Thursday, October 17th, 2013

The Hit List

What’s the Best Makeup Brush Brand that you’ve tried?

Share your pick!  And don’t forget to share why :)

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73 thoughts on “Hit List: Best Makeup Brush Brand

  1. Brushes are my favorite topic! Koyudo, Chikuhodo, Hakuhodo, Houkodou, Tanseido, & the Rae Morris “Radiance” brush.

    • Louise

      Yeaah, another japanese brush lover!
      My favourites are Hakuhodo, Chikuhoho and Koyudo – especially the Koyudo Fu-Pa range is brilliant (and Tom Ford, but those brushes are manufactured by Hakuhodo, so…).

      • Maria Clara

        Hakuhodo and Suqqu used to ocuppy this position in my heart, but now I’m so in love with my new Koyudo brushes that I don’t even know.

        Speaking of Suqqu, I’ve been preparing myself to splurge on some Chikuhodo Z series, but, since I live in Brazil and import duty can get pretty high, I can just choose 2 or 3 brushes.

        Do you guys have any suggestions?

        • Hello Maria
          I love Koyudo too and I recently ordered some Chikuhodo Brushes… I ordered a big powder brush (Z1) which I love… and a cheek brush (Z4)… I also ordered two eyeshadow brushes… but I don’t use them too often… I can only recommend Z1 and Z4.
          HOWEVER, if you want to really do some “investigation”, have you read the reviews from sweetmakeuptemptations? She is so experienced and there are plenty of pictures and reviews for the Chikuhodo brushs!!!

          • Louise

            Oh yes sweetmakeuptemptations is like a temple for japanese brush lovers – she owns a massive, amazing collection!

            I have heard great things about the Chikuhodo brushes, but there’s only one that I really really want, the Special G-9 – brush perfection :).

        • what do you guys recommend for a good lip brush? :)

    • Ann Casimiro

      Yes! Kumano Japan brushes are the best! I own suqqu brushes which are manufactured by Chikuhodo. Can’t wait to get my hands on Hakuhodo, Koyudo, Tanseido and Chikuhodo as well

      • Alex

        I love Japanese make-up brands (Shiseido and Kose – honestly, you can’t go wrong!), however I’ve never tried Japanese brushes. It’s probably a stupid question, but how does their quality compare to brands like Ecotools or Reat Techniques? Out of sheer curiosity – would you say the difference in quality is worth the money? I find that literally all brushes I own come from the two aforementioned companies, and I’m quite pleased with how they perform, hence my question.

  2. patsyann

    Ok, this one is a no brainer: Hakuhodo! These brushes are beautiful to hold and beautiful to use. Soft when they have to be, of course…but depending on their stated use, not uselessly floppy. They are expensive but the company carries several “lines” and most of the brushes are available in the economical line and those are about the same price as MAC brushes. Although imported from Japan, the company has a US headquarters in Southern California and a show room (not exactly a retail store) where you can make an appointment to go and see and touch and buy! Your brushes will be shipped from there, not from Japan. Of course, they also have a good internet store and they excel at answering your questions by phone. They have a presence at all the IMATS shows. I have only had my small collection since January but I am anxious to add to my little stash.

  3. Natasha M.

    I would have to say MAC!!! Even that I own brushes from different brands, but the ones that I am using all the time is MAC!!!!

  4. Jess

    My favorite brushes in my collection are the ones by OCC. The quality and design of the synthetic hairs are superlative to the other synthetic brushes I’ve used. They’re so good that I wouldn’t immediately know they were synthetic if i were just given them blindly.

    My other favorite brushes hail from Everyday Minerals and Real Techniques. The quality of the synthetic hairs on the EDM brushes are excellent. In the set I have from RT, I really love the variety of the shapes and how versatile each brush is. Also, the quality you get for the price is outstanding!

  5. For eyes I really prefer MAC, but face brushes I would say Real Techniques.

    • Same here!
      I love my MAC 239 and 217! I can’t do eye shadow without them! I had my 217 for over 2 years and 239 for nearly a year, not a single hair has shed! But MAC face brushes would more or less shed some hair or so I heard. My everyday face brushes are all from Real Technique, the quality is just amazing! And not even mention that affordable price! I feel like I’m taking advantages!

  6. Jamie

    Sephora brand!

  7. Gen

    I LOVE the Real Technique brushes!

  8. Mel

    Wish I could afford Hakuhodo :( I’m fine with MAC.

