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Many women enjoy applying cosmetics and new, fun makeup looks when they go out to grab food or drinks with friends. Sometimes, even if you don’t have anywhere to go, putting on makeup can just make you feel more put-together and excited for your day at home. Whether you’re a beauty professional or have a simple, standard beauty routine, the key to getting the perfect look is making sure you have all the right tools to apply your favorite products. Having a good, high-quality set of makeup brushes is just as important as the cosmetics you use.
However, with so many different options available on the market, it can be tricky to find the right brushes for your skin and makeup needs. To help make your shopping easier, and leave you with more time for your beauty routine, we created this comprehensive buying guide. Read on for our reviews of the highest-rated makeup brushes of 2022 as well as tips and factors to consider when choosing the optimal set.
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or a loved one, this first makeup brush set is a perfect present for any occasion. This option includes 14 pieces of various sizes and shapes to address all of your makeup application needs. Between eyebrow and eyeliner brushes and concealer and blending brushes, this set can be used to neatly apply a wide range of cream and liquid products for the ultimate look. Not only will this makeup brush set serve your every need, but it will look great doing it. These brushes come in elegant and chic rose gold, making them a must-have for any cosmetic bag. The white tips on these brushes also indicate when it’s time to clean them and if they’ve been sufficiently washed. As this high-quality pick is easy-to-use and affordable, this product is the best overall choice for makeup beginners and enthusiasts alike.
A large brush set of 14 pieces
Wooden and alloy handles
Each brush is fully allergen-free
If you’re looking for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly option, this makeup brush set from EcoTools is ideal for you. Each of the five brushes in this set is handcrafted with eco-friendly materials and can apply a wide range of makeup, including liquid, cream, and powder products. The bristles of each brush are made from a synthetic fiber that is friendly to the environment and safe for your skin. This pick also comes with a reusable storage tray to help keep your beauty space organized and clutter-free. If you want to read more about this particular collection and how EcoTools uses eco-friendly practices and design, visit their official product site.
100% vegan and cruelty-free
Includes five different-sized brushes
Tested by third-party companies
Made from Taklon, aluminum, and bamboo
Next up on our list is the largest and most versatile makeup brush set from Vander Life. With a whopping 24 pieces, you’ll be able to find and use a brush for applying any product. These cruelty-free and synthetic fiber makeup brushes are also very delicate and ideal for even the most sensitive skin. Moreover, the wooden handles of the makeup brushes boast a matte finish that ensures a comfortable grip and full creative control. That gives you the freedom to experiment as you want without difficulty. Plus, this option comes in a gorgeous gold and champagne color, so they’ll look great on display on your vanity. This set is easy and fun to use, so it’s perfect for both professionals and beginners.
Includes a luxurious travel makeup bag
Includes 20 versatile brushes
One-year warranty and 100% money-back guarantee
On the hunt for the most reasonably priced makeup brush collection? Take a look at this set of 20 brushes. All of the brushes have thick bristles which don’t shed and an easy-to-hold handle, ensuring you can comfortably and smoothly blend the foundation, liquid, cream, and powder without any hand cramps. Plus, this product is easy to clean. After doing your makeup, you can easily rinse them in water and use them the next time — it's as simple as that. If they’re still dirty, try adding a little bit of face wash for deep cleaning. In addition, these makeup brushes are available in a few different color combinations, including black, coffee, and gold — each with light blue handles.
Made of synthetic fiber and wood
Includes 20 makeup brushes
High-quality, non-shed construction
The final makeup brush set on our list will certainly amaze you. Not only does this option include 10 high-quality brushes, but also features a makeup sponge and makeup brush cleaner. These tools are designed to apply bronzers, blushes, liquid and pressed foundations, as well as cream cosmetics. The soft yet durable bristles provide a flawless and smooth application for all skin types. Due to the additional tools for easy cleaning and makeup blending, this product is great for professionals, as well as for home use. Additionally, you can buy these makeup tools with confidence, thanks to the one-year warranty that comes with them.
Classic no-shedding and cruelty-free design
Made from synthetic fibers, aluminum, and wood
Non-latex beauty sponge
Finding your next makeup brushes: A buyer’s guide
Once you start shopping and looking through different brush sets, you’ll notice that makeup brushes come in a wide variety of options — big and small, pricey and inexpensive, or short and tall.
Especially if it’s your first time buying brushes, it can be difficult to figure out which option is the right one for your requirements and routine. To make the decision easier, we put together this detailed buying guide to help you make the best choice.
Factors to consider when shopping for makeup brushes
The overall quality of the makeup brush is arguably the most important factor that you should take into consideration. Make sure that the one you plan to purchase is manufactured from top-tier, high-quality materials and features durable workmanship.
Before making the final decision, another factor you should consider is versatility. Most sets typically include a wide range of brushes, while some include other accessories such as a travel bag or makeup brush cleaning tool.
