The 9 Best Makeup Brushes

Updated September 07, 2017

9 Best Makeup Brushes
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Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. For a flawless facial finish, you need the right tools. The makeup brushes featured in our selection come in a variety of shapes and styles and are designed to leave you with a natural or glamorous look after using your favorite foundations, eye shadows, blushes, and more. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best makeup brush on Amazon.

9. Sigma F80 Kabuki

Save time and minimize your effort with the broad, flat Sigma F80 Kabuki. This selection's dense head is perfect for use with powder or cream products, making it a great choice for those who work as cosmetic professionals in TV or theater.
  • made from synthetic materials
  • 8 inches in length
  • bristles can shed
Brand Sigma
Model F80
Weight 2.9 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Buffer Airbrush Finish Bamboo

The sleek Buffer Airbrush Finish Bamboo from Tarte Cosmetics puts a stop to cakey, unnatural-looking foundation. The bamboo handle is a breeze to grip and maneuver, and the gentle bristles promise an even application of product.
  • sustainably sourced materials
  • good for stippling and buffing
  • not ideal for nose or eye areas
Brand Tarte Cosmetics
Model pending
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. BareMinerals Ready Precision

The BareMinerals Ready Precision from Bare Escentuals gives you maximum control over your makeup. It's angled to fit the small spaces and contours of your face, so it will work like a dream for anyone desiring a more finished appearance.
  • offers full coverage
  • soft and dense head
  • must be washed frequently
Brand Bare Escentuals
Model 62467
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. BareMinerals Face Brush

Blend your cosmetics together seamlessly with the Bare Escentuals BareMinerals Face Brush. Its convenient reservoir feature stops liquid makeup from dripping and making a mess. With this option, you can create both fresh-faced designs and elaborate evening looks.
  • holds plenty of product
  • matte black color
  • does not work well with powder
Brand Bare Escentuals
Model 71184
Weight 0.6 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. ETA Ultra Natural Premium Set

For a more polished finish, use the ETA Ultra Natural Premium Set. Their natural goat hair bristles blend powder and liquid cosmetics beautifully, and the collection's smaller brushes make detail work simple. These are a great pick for beauty school students.
  • easy to sanitize
  • smooth and pleasant texture
  • superior value for multiple items
Brand ETA Cosmetics
Model pending
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Nanshy Masterful Collection

The elegant Nanshy Masterful Collection includes all of the essential beauty tools you'll need to create a stunning, unique look. They come with either pearlescent white or shiny black handles and are sure to elevate your beauty routine.
  • durable synthetic hair
  • handles fit well in hands
  • 12 items in the set
Brand Nanshy
Model MC-SET
Weight 14.9 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Tarte Airbuki Powder Foundation

The Tarte Airbuki Powder Foundation is a compact beauty brush that can be easily tucked away into your purse or desk drawer at work. This choice will perfectly buff out your concealer every time thanks to its plush, velvety texture.
  • provides airbrushed finish
  • comfortable handle
  • natural bamboo construction
Brand Tarte
Model pending
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

2. Sigma Beauty Basic Eyes Kit

If you want your eye makeup to be completely flawless, then the Sigma Beauty Basic Eyes Kit has your name written all over it. These can be utilized for everything from blending and applying shadow to creating sexy cat's eyes and more.
  • for use with gels and creams
  • great for intricate designs
  • fibers do not shed
Brand Sigma
Model 819430010943
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Sigma High Definition Kabuki Kit

The Sigma High Definition Kabuki Kit comes with five distinct brushes that combine to create a complete set of makeup application tools. Their quality bristles hold onto product instead of absorbing it, which helps prevent waste.
  • appropriate for liquids and creams
  • designed for precision
  • extra thick fibers
Brand Sigma
Model SMAX06
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Makeup Brush Types Everybody Needs

Looking at all the different makeup brushes available can be overwhelming. Each one looks so similar to the next, but identifying the small differences between the types will help you arm your beauty box with one for every makeup technique you want to pull off.

First, you want a good foundation brush. Foundation brushes tend to be flat, since you'll use them to paint liquid foundation onto your skin, much like you apply actual paint to a canvas. If you've ever seen a sponge that looks like an egg, that's a beauty blender. While not technically a brush, you should consider this an essential sister tool to your foundation brush. The original version, patented by Rea Ann Silva, has been a multi-million dollar sensation for a reason: it lets you spread your foundation evenly across every angle of your face.

