Essentials: Make Up Brushes

I posted this pic on my Instagram (follow me: tiffanyish) of my makeup brushes after they went through a washing and @jmpwiji asked for suggestions on a set of basic make up brushes for every day make up.  I realized that I’ve never posted about my love of brushes before so wanted to do a round up of my favorites and recommendations.

Obviously, I’m a little nuts and love my make up brushes and you don’t really need this many.  This is a collection of brushes after many years of buying brushes and sometimes I buy them individually and sometimes I buy them as sets which then results in many multiple brushes but the good part about having all these brushes is that I can go a bit longer in washing my brushes since I always have doubles for back up!
My brushes are a mix of Stila, EcoTools, MAC, Sephora and a brand that I found in China.

The below are my every day essentials.  I use them daily and could not do my make up without them.

EcoTools Foundation Brush – obviously for foundation but I also use this to dab on my under eye concealer
Bamboo Angled Eyeliner Brush – I use this when I use my gel liners.  Works fab and you get a nice steady line and easy to angle with. Also sometimes I use this to dip into a black shadow and lightly tap onto my lower lash line for a smoky look.
EcoTools Kabuki Brush – I finish off my makeup with this dipped into a little bit of loose powder 
Stila Double Sided Eyeshadow/liner brush – I love shadow brushes.  The amount of makeup you can do with eyeshadow brushes is crazy.  But when I’m lazy and don’t want to try anything new with my eyes I use this brush.  The bigger side is used for an all over neutral color on my lid and the thinner side I use with a dark color to fill in my crease.
MAC 116 Blush Brush – blush brushes are so important in how it applies onto your cheek.  You don’t want it to big or else you’ll just have bright pink cheeks so having it a bit smaller gives you a more concentrated area and then being able to have control over how much area it goes over.

If you are looking for a good set to start with, I recommend this for your face basics.  You can use the big fluffy brushes for your powder and overall setting of your makeup, and it also comes with a concealer brush and a eye shading brush which is awesome for blending your shadows.

This set is perfect for all your eye shadow application.  I like to use the big fluffy ones to give my lids an all over color or use it in a light color to highlight just under the brow bone.  The others are great to apply the shadows either all over or with the smaller ones, you get a more precise application of where exactly you want the shadow to go which for me is usually just in the outer or inner corners of my eyes.  Because my eyes are small, I don’t like to do one all over color and instead do a light shade on the inside corner and a darker shade on the outside corner so I use different brushes for those.  Then you can use the middle fluff brush to blend the two together in the middle of your lid.  Best of all both of these sets are less than $10!

I recommend EcoTools because the price is great and I haven’t had trouble with their brushes losing bristles, getting stuck in my make up or finding random bristles on my face after I used it which has happened to me with other cheaper brands.

If you are looking to invest in brushes, Bobbi Brown has a set of Basic Brushes.  It comes with six brushes: Concealer, Foundation, Face Blender, Eyeshadow, Eyeliner and Eyebrow, which gives you everything you need for a great basic set.  I actually started out with Bobbi Brown brushes but over the years had to get rid of a few and have since replaced them but I have always liked her brushes.

There is definitely a difference between cheap make up brushes and expensive ones.  The expensive ones hold onto the makeup a bit better, apply smoother and last WAY longer.  And as I mentioned above, you don’t get the fall out of the bristles which is one of my pet peeves.

If you want something in an in between price point and a little more than just basic brushes, I have this Sephora set and highly recommend it.  The only thing is the bristles are a bit harder than I prefer and I don’t love the powder brush (it’s a bit thick and takes a bit more powder than I like) however, it’s a great price for the set and the brushes are good quality.

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  • phiphis blog
    September 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    what a great review! i have MAC brushes and they are so fun. it is astonishing though, how many kinds of brushes there are out there!!

    xox P

    phiphi's blog

  • Caroline
    September 27, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    great recommendations! i'm currently obsessed with using a sponge for foundation, bb cream, liquid based makeup, but i definitely do need some nice ones for the eyes and so forth!

  • Stephanie
    September 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    such a great review!! i'm loving those pink brushes, so cute =)

  • Fabulous Petite
    September 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    At one point I was super obssessed with make up brushes. The funny thing is, I don't use them all. I keep reaching out with my mac's and Sonia Kashuk. great review and thank's for sharing.


  • Alicja
    September 27, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Great post Dear:-) I also love Ecotools brushes and those from Sephora as well. Love your products reviews:-)

  • Sheila
    September 27, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Great posts! I love makeup brushes too. 🙂 I recently started to try out Ecotools kabuki brushes so I'm glad you talked about the brand! I also love the Sigma HD brushes. The F80 is perfect for liquid foundation!

    xo – Sheila

  • freeteyme
    September 27, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    I use Stila and Sephora brushes and I love them.

  • Delusions of Grandeur
    September 27, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Oh wow – this is quite the collection! For YEARS I just used those crappy plastic and foam applicators that came with eyeliner, and my fingers for foundation – I had no idea what I was doing! I have invested in a few brushes since – my collection is nowhere near yours, but you've given me some ideas as to new brushes to try. One thing I have found and absolutely love is the beauty blender foundation applicator – blows any foundation brush I've tried out of the water! (Although like you, I keep my flat foundation brushes around for under eye concealer). Have a great week/weekend!

  • dreamingincashmere
    September 27, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    I've got to look into new brushes, most of mine are so old!! Thanks for all of the recommendations:)
    xo, amy

  • Heather
    September 28, 2012 at 2:12 am

    Girl you have quite the collection! I really need to invest!


  • simplyvonne
    September 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Ecotools is actually my favorite brushes! I also love everyday mineral brushes too. I didnt start using foundation brush until recently and what a huge huge difference it made!