Your Top 10 Makeup Brush Essentials “Cheat Sheet”By Chantelle Kadala
When it comes to makeup brushes, the hundreds of choices can be overwhelming. You want to look your best and that means using the right tools. But with so many options, at such varying price points, it’s almost impossible to feel like you are making the best decision when it comes which makeup brush to buy.
A professional makeup artist could have 20 or more distinct types of makeup brushes in her magic tool kit. Each performing a specific function according to its design and brush composition. Most of us just need about 10 essential makeup brushes to conceal, set the foundation and place the products where we want them.
Obviously, without the right makeup brushes you just don’t have the right tools to get the best out of your makeup. Seeking professional-looking results in my at-home makeup regiment, I’ve tried so many brushes I’ve lost count but my favorites work like a magic and I’ve found a lot of other women who love them too!
So which are the best?
Check out this makeup brush “essentials” cheat sheet before you buy to get the best brush at the right price.
1. LARGE POWDER BRUSH
THE BEST: Sigma Large Powder – F30 by Sigma Beauty. This large rounded brush is super soft and great for even powder application all over your face and body. $24
Runner Up: Real Techniques Powderbrush by Real Techniques $10
2. FOUNDATION BRUSH
THE BEST: Shiseido Runway Perfect Foundation Brush. This beauty beat out a really outstanding runner up on one asset and it is that this brush gives a gorgeous airbrush finish with liquid, cream OR powder foundation. $35
Runner Up: Giorgio Armani Blender Brush $49
3. CONCEALER BRUSH
THE BEST: Cover FX Concealer Brush. A great size for blemish coverage and under eye work, this dome shaped brush does lovely work with concealers and foundation. It also has a chip resistant handle and is PETA approved. $20
Runner Up: BareMinerals Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush $20
4. BLUSH BRUSH
THE BEST: Makeup Geek Blush Brush. Slanted and with the right softness to pick up the amount of color you should use on your cheeks, Makeup Geek has a wonderful product with this blush brush. $9
Runner Up: It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Brush (softest brush ever) $48
5. EYE SHADOW BRUSH
THE BEST: M.A.C. 239 Eye Shader Brush. MAC is famous for their high performing make up and makeup tools and the dense fibers of this eye shadow brush allow you to pack on a ton of color, both powder and cream, which makes it perfect for getting exactly the look you want. $25
Runner Up: Bobbi Brown Cream Shadow Brush $30
6. BRONZER BRUSH
THE BEST: EcoTools Domed Bronzer Brush. This brush is incredibly soft with a plush, round head and hand-cut bristles to create a natural-looking glow with your bronzer. It feels heavenly and works great. $8
Runner Up: Beautique Kabuki Brush. $10
7. EYE LINER BRUSH
THE BEST: Sonia Kashuk Angled Liner Brush. The genius who thought to bend the tip of the liner brush so you could see what you were doing deserves tons of love. This brush is great for applying liquid and gel liners to create the perfect cat eyes and flips. Plus, you can’t beat the price. $6
Runner Up: M.A.C. 209 Eyeliner Brush. $20
8. MASCARA BRUSH/COMB COMBO
THE BEST: Revlon Double Ended Brow Brush. You’ll love it because it’s an all-in-one tool with a brush/comb combo on one end and a mascara brush on the other so you can tame eyebrows, separate clumpy lashes and get any lash or eyebrow hair related situations under control. $6
Runner Up: Maybeline Expert Eyes Brush ‘N Comb. $6
9. ANGLED EYE BROW BRUSH
THE BEST: Anastasia Beverly Hills Mini Duo #7. With an angled sable brush on one end and mascara brush on the other this small, but expertly designed tool fills in, shapes, and blends. The compact, two-in-one design makes it great for throwing in your purse for touchups. $18
Runner Up: Smashbox Angle Brow Brush. $14.99
10. LIP BRUSH
THE BEST: Laura Mercier Pull-Apart Lip Colour Brush. They really got this one right. Here is a sable brush with a pointed tip great for precise and luxurious application. But the best thing is the pull apart to open design that allows you to put the cap on the end to elongate the brush handle and then replace the cap to cover the sticky bristles after you use it. $24
Runner Up: Sephora Collection Retractable Lip Brush #60. $10
BONUS: Top Three Brush Sets – Great as gifts for yourself or as starter kits for beginners.
Coastal Scents 22 Piece Brush Set – This kit has everything you need and more. $35
Sigma Essential Kit – You’ll feel like a professional with this 12 brush kit. $139
Shany Cosmetics Professional 12-Piece Natural Goat and Badger Cosmetic Brush Set with Pouch. $12.95
As a buying note, just a few of these brushes are exclusive to their stores like M.A.C. and Sephora brands. While most of these brushes can be bought direct from the company in-store and online, many of them are also available on sites like Amazon, eBay and Target where you could reap big savings by comparison shopping, using your memberships, rewards and discounts, or combining with other purchases for free shipping.