Everything You Wanted to Know About Eyeshadow Brushes
You don’t need twenty brushes to get flawless eyeshadow application, but a few good, multitasking brushes can really change the way your eyeshadow looks. I’m going to walk you through some of the different types of eyeshadow brushes there are available, but more importantly, I’m going to recommend you the essential brushes you should keep your eye out for.
Why fingers and sponge-tip applicators are less than the best… Fingers can be unsanitary, to be honest, but you have natural oils in your skin (including those fingers!), and every time you touch your eyeshadow with your finger, some of that oil can be left behind. This is often why tester eyeshadows at makeup counters are hardened or otherwise look disgusting. I won’t knock ya if you just use your fingers to blend out, do some touch-ups, and the like, but when it comes to applying from pan to skin–brushes are more hygienic and will keep your eyeshadows in better shape in the long-run! Both fingers and sponge-tip applicators tend to waste product, as well, because they absorb a lot of the product without depositing the majority of it. Sponge-tip applicators can have their place (often for very sheer, powdery, or glittery shades), but brushes–at least, in my experience–go the distance.
Application brushes are often flatter, denser, and firmer overall. These brushes go from pan to lid, but they don’t necessarily work for blending colors together, but they’re designed to transfer the color from the pan onto the lid without losing the product in-between. These include brushes like Laura Mercier All Over Colour Brush, MAC 239, NARS Eye Shader, and Sephora #12.
Brow brushes are typically thin with a defined and/or angled edge. Often, brow brushes are used to apply a brow product to the brow to give brows a fuller look aka filling in your brows. You can also have brow brushes that are more to groom the brow into place (often a spoolie brush or what looks like a mascara wand). These include brushes like Bare Escentuals Angled Brush, MAC 266, NARS Brow Shader, and Smashbox #12.
Blending brushes are often fluffier and slightly tapered or domed. These brushes are used mostly to blend colors already applied to the lid. They help to make colors blend seamlessly with each other and help fade harsh lines of demarcation. These include brushes like MAC 217, NARS Large Domed Eye, Sephora #10, and Stila #9.
Check out suggestions for crease, eyelining, and brow brushes… as well as some general brush buying advice! Continue reading →
7 MAC Eye Brushes You Need In Your Arsenal
204 Lash Brush ($11.00) is perfect for grooming brows, grabbing mascara, and combing out lashes. It’s sturdier than disposal wands to boot!
208 Angled Brow Brush ($19.50) is my go-to brush for all my eyelining needs. It doesn’t matter that it’s labeled as a “brow brush,” because it’s excellent for thin, precise lining. It’s angled and stiff enough to use for upper lash lining and tightlining. Everyone raves about the 266, but I prefer this over the 266 when lining my upper lash line! (If you have the 263, it should be just about as good–though it’s $20).
219 Pencil Brush ($23.00) is a must-have if like to smudge your eyeshadow or wear eyeshadow as liner. It applies and deposits color easily on the lower lash line, but it can also smudge or smoke out liner (with or without shadow) in just a few seconds.
224 Tapered Blending Brush ($28.00) makes crease-work a breeze. Blend out harsh lines with a soft, wispy motion with this fluffy, blending brush. Add ultra-rich, pigmented shadows in smoother, subtler layers–and never worry about going too heavy. (By the by, the limited edition 226 is even better, but the 224 will do if you can’t get your hands on the 226.) I find the 226/224 works better for me than the 217 (too fluffy).
239 Eye Shader Brush ($24.50) should be the first eye brush you purchase. It is beyond phenomenal, and if you really want to, this is one brush that can do it all. It is up to the challenge of replacing every single other eye brush you own. Soft to the touch with a nice density of bristles, it’s has enough fluff to easily pick up eyeshadow color, but enough density to pack on the color on the lid. The size is ideal for applying eyeshadow from the lid to the crease to the lower lash line. In fact, you may want to think about owning multiple 239s. (I have five–yes, five!)
249 Large Shader Brush ($27.00) is the best brush for applying creamy products to your eyes. I am always using this whenever I’m applying paints, paint pots, fluidlines, etc. as a base. It’s flat, firm, and holds its shape while still picking up plenty of product. What I love is it picks up product, and it doesn’t all get stuck in the bristles.
266 Small Angle Brush ($19.50) is an oft-raved about brush, usually when speaking about fluidline and lining, but it is also excellent for filling in brows. It’s thicker than both the 208 and 263 (my choices for lining), but if you’re going for thicker liner, this will definitely be a must-have. Talk about making cat-eyes easier!
* Please note that these are my picks for essential brushes based on my experience, brushes not included may be valuable, but they are not brushes I find myself using often enough to call them essential.
What eye brushes would you deem as your essential set?