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
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
- 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!
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!
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!