The best makeup brushes to buy now (2024)

“If you’ve used a brush with just powder, dip the hair into some warm water and then dip it into some brush cleaner. Follow this by sweeping the hair gently in the palm of your hand in circular motions. This will make the cleanser foam up and then once you rinse the foam away, the makeup will rinse away also. Finally run the brush between your thumb and forefinger to remove any excess water and leave to dry on its side. The following morning it will be dry and ready to use.

“If you’ve used any liquid-based products like foundation, concealer or lipstick, you need to ‘dry wash’ them first. So instead of wetting the brush first, dip the brush straight into the brush cleanser and work the cleanser through the brush fibers before rinsing. You may need to do this a few times before rinsing, as some long-wearing products can be tricky to remove.

“For some really stubborn residues, work a little washing-up liquid into the dry brush fibers before anything else, as this can help break down any oils or silicone before working into the brush cleanser. After, rinse thoroughly and leave to dry on its side as before.”

What are the most important brushes to have?

For foundation

“The best foundation brush has to be the Mac 159S Brush. It is the perfect middle-of-the-road brush. It is short but with movement, dense with some sparsity, and flat with some roundness. It allows you to increase the coverage where you need it, and also buff foundation away to create sheerer coverage where you want your skin to come through. It really does work for everyone,” says Skinner.

MAC - 159S Duo Fibre Blush Brush

For concealer

If you’re applying a light concealer, Skinner says, “an eyeshadow blending brush is perfect, as it will blend out the edges and will look seamless”. If you’re going heavier with it under the eyes, “look to a super dense brush to give you superior coverage.” For this, we recommend the Dior Backstage Large Eyeshadow Blending Brush.

Dior Backstage - Brush N°23

For powder

“Most people get their powder brush selection wrong,” says Skinner. “A big brush may seem like the obvious tool to use, but this won’t help you control the amount of powder or the placement of this power. It’ll look too much, too dry and you may end up looking dusty. A large eyeshadow blending brush allows you to powder the areas you want without losing your skin’s natural radiance. Use it to work powder from the inner corner of the eye and under, down the sides of the nose and the nose tip and along the jawline. You’ll be left with powder matte skin that still looks alive and glowing where you want it. I call this strategic powdering!” The cruelty-free The Body Shop Eyeshadow Blending Brush allows for easy and flawless powder application.

The Body Shop - Eyeshadow Blending Brush

For blush

“Blusher is another brush type where people tend to go too big. Smaller is better in most cases, as this allows for more control of the finished look.” The tapered and fluffy head of the Mac 133S Brush works well for blush of any finish.

MAC - 133S Small Cheek Brush

For bronzer

“With bronzer, people tend to just use their powder or blusher brush, which is ok, but what if you want your bronzer to shape as well as add warmth? My tip is to use a brush that is slightly more flat instead of round. This way you can use the edge to cut high into your cheekbone, and then use the width to blend out. This will also work along hairlines and jawbones,” advises Skinner. A brush that can shape and blend? Try the Nars ITA Brush.

Nars - Ita Brush

For highlighter

“Highlighter can be confusing at the best of times. If your brush is too large you can look robotic; if it’s too small then you can look like a piece of strip lighting,” shares Skinner.

How do I know if my makeup brushes are good quality?

“The first thing you need to understand is that good quality doesn’t necessarily mean expensive,” says Skinner. “Also, what works for one person doesn’t particularly mean they will work for you.” However, what Skinner does suggest is that you should look for a balance between firmness and softness. If a brush is not firm enough you won’t have control over the application. If it’s too soft, the product won’t transfer onto the eye, but if it’s too rough it will feel uncomfortable. “What you’re looking for is the Goldilocks of brushes, something just right,” he says. “So it’s important to get you hands on them and try them out.”

What make-up brushes do professionals use?

Below, find Vogue’s edit of the best make-up brushes for every area of your face, and just what it is that sets them apart from the rest.

Spectrum Collections Buffing Foundation Brush

Spectrum - MB05 - Pinceau estompeur de précision Spectrum Collections

Whether you’re using liquid, powder or cream, the dense flat top bristles of this flat top buffer allows for easy foundation application. If you want a seamless natural finish, buff foundation into skin using light circular motions. If you want heavier coverage, pat and bounce onto skin.

