The bristles of professional makeup brushes are generally divided into two types: animal bristles and synthetic bristles. Natural animal bristles have intact hair scales, which make the bristles soft and comfortable without irritating. Generally speaking, animal hair is the best material for brushes. According to professional makeup artists, mink hair is soft and moderate, best for makeup brushes. Goat hair is the most common animal hair. Pony hair is soft and elastic. synthetic bristles come in harder touch than animal hair, suitable for creamy makeup products. Nylon, the hardest brush material, is mostly used for mascara and eyebrow brushes. Makeup artist Emily Belfiore says makeup effects depend on makeup tools, and a good makeup is dependent on a nice makeup brush.
We rounded up a host of brands with a cult following, like Hakuhodo, Chikuhodo, Make Up For Ever, M·A·C and so on. Each brand boasts a wide range of super-quality products, and most of them are the winners of multiple beauty awards. So to find your pick, check out the list of makeup brushes we’ve compiled for you.View More
Most of the makeup brushes in the world are produced in China, Japan, South Korea. The main features of Oriental art are introverted and refined. Hakuhodo and Chikuhodo are representative brands which adopt superior animal hair and manual production. Although it has a low production capacity, the makeup brushes are extremely high-quality. Hakuhodo is a brush set manufacturer for high-end cosmetics brands, like Tom Ford.
Hakuhodo makeup brushes are many series, covering more than 2,000 single products. The name consists of a series name and brush type number. The same number in various series means the same shape and hair, but the brush rod, length and price may differ from each other.
S100 is the most high-end series in red and black rods. The brushes with black rod are cheaper. S100 is the most classic oblique powder brush. The brush head is thick and fluffy. It can be used for final touch or as a powder brush without affecting makeup finish. The lightweight S100 is made of goat hair, which offers excellent smudging ability with satisfying use feeling.
Animal hair brushes can take powder easily and can reach a more delicate smudge effect, so it is recommended for makeup enthusiasts. Hakuhodo wool brush is extremely fluffy, dry, oil-resistant, and good to use. Unlike gray squirrel hair, wool is washable and wear-resisting. The wool brush is cost-effective for those who are not sensitive skin.
Chikuhodo also comes from Japan like Hakuhodo, the handmade Chikuhodo uses high-quality animal hair as raw materials, and also is a brush set manufacturer for other brands such as SUQQU. Chikuhodo has many makeup brushes series. It is extremely good at making brushes with gray squirrel hair. Z and Premium series are representative works. G and GSN series combine various high-quality hairs and brush shapes, which are the most cost-effective products.
Squirrel hair helps create a more natural look with its covered natural oils. The Z4 blush brush is suitable for beginners to avoid over-colored. The blush brush shape of the Z4 is similar to that of the SUQQU, its manufacturer. The brush is of high density and flexibility and is more cost-effective. The gray squirrel brush is also very suitable for blending eye makeup. You can swipe to the entire eyelid or smudge to edge of eyes with big and thick Z5 brush, creating a natural and stratified makeup finish.
As the product from the Premium series, the brush P8 is made of the highest quality gray squirrel hair. It is also suitable for sensitive skin. However, it is weak in powder grasping with a high price. The brush should keep dryness after use and avoid frequently rinsing because the gray squirrel hair is so fragile.
The brush R-P6 under Regular series covers black and red versions, which has a similar shape to the brush P8. It is smaller and more exquisite.
Chikuhodo blushes are high-end and pricier due to the delicate animal fair, which are friendly to sensitive skin and suitable for people who always pursue perfect use feeling. However, consumers should pay more attention to rinse and care brushes made by natural animal hair.
MAKE UP FOR EVER is a professional makeup brand founded by Ms. Dany Sanz in Paris in 1984. In 1999, MAKE UP FOR EVER became a member of the LVMH group. MAKE UP FOR EVER is a symbol of fashion makeup, and recognized by professional models and makeup artists. MAKE UP FOR EVER has a complete set of 76 brushes, which is very classic.
MAKE UP FOR EVER portable and practical #124 powder Kabuki has a round head with dense and fluffy hair, which can be used as a foundation powder brush, loose powder brush, and blush brush, etc.. You can use #124 brush easily even without sophisticated skills. If you are hesitated, just try it!
#208, #228, and #244 are short brushes designed for different eye shapes and make up steps. There are same brush shape with different sizes. All of these are made of new synthetic fibers, offering comfortable use feeling and strong powder grasping and smudging power. Medium-sized #228 and small-sized #208 are suitable for daily use, and the large-sized is suitable for smudging large area.