If you want those dramatic cheekbones, then you need a good contouring brush to use with your contour palette. You'll recognize this brush by its angled top and dense bristles that can hold a lot of makeup at once. When it's time to add a nice shimmer, you'll want a Kabuki brush. This is a stout, wide brush with a rather flat but voluminous bundle of bristles. The Kabuki brush is used for applying bronzer or powder, as well as for blending.

A fan brush looks exactly how you'd expect: like a fan. It has a wide, flat head, and its slender profile makes it ideal for applying powder or fixing some makeup mess-ups. On the topic of mess-ups, if you ate greasy food this weekend and are breaking out, you'll want a concealer brush to cover up your blemishes. This type brush is quite small, with a rounded top and a bundle of bristles about the size of pencil eraser. It's ideal for concentrated application of concealer.

A flat eyeshadow brush looks almost like a mini fan brush, but has a bushier set of bristles. This is used for applying eye shadow all over your lid. Don't confuse it with your concealer brush: they look similar, but the flat eye shadow brush has longer bristles, which are important for sweeping color across your lids. When you're working on a nice smokey eye, you'll want an eyeshadow crease brush, too. This small brush with a pointed end will help you work color into the crease of your lid. To add drama to your eye makeup, get an eyeliner brush for perfectly applying liquid liner to your eyes. This brush looks like a pencil and has a set of bristles about the size of a pencil's point. Since everyone knows good eyebrows are everything these days, make sure you get a good brow brush. These look almost identical to a mascara brush.

Additional Features To Look For In A Brush

One of the main reasons you may need makeup is to cover up acne and blemishes. Considering just how hard it is for scientists to identify what causes acne (thereby making it difficult to identify the best treatment for most individuals), the best way to treat this nasty condition is to not get it in the first place. That's why having a makeup brush made with antimicrobial materials is so important. This will help stop the growth of bacteria on your face, and prevent germs from getting into your pores.

Since you don't want to have to replace your makeup brushes every month, make sure you get ones that won't shed and have high quality handles made from materials that won't crack. If you are eco-minded, there are some great brushes made from sustainably sourced materials, like bamboo.

Getting a good grip on your brush while applying your makeup will prevent slip-ups that leave you with eyeshadow on your cheeks. Make sure your brush has either an ergonomic handle or a small indent around where the handle meets the bristles. This can be used as a thumb or finger groove to keep your hand from sliding up the brush while you work. Some blending and foundation brushes have reservoir tips that keep liquid makeup from spilling down the sides, which can be helpful. Anyone who has ever accidentally touched their blouse, not knowing they had makeup that had gotten onto their hands earlier, knows how valuable this feature is.

Always consider the length of handles if you want your brush set to fit into your favorite makeup bag. If you're a professional makeup artist, then you want your tools to look as impressive as your makeup jobs. Some brushes have gorgeous handles in shiny metallic or pearly finishes that will definitely impress your clients.

A Brief History Of Makeup Brushes

While humans may not have always had the materials and technology they have today (as evidenced by this ancient cosmetic brush), they've always had their vanity. The Japanese have been making makeup brushes since as far back as the B.C. period. One area in Japan, called Kumano, is famous for its brushes, and has been producing them since the 1600s. Brush production in the area began when local farmers needed to find a way to make extra income. They started by purchasing brushes from neighboring towns and reselling them. As calligraphy become more popular, they began to manufacture their own brushes that were customized for better calligraphy performance. As the demand for cosmetic brushes grew, they once again tweaked their brushes to fit the newest and greatest need.

Today, Kumano, Japan makes around 80 percent of the country's makeup brushes, which equals around 15 million brushes a year, but it hasn't been without competitors. In 1835, manufacturers in Germany noticed a demand for more vanity products and started to produce a large amount of cosmetic mirrors. They eventually decided they wanted to compete with the Japanese makeup brush industry and began making their own versions of these as well.

Over the years, the manufacturing of makeup brushes, as with many other products, has predominantly moved to other parts of Asia, where large brands can find cheaper labor.

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Last updated on September 07, 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

Our professional staff of writers and researchers have been creating authoritative product recommendations and reviews since 2011. Many of our wikis require expert maintenance, and are authored by individual members of our editorial staff. However, this wiki is currently maintained by multiple members of the ezvid wiki team.

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