  9. Alicja

    Sigma! 😉 I can’t afford Hakuhodo brushes…

  10. Hakuhodo are pretty good. Sephora and Mac ones never fail me either.

  11. xamyx

    Sonia Kashuk, Real Techniques, and several e.l.f. brushes. I have other brands, many much more expensive, but these are what I use most. Posh & Essence of Beauty are great, too. I actually much prefer my less expensive brushes, actually…

    • DITTO! I love my Essence of Beauty and E.L.F. brushes. And I looove Sephora brand brushes too! The day I can afford it, I might venture into the world of luxury brushes. The way things are right now, I prefer to spend my money on good products and rather skimp on brushes/applicators!

      • xamyx

        I actually have back-ups of many of these brushes, and I rarely do that. I have only one that doesn’t “perform” well for its purpose (e.l.f. angled foundation brush), but it is HG for placing cream contour shades!

  12. I love Real Techniques brushes!
    Beautiful and affordable.

  13. Brenda S. Roter

    I love the brushes by IT Cosmetics. They are super soft ( on my super sensitive skin) and don’t shed. Wash great too. What more could you want?

  14. Lisa Lisa

    Real Techniques

  15. Olivia

    I actually really love my Sigma Essentials Kit! I use it and my MAC 217 (because the kit has no comparable brush). I’ve had NO problem with shedding over the year I’ve had them (literally, many of the brushes haven’t shed a single hair). I thought about buying a Mr or Mrs. Bunny set, but they just increased the price $35 so I’m not going to buy any more sets from them :(

    • Christina

      I can’t believe they raised the price that high!! I have been looking at those sera for awhile too, but I will be passing on those now! Way too high for what you get in my opinion. I really love bh cosmetics brushes – especially their blending brushes and they are very inexpensive and super soft! I also like crown brush – their fan brush is the best, bronzer brush is great, angled blush brush works amazing too! And their eye brushes are just like the ones I have from sigma…no different at all. Actually I like the crown better. And my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE brand is Sedona Lace!! Best brushes for the value. I feel like they make the se brushes and quality that sigma does, but they are a lot cheaper!!! Their set of brushes are absolutely worth the money!!

  16. MAC is my no. 1 and ZOEVA has good quality budget brushes.

  17. Still MAC for me. Though Sigma has proven to be a great budget-friendly alternative!

  18. Alexsis

    I prefer Mac, Real Techniques and Royal and Langnickel! I like Mac eye brushes better than their face brushes (cannot live without my 217!). Real Techniques Strippling brush is my go to foundation brush and are quite affordable for their quality. I love R&L brushes all together, especially their Revolution line…super dense, super soft and are great quality!!

  19. I’m honestly so impressed by the Real Techniques brushes. I don’t love every single one of them, but the ones I do, I’m completely obsessed with. For instance the Expert Face Brush is amazing for contouring with the stiff, packed bristles. LOVE! Plus they’re easy to clean and are easily distinguishable with the colored handles.

  20. Lauren

    For face, definitely Real Techniques. I also like the new Sephora line. Oddly enough, though, the brush I reach for the most for crease and eye blending is an Up and Up one from Target… Best couple bucks I’ve ever spent! I think I have four of them (lazy about washing).

    • Yes! I have two of those Up & Up blending brushes. One’s kept with my eye brushes, and the other’s kept with my smaller face brushes because it works for blending liquid concealer. I love them, too!

  21. Monica

    Real Techniques! They are my favorite.

  22. Hakuhodo, Chikuhodo and Koyudo are pretty equal quality wise, but i prefer Hakuhodo for availability, fast shipping and large selection. I finally got my last Koyudo order 3 days ago after waiting 6 weeks for them, apparently they had to make them first, lol. I’m extremely satisfied with them though and plan on ordering more.

  23. Sophie

    Mac, Bobbi Brown and real techniques!

  24. Karla

    Mac for eyes , cheeks and contouring and Dior for foundation

  25. Malia

    The waiting for koyudo brushes is the worst… I waited 6 weeks on my orders too but aesthetically I prefer them over hakuhodo. I can’t say for sure what my favorite Brand is though. For synthetics, all my hourglass brushes are really nice.

  26. Miriam

    Paula Dorf, her brushes are amazing!

