If assembling a makeup repertoire wasn’t confusing enough, there’s the wide world of makeup brushes to deal with. Brushes aren’t something like a primer, or a setting spray, where you can convince yourself that it’s an indulgence. They’re an essential tool to helping you get your makeup looking the best it can be. Though we all wish a sponge could fulfil all our needs, a Beauty Blender just can’t quite nail eyeshadow.

Makeup brushes aren’t easy to shop for, though. The various sizes, shapes and functions will incite some serious FOMO* as you trawl online shops, perhaps leading to either a total meltdown from confusion, or buying more than you need.

To help you through this challenge, here are 5 of the essential makeup brushes you really need to get started. If you don’t fancy these brands or price-points, just bear their general shape and bristle type in mind before scouting for a more budget-friendly dupe elsewhere.

*FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out