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THE 10 BEST MAKEUP BRUSHES FOR ACHIEVING PROFESSIONAL-LEVEL MAKEUP LOOKS
Over the past year, the way in which we show off our makeup looks has been heavily limited by face masks and our Instagram selfie game. Outside of graphic liner and bold eyeshadow looks, there wasn't a whole lot we could do to stand out from the crowd—in person, anyways. With things starting to look up, we think it's finally safe to go all out with our glam again. And if we're going to do so, blending our makeup with our fingers and soiled makeup sponges simply won't do the trick. What we really need are some high-quality makeup brushes.
The problem? Not all brushes are created equal. In fact, that's sort of the point, since every makeup brush is designed for a specific use. Our ideal makeup brush is an MUA-approved applicator that doesn't shed, comes with cloud-soft bristles, and avoids a streaky-looking finish. However, we know that finding brushes that check all those boxes can be a pain. To make it easy on you, we rounded up a list of the internet's best makeup brushes in every category—we're talking foundation, concealer, blush, cream contour, and more—so you can have a complete set that you feel confident in.
Our Method For Finding The Best Makeup Brushes
A great makeup brush is key to precise, flawless application. To round up the Top 10 options out there for every use, we enlisted the help of our data-driven algorithm. This handy tool ranks and scores products based on best-selling buzz, real reviews, editorial recommendations, and more to provide shopping recommendations you can count on. From drugstore buys to high-end finds, the list below features 10 non-shedding, no-nonsense brushes for every skill level and budget. Keep scrolling to discover the best brush for every step in your makeup routine.
May 17, 2021
Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.
Sigma Beauty E55 Eye Shading Brush
BEST EYESHADOW BRUSH
WHY YOU NEED IT: Designed with soft, dense bristles and a rounded head, this brush transfers pigment without any fallout and out blends eyeshadow like a dream. And since it's designed with a square shape, you can pat cream or powdered shadow all over your lids with expert precision.
WHO IT'S FOR: If you're a fan of shimmer and glitter, this eyeshadow brush is a must-have. It'll pack shadow onto your lids with minimal fallout.
Make Up For Ever 242 Large Blender Brush
BEST BLENDING BRUSH
LOVED FOR: The large, flared bristles on this blending brush make it easy to apply formulas of any consistency—think everything from creams to loose powders.
HELPFUL TIP: Since this brush features slightly longer bristles than the average blending brush, you'll want to ensure you use a light hand to achieve the most flawless shadow transition possible.
Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Cheek-Hugging Highlight Brush 120
BEST HIGHLIGHTER BRUSH
WHAT IT DOES: This cheek-hugging highlighting brush boasts an asymmetrical cut that allows you to apply your highlighter with professional-level precision and edge.
HELPFUL TIP: To ensure your brushes last as long as possible, it's crucial to store them in a clean and dry area. Display them in a chic organizer on your vanity, or use a compact carrying case to save storage space.
EcoTools Wonder Cover Makeup Brush
BEST CONTOUR BRUSH
WHY YOU NEED IT: In 2018, Allure crowned this contouring brush a Best of Beauty Award winner. Affordable and eco-friendly, this drugstore find is designed with 60,000 dense bristles and cruelty-free bamboo that makes contouring a breeze.
THINGS TO KNOW: This makeup brush works wet or dry. Pretty neat, if you ask us.
bareMinerals Supreme Finisher Brush
BEST BRONZER BRUSH
WHAT IT DOES: This fluffy makeup brush delivers sheer application of products like finishing powders, luminizers, and bronzers. Thanks to the waved bristles, you'll never have to worry about picking up or sweeping on too much product.
HELPFUL TIP: Makeup brushes can harbor a ton of bacteria, which is why cleaning them regularly is so crucial. But it's also important because it allows for better makeup application and extends the lifetime of your brushes.
bareMinerals Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush
BEST CONCEALER BRUSH
WHY YOU NEED IT: Expertly designed and approved by MUAs and reviewers alike, this makeup brush conceals blemishes, scarring, broken capillaries, and freckles like no other.
WHAT IT DOES: The soft, extra-thin fibers on this brush hold more concealer than the average tool for quicker cover-ups. Bonus points for a slender shape that makes it easy to get into the crevices of the eyes, nose, and mouth.
It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe French Boutique Blush Brush #4
BEST BLUSH BRUSH
THINGS TO KNOW: A 45-degree angle and precision cut allow the bristles on this brush to glide across the face effortlessly. Thanks to an ergonomic handle, it's easy to hold and maneuver for expert-level application.
HELPFUL TIP: For squeaky-clean brushes, combine a few drops of antibacterial soap and olive oil to get the deepest clean.
Real Techniques Powder & Bronzer Brush
BEST POWDER BRUSH
WHY YOU NEED IT: A powder brush should be one thing: soft. This ultra-plush and affordable option features hand-cut bristles and a fluffy, rounded shape that prevents cakiness and ensures a flawless base.
THINGS TO KNOW: This brush is designed to stand on its own, making storage a breeze.
Cover FX Liquid Foundation Brush
BEST LIQUID FOUNDATION BRUSH
WHY YOU NEED IT: This brush has a dense, flat top and tightly packed bristles to deliver an airbrushed finish that works with liquid, powder, and cream formulas alike.
USER REVIEW: "This is another high-performance brush by Cover FX! I have almost always used a Beautyblender because I could NOT find that perfect foundation brush! This is it! This brush is soft, and the texture is amazing! It washes well and allows for flawless foundation application!"
Artis 5-Piece Artis Elite Brush Set
BEST BRUSH SET
WHY YOU NEED IT: This set offers everything you need to apply lip color, concealer, eyeshadow, liner, brow powder, foundation, contour, and blush like a pro. Needless to say, it's definitely worth the splurge.
THINGS TO KNOW: The lightweight handles on these brushes allow for enhanced control and precision.
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