  27. Tori

    Ooh, if I had to narrow it down to a single brand, it would be Chikuhodo. I love their face brushes, in particular those from the Z-series, and they make brushes for brands like Suqqu, where my favourite blush brush is from. But there are so many other great brands out there: Koyudo has lovely foundation brushes and I love their pencil brush. They make great face – powder and blush – brushes too, especially if you get one made of squirrel or white goat hair but I prefer rounded shapes, thus my preference for the Chikuhodo Z1 powder brush and Suqqu cheek brush. Strangely, I don’t love any of the brushes that I got from Hakuhodo. They are perfectly efficient workhorses but I don’t think that they’re irreplaceable and I don’t compulsively obsess over getting spares. I do really like Tom Ford’s concealer brush though, and Hakuhodo supposedly makes TF’s brushes. It’s the right size and shape for my eyes. Shu Uemura is more accessible than the brands I’ve listed so far (unless you live in North America in which case there’s no physical counter). Their number 10 brush was the first individual brush I ever bought – first synthetic then kolinsky/sable – and they’re still going strong almost a decade later. I particularly love their kolinsky brushes because they work with any formulation and the way the hairs are arranged allows you to blend as you apply. Their cheek and foundation brushes – the latter of which is similar to the Tom Ford cream foundation brush – are easy to use too though I majorly dislike their powder brushes, which all seem to be scratchy and coarse. And to my major surprise, Wayne Goss’s new set of brushes are pretty amazing. The eyeliner brush, which I would definitely not have bought if I didn’t get the entire set, is the easiest thing to tightline with and brush number 2 is great for highlight, blush AND contour plus it’s dense enough to apply colour precisely but soft enough to blend with. The only thing is that his eye brushes are a little big for my eyes so not quite perfect. Plus they don’t work that well with liquid, gel and cream formulations (at least not as well as goat/kolinsky). Obviously I could go on all day about brushes so I’d better stop…

    • KC

      I really enjoyed this comment. You gave excellent description in detail to every item you spoke upon. I wish you would of continued cause I could definitely read more. I recieved great useful information from the words you typed and would love to hear more from you if you have more. I will surely be looking for more comments of yours.

    • Indigo

      I’d like to hear more as well…

  28. Kirstie

    Sonia Kashuk

  29. Mac and Sephora are my faves although i havent tried any of the Japanese lines yet! hmmmm….. and curious about Inglot brushes…

  30. I have gotten some good use out of some Smashbox brushes also

  31. TrippyPixie

    Real Techniques! Great quality for a really good price.

  32. Nikki

    Sonia Kashuk Core Tools and Kashuk Tools. They’re affordable and just as efficient as high end brands.

    • I agree! I have a variety from Bobbi Brown, MUFE, Sephora, and Sonia Kashuk. I have a Sonia eye shadow brush that I’ve used daily for 10 years. I wash the bristles weekly, pointing down into my palm, with Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser. Sonia’s brushes are what I investigate first when shopping for a particular shape to fill out my collection. I’ve never tried Japanese brushes.

  33. I don’t know how anyone can buy brushes from animal hair! I refuse….Sigma has awesome face brushes especially for foundation, Real Techniques, EcoTools are good for beginners, Sonia Kashuk has some awesome ones too.

  34. smfrances

    I have used a variety of high end brushes (Kevyn Aucoin, Chantecaille, Shu Umura, etc.) and the best are from Rae Morris hands down. They are all hand made in Japan (some by her when she went to the factory), they are cut so that the eye shadow brushes make blending very easy. They are so soft that they don’t move the skin which as I have gotten older, I really appreciate.

  35. Furless and Real Techniques. Furless because they’re completely cruelty free and would have to be the softest brushes I own, they’re also affordable ( and RT because they are super soft and I couldn’t live without the buffing brush.

  36. I am loving my SIGMA brushes.. but i am sure they are not the best of all.. though price-wise I am happy with them.. Iwould love to try MAC, Sephora and Real Techniques

  37. Lauren

    I’d say Sigma, MAC and Real Techniques, with Real Techniques representing the best value by far.

