Ask a painter - and by painter I mean either a house painter or an artist - what is the most important element in creating a finished product you can truly be proud of and she will tell you...it’s all about the brushes. You’ve simply got to have the right tools if you want a perfect result. The same applies to makeup brushes.
But where does a regular girl begin when selecting a blush brush? Does one assume more expensive (one brush set by Claudio Riaz sells at over $1500 for 24 brushes at Barney’s) is better? Or will the Wet n Wild brand (nostalgia alert) set of ten brushes from Walgreens for $30 do the trick? Purchasing makeup brushes, with their varying types of hair - real or synthetic - not to mention so many shapes and sizes can seem daunting. But if makeup brushes are a critical part of every woman’s toolbox, then it pays to know which brushes are considered best by the experts and fellow users.
A direct advice from my makeup artist friend
Since I’m a dab a little lipstick on my cheeks with my finger type of gal, I sought out the experts to find out what brushes they use to make the faces of their clients look perfectly contoured and to blend makeup for maximum effect. In addition to the experts, I also spoke with my personal beauty expert, my friend Meghan. She has a degree in fashion and has worked for multiple well-known fashion and make-up brands. Most importantly, her makeup always looks 100% on point.
It turns out, Meghan is the ultimate makeup brush authority. She told me on an average day even if she’s not heading to a ball at a palace or even out to dinner, she’ll use a minimum of ten brushes to apply her makeup. Wow!
Meghan says her brush collection comprises many different brands accumulated over a number of years through trial and error. She also told me that her brush collection includes both real hair brushes and synthetic as there is a time and a place for both. Meghan loves animals so when she tells me that animal hair brushes can also be cruelty-free, I believe her because I know she’s done her homework. Another tip is that you can mix and match your brushes. So for example, Meghan likes to use an angled eyebrow brush to apply her red lipstick because it provides the precision that a too flimsy lipstick brush just can’t.
According to Meghan, the most important purpose of a blush is blending. We have all seen people whose makeup is not blended properly and we know, even if we are a novice to the makeup game, that it is a not look that we want. Brushes are essential to proper blending. When applying your makeup, you should blend, blend, and then blend some more. Brushes are perfect blending tools.
Complement blushes with right blush brush for that maximum effect
Meghan likes to use her animal hair brushes when applying powders and synthetic brushes for putting on creams and liquids. Animal hair brushes have a lot of texture which allows for a smoother application. For those who would rather use synthetic brushes, they can also work well for applying makeup that is in powder form. Synthetic brushes can also give you a more defined line if that’s what you are seeking. But let’s start at the beginning. According to my research, the first thing to consider when selecting a blush brush is does the brush compliment the type of blush you are using? If you’re using a powder blush, the most commonly used blush, then the experts agree that a big fluffy brush is best.
2018 best 10 blush brushes
1. EcoTools Precision Brush
An inexpensive model to try is EcoTools Precision Brush available for about $7.99. This brush can also be used with a cream blush which I’ll explain more about in a minute. More good news, this brush is cruelty-free, made with recycled materials and the company donates over $100,000 annually to causes that empower women. Now that’s a thing of beauty!
2. The Fenty Beauty Brush by Rihanna
And speaking of cream blush, many people prefer it because it makes the skin appear dewier than powder (personally I’m on a quest for anything that can make me look dewy.) You can use your fingers to apply it or try a cheek highlighter brush which is an angled brush allowing for precision application. One the experts like is The Fenty Beauty Brush by Rihanna which sells for about $24 at Sephora.
3. Wet n Wild Blush Brush
I mentioned Wet n Wild before, and while the brand name takes me back to my purple lipstick phase, the truth is Wet n Wild is brand that’s both inexpensive and tried and true. When it comes to brushes it doesn’t get any cheaper than their blush brush which sells for under $2 on Amazon. For those new to brushes, like me, this is a wonderful, quality entry level blush brush. It blends well, it’s soft and it won’t shed its bristles on your face.
4. Tarte Bronze and Glow Contour Brush
Want contour like Kim K? For about $34 you can get two brushes in one with the Tarte Bronze and Glow Contour Brush available at Sephora. Makeup artists love this brush because it allows you to contour and blend all with one brush. This brush looks similar to the one I saw Kim Kardashian use in a makeup tutorial video. About this brush, one reviewer said, “makes my face glow.” Do we really need to hear more? Also, you may want to try the contour brush to apply bronzer and/or highlighter as using a firmer brush which allows for more control during application will help you get the look you want.
5. Laura Mercier Creme Cheek Colour Brush
The Laura Mercier Creme Cheek Colour Brush is a favorite among artists and regular folk alike, it’s a firm brush that perfectly defines the cheekbones. It can be used with pressed powder blush or with a cream. This brush sells for about $36.
6. Sephora Collection Uncomplicated Brush Set
Let’s say you feel as though using a brush blush has opened up a whole new world for you and you want to begin using more and more brushes for things like concealing, eye makeup and lips. The Sephora Collection Uncomplicated Brush Set may be just what you need to need to begin applying like a pro. It even comes with a tutorial. Cost for five-piece set is $45.
7. Hourglass No. 2 Foundation/Blush Brush
Another blush brush the experts like, for those who don’t mind spending a little more money, is the Hourglass No. 2 Foundation/Blush Brush. This brush costs about $58 at Sephora and can be used to apply foundation, primer and blush. It’s also PETA-approved.
8. Bobbi Brown Blush Brush
When it comes to makeup, I personally love all things Bobbi Brown and so do many experts and a lot of my friends. Her blush brush sells for $60 and experts say it magically applies just the right amount of blush to your cheeks each and every time.
9. Bobbi Brown Face Blender Brush
Similarly, Bobbi Brown’s Face Blender Brush for $57 is a well loved tool that can be used to blend makeup perfectly. It can be used for blush or for bronzing powder. Simply sweep it over the skin and voila you’re prepped, polished and ready to dazzle.
10. Claudio Riaz Double Blush Brush
And finally, what’s the story with a set of brushes costing $1500? If you’re looking to test the waters on a really high-end brush, The Claudio Riaz Double Blush Brush which sells for $115 is made from sable and truthfully it just looks like a tool that can get the job done. The large end is used to apply color from the middle of the cheekbone outward toward the ear, while the smaller flat end is used to apply highlighter under the eye. This is a perfect tool to help you achieve that perfect shape.
I can’t in good conscience complete this article without sharing one final extremely important tip. You have to clean your makeup brushes and you have to clean them properly and often. Cleaning will not only make them last longer but will prevent you from loading up your face with gross bacteria every time you apply your makeup. So please clean your brushes. Try e.l.f. daily brush cleanser a large bottle sells for $5. It’s cruelty-free and dries quickly. For foundation and cream blush brushes a cleanser that really shampoos is necessary. Try Sephora Collection Purifying Brush Shampoo which costs about $7. Very important, be sure to allow your brushes to dry fully before using them to apply your makeup.