Best Make-up Brushes Reviews 2018

Makeup brushes are great tools for applying your makeup products and can totally transform your look with the stroke of a brush! Contouring has become increasingly popular in recent years, with demands for high-quality makeup brushes going through the roof; we can all thank Kim Kardashian for that one! To help you choose the ideal makeup brushes for your makeup routine, we’ve selected the best makeup brush brands on the market today and a product to feature from each to give you a better idea of what you can find from different brands.
Size of Set
Makeup Uses
Our Top Choice
Real Techniques Core Collection Brushes
Real Techniques’ experience in the makeup artist industry means it knows what it’s doing when it comes to creating fantastic beauty products.
Soft taklon bristles. Set of 4 brushes. Detailed look.
Case that comes with the brushes is relatively flimsy.
Taklon Bristles
Pack of 4 Brushes
Suitable for all makeup
Case can be used as stand
Best Value
E.l.f. Cosmetics Luxe Brush Collection Kit
E.l.f is a brand that thoroughly enjoys making women look and feel incredible with its extensive line of professional-style products.
Set of 11 brushes. Professional style set. Able to create a variety of looks.
The bristles or handles may not be sturdy.
Pack of 5 Brushes
Wet and Dry Makeup
Contains a Kabuki face brush
USpicy Soft Professional Makeup Brush Set
USpicy likes to do things a little differently and creates products that really go the distance, from manufacture to shipping.
Unique design. Bendable handles. Can hold a variety of makeup styles. 10-piece set.
More expensive compared to other brands.
Premium Synthetic Fiber
Pack of 10 Brushes
Suitable for all makeup
Bendable handles
Shany Vanity Vox Brush Set
SHANY prides itself in its stunning products that work brilliantly and won’t cost you the earth, and are even cruelty-free!
Vegan-friendly. Comes with faux leather vanity box. Set of 15 brushes.
Gift box is large and not ideal for travel.
Synthetic Materials
Pack of 15 Brushes
Oil or mineral-based makeup
100% vegan-friendly
EmaxDesign Bamboo Makeup Brush Set
EmaxDesign offers beautiful, affordable products that work wonderfully and look great, too.
Homemade, bamboo design. Set of 12 brushes. Comes with handy drawstring travel bag.
Not as high-quality as more expensive brands.
Premium Synthetic Fiber and Bamboo
Pack of 12 Brushes
Suitable for all makeup
Brushes won’t shed

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Make-up Brushes?

These days, makeup brushes are available in a huge variety of designs, varying in materials, sizes, shapes, and the type of makeup they’re suitable for. What many people don’t realize, is that the brushes they use to apply their makeup are just as important as the makeup itself.

Brushes should be selected based on a person’s individual makeup preferences and the look they’re trying to achieve. Whereas some individuals may be perfectly fine with an already-arranged set of brushes, others may prefer to select individual brushes to ensure their makeup brush kit includes everything they’ll need to create their own unique look.

The makeup brush set you choose will usually depend on your experience level in the makeup world and the type of makeup that’s important to you. Larger, more professional sets will be more catered towards makeup artists and professionals, whereas those looking for a cheaper set may prefer to select a smaller set catered to either eye makeup or concealer.

It’s important that you choose a brush set that’s comfortable to use, as well, as this will make it easier to create precise, defined looks. If you have smaller hands, for example, a brush set with smaller handles may be better suited to your needs as it will allow you to have greater control of the brushes.

