There has been plenty of posts on my blog so far about makeup products from blushes, to bronzers, to foundations, to eye shadows etc, but other than a random mention here or there, I haven’t yet shared with you all of my favourite makeup brushes. When using any makeup product, it’s sometimes easy to say it either works or it doesn’t, but we often tend to forget, that sometimes it could blend like a dream or apply beautifully if only we changed the brush…or application technique.
Makeup brushes are normally designed to be used for certain products, like a shadow blending brush, a blush brush, a bronzer brush, a contour and so on. I get it, and for the most part, I use them for what they’re meant to be used. Sometimes though I really could not care less if something is meant to be used for application of foundation, if it works for me to apply, say, a bronzer, then so be it.
My point is, don’t give up on a product until you try various application techniques including different brushes and don’t give up on a makeup brush until you use it with different products and see where it really works best for You. Sometimes a brush may be pretty useless for its intended purpose but work some serious magic when used for something else. Good makeup brush can make a massive difference and really contribute to a perfect, seamless and quick makeup application.
Does it mean it has to be expensive? Hell no!! In fact, some of the best makeup brushes I have used so far are from the cheaper end of spectrum and will not break your bank, whereas some pricier ones turned out to be a complete waste of money… That’s not a rule in general, and if you don’t mind investing, then treat yourself, but you certainly don’t have to. So, here are some of my favourite makeup brushes I’ve tried so far. Some I prefer to use for one specific purpose only, others have multiple uses.
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
I use it only for application of liquid foundations. I prefer the foundation brush to be a bit larger, as it works and blends faster and doesn’t leave any streaks. This one is not the largest, but it distributes foundation perfectly and it’s dense enough to work seamlessly with liquid and cream formulas. This, as well as all other RT brushes, washes really well and dries very quickly. Because it’s not too wide, it can also be used with cream bronzing products to apply in the hollows of the cheeks and blend well. The synthetic bristles mean it is less likely to shed and leave brush hair on the surface of cream product compared to natural bristles.
Tarte Airbrush finish foundation brush
If I don’t use the above for foundation, I use this one. It distributes the product with a few quick movements, as it is pretty large. The bristles are very soft but again, dense enough to be used for liquids and creams. If I have a 5 minute makeup situation (which by the way I hate having…but it happens) I always chose this brush, because it works Really fast and precise. This particular one with some cute, pink ‘knitting’ on a handle was a limited edition in one of the Tarte Christmas sets last year, but the brush is available as part of regular Tarte collection. This one also works well with powder/mineral foundations if you like these formulas.
Available Here at £22
Real Techniques Contour Brush
I find this one to be perfect for contouring with powder products and that’s mostly what I use it for on a daily basis. But I also have a second one and I use it to set my eye area with powder. It’s small enough and it’s not too thick or densely packed, so it doesn’t pick up too much product. I am really not into the ‘baking’ situation, at least not on my face, so too much product sitting there is not quite my idea of makeup application, but each to their own. The size of it is perfect for both the hollow of my cheek as well as my eye area. It has enough movement in the bristles so it works perfectly for both applications. I have also applied highlighter with it, and it works great with that too, so this little gem is really quite multifunctional.
Chanel Angled Powder/Contour brush No 2
If there is a splurge worth recommending within face brushes it would be this one from Chanel. I love this brush. It can be used for both bronzer and powder and it works great in both cases. I used it for powder and it’s perfectly fine, but I much prefer to use it for bronzer though. I don’t know how it works, but it tends to always pick up perfect amount of product every time, so no need to worry about overdoing it. It makes application so easy and quick. It’s made of very soft, natural bristles. Because of its angled shape, it fits perfectly around the cheekbones for quick, soft, effortless and natural looking bronzing. I’ve had it for over a year now and use on a daily basis, so although pricy, it holds up really well after so many washes. I use it with all of my powder bronzers and it works beautifully every time. I know some people use it as a blush brush as well, but for me, personally, it’s way too large for that. If you are a bronzer lover and don’t mind a bit of a splurge, seriously, give this one a go, you will not look back.
Available Here at £42
Chanel Blush Brush No 4
Still on the splurging end, this one is perfect for blush application. My initial thought was that it’s too flat for blush, I am used to rounder in shape and ‘fluffier’ blush brushes, but it actually really works great. There is something about its oval shape and dense bristles that makes the brush literally glide across the cheek bone area and apply blush colour perfectly. It places the product on the cheekbones in just the right way. It doesn’t end there. I used this one for contouring with my powders and it works amazing for that too. Just turn it on the flat side and it gives the perfect contour. Amazing!! Again, just like the other one, this is being used every single day and it it’s still in perfect condition. Chanel brushes are expensive, but ever since I got these two, I really can tell they are worth the price and are an absolute pleasure to use, so I guess the expense has been justified in a way.
Available Here at £33
Real Techniques Stippling Brush
I have gone through two of these so far, what you’re looking at is the new one. The old one looks very sad and…umm…somewhat twisted. This one is really multifunctional. It works fantastic with applying liquid/cream foundations. Using buffing motions it will distribute any cream base seamlessly. Ever since I started using some more cream products, this one became a Must Have. It’s currently the only brush I use for cream blushes and sometimes for cream bronzers too. It picks up just the right amount and blends really nicely either cream blush on the cheekbones or bronzer in the hollow of my cheeks and around my face. Also, as it’s synthetic, it doesn’t leave any hair on the surface of cream product, which is great. I used it for highlighter some time ago, and although it worked in principle, it highlighted a bit too much of my cheek are, since I have a relatively small face. If you prefer using cream products, then this brush will really serve you well.
Ecotools Retractable Kabuki Brush
This is an absolute must in any makeup bag. I honestly cannot imagine using any other brush for a quick makeup refresh during the day. First of all, it’s retractable, which means it’s kept clean and hygienic in my makeup bag and not likely to be covered by other products like lipstick, lipgloss or whatever else I decide to carry with me. It’s small enough to fit to most of the medium sized makeup bags and it won’t take too much space. If you, like me, always feel like topping up with a bit of powder during the day to get rid of this annoying shine, or perhaps the bronzer needs a bit of a top up, then this is definitely one brush that you need. It may not be necessarily this one, any retractable kabuki brush will do, but it’s all about convenience, practicality, portability and hygiene and this type of brush ticks all of the boxes.
Available Here at £12.99
By Terry Blush Brush Angles No 3
So I have one left, the most expensive one of all, and in my opinion, completely not worth the price. It’s meant to be used for application of blush, which is ok, not the best I’ve used, but fine. It blends the product ok. I do like the fact that its angle allows to chose either sheer application with the longer end, or more intense with the shorter end. It’s also good for bronzer, for more ‘detailed’ application, as it’s more than half a size of the Chanel angled brush. However, I don’t know if it’s just me, but it feels really scratchy on my face. It’s not the most pleasant to use, which it should be since it costs £51. It looks pretty with its gold, slim handle, but when it comes to makeup brushes, I don’t care too much about the handle looking posh. Also, it already comes apart, so it’s far from being durable and again, for that price, it bloody well should be. It’s a bonus if the brush looks nice, but this one isn’t really anything special, not much of a pleasure to use and way too overpriced.
Available Here at £51
So here it is. I know it’s a very long review, but I hope you take what you need out of it and perhaps find this perfect brush that you’re looking for. If not the exact same one, then I guess the shape may give you some idea of what they can be used for, in case you want to buy one from another brand that looks similar. In any case, I hope this was helpful. Stay tuned for the favourite eye brushes edition coming soon.