Some of My Favorite Makeup Brushes

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In the world of beauty and makeup few things delight me quite like makeup brushes. Like most of my fellow bloggers and makeup lovers, I have quite the ever expanding collection and I am always lusting after yet more. The funny thing is, tho no matter how many brushes I accumulate, I have my favorites and they are the ones I will reach for, time after time and make sure I clean right after using so that they are ready to go, again when I want them.

Most of my makeup brush collection is middle of the road, price point wise. I don't own any of the very gorgeous and spendy hand made Japanese brushes (tho I do own a wishlist of them that is longer than my arm) nor do I own any brushes made by MAC. I know... Gasp! I'm not ruling them out but they have never been a high priority for me. I bought a lot of my brushes back when Sigma was everywhere and I own quite a few brushes from that brand. The rest are a couple of limited edition sets and ala carte purchases or brushes that have, in one way or the other come into my life.

This week, the bloggers of Makeup Wars are sharing with you our favorite makeup brushes and here are some of mine:

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I begin with foundation brushes. I normally apply my foundation with a Beauty Blender but there are times when I use a foundation that applies better with a brush so I like to have good foundation brushes on hand.

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Brush. This beauty is spendy but it is such a good brush and it is worth every penny of the asking price. Densely packed, whisper soft synthetic bristles in a gently angled shape that buffs foundation into my skin and easily works it in around my eyes and nose without having to pick up another tool. When I first received this brush, I was doubtful that I would use it all that much but it has become a favorite for applying foundation, including my beloved Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick.

Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki Brush. This is a good, old go-to favorite. Firm, yet soft, this synthetic bristle brush answers the call, every time I reach for it. This brush smooths on denser liquid and powder foundations like a dream.

Pur Skin Perfecting Foundation Brush. This brush is a revelation. Fashioned after the famous Artis makeup brushes, this foundation brush is a large oval head of extremely densely packed synthetic bristles that feels like a firm velvet cushion on a flexible, angled handle. When I want my foundation to go on fast, I reach for this brush, as it buffs my foundation into my skin in no time and delivers a smooth, flawless finish. It can be a little tricky working this brush around my eyes and nose but once I got the hang of it, it got easier. If you are longing to try one of the beautiful Artis brushes but they aren't in your budget, grab this one. It's a lovely brush.

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I love powder brushes. Big, soft, fluffy, keep-em-as-a-pet powder brushes. If I had unlimited funds, I would buy all of the powder brushes. I own way more powder brushes than one person would need in a lifetime but here are the three I reach for, more often than not.

 IT Brushes for Ulta Love Beauty-Fully All Over Powder Brush #211. I bought this for myself for Christmas, 2014. I was in Ulta, picking up a gift for someone, and this brush was calling to me. I had dropped in and petted it, a few times and that night, I couldn't resist picking it up. I justified it by reminding myself that I had a coupon. Isn't that justification enough for any of us? This huge, dense synthetic brush is amazingly soft. It feels as if I'm applying powder to my face with a baby chinchilla but without the whole cruelty to animals thing.

Real Techniques Blush Brush. This Bargain Beauty Find is nine clams and it is an indispensable brush in my collection. While I find the brush head too large for blush, I reach for it, again and again for powder and sometimes bronzer. The slightly tapered, full but deliciously soft synthetic bristles make it perfect for pressing powder onto my face to set my makeup and it applies bronzer, perfectly without streaks or "dirty" patches. If you haven't tried this brush, get one!

Ilia Finishing Powder Brush. This baby is a dream brush. The weighty, beautifully balanced handle holds a tapered, synthetic brush that picks up and smooths into my makeup the perfect amount of finishing powder and buffs it in perfectly without disturbing the makeup under it. This splendid brush also works a treat for applying bronzer.

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Speaking of bronzer... These are the two brushes for which I most often reach when I want to warm up my complexion with my favorite bronzer.

Sigma F50 Duo Fibre Brush. Being a rather fair skinned person, I like to warm up my complexion with a little bronzer but if I'm not careful, what is supposed to be a subtle, sun kissed glow can quickly become I-fell-face-first-in-a-vat-of-liquid-smoke. Not a good look on me. This lovely duo fibre brush is softer than an angel's wing and it picks up and gently sets down just the perfect amount of sunny warmth on my skin.

When I want a little more oompf in my fake bake, I grab my Sigma F25 Tapered Face Brush. This brush picks up plenty of product and the tulip shape - well, it's supposed to be tulip shaped, mine fell over onto another brush and they kind of freaked each other out - applies bronzer with ease and precision everywhere I want it, including along my hairline, around my nose, ears, jawline and effortlessly helps match a lighter face to a self tanned rest of me.

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I love to contour and I like a good, dense, precision brush like the one you see, above to carve a precise application of contour powder into the hollows of my cheeks, right in under my cheekbones, along my jawline, hairline and to delicately, subtly slenderize my nose then grab a larger, soft brush to blend, creating perfect, delicate shadows just were I want them. While the brush in the photo is no longer available, I found similar ones here and here.

