with this lot, says Clint.
A Mineral Brush (for powder foundation)
A Liquid Foundation Brush
A Blush Brush (also for bronzer)
A Finishing Brush (to set makeup)
An Eyeshadow Brush
An Angled Brush (for liner)
Makeup artist Helen Dowsley says you can get away with even fewer brushes if you choose a couple of clever multi-taskers.
"Makeup artists love nothing more than a brush that can do it all in terms of makeup application," she says.
For that she likes a stippling brush.
"It can be used very easily on both creams and powders and gives a soft-focused effect," she adds.
Me, I'm still a fan of fingertips I'm afraid but I'm happy to give brushes a try. And who knows - perhaps I'll stick with them forever.