MAKE UP FOR EVER #274 double-headed eyebrow brush can swipe your eyebrows and eyelashes. You may never feel tingling as it has a moderate hardness.
The MAKE UP FOR EVER brush has wooden holder with humanized design. However, there is a brand logo printed on the brush without numbers and instructions. So it is not friendly to those who are not familiar with the function of the brush. It is advisable to know about the features before buying.
M·A·C is a brand co-founded by professional makeup artist, photographer Frank Toskan, and Frank Angelo (who runs a chain of hair salons) in Toronto in 1985. M·A·C is acquired by Estee Lauder Group in 1998. Therefore, M·A·C is also the first brand of Estee Lauder that was not created by Mrs. Lauder. M·A·C has advanced and bold style in colors, and always surprise people for its products.
In 2017, M·A·C upgraded its full range of brushes to synthetic hair for the sake of animal protection, and the shape is the same as the original version. Brushes made by synthetic hair has weak water-absorbing ability compared with animal hair, which are suitable for matching creamy and liquid products. They are also easy to care. Well, it is difficult to create brushes with characters similar to natural hair.
The #217 eye shadow brush is favored by both professional makeup artists and makeup enthusiasts. #217 is made of goat hair with strong powder grasping power, which is very suitable for brushing large area to present natural facial contour. It also can perfectly brush your facial edges. #217S retains the original classic elliptical brush head, which can perfectly fit various shades of eye shapes. It is suitable for blending moist eyeshadow with a soft texture, leaving a satisfying skin feeling. However, it is not as fluffy as #217, so you need to blend powder eyeshadow patiently and carefully.
In addition to the material, the brushes under M·A·C have classic and practical shapes. And you can easily buy one at a good price. Moreover, you can match them with different shapes according to your need. It is more recommended to buy the #217S, #239S and #219S for eye makeup, and #168S and #159S for facial makeup for beginners.
M·A·C is famous for its ultra-durable brushes. Brushes are not easy to break and shed after frequently rinse, which are suitable for both professional makeup artists and beginners. It is an ideal choice for those who want to buy some classic brushes.
BOBBI BROWN is a professional makeup brand founded by makeup artist Bobbi Brown in New York in 1991. BOBBI BROWN pursues a natural, simple, and translucent makeup finish, which is known as the "Queen of creating a no-makeup look in Hollywood".
Full Coverage Face Brush can be used wet or dry, which is suitable for blend creamy and powdery makeup products. The elastic and soft brush has an ingenious design, which helps create a seamless finish with satisfying use feeling.
The fine eyeliner brush of Bobbi Brown is specially designed to match with the Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, which can create various eyeliners. The soft and elastic EYE SMUDGE BRUSH is made of goat hair and pony hair. The brush is short and thick, offering strong powder grasping power. Bobbi Brown eye makeup brushes have long holders, so it is suitable for personal use and makeup artists. Bobbi Brown is made of pure goat hair. It has good holding power, fluidity and dimming degree. It is suitable for dimming shadows and has a wide range of applications. Bobbi Brown's flexible lip brush can be dipped into the lipstick with the tip to outline the lip shape, and then the brush can be used to fully fill in the lip color. This can significantly increase the length of the lip and create solid and plump lips.
Bobbi Brown makeup brushes are very practical. There are only 20 types in different features. Although there is no number and label on the brush rod, you can distinguish them clearly.
Chanel is a French brand founded in 1910, which is a pioneer of the fashion revolution. Chanel represents a unique style that has lasted forever. Elegance, delicacy, luxury and fashion are its values and inner spirits.
There are less than 20 brushes in Chanel, covering brushes for face, lips, and eyes. Most of brushes are made of animal hair, and fewer are made of artificial fibers. The smooth and textured brush rod and brush hoop are plated with black paint, which is moth-proof and crack-proof with glossiness. The brand logo and purpose are printed on rod tail.
The tongue-shaped foundation brush is generally used by professional makeup artists because it requires some skills and takes time. However, the tongue-shaped brush is the tool that absorbs the least moisture of the liquid foundation, so it can well retain the gloss of the foundation.
The Chanel Flat Eyeshadow Brush is suitable for blending colors. It is made of animal hair, which can present color excellently while avoiding falling off. If you always feel that you can't smudge eye shadow perfectly, you can try to change into this one.
The soft and elastic Chanel lip brush helps draw refined lip shape even without lip liner. It is packed with a brush cover, which is convenient for storage and carrying away. Single Chanel brush is pricey, but it is worthy. Because it is made of horse hair, it is durable and offers strong smudging ability without absorbing oil.