SUQQU Eyeshadow Brush

Suqqu - Eyeshadow brush

Thinking of adding a wash of color to your eye? Invest in a larger brush from Suqqu brush. Using the very best Japanese craftsmanship, its soft fibers allow for expert blending.

Charlotte Tilbury Complexion Brush

Charlotte Tilbury - Magic Complexion Brush

Charlotte Tilbury’s Complexion Brush offers a large, flat-top head which makes it ideal for buffing foundation onto the skin, for the ultimate flawless finish.

Shiseido Maru Fude Multi Face Brush

The best makeup brushes to buy now (2024)


What type of brush is best for makeup? ›

According to celebrity makeup artist Amrita Mehta, brushes with synthetic bristles work well with cream and liquid products, while natural hair brushes are better for powders. For fuller coverage, look for brushes with densely packed bristles.

Do expensive makeup brushes make a difference? ›

But expensive makeup brushes ensure a seamless application and an airbrushed look. As a result, your makeup lasts longer and looks better.

Which brushes are best for foundation? ›

A flat brush allows you to paint product on, which provides the highest coverage. Buffing brushes are best used in small, circular movements and will give you medium to full coverage with an even, streak-free finish. For sheer to medium coverage, reach for a stippling brush which boasts bristles of different lengths.

Are makeup brushes better than beauty blenders? ›

Makeup brushes are more expensive than sponges so they are a bit of an investment, but they will last you much longer and they are easier to clean (and more hygienic!) Sponges can be good, if not a little tricky! If not used properly, foundation will go on heavier – which is fine if you are looking for more coverage.

How much should I spend on makeup brushes? ›

From my perspective, really good brushes range from $20 to $70 dollars per tool.” Cheap brushes don't work as well because they're less durable and need to be replaced more often. Marcia Williams, founder of Embellish Beauty, also prefers pricier brushes.

How to know a good quality makeup brush? ›

Quality brushes should feel soft and gentle against your skin. If a brush feels rough and scratchy, then it is of low quality and should not be used on your skin. If it's also a brush with bristles that fall out all the time, it is not of good quality.

What makeup brushes do I absolutely need? ›

The foundation brush is probably the most daunting of them all, but without a doubt, the most important. Your foundation is the primary makeup step you most need to perfect, it's your canvas. The traditional foundation brush is flat with flexible bristles that are great for blending liquid or cream foundations.

How do I choose a foundation brush? ›

Which Foundation Brush Should You Use - Makeup Artist Tool of...
  1. Kabuki Brush - Best for a quick, airbrushed finish. The Kabuki Brush is the perfect brush for quick, perfectly blended foundation every time. ...
  2. Complexion Brush - Best for full, even coverage.  ...
  3. Flat Foundation Brush - Best for a precise, even application.
May 7, 2020

Do you wet brush before applying foundation? ›

Ideally, a foundation brush mustn't be wet when used. A wet brush will dilute the foundation and its coverage will be watered-down. Water also changes the shape of the foundation brush, affecting its performance and preventing it from buffing and applying makeup properly, especially when applying powder foundation.

What brand of paint brushes do professionals use? ›

What's the best paintbrush for professional painters? You really have two camps of brushes: the Purdy brand and the Corona brand. Both are fantastic, and each painter has their own personal preference between the two.

What is the best makeup brand? ›

These Brands have earned their status as favourites among Makeup Artists worldwide, consistently delivering innovative products and stunning results.
  • 1) Maybelline. ...
  • 2) L'oreal. ...
  • 3) MAC Cosmetics. ...
  • 4) Estee Lauder. ...
  • 5) Fenty Beauty. ...
  • 6) NARS Cosmetics. ...
  • 7) Dior. ...
  • 8) Bare Minerals.
Feb 26, 2024

Which material makeup brush is best? ›

The main truth is that natural makeup brushes work best for blending powder-based products into a smooth, natural finish. Synthetic hairs made of nylon, polyester, or other synthetic materials are used to make the bristles of synthetic makeup brushes.

What do makeup artists use to clean brushes? ›

Tom Pecheux: “I like to use an organic soap to clean my brushes. Something like Savon De Marseille Olive Oil Soap, which I prefer in a bar, so that I can rub my brushes directly onto the bar of soap. I do this after each time I use my brushes.

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