Understanding the differences between makeup brushes is also crucial to ensure you choose the best makeup brush set for you:
  • Blush/Contour Brush - These brushes are usually made of natural hair and are ideal for applying blusher or contouring liquid foundations and concealers. They usually come in a rounded dome or oval shape, making them perfect for applying makeup on your cheekbones. Many blusher brushes also have an angled edge, allowing you to blend your makeup, too.
  • Powder Brush - Powder brushes are normally made from natural or synthetic hair and are designed for applying powdered foundation and blusher. These brushes are normally medium in size and have a rounded shape.
  • Foundation Brush - Foundation brushes are usually made from natural or synthetic hair to create a natural look when applying foundation. The brushes are small in size and have contoured bristles for accurate application, particularly around the eye and nose area.
  • Highlighter Brush - Highlighter brushes are one of the more fun brushes available in makeup brush kits, as they’re used to add shimmer and glitter to the cheekbone area. These brushes usually have a flat top and a circular design, allowing for a variety of highlighting options.
  • Concealer Brush - Normally made using synthetic materials, concealer brushes are ideal for covering those ‘time-of-the-month’ blemishes and eye bags caused by too little sleep. These brushes are usually small in design and contain stiff bristles for accurate precision.
  • Eyeshadow Brush - Eyeshadow brushes can be made of both natural and synthetic hair, and are usually small in size with flat, soft bristles. This ensures your eyeshadow is applied evenly and covers eye creases accurately.
  • Eyeliner/Pencil Brush Eyeliner brushes are usually made from synthetic hair and are specifically designed to pick up less eyeshadow to prevent smudging and smearing. These brushes are small in size with pointed, firm bristles to cover your lash-line accurately.
  • Brow Brush - These brushes look very similar to mascara brushes, and are specifically designed for brushing through the brows after applying powder or a brow pencil. These brushes tend to be made from synthetic materials and are stiff and flat in design.
  • Lash Brush - Lash brushes are specifically designed to remove clumps of mascara from your lashes after application. They can come in either metal or plastic designs and are available in a range of prices. The teeth of lash combs also vary to create different lash effects.
  • Kabuki Brush - Kabuki brushes or ‘Stippling brushes’ are made from both natural and synthetic hair. Their design is very similar to that of a powder brush but contain shorter, thicker bristles for a more intense coverage. Use these brushes for contouring and adding color to your cheekbones.
  • Lip Brush - Most lip brushes are made using synthetic hair to prevent the brush from picking up an excessive amount of lipstick or gloss. This allows for a more accurate application for both thin and thicker lipstick brands. These brushes are normally short in design with short, thick bristles to create fine lines around the edge of your mouth.
As you can see, there are lots of brushes to choose from and the brushes themselves come in lots of shapes and styles. Most makeup brushes are made from either synthetic or natural animal hair. Synthetic brushes tend to be made from nylon and acrylic materials, whilst natural hair tends to come from ponies, squirrels, and goats.

The benefit of using natural hair is that it has a cuticle which holds onto the makeup product effectively. Natural hair is also a lot softer, making it perfect for applying powders. Synthetic hair is useful when you’re looking to hold less makeup material on your brush. It creates a more accurate, precise look that’s perfect for creams and liquid makeup such as foundations.

The shape of makeup brushes can also vary from short and thick, to circular and loose. The shape of brush you choose will depend entirely on the makeup you’re applying and how you wish to apply it.
The cost of your new makeup brushes will depend on a variety of factors. You may think that the more brushes you receive in a set, the higher the cost; however, this isn’t always the case. Some brushes may be more expensive, but be smaller in set size simply because they’re made from higher-quality materials. You can expect to pay anywhere between $20 and $40 for a high-quality makeup brush set, which tend to be made from premium synthetic and natural hairs.

More expensive makeup brush sets also tend to have sturdier brush handles made from durable plastics and natural materials such as bamboo. Pricier sets also tend to include more features to make application easier, such as bendable handles, non-shedding bristles, and a vegan-friendly design. These sets also tend to be suitable for a range of both wet and dry makeup.

If you aren’t after a professional set, then slightly cheaper makeup sets are available ($13 – $18). Although these sets may not be as professional, they’re still just as good for everyday makeup and creating innovative and stylish looks. These sets tend to include more brushes (between 10 and 15) and therefore allow the user to try out a more diverse range of looks. There are cheaper makeup brush brands on the market ($10 or less), but be aware that these products may not last as long or be as soft on your skin as slightly more expensive makeup brush sets.
The features you want included in your new makeup brush set will depend entirely on your own personal preferences, makeup style, and level of professionalism and skills. To help you choose the best makeup brush set for you, however, we’ve created a small list of features to look out for to ensure you select the best possible product for your makeup needs.

Here are some features to look out for:
  • Suitable for both wet and dry makeup
  • Soft bristles and brushes
  • Non-shedding
  • Variety of brushes
  • Sturdy brush handles
Construction and Design
When scouring the web for the perfect makeup brush set, we recommend selecting a product that’s suitable for both wet and dry makeup. These days, these types of products are much more common—but you’ll still need to look out for a set that advertises this specifically. This will make it much easier when applying your makeup and will prevent you from damaging the brushes, too.