Typically, an ideal makeup brush set will have an angled brush, face flat brush, round brush, tapered brush, blending brush, eyeshadow brush, concealer brush, detail brush, and an eyeliner brush, among others. The more elements included in the set, the better. So, it doesn't hurt to go for a brush set with numerous pieces to ensure that you can properly apply any product.
Size, shape, and weight
Makeup brushes come in several sizes, shapes, and weights, which have a direct impact on performance. You should determine the size and weight you find comfortable because both qualities will impact how comfortable the tools are to use, influencing how well you can apply your makeup.
The right makeup brush will feel well balanced in your hand when using it and should be well-suited to the product you’re applying. For example, a brush with a tapered head shape is best for the precise application of cream or liquid foundation, while an angled head shape helps to create the perfect arch.
Generally, the most expensive makeup brushes are considered the highest-quality options, but that is not always the case. Ultimately, it’s best to choose your makeup brushes based on the vital factors we've discussed above.
While you may find some brush sets that cost as low as $6, some premium options can cost as high as $20. The average high-quality brush set costs around $10.
Differences between natural and synthetic makeup brushes
Makeup brushes made from natural or synthetic fibers are quite different from each other. To help you choose between the two, we’ll review some of their respective characteristics.
Natural fiber makeup brushes are manufactured from animal hair such as goats, squirrels, or sables, so they are not considered cruelty-free or vegan. These fibers typically have a light brown color and are very fluffy and soft on the skin. This ensures that they feel great to use and are practical for blending but aren’t necessarily good for liquid or cream products. They may also require more careful cleaning.
On the other hand, synthetic brushes are made from manmade fibers, including polyester, nylon, Taklon, and other synthetic materials. These brush tips can come in a range of colors, from brown to white. The texture may be rougher on the skin, but many are specifically designed to be soft for all skin types and still practical for blending. Since these fibers don’t contain cuticles, their moisture-absorbing capabilities are much lower, making them great for applying liquid or cream products and very easy to clean.
Benefits of makeup brushes
Without question, makeup brushes make the application of cosmetics easier, but their benefits go beyond that. Here are some other ones:
Ensure even, blended application of makeup, helping you to achieve a flawless look
Build full coverage more easily than your fingers or makeup sponges
Faster to use compared to your fingers and makeup sponges
Deliver great and long-lasting results compared to other tools
Cleaning your makeup brushes
It’s important to regularly clean your makeup brushes properly, ensuring that they last longer and don’t irritate your skin. Here are a couple of steps you should follow to clean them:
1) Prepare the makeup brushes
The first thing that you should do is wet the brush bristles with some lukewarm water. Make sure that the water isn't burning hot — this can damage the fibers and weaken the glue that secures them to the brush.
2) Apply a facial cleanser
Next, apply a few drops of your cleanser to your palm. Most facial cleansers are sufficient to properly clean and remove makeup from the brush since they already do this for your face, so strong chemical cleaners are unnecessary and potentially unsafe.
3) Massage the bristles
Once you have the cleanser in your hand, proceed to gently massage it into the wet brush bristles.
4) Rinse the brush
Now, simply rinse the cleaner off the bristles and use a clean microfiber towel to squeeze out all of the remaining moisture in the brush.
5) Re-form the bristles
The last thing that you want to do is re-form the bristles back into their original shape and lay them out on a towel to completely dry. Don’t use a blow dryer or other heat to dry your brushes; simply wait for them to fully air dry on their own.
Not only can makeup make you look good, but it can boost your self-confidence, making you feel good, too. To make sure that you apply it well and properly, and without dirtying your hands, use a high-quality makeup brush set. We hope that through our reviews of the top-rated picks and detailed buyer's guide you will be able to purchase the right makeup brushes for your preferences and needs.
People also asked
Q: Are synthetic makeup brushes bad for my skin?
A: If you have extremely sensitive skin, then we suggest that you avoid synthetic fibers — they can cause severe allergic reactions or irritation to your face. Instead, consider a set of makeup brushes made with natural fibers.
Q: When should I clean my makeup brushes?
A: There is no one correct answer for when to clean your makeup brushes. However, dermatologists and makeup artists generally agree that you should wash your brushes regularly. We recommend washing them at least once every two weeks.
Q: When should I replace my makeup brushes?
A: Just like any other product used frequently, brushes are prone to tear and wear. Once you notice that the brushes are starting to shed or fray, you should consider replacing them with new ones.
Q: The collection I purchased is missing brushes — what should I do?
A: If there are missing brushes in your collection, then you should immediately get in touch with the manufacturer of the product and inform them of the situation. To make the process a lot faster, we strongly suggest that you send visible pictures of the product. Generally, one of their representatives will respond to you and provide you with a solution as soon as possible.