Until recently, my makeup brush game was weak – real weak. I had a set of tired, 10-yr-old Aveda brushes that needed to be put out of their misery. On top of that, I barely new how to use them. Out of the set of six, I only used the blush, eyeshadow, and eyebrow brushes. When refinishing an endtable for my living room and realizing that my paint brush was too big to properly apply paint to the table’s nooks and crannies, I reached for the never-used concealer brush from that Aveda set. What can I say other than it worked perfectly.
One day, the poor Aveda blush brush quit. It gave up. It died a merciless death in my bathroom sink…hundreds of its hairs coming loose as I washed it. I’m pretty sure I heard its last gasps of life has the hairs surrendered hope and separated from their silver casing. Sigh.
Blogging and working with various makeup artists has really educated me on how to build the best makeup brush collection…buying only those tools that I will really need. Most brushes are a real investment, so it pays to get educated on brush types and how to use them. A huge thank you to the kind MUAs at MAC Cosmetics for always taking the time to show me how to stock my “brush arsenal” and steering me away from brushes that look awesome, but realistically, will sit unused.
So, without further ado, here are my makeup brush all-stars that get the most use in my now ever-growing collection:
This bad boy is not cheap at $94 CAD, but I felt it was a worthwhile investment. With bristles so soft, they rival bunny fur, it deposits bronzer effortlessly to achieve a very natural finish. I use this use mostly for applying pressed or loose powder. It applies pressed powder like a dream, without making your face too cakey or sucking up too much product. Well done, Marc Jacobs. Well done. *slow clap*
My search for the perfect eyeshadow blending brush ended when I discovered the MAC #217 brush while binge-watching Tanya Burr’s YouTube videos. Its somewhat fluffy bristles distribute an even amount of powder or cream eye colour to your lids, and blending is a dream. This brush makes most eyeshadow applications look like it was done professionally. A real must-have in anyone’s collection, so much so that I bought two.
I love this particular brush for patting on vibrant and bold eye colours. This brush’s dense yet soft bristles allow you to deposit a lot of colour for a super dramatic effect, without digging into your pot of eyeshadow. It is also not bad at blending out colour.
I love eyebrow brushes that look like mascara wands! I feel they grab the eyebrow hairs better than traditional brushes which allow for better control, especially if you are like me and have your father’s unibrow.Real Techniques Lash-Brow Groomer While I do not really use the eyebrow brush on this tool preferring the Chanel eyebrow brush mentioned above, the eyelash comb is superb. Made with metal teeth, it works wonders on your eyelashes after applying mascara. It gently removes any clumps leaving you with a perfect, natural flutter of lashes. Great for combing out those clumps to avoid the dreaded “Tammy Faye Bakker” special. Charlotte Tilbury Powder Sculpt Brush
A makeup artist used this brush on me to contour my non-existent cheekbones. It worked like a dream. She let me try it and its pointed, fluffy bristles made contouring easy and not the scary process as outlined in most of Huda Beauty’s countless instagram contouring videos. Just ordered one online from Holt Renfrew and anxiously awaiting its arrival. I don’t contour too often, but when I do, I’ll be glad to have this brush.Nars Albatross highlighter. I watched a few makeup tutorials on how to highlight properly and I am SO HAPPY I had this brush! Applying highlighter with this tool turns you from a pale, sullen-looking winter-sufferer, to a glowy, healthy-looking babe. This brush is especially good for applying highlighters that are glittery because it will evenly apply the product without making you look like one of those sparkly vampires from Twilight. Nars Smudge Brush #45
I bought this brush when I started obsessing over smoky eyes – about the same time Kim Kardashian invaded our lives. Its short, well-packed bristles blend eyeshadow like a dream on your lower lashes. It perfectly smudges your eyeshadow giving you a soft, sultry smoky eye. Possibly one of my favorite makeup tools of all-time.
I bought this little lip brush to dig remnants out of my used lipstick containers. Who knew it would be such a great little brush? Nothing too fancy, but wide enough for my full lips and soft enough to not pull delicate lip skin.
I use this brush for applying liquid concealers. Its soft and fluffy, and applies liquid concealer beautifully. Blending out the concealer is really easy with this tool and best of all, it does not suck up a ton of product.
I ordered this from the Sephora website for the sole reason of needing to add one more thing to my cart in order to qualify for free shipping (that’s how they get ya). OH EMM GEE. First of all, let’s talk about how much fun it is to see it expand after dunking it in water! LOL! Its like those little dinosaurs I used to get as a kid that would grow 100x if you got it wet! Secondly, it perfectly applies and blends your foundation and concealer by allowing you to dab on product and blend softly using either the rounded or pointed tip. Thirdly, you can use it to apply loose powder for that finished look. Thirdly, it’s black, so my dark concealers and foundations don’t make it look like a disaster like the used pink Beauty Blenders. Fourthly, unlike those old school makeup sponges, it’s washable, reusable and does not suck up an entire bottle of foundation in one use. Can’t say enough good things about the Beauty Blender.
Soft. Fluffy. Inexpensive. Excellent application. Easy to clean. Gives a natural, soft, airbrushed finish. Need I say more?
What are your favourite makeup brushes? Please share! I love discovering new tools!