Having a makeup brush set that uses soft brush materials is also an important factor when selecting a high-quality brush set. Cheaper models can be scratchy on the skin, causing irritation and stopping you from applying makeup effectively. Look out for products that use natural hairs or taklon bristles, as these will be much kinder to your skin. They’ll also be more delicate on your makeup set, meaning it will last much longer.

Another important feature to look for when it comes to your new makeup brushes, is a ‘non-shedding’ quality. Cheaper models of brushes can often lose hairs, causing them to fall in your makeup or on your face. This can damage your makeup as well as your perfectly contoured cheekbones, which you just spent 20 minutes perfecting.

We also recommend looking out for makeup brush sets that include a variety of brush styles. This will allow you to be more adventurous with your application, and more professional too. It will encourage you to apply your makeup properly, using the right tools for a look that couldn’t be achieved otherwise.

Finally, to ensure you choose the best makeup brush set for you, we suggest choosing a product that has sturdy brush handles made of a wood or durable plastic material. This will make it much easier to use the products and offer more precision and accuracy when applying more complicated makeup, such as eyeshadow and lipstick.
Performance and Ease of Use
Makeup brushes are specifically designed to last for years, which is why they’re more of an investment than a flippant purchase and why it’s important to select a set that’s just right for you. To ensure your brushes maintain their quality, we recommend washing them after each use with delicate soaps such as baby soap or a makeup brush cleaner.

This will keep the brushes intact and prevent the spread of bacteria to your face, which can cause blemishes and breakouts. Once you’ve finished washing your brushes, simply leave them out to dry naturally with the brush heads tilted downwards, ensuring all the moisture is removed. This will also prevent the brushes’ glue from loosening and causing the brushes to fall out.

If you’re looking for a particularly high-end brush set, then we recommend choosing a set that includes a case. This will keep your brushes intact and clean, and prevent breakouts and blemishes. It also makes it much easier to travel with the brushes, and keep them in one handy place so you don’t lose them!

What is the Best Make-up Brushes?

When it comes to choosing which makeup brush kit is the right one for you, it can often get a little confusing due to the sheer number of products available on the market today. Fingers crossed, however, after reading through our handy buying guide, you’ve figured out what type of makeup brushes are most suitable to your needs as well as all the features you would like it to have. This will make it a lot easier when it comes to narrowing down your options and selecting the ideal makeup brushes for you and your next night out! So, let’s get looking at our top 5 picks!
Our Top Choice
Real Techniques Core Collection Brushes are the perfect tools to use to create flawless looks with minimal effort. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a great eyeshadow and eyebrow brush set, take a look at the Real Techniques Starter Set.
Real Techniques Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman Core Collection Brush Set – Available in Different Sized Sets

Real Techniques Make-up Brushes RLT-1403 – Pack of 1

Real Techniques was created in 2011 with the realization that most women simply didn’t know what they were doing when it came to applying their makeup. Real Techniques paired top-quality brushes with its experience in the makeup artist industry. This has enabled women everywhere to transform their makeup routines as well as themselves, and create looks they never thought possible before!

We wanted to feature Real Techniques Core Collection Brushes due to the brand’s overall popularity and its impressive reviews online. These brushes give high-definition results that will look perfect in every light. They have ultra-smooth taklon bristles that feel great on your skin and provide complete coverage. This set includes one contour brush, one pointed foundation brush, one detailer brush, and one buffing brush, and even comes in a swanky panoramic case!
Best Value
E.l.f’s Luxe Make-Up-Brush Set has everything you need to create stunning, catwalk-inspired looks at home. Alternatively, if you want a larger and slightly more luxurious set, take a look at the Studio 11 Piece Brush Collection instead.
E.l.f. Cosmetics Luxe Brush Makeup Collection – 5 Brushes Per Set

E.l.f. Cosmetics Make-up Brushes 0.40 Ounce

E.l.f is a makeup beauty brand that believes everyone has the potential to be beautiful, from the inside out. Its makeup and beauty lines focus on emphasizing women’s natural beauty with a wide variety of colors and styles. E.l.f also believes that beauty products shouldn’t cost the earth, and makes sure that its collections are available to anyone and everyone!

