I know that for many of you, you can probably think of about 1000 things you would rather spend your money on than nice makeup brushes. After all, they can be expensive, and why not just use the brushes that come in your compact, right? WRONG!! I'm not saying that you have to have like 30 brushes in your collection (but please don't judge those that do :) but there are a few essentials that every girl should have in her makeup bag (or in their cute brush jar on their bathroom counter)
#1 - a blush brush. Those little plastic brushes that come in some grocery store brand blushes, should be burned. They are WAY too small, and end up leaving a streak of blush, instead of properly distributing it. My blush brush is from Stila, and I've had it for years, the only place I think you can find it is online. But the blush brush I love, and want to buy in the near future is Bobbi Brown.
#2 - an all-over eyeshadow brush. This is an eyeshadow brush that was my first brush to buy. I know so many girls who have this brush as their staple eyeshadow brush. It's from Stila, is best used when applying eyeshadow all over the eyelid. Since many girls only use one shade of eyeshadow, or at least have a shade that they apply all over, this brush can be used and appreciated by all.
#3 - a tapered blending brush. this one I get from MAC. I use this for the crease of my eyes, and pretty much use it every day. It is wonderful, and for anyone who uses more than one eyeshadow at a time, will benefit from this brush.
There are SO many more brushes that I have, use, and love, but if you are starting out, or only need the basics, then I would start with these.
Also, in general, I think MAC has the best selection of brushes, and if you can think of a brush you need, they would more than likely have it.
Brushes are an investment, and should be treated as such. You should clean your brushes regularly, especially ones that are used with creamy products (like my eyeliner brush) A cheap way to wash your brushes is with baby shampoo, and just lay them out to dry over night.