Wayne Goss is a British male makeup artist who becomes popular for sharing beauty tips on YouTube. He has more than 3 million subscribers. His videos are viewed for a hundred million times. In 2013, Wayne Goss cooperated with American beauty e-commerce company Beautylish to sell makeup brushes named after himself. The brushes were sold out within a few minutes. Wayne Goss is one of the most representative designer brush brands. Like Tom Ford and SUQQU, Wayne Goss takes CHIKUHODO as its own manufacturer, so it offers numerous practical brushes.
Powder Brush #02 is a multi-tasking brush which is made of squirrel hair and can be used with powder to swipe various parts of the face. The small and exquisite Powder Brush #02 has a soft and silky texture, which can be used for setting makeup under eyes and noses, and for smudging blush, highlighter, and contour.
The soft squirrel hair Air-Brush provides strong powder grasping power which is more suitable for setting makeup under the eyes or for smudging blushes and contour. It is recommended to buy because it is extremely cost-effective.
The #11 Buffing brush is made of goat hair, which helps enhance makeup finish. It has an extraordinary smudge ability, and never affects your final makeup.
ZOEVA is a German makeup brand founded by Ms. Zoe Boikou in 2008. Zoeva started by making makeup brushes, committing to providing high-quality and affordable makeup brushes for German consumers. Zoeva initially had 10 brush series for sale on eBay, and sold out soon. They were favored by many beauty writers. YouTube celebrity Uncle Goss is a big fan.
The #234 Luxe smoky shader has a moderate size and thickness; the #222 Luxe all over shader is the large version of the #234 Luxe smoky shader. You can choose them according to the texture of eyeshadow. The #228 Luxe crease is a necessary brush which helps smudge the edge of eyes to create a natural finish. The small #226 brush is slight stiff which is suitable for smudging the lower eyes area. People who attach great importance to delicate eye makeup can purchase a small brush such as #230.
Zoeva brush sets are beautiful and colorful, and always released together with new cosmetics. The holder and hair color of the brush will be changed according to its theme. Although many brushes are not sold separately, you can find the same brush type in the regular line. If you do not know how to use the brush set, you can buy a single brush according to your makeup habits. Zoeva brushes are all made of synthetic fiber hair, with rich and fine brush shapes.
If you are an experienced makeup and brush enthusiast, you may have heard Sonia G. She is a blogger who has shared the experience of using brushes on her blog since 2012. She has collected and used about 2,000 makeup brushes. Later, she established its own brush brand named after her. Her brushes are exclusively sold on Beautylish.
Crease one is a refined eye contour designed for the eye crease area, which has a cone-shaped brush head. It is made of elastic wool, offering strong powder grasping power. The elastic Crease one is more suitable for creating “cut crease” makeup finish, which is convenient to smudge.
Pencil two is a fine brush, which is suitable for blending the triangle area around the eye with the conical brush head. The elastic Pencil two is made of goat hair, which helps enlarge your eyes significantly and make you eyes deeper and charming.
The Smudger Two brush has a distinctive shape with a short and blunt head. It is extremely suitable to smudge eyeshadow and eyeliner for people with various eye shapes.
Sonia G is priced at the mid- to high-end, and most brushes are produced by a Japanese factory with high-quality animal hair. Sonia G also releases unique and distinctive brushes creatively.
Sigma Beauty is the representative of the first generation of affordable makeup brushes. In the early years, almost every beauty writer has Sigma Beauty brushes. It has a simple and beautiful appearance and covers more than 100 kinds of makeup brushes. Sigma Beauty offers comprehensive series and numbers. The products are cost-effective, and always have been regarded as a cheap-alternative to M·A·C.
Sigma Beauty's brush has a regular design. F represents the face, E represents the eyes, and P represents the precision, a small amount of fine brush. In addition to the model number, Sigma Beauty will also engrave the name of brushes on holder to indicate its use, which is very friendly to beginners who are not familiar with the function of the brush.
The F80 is Sigma Beauty's most classic facial brush, known as KABUKI brush. The soft, dense and elastic F80 is suitable for different people with various makeup skills to makeup quickly and evenly, and also is friendly for beginners.
The F82 is an advanced foundation brush based on the F80. It has a smaller size, and can be used with fluid products. However, it requires sophisticated makeup skills. So if you just want buy a foundation brush, the F80 is the most recommended. The dense P88 concealer brush is suitable for concealing large area. The small F70 is designed for concealing details.
Most Sigma Beauty brushes are made of synthetic fibers, which is suitable for sensitive skin. It offers moderate powder grasping power, suitable for beginners. Moreover, you should use it patiently. The brush hoop is prone to be worn with oxidation and discoloration. The light-colored bristles may be dyed and even be loose. You’d better rinse it with normal detergent. It should be noted that brushes can’t be exposed to sun to avoid cracking.