We wanted to feature E.l.f’s Luxe Brush Collection Kit due to its unique and extensive brush design. The set includes 1 Kabuki face brush, 1 total face brush, 1 foundation brush, 1 blushing and bronzing brush, 1 fan brush, 1 powder brush, 1 concealer brush, 1 eyeshadow brush, 1 lip defining brush, 1 eye liner brush, and one brow comb and brush! You really do get a lot of bang for your buck!
If you’re in need of a larger brush set, why not look at the USpicy Makeup Brushes 32 Pieces Cosmetics Make Up Brush Set, which has a more traditional style rather than the soft oval type.
USpicy Makeup Brushes Professional 10 Piece Oval Makeup Brush Set with Soft Toothbrush Shaped Design

USpicy Make-up Brushes Oval Soft – 10 Piece

USpicy is a brand that’s all about creating high-quality products that won’t break the bank. It’s an extensive line of product collections and offers everything you can possibly imagine in the beauty-ware market. If you’re after a brand that delivers top-quality products at a fraction of the cost of other big-name brands, then USpicy is for you!

We wanted to feature USpicy’s Professional Oval 10 Piece Brush Set due to its unique design and the fact that it’s a number-1 bestseller on Amazon! These brushes’ top-class bristles are toothbrush-inspired and made with soft synthetic fiber hairs for a totally different makeup experience.

Their 90-degree bendable handles are easier to hold compared to other brushes, and provide greater stability and application. This product also comes in a premium-looking gift box to keep your brushes safe and sound! USpicy’s brushes also hold onto foundation, concealers, creams, and powders easily, meaning you can apply a variety of makeup products just the way you like!
We loved SHANY’s 15 Piece Make-Up Brush Set due to their soft, sturdy design and the fact that they come in a pretty swanky vanity box! Alternatively, if you would like a premium-looking brush set with bamboo handles, look no further than the 7 Piece Petite Pro Bamboo Brush Set with Carrying Case.
Shany Vanity Vox 15 Piece Premium Cosmetics Brush Set with Stylish Storage Box and Stand in Red

Shany Make-up Brushes Vanity Vox – 15 Pieces

SHANY is a brand that was created by a young woman who believed make-up products shouldn’t cost the earth and should be available to everyone. By using only the best ingredients from across the world, SHANY was created in 2006 with this exact goal in mind. SHANY is now one of the leading brands in the beauty market and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down!

We wanted to feature SHANY’s Premium Cosmetic Brush Set due to the product’s great reviews and the sheer size of the set! This kit of brushes is stylishly designed with a sturdy red handle for precise makeup artistry with a high-quality Ombre head. This 15-piece set has a brow brush, multiple eye brushes, and several face brushes made from synthetic materials that are all 100% vegan-friendly. These long-lasting brushes are perfect to use with oil-based powders or mineral-based products, and all come in a stylish red faux leather case!
The homemade bamboo style of EmaxDesign’s makeup brushes really sets them apart from the rest, as well as the fact that they’re so reasonably priced! However, if you’re not keen on the bamboo handle-styled brushes, try EmaxDesign’s 20 Pieces Professional Makeup Brush Set instead.
EmaxDesign 12 Pieces Makeup Brush Set Professional Bamboo Handle Premium Synthetic Brushes Kit with Bag

EmaxDesign Make-up Brushes MB122B

EmaxDesign was founded in 2010, creating stunning beauty electronics, makeup tools, and other high-tech equipment all at an affordable price. With over 10 years’ experience in the makeup industry, EmaxDesign creates top-quality products that its customers around the world simply adore.

We wanted to feature EmaxDesign’s Bamboo Make-Up Brush Set due to the product’s great reviews online, not to mention that they’re at such an incredible price! This homemade brush set is made from premium synthetic fiber materials that look and feel great on your skin. They’re specifically designed not to shed and can be used on a variety of liquid, powder, and cream makeup products. This kit includes one eyeshadow brush, foundation brush, powder brush, and eyelash brush that can be used daily—oh, and eight others for good measure!

Get the Best Make-up Brushes of 2018!

Hopefully by now you have a better understanding about what types of brushes are on the market today from different brands. If you aren’t a fan of the products we’ve featured, then don’t give up! All the brands we’ve chosen have a wide variety of products to choose from, so simply browse through their other collections to find your perfect brush kit! All that’s left to do now is select your favorite and plan your next night out! You lucky thing you!

Our Top Choice
Real Techniques Core Collection Brushes
Best Value
E.l.f. Cosmetics Luxe Brush Collection Kit
USpicy Soft Professional Makeup Brush Set
Shany Vanity Vox Brush Set
EmaxDesign Bamboo Makeup Brush Set