When it comes time to add that luminous, lifting, youthful glow of highlighter to my face, two brushes I usually reach for are the Sigma F55 Small Duo Fibre Brush for a softer, more ethereal glow and the Real Techniques Setting Brush for more power lighting.

I have a highlighting/strobing fan brush but I'm not over the moon for it. Can anyone recommend a fabulous, soft, perfect for precise highlighting fan brush that won't cost me a car payment?

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If there is one area of makeup application with which I still struggle, even after wearing makeup for... Well... More years than I like to count, it is applying blush. I reached my makeup wearing youthful zenith in the eighties. Oh, yeah. The Stripe. I rocked it. Along with the crazy black liner, rainbow eyelids ala Joan Cusak in Working Girl and the super frosty pink lipstick. Memories. Like the dumpster of my mind. What the fuck were we thinking?

Anyway, when that trend mercifully died and pale, minimal makeup got hot-hot-hot I rejoiced and put my blush brush away. Seriously, I rarely wore the stuff, preferring a pale, perfectly matte face, nude-matte, barely there eye shadow, no liner and just a whisper of mascara - upper lashes only - and of course, perfect, matte dark red lips. My makeup was my uniform and it looked precisely the same, day in, day out. It was during that period of time that I lost my blush mojo and I never really fully recovered it. I rely heavily on very flattering-to-me blush shades and of course, the perfect tools to help me apply my blush correctly and not leave me looking like a clown. *shudder... clowns...

It Brushes for Ulta Love Beauty-Fully Flawless Blush Brush #227. This gorgeous to look at brush has a soft, angled head that is a lifesaver when it comes to applying just the right, natural looking flush to my cheeks.

Sigma F10 Powder/Blush Brush. Not quite as precise as an angled brush but very nice for lightly pigmented blushes that need a little more coaxing to build and blend out, just right.

Luxie Rose Gold Large Angled Face Brush 504. This pretty in pink soft, synthetic brush does just as nice a job applying blush as the IT brush. It's nice having a couple of these brushes at hand. I have one ready to go if the other is dirty.

some-of-my-favorite-makeup-brushes-brows

I don't always use brow brushes but when I do, I have very specific requirements.

Both the Billion Dollar Brows Brow Brush and the Full Brow Dual Brow Brush are firm but not stickery, thin, sharp edged, tapered to a nicety and apply a precise, hair like stroke of pomade or other brow goo to my face framers. Yes, both of these brushes landed on my doorstep with spoolies on their asses. A pair of dykes took care of that little problem. I know. Shocking. Erika murders more double ended brushes. I suppose that I could just leave them but...


So, I don't.

I have spoolies, on their own that I like better than the ones that were attached to my brow brushes. This one is an oldie but goody. I bought it in 1994 for .49 on clearance from Avon. It had a spongy blender thing on the other end.

Had.

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Eye Brushes. I like to use a bunch of them when I do my eyes. One for each colour, each function. Yeah... I'm strange. From the nearest, curving up:

Sigma F65 Small Angle. My all time favorite tight lining brush. It deposits gel liner precisely along my lash line, on my upper water line. I have other angled liner brushes, none do the job like this one does.

Makeup Geek Bent Gel Liner Brush. I see that Makeup Geek has revamped their brush line. Oh well. This is still a damned good liner brush.

Real Techniques Eye Shading Brush. The perfect little brush for applying creme shadow and shadow bases to my lids. It's compact, firm but not hard or scratchy. I use this brush, a lot.

I thought I took that Luxie brush out of the lineup. I need my head examined. Just ignore it.

Sigma E55 Eye Shading Brush. Perfect for pinpoint laydown of shadow. It's very helpful when applying multiple shades to the mobile lid.

Sigma E60 Large Shader. I have a lot of lid space, this brush makes short work of covering all of it, fast.

Coastal Scents Classic Blender Crease Brush. This one is synthetic, I do believe. I think that I received this brush in a swap? And I'm glad that I did. This is a terrific brush! I like a large, firm crease brush that not only builds colour in my crease but has enough body to pull colour up onto my lid hoods and orbital bone and fade it out, creating the illusion that my hoods are receding. If you have hooded eyes and like to do that technique, this is your brush.

Bdellium Tools Blending 776 Brush. I own a handful of these white, tapered blending brushes. I like all of them; I loooove this one. It is firm enough to do what I ask of it yet soft enough to be beautifully comfortable on my lids. And, it's synthetic so I can drown it in alcohol to clean it, thus lifting off even the most stubborn of pigmented eye shadows. I need to pick up another one of these...

