Makeup brushes have come a long way since the last time you might have shopped for them. There are dozens of different styles of brushes to help women achieve any imaginable look. We talked to Sephora Pro lead artist Gilbert Soliz to find out the essentials.

Makeup brushes have come a long way since the last time you might have shopped for them. There are dozens of different styles of brushes to help women achieve any imaginable look. We talked to Sephora Pro lead artist Gilbert Soliz to find out the essentials.

1.Which makeup brushes are the most essential?

Start off your makeup kit with five basic brushes: powder, blush, large eye shadow/concealer, smaller eye shadow/liner and lip.

Balance between both natural- and synthetic-bristle brushes. Every woman should have a soft and fluffy, natural-hair brush for powder blushes, bronzer and eye shadows, in addition to flat, stiff, synthetic-bristle brushes for concealers and liners.

2. What's beneficial about expensive brushes?

Generally, more expensive brushes feature higher-quality materials. More expensive brushes often contain bristles that are more luxurious and softer on the skin, and ferrules - the middle portion of the brush that holds the hair and connects to the handle - that are made of metal to ensure a greater longevity of the brush.

Less expensive brushes often include coarse bristles and plastic ferrules, which tend to not feel as nice on the skin and do not last very long.

3. When picking out a brush, what should you look for?

If you're looking to create soft, sheer coverage with great blendability, you should invest in a brush that has soft, pliable bristles that will be flexible when applying color. For a more opaque, richly pigmented finish, choose a brush that has more bristle density so that it can hold and apply more color.

4.What type of brush do you like introducing people to?

[Especially for eyes,] I'm a huge fan of small brushes - because with a smaller brush, I am able to cater to the finer details of the makeup look. Whether it's a tiny angle, soft point or small smudge brush, each of these allows me to get close to the lash line and soften color to create a natural smoky effect around the eyes. TheSephora Pro Collection are my go-to brushes.