The American brand NARS is a professional makeup brand that is full of creative minds and has become a hot topic in the makeup circle with its bold colors and unrestrained style since its establishment in 1994. The product name is quite explicit, which creates an advanced brand image for NARS, and makes every makeup enthusiast convinced by this high-end sexy. NARS was deeply influenced by Japanese culture after acquired by Shiseido. In 2011, it launched a set of Kabuki brushes, retaining NARS classic elements, which is full of mystery.
The most recommended products under NARS Kabuki brush sets are the blush brush and the flat contour brush. The blush brush has a rounded head, which can grasp powder in large area. It can blend blushes with low pigment quickly, and it also can be used as a contour brush. However, the blush brush is made of hard bristles and with a thin holder, which is prone to break. Kabuki brush is made of goat hair. It has a wide and flat head and with a plastic holder, which can smudge eyeshadow quickly and precisely. It can create a firm and three-dimensional makeup finish together with highlighting products.
Among NARS eye brushes, #41 and #49 are the most recommended. #41 eye shadow brush is made of pony hair. The flat and fluffy brush is suitable for coloring and smudging, a necessity for creating a smoky makeup. The #49 is made of synthetic fiber, which can be used wet or dry. It also can be used as a large version concealer brush.
Picasso is a brand used by many Korean makeup artists and beauty writers, including the famous makeup artist Pony. The Picasso brush is user-friendly.
The flat Proof 07 concealer brush has a small size like the nail of the index and middle fingers. It is made of synthetic hair and is suitable for applying to under eye area and around lip area. The brush head of the 501 Concealer Brush is longer and narrower, which can effectively cover bark spots, acne marks and other small blemishes. It is suitable for people who have more blemishes but pursue a lightweight makeup.
The 205a nose shadow brush is made of squirrel hair. The brush head is flat and slightly thicker, which is suitable for smudging.
Piccasso offers most of regular brushes, and always takes China and Japan factories as its original manufacturers. Its brushes are made of both synthetic hair and natural animal hair.
Real Techniques is a brand created by British YouTube beauty celebrity. All brushes under Real Techniques are made of synthetic fibers, which have low price. Moreover, they offer extraordinary use feeling, high quality and good makeup finish, so it became popular since launched.
The biggest advantage of synthetic fiber brushes is that they are water proof and oil proof. And they can be used with liquid or paste products, and rinsed easily and dry quickly. Real Techniques makeup brushes are divided into three categories according to their colors: foundation brush (yellow), eye brush (purple), contour brush (pink).
Buffing Brush is an all-round facial brush in Real Techniques Flawless Makeup Brushes, which is worth buying. It is recommended to purchase the brush set including Square foundation brush, Buffing Brush, Detailer Brush, and Contour brush because they are not sold separately. Buffing Brush has a flat and oblate arc head, which can be used to apply foundation. It is quite suitable for applying liquid foundation with moderate density, leaving a satisfying use feeling. Buffing Brush can not only be used for a final touch, but also as a blush brush and contour brush. The Contour brush is smaller than the Buffing Brush, which is an ideal to contour. In addition to creating shadows, the Contour brush is also an excellent highlighting brush. The basic coloring and blending brushes of Real Techniques' purple eye series have high softness and are good color pickers, suitable for daily use.
Sephora is one of the most influential cosmetics retailers in the world founded in Limoges, France in 1969. SEPHORA has more than 1,000 stores around the world, covering international cities in more than 28 countries including Paris, Milan, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Warsaw, Lisbon, Athens, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Moscow, etc..
The #91 loose powder brush is one of the bestsellers. The dense and thick brush is designed for grasping powder to help create a translucent makeup finish. The shape of #91 is similar to that of MAKE UP FOR EVER #130, but it offers stronger powder grasping power with a rounder and more fluffy brush head. Moreover, the price is only half of that of MAKE UP FOR EVER, which is worth buying.
The diamond brush of Sephora is hot in recent years. It looks fashionable with fine bristles, which can smudging larger area once upon applied. It may never leave brush marks, so it is suitable for concealing and for quick makeup.
The #32 eyeliner brush is an ideal to match with eyeliner. This short hair brush offers less elasticity, so it is a foolproof brush for drawing eyeliners. With flat head, it can smudge large areas without tingling, blinking and tearing, which is suitable for beginners.
Sephora doesn’t copy makeup brushes of other brands. It develops cost-effective products by adopting experiences from various brands.
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