Lately I have been using the same few brushes over and over for my whole makeup application. I use my fingers for all cream/liquid products (primer, foundation, and concealer) so I don’t use many brushes. I honestly can do my whole face with four brushes, and I wanted to tell you how I do it and what I suggest.
Just one face brush, I did a whole post on using one brush for all my powder face products (blush, bronzer, powder, and highlighter). I love a goat hair brush like the Wayne Goss 12, 11, or 13. I love Wayne Goss brushes (and if you are only getting a few brushes you could spend more on them, depending on your budget) but any medium weight to dense powder bush will work for this. If you use a good brush and are conscious of how much product you are using (also apply from lighter shades to darker shades) it works great. See the original post for more detail here.
For my eyes I usually use three brushes, a flat shader, a large blending brush, and a smaller blending brush. You could really pair this down to two, skipping out on the flat shader (blending brushes are musts for me), but thats up to you. I love using the flat shader for applying color to the lid and under the brow (the Wayne Goss 17 is my favorite, its huge so it covers the lid or brow bone in one go). The large blending brush is for applying a medium color all over my crease, its a must have for me, my favorite is the Wayne Goss 03. For adding dark colors to create dimension I love using a smaller crease brush. I use this in the outer v and you could also use it under the lower lash line (if you apply shadow there). The Wayne Goss 04 is the perfect size for this on my eyes. Depending on your eye shape and size, different sized blending brushes will work, but a larger one and a smaller one are musts (for me).
With these four brushes I can do anything from daily makeup to a smokey eye. Assuming I have a good brush cleaner and some commitment, I could just have these brushes in my collection and be set. What about you? How many brushes do you use daily? Could you use four brushes for your whole face? Or is four too many?