My Favorite Makeup Brushes (Face + Eyes)

It’s no secret that I love makeup, and I believe that beautiful makeup cannot be achieved without the right tools. Today I want to share with you all my 6 favorite makeup brushes for the face and eyes. These are my must-have brushes that I use every morning when getting ready for the day.

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  1. Sigma Beauty Small Angle E65 – I love this brush! I don’t know what did before I had it. My main, daily use for this brush is to fill in my eyebrows, which it is amazing for. I’ve had it for about 2 years and the synthetic bristles continue to hold their beautiful straight shape after countless washes and daily abuse. I use it with a powder eye shadow (MAC Copperplate) to give some definition to my brows while still keeping my look natural and soft. This brush is also great for creating a gel eyeliner wing or a smokey smudged eye look. I purchased mine on Amazon for $13.99. An absolute essential.
  2. MAC 239 Eye Shading Brush – The newest brush to my collection and the most expensive. This is my favorite “all over lid color” eye shadow brush. It’s just the right amount of fluffy where I can quickly pack some color all over my eyelid and then blend the edges out with just this one brush. The natural bristles don’t pick up as much pigment as synthetic, so it’s impossible to mess up and put too much makeup on. This is such a great brush for busy makeup lovers! Allows you to slap on your shadow (and blend it, too!) in a pinch so you can spend more time sleeping. I bought mine at the MAC counter for $25.
  3. Sigma Beauty Tapered Blending E40 – Ahh, my first ever Sigma brush. This thing has been with me for a long time, and the partially rubbed off label is proof. I bought this because Jaclyn Hill raved about it a ton, and since she is the queen of blending, I had to obey. And it does not disappoint. This brush is SO soft and fluffy. The bristles are long and luscious, and splay beautifully when worked into the crease, diffusing color into an airbrushed-looking dream. You cannot mess up with this thing, I swear. And it can save any eye shadow mistakes. Before I got the next brush I’m going to talk about, I used this one to set my under-eye concealer with powder, too. I also don’t think I could function without this one. I got mine from Amazon for $16.
  4. Real Techniques Setting Brush – This is my all-over face powder brush, which might not be your first guess since it is quite small. I used to use a huge powder brush all over my face (the Real Techniques Powder Brush), but after a while I noticed it made my skin look and feel really dry, cakey, and uncomfortable. I realized I didn’t need all that powder. Now I only apply powder to the places I need to mattify and set (for longer lasting power). This is primarily my under eye area (after concealer) and t-zone (where I get slightly oily). I use the excess powder left on the brush to dust over the apples of my cheeks, to create a light powder base for my blush to go on top of (makes it easier to blend). I use this brush everyday with my favorite powder – the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in the shade Medium Plus (see my previous beauty posts for more info on this awesome product). I purchased mine at Ulta for $7.99.
  5. Real Techniques Stippling Brush – Although I am a really big fan of the Real Techniques beauty blender dupe sponge for blending out foundation, lately I have been loving this brush for a higher coverage, more flawless look. Ever since my Spring break trip to the South, my skin has not been looking its best, so I’ve been needing a little more makeup to cover all those pesky blemishes up. As I’ve mentioned before, I have dry, acne-prone, and textured skin, which is why I typically prefer applying foundation with a sponge. Brushes can tend to accentuate and aggravate dry patches or bumps on my skin, but when used in conjunction with my Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation and a light, stippling application technique, this is not a problem with this brush. It leaves me looking pretty close to flawless and a little dewy, but most importantly not cakey and dry. Yay! I bought mine from Ulta for $9.99.
  6. Real Techniques Multi Task Brush – This brush was my first purchase from Real Techniques, and comes in the “Travel Essentials” set ($18.99 from Ulta). The set comes with two other brushes: the Essential Foundation Brush (I’ve never used this for foundation, but I like it for applying facial masks during at-home pamper sessions) and the Domed Shadow Brush (another great “all over lid color” brush, a synthetic, fluffier, more budget-friendly version of the MAC 239). Oh, and it also comes with a slightly useless and bulky travel case. Anyway, I use the Multi Task Brush to apply my blush. I wish it was sold individually, since it is quite distinctly different in shape from RT’s Blush Brush. The bristles of the Multi Task are shorter but with a larger and fluffier diameter than the Blush Brush, which has longer and more tapered bristles. My mom has the Blush Brush and loves it, but personally I prefer the shape of the Multi Task. My go-to blush that I use this brush with daily is Bobbi Brown #18 Desert Pink.

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I am aware that my brushes don’t look brand new anymore, but I think that proves how much I actually use and love them. Note that Sigma logos rub off especially quickly, so if that bothers you then consider yourself warned.

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Just a selfie posing with my brushes. Normal, right?

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Hand scale reference.

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Fluffy!

I would highly recommend these brushes to everyone, from people just beginning to dabble into makeup to the seasoned cosmetics freak. I should also mention the importance of washing your makeup brushes not just for hygiene’s sake, but also to take care of the brush so you can have it in your life for a long time. Natural or synthetic bristle, cheap or expensive, they all need regular cleansing. I use Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Hemp Tea Tree Pure Castile Soap, a highly concentrated liquid soap that is gentle but effective. I just put a few small drops onto my palm and swirl the wet brush into a nice, fluffy lather. You will be amazed at how much leftover product comes out! It’s kind of gross, but very satisfying to see!

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