Beauty: Makeup Brushes - How Many Do We Really Need?

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I absolutely love watching makeup tutorials on YouTube but the one thing I'm always amazed by is just how many brushes are used in the process of achieving a look. Most of the videos I watch are filmed by professional makeup artists, so it makes sense that they have a broad range to ensure that they can achieve the finish they want. But for the rest of us, I wonder just how useful a few hundred pounds worth of MAC brushes really are?

If you're anything like me, your morning makeup application is probably time-limited (there's somewhere else to be) and possibly happens on the train, in between traffic lights or somewhere else that requires a reasonably compact, portable makeup bag. The idea of carting around a range of brushes for every contour of my face doesn't seem especially practical. 

I probably own about 20 makeup brushes, yet I only use four with any regularity. Perhaps more tellingly, three out of the four cost less than £5, and I don't think my makeup looks any better or worse for it. The other 16 sit in a little pot, tucked away in a cupboard, probably never to be used again. Sure, I could pick a MAC 217 out of a line up, but my E.L.F blending brush doesn't do too bad a job and for the fraction of the price. As for the crease colour brushes I own (yes, I have two: both exactly the same), well, let's just say I can think of better uses for the money!

My makeup bag big four are:
How do you feel about makeup brushes? If you have a vast collection, do you use them all? Do you see a difference between expensive and cheaper brushes? And hands up who's bought a brush because they saw it in a tutorial and never really used it? *raises both hands*!

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