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Makeup Blog

Best Makeup Brushes

  • 4 min read


There are so many makeup brushes out there that finding the right one can be very overwhelming. However, choosing the right brush is like finding a soulmate; you didn’t know what you were missing until they came into your life and now you cannot imagine life without them. But with so many different brushes available, how’s a person to know which one to take a chance on? Today I am going to talk about some of my favorite makeup brushes and we’ll go over some of the tips and tricks that will hopefully empower you to find and fall in love with your own favorite brushes.

Before we begin any brush exploration, here is a rule of thumb: synthetic hair brushes are meant to be used in the application of liquids and creams, while natural hair brushes are meant for powders. Also, let me preface by saying that while many of the brushes I am talking about today are made from natural animal hair, no animals have been harmed or killed in the making of these brushes.

First up is the Deluxe Shader: this brush is fantastic. It’s a long, flat brush made of pony and ox hair, and is a pretty dense brush, yet still soft. It is fantastic for applying eyeshadow to large areas of the eye. I use this brush daily to apply a base color to my entire eyelid and brow bone, followed by a medium color applied directly on my eyelid. When picking a brush to use in this manner, you want to make sure it is dense enough to apply a good amount of product but soft enough so that the color is not too intense.

My second favorite is the Crease Brush. This brush is long and soft with a tapered end, and is made of goat hair. I love this brush for getting into the crease between my eyelid and brow bone. It seems to magically deposit the perfect amount of shadow, not too dark and not too light. I also LOVE this brush for blending. If you are looking for clean airbrushed eyes, this is the kind of brush you want! Be sure to stay with something that is soft: brushes that are too dense will deposit too much color. 

If you like your crease color to be deeper or more pronounced, the denser Eye Contour Brush is also perfect for getting into that area between the lid and brow bone. This brush is also fantastic for highlighting the brow bone and inner eye with PurePressed Eye Shadow colors like Bone and Oyster. I use it for this purpose daily!

The Eye Shader Brush is a smaller version of the Deluxe Shader. It is short and dense but soft and made of pony hair. This brush is great for smaller eyelids or depositing accent colors. I use this brush on the outer edge of my eyelid to deposit a “pop” of color, like purple or teal, when I want to brighten up a neutral shadow pallet. The size and shape of this brush make it a multi-purpose brush and a must-have in every beauty bag.

Last but not least for eyes is the Eye Liner/Brow Brush. This brush is made of a short, blunt, flat edge that is very firm. The bristles are synthetic which means it is perfect to use wet. You can use this brush to apply powder to your lash line or brows. The opposite end has a sponge tip that is perfect for smudging. My favorite way to use this brush is when I want to get creative with my eyeliner. I spritz the bristles with Hydration Spray and gently press it into my chosen eye shadow color. I then gently press the brush into my lash line, spritz and pick up more shadow as needed. The “liner” will last all day and goes on flawlessly!

Another brush that can be used for this same technique is the Angle Definer Brush, which is the same kind of brush at an angle rather than cut straight across. Or you can even use the Detail Brush, which is also great for lip liner and smudging as well! Both of these brushes contain synthetic fibers so they are perfect for wet applications.

Now that you’ve got the basics down for the best possible eyeshadow application, we had a few of our resident beauty experts spill their favorite brush hacks for face makeup. Check out their tips below.

"To evenly apply a cream concealer, I love using a flat dense brush with medium to short bristles, like a Foundation Brush. Then, I lightly blend the product in with a slightly damp sponge for uniform coverage and a smooth finish.”

–Emily Hache, @emilyhachebeauty

“A long-bristled, flat top brush like The Handi Brush is best for pressed powder mineral foundations like PurePressed. Tap off excess and gently sweep in straight lines down the face, building as needed. Avoid buffing minerals into the skin, which can actually cause the finish to look muddy!”

–Jamie Greenberg, @jamiemakeup

“My favorite brush to use with Liquid Minerals is the Kabuki Brush – It blends effortlessly. Once I have the desired coverage, I wipe off any excess foundation left on the brush and use it to the skin, using circular motions to create a flawless finish.”

–Paige Padgett, @paigepadget

"For a natural rosy glow that appears to come from within, I like to use InTouch Cream Blush. Using a Dome Brush, swipe the end of the brush back and forth over the cream product. Apply in circular motions over the apples of your cheeks. The bristles of a Dome Brush are perfect for creating a diffused look, doing all the blending work for you."

–Katie Mellinger, @ktmell

“For an effortless contour, less is more. Always start by applying a small amount of your darker shade with an angled brush, like the Blending/Contouring Brush, and blend well. Then, use a Fan Brush to diffuse your highlight shade for soft, glowy cheeks.”

–Azra Red, @azraredmakeup

best makeup brushes

Share Your Tips!

Tell us about your favorite brushes and share your best brush hacks below.

Chelsea Simmons

Chelsea Simmons

Chelsea began her beauty journey in 2010 as a fashion and beauty freelancer at Ladies’ Home Journal magazine. There she had the chance to test and review hundreds of products while quickly falling for the benefits the clean makeup she tried. After leaving the magazine industry, she worked as a publicist for international fragrance and beauty brands until 2016 when she landed at jane iredale. Here, she has discovered liquid eyeliner doesn’t have to burn her eyes, foundation doesn’t have to feel heavy, and that the jane iredale Global Educators truly have the best beauty hacks. Since then, she’s shared her 10+ years of experience with you on The Good Glow Blog.