    – Best Foundation Brush: Sigma F80
    – Best Powder Brush: Real Techniques Powder Brush
    – Best Blush Brush: Sigma F10 or Real Techniques Multi Task Brush
    – Best eyeshadow brushes: MAC 239, MAC 217, MAC 219
    – Best Concealer Brush: Real Techniques Setting Brush under the eyes, Real Techniques Essential Foundation brush (the one in the travel kit) for stick concealer over blemishes
    – Best Bronzer Brush: Real Techniques Multi-Task Brush

  38. zainab

    I’m a complete cheapskate when it comes to brushes, so the only recognisably branded brush I own and love is an Eco Tools one, but I looove that and look for excuses to use it (and I might go buy another one to use as a foundation brush). I recently swapped for some bareMinerals brushes, so I’ll have to see how they go for me. I had the biggest brush disappointment lately- I got the Guerlain retractable bronzer brush and it broke after less than a week of use! I’m hoping to glue it back together (the brush head is fine) but I was so sad…

  39. TinaMarie

    For eyeliner, the best I’ve used is Smashbox Arced Eyeliner Brush 21. It’s angled and provides a fine point that guides to the shape of your eyes; the brush defines the lash line with one easy stroke. I’ve tried other brands such as Lancôme Dual End Smudger and Liner Brush. I liked the dual end smudger but the liner brush did not have a fine point as the Smashbox. My other makeup brushes are Posh. The hairs are very soft against my face and eyes making it easy for blending.

  40. Honestly, I’ve been totally blown away by the Goss brushes. I’ve been using them nonstop since I bought them.

  41. Terri

    I don’t have a favorite company but I do have a selection of favorite brushes from a variety of companies. I would say I have more MAC brushes than anything else but lately I have been loving the real techniques expert face brush for both foundation and concealer.
    Of course, my favorite brush that I want before I shuffle off this mortal coil is the Suqqu face brush.
    Someday it will be mine….mwahhhh!!!!!

  42. Umm

    Has anyone tried bdellium tools? What’s your opinion of these? I have the Maestro set, but considering purchasing the large pink Bambu set too. I’m new to brushes and really like my Maestro set, but I can’t compare it to any other brands.

    • Leigh

      I have an eye set from the line with the yellow handles. While I like how the brushes perform, I have had the set for a little over a year and most of the handles are starting to split and the head of my most used eye brush (776) is become loose. I am not sure how the quality of this line compares with the Maestro line.

      • Umm

        Thanks for this info Leigh. The Maestro series have a better ferrule. I think the handle may be the same quality, not sure though. The pink bambu is probably the same quality as the yellow series, except that it has synthetic hair.

  43. Sonia

    Hakuhodo! love them all!

  44. Felicia

    I just recently started to use them and love them..cheaper and great.What do you think?

  45. I love my MAC brushes… but I feel like the face ones can be a bit scratchy at times but I cannot live without their eye brushes! I actually prefer bdellium tools face brushes over my MAC ones because they’re more affordable, amazing quality, anti-bacterial, and come in a lot of shapes that MAC doesn’t offer. You seriously haven’t lived if you haven’t used bdellium’s #990 Angled Face brush for contouring.

    • Umm

      What are your thoughts on the longevity of bdellium tools vs MAC brushes? Have you tried their synthetic brushes?

      • For bdellium I use both the Maestro and Green Bambu series. I’ve had the Maestro brushes for over a year and the Green Bambu brush set for a little under a year. The Maestro series is definitely their version of luxury brushes and compared to my MAC face brushes (I own MAC 109, 138, 130, and 187 for reference), the bdellium ones shed much less and the fibers aren’t as scratchy. My absolute must-haves from bdellium are their #990, #980 and #957.

  46. Sedona Lace….They’re an extremely reasonable price and work fabulously!

  47. Maja

    Right now, I am so impressed with my Tom Ford brushes and truly happy I invested in them. However, I would like the Suqqu cheek brush next, and would love to see if it’s worth the hype!

  48. Amelia

    My brushes are either Eco-Tools or Real Techniques, so I would go for Real Techniques

  49. Hiro

    Mizuho Brush, Japan.

  50. Zennah

    I personally have almost every MAC brush you would need, but there is something about chanel brushes that reminds me of being a little girl in a candy shop. They’re relatively on the same scale as MAC brushes, but they’re more luxurious. I’ve been building up my collection since september. I currently have 3 chanel brushes. I’m going to purchase one a moth till I have all the ones I want. I absolutely love all the chanel brushes, i’ve tried just about everyone of them. They do their job, they’re built nicely, they are incredibly soft, they’re basically AMAZING! I just need to get enough money for them.

  51. MY FAVORITES are the SIGMA kabuki F80 and the SIGMA blending brushes E36, E40, i also like MAC ones and ECOTOOLS are so good and really economic