My Favourite Makeup Brushes!
Brushes brushes brushes.
When it comes to brushes, I’m a bit of a rebel, in the sense that I don’t always use them for what they’re designated for. What can I say? I don’t like to be told what to do.
In fact, that would probably be my biggest tip: if you purchase a brush that is designed to be used for one thing but you think it might work better for something else, go for it! Makeup is a trial and error deal. Figure out what works best for you!
These brushes work well for me. Contrary to popular belief, in the brush world, MAC is not the be and end all. As you’ll see, I only have one MAC brush, and most of (all?) my other brushes are a lot less expensive than their MAC equivalents. They work for me!
Anyhow, on with the show!
Real Techniques Powder Brush — This bad boy is massive, and I mean massive. It’s the best powder brush I’ve got because it’s fluffy and can cover like half my face at once. (Not really, but still. It’s good okay?)
Real Techniques Foundation Brush — I hate flat brushes like this for foundation. Hate hate hate. I think it makes it go on all streaky and weird. But I do like this little angled foundation brush for blending in creamy concealer! Its shape makes it fantastic for getting under my eyes and hiding those dark circles.
Urban Decay Optical Blurring Brush — When this came out, I was a bit skeptical… But then I hopped on the UD Optical Blurring Brush bandwagon and have used nothing but to apply my foundation. It’s a densely-packed round-top brush that is almost kabukian, but not quite. It blends foundations — Urban Decay or otherwise — in flawlessly.
Sigma Large Angled Contour – F40 — I don’t like this to contour because I tend to contour with a cream product. Angled contour brushes are best with powders. I do use this for blush, however. I find it’s the perfect size to dab blush on the apples of my cheeks for dat rosy glow.
Sigma Tapered Blending – E40 — I love love love this brush for blending out eyeshadows to avoid the dreaded harsh line. As a final eyeshadow application step, I dip this guy in MAC’s Cork, then use windshield-wiper motions to blend up to my brow.
Sigma Pencil – E30 — I have about three of these. Pencil brushes are so handy. I use mine for a sharply defined outer V, for lining the lower lashline with a dark eyeshadow, and fro highlighting the inner corner.
Sigma Blending – E25 — This one is touted by many as a dupe for MAC’s famous 217. I’ve never owned a 217, so I can’t comment on the validity of that claim. However, I do like this brush for applying and blending eyeshadow in the outer V and crease. I just find it’s a great size, and that it blends my shadow flawlessly. I can’t praise this brush enough!
MAC – 263 — My lonely MAC brush. I bought this one to do cat-eyes with gel liner, actually. And it works very well. It was pricey, and I probably won’t be buying any other MAC brushes anytime soon. However, this one is obviously lovely quality, and it’s super thin, so it gets good and close to the lashline. I like it.
Sephora Brow Filler/Brow Spooley — I actually think this brush might be discontinued. I picked it up from the sale section at Sephora for $3 or something insane like that. And it’s very good, especially for the price. I use it every day to fill my brows with my NYX eyeshadow in ‘Betrayal’. The angled brow filler end is of such a width and stiffness that it gives excellent control and precision. The spooley is super handy to have on the other end, just to make sure everything looks blended and natural. It’s a shame you can’t get this brush anymore because I love it!
ELF $1 Professional Eye Shadow Brush — I have seven of these, and I use them every day. Seven. They’re $1 each, friends, and seriously good. I love them for packing a base colour all over the lid. It’s densely packed and, for $1, really good quality. Occasionally you may get one that’s imperfect and has a few stray bristles that are longer than the others, but that doesn’t affect application and you can always trim it down if it really bugs you. I’d recommend purchasing one, and then if you like it, grabbing a few others when you can.
ELF Fan Brush — ELF does it again with this fan brush. This one was a bit pricier – $3 – because it’s from a more expensive, better quality range. I love this for gently setting undereye concealer with a powder. It sets concealer without disturbing all your hard work blending and getting everything covered. Plus it’s surprisingly soft for such an inexpensive brush!
(Brushes are described in the order they are pictured, from top to bottom.)
As an aside, for the little pot in the picture above, it’s a painted flowerpot that I got at Michael’s Craft Store for about $2. I got some filler beads from WalMart and poured them in there, then stuck my brushes in and tied a ribbon around it.
You can get Sigma brushes online, and I happen to know they have free shipping coming up soon for Black Friday. Real Techniques brushes are available at WalMart. Urban Decay and Sephora brushes can be found at online or at Sephora. ELF brushes are available online or at Target, and ELF usually have some sort of Black Friday deal going on too. MAC brushes are available at MAC counters and freestanding stores, as well as online.