Sigma E40 Tapered Blending Brush. Who loves ya, baby? - You're totally picturing me with a bald head and a sucker, aren't you? - Blown out, soft eye looks. Blended to an exquisite level of blended smoky eyes. A fast wash of colour all over my lids. Buffing light coloured shadow over eye primer... Even applying highlighter to the face or pinpoint face powder application. These brushes are so capable and versatile. I own a couple and they are constantly cycling into and out of my dirty brush bin.

And, last but not least... Sigma E30 Pencil Brush. Like my love for powder brushes, I am but head over heels for a good pencil brush. They are so useful; I can use them to line, to make a precise crease, apply a clean, perfect line of shadow under my eyes, a hint of glimmery highlight just along the bottom of my brow line, perfectly light up the inner corners of my eyes without it looking like a messy splotch and of course, create that precise, clean outer V we all love, so much. See? My obsession is a helpful thing.

Okay. Wow. That was a lot of brushes to talk about. Want to know a secret? I pulled more than twice the amount of brushes and suddenly realized that rather than just going a little overboard on yet another Makeup Wars post, I was behaving in a manner one could only describe as bat shit crazy so I edited. A lot.

You believe me, right? Please. Say that you believe me!

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I hope that you enjoyed this little sift through my makeup brush collection and the darker reaches of my mind. If you did, won't you please give it a share? A tweet, a stumble... All are appreciated and there are buttons placed for your convenience.

Don't forget to visit my fellow Makeup Wars bloggers and check out their favorite brushes, too!

35 comments

  1. I almost listed that Hourglass Foundation Brush; it's SO good! You've got a ton of good suggestions (I usually go overboard on MUW so this week I tried to stay focused, lol!).

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    1. Hee! Hee! I try not to go overboard. I promise that I'll do a quick and easy little post and BAM! I go to crazy town.

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  2. I feel absolutely the same about the HOURGLASS foundation brush, and featured it in my post as well! I am hyperventilating as I read through your picks, and at the VERY least I need that ILIA brush!

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    1. That Ilia brush is rather gorgeous and it's about mid range at, I think 42.00. Grab it!

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  3. I love IT Cosmetics brushes they have to be my favorite. I am not a fan of Sigma unless they have completely changed I bought a set from them 2yrs ago and 3 of the brushes died within a year. I have sets off amazon that are that old and never fell apart hehe probably user error :)

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    1. I've had all if my Sigma brushes for years and they are all going strong. I don't know if the newer ones are better. I need more IT brushes! You should see my IT wish list on Ulta's website. lol

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  4. You may have a brush situation brewing, my friend. I'mma keep an eye on your brush count. :-)

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  5. Wow that's a lot of brushes, lady! But an interesting read because I don't own the vast majority of them - just the Luxie rose gold brush & is the contour brush from the purple Sonia Kaschuk collection? I really wanted to try that Artis style brush from PUR but I think I annoyed the PR manager when I asked about it & I'm off their list 😔😭

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  6. It Cosmetics and Real Techniques really make great brushes.

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    1. I love the brushes I have from both. They work so nicely and are so soft!

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  7. I want to try that Pur complexion brush! I have one from Moda and I've been using it with my Pur Bare It All foundation and I like it! Great choices!!!

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    1. I like that Pur brush. It's a nice way to see if I like that style brush.

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  8. I still need to try out those PUR brushes! They look so cool!!

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    1. It's A good brush! Grab one, it's worth a try.

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  9. Bdellium 776 is a classic must have for me. I own about 3 for my makeup kit.

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    1. That is such a good brush. I loves is.

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  10. What a great post. I love seeing that someone else is as crazy about brushes as I am. But believe it or not, i don't own a single Sigma brush. I never saw them anywhere so I didn't know much about them.

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    1. Aw! Thank you. Sigma is all over the place but not as hyped as it uses to be. I bought my Sigma brushes years ago, I tho j that they have improved the quality and gone synthetic, since then. I still like mine, tho.

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  11. What an extensive collection. There are so many options now without breaking the bank!

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    1. I love that I don't have to lay out the amount of a car payment on a decent makeup brush. Now saying I wouldn't, if it were in my budget. lol

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  12. Great picks! The Real Techniques Buffing Brush and a Beauty Blender are my go-to combination :)
    Kisses,
    Sarah
    EverydayStarlet

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  13. I loveeeee that Full Brow brow brush!! It's been the only brush I've used for months, even over my super expensive ABH one!

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  14. That hourglass brush is my must have for sure! It was so worth the cost and I adore it

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  15. I legit don't need any more brushes in my life. I don't. But that Pur brushes is about to be mine. I've been lusting after those kind of brushes but didn't love their prices and you just sold me on that way. My wallet hates you now. LOL!

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  16. I love good brushes. I really enjoy seeing what everyone's favorites are. I need to see if Ulta carries that Pur brush and take a look at it.

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  17. I love reading about everyone's favorite brushes, gives me more ideas on which ones are worth the splurge! A post like this was highly requested by my readers, but I am terrible and never had the chance to write it yet. Maybe one day :) Oh, and my favorite brushes are made by Chikuhodo.

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