I think many of you out there will agree with me when I say that makeup application is much more exciting when you’ve got GREAT (and clean) brushes to work with. There’s just something about blending in your foundation or tinted moisturizer with a stipple or foundation brush that makes the ritual of makeup application that much more enjoyable. And let’s face it, one’s makeup will only look as good as one’s makeup brushes.
But you honestly don’t have to have the best of the best out there (my heart is singing sonnets for you, Hakuhodo). Sure, they’d be AWESOME, just AWESOMEEE to have, but not having the Rolls Royce of makeup brushes does not mean that your makeup won’t look as good. There are several high street and even drugstore brands that do the job quite nicely, but at much more affordable — and less heart attack-inducing — price points. Here are some of the brushes I keep finding myself reaching for when I ‘put on my face.’
- MAC 150 Large Powder Brush: This brush has a large, dense full dome — perfect for applying loose powder to set my foundation or buffing out any harsh lines from contouring.
- EcoTools Bamboo Powder Brush: One of the softest brushes out there. Seriously. It’s not nearly as dense as MAC’s 150, but it does apply powder beautifully. I use this on the go more than I do at home since it’s super cheap so I don’t have to worry about like dropping it inside the public toilet or something. ‘Ya never know.
- MAC 129 Powder/Blush Brush: This is classified as being both a powder and blush brush, but I think it performs better as blush brush due to its size. It is very soft and applies blush evenly. Be careful not to overload your brush as it will pack on too much colour.
- EcoTools Bamboo Blush Brush: Another winner from EcoTools. Seriously, their brushes are just sooooooooo soft! This tapered blush brush is made out of taklon (just like the rest of the EcoTools makeup brushes, as far as I know) and also applies like a dream. I think it’s worth mentioning, that I have never seen anything fall out from either brushes by EcoTools. Score!
- MAC 199 Small Duo-Fibre Face Brush: This flat-top brush is made of both goat and synthetic fibres. I use this for everything, really: blending in my foundation, applying cream blush, mineral blush, and regular blush, heck I even use it to blend concealer in with the rest of my face. It applies products so lightly that you’re almost always guaranteed a natural and diffused finish.
- Chanel Foundation Brush #6: My biggest splurge of the bunch. I use it to apply foundation or tinted moisturizer (I wear both depending on my mood or how much coverage I need). I alternate this with the MAC 188 brush, but this definitely gives me more coverage for those days when I really need it and I just love how soft it is. The handle is much shorter than I would expect from a foundation brush, but you know what, I think it’s perfect.
- MAC 109 Small Contour Brush: I got this very recently (thanks, MAC fairy!!) specifically for contouring since I can’t for the life of me seem to make the 168 work. Its dome is very small and its bristles are very tightly packed, so apply lightly, people! I do love that the small dome of the brush means that I can be more precise with my contouring. Love it.