Brushes I Use Regularly – Details and Photos



From left to right:
1. Benefit 05
2. Loew-Cornell 1/8 7400 Angular (craftstore)
3. Loew-Cornell 1/4 793 Angular Flat (craftstore)*
4. MAC 194SE
5. Philosophy “Shadow”*
6. MAC 190SE
7. [Unknown] Stiff, thick angle*

1. Benefit 05
Benefit 05 brush is ridiculously soft and versatile. It is softer than my MAC eye brushes, actually, and it picks up color easily. This used to be my all-time favorite brush to apply and blend eyeshadow with, and sadly, it is discontinued as far as I know. Occasionally I will use this brush when I am using black eyeshadow, so I do not dirty up my regular shadow brush (#5) Also, it can be used to pick up shadow along the edge to apply more precisely, especially on the lower lash line.

2. Loew-Cornell 1/8 7400 Angular (craftstore)
Yes, I use craftstore brush. Why not? I’ve yet to hear a compelling reason to avoid using them; they can be substantially cheaper compared to high-end brushes. You can always spend a little extra for a higher quality craftstore brush, as well, and still be under budget in comparison to cosmetic line brushes. This brush is insanely small, stiff, and thin. It is for absolutely precise lining, and I primarily use this brush when applying MAC’s liquidlast liners. This allows for you to have a lot more control over where you are putting the liner than with the liquidlast’s applicator.

3. Loew-Cornell 1/4 793 Angular Flat (craftstore)
I adore this brush. If you’ve wondered how I’ve managed to get my eyebrows not to look like they want to run away… This is one of the two tools that do it (#7 is the other). It has extremely soft bristles, but it is also quite firm, which is perfect when I go to pick up MAC’s Expresso eyeshadow to fill-in my eyebrows. I use this to refine the edge of my inner brow and to fill-in the thinner parts of my brow, including the “tail.” It is thin enough to be able to give me a fine line, but not so thin that I get a sharp line, it naturally pushes the color out so it looks more natural from the get-go.

4. MAC 194SE
I have only recently accumulated this brush, and I personally do not have many uses for it. It is meant to apply concealer, and I have used it to build up foundation in certain spots. Usually I will take a dab of Studio Fix Fluid with this brush and place it on the problem area, blend it out just a tad, and finish up the blending process with MAC’s 187 (#14).

5. Philosophy “Shadow”
Hands down, this is the most important brush in my daily makeup application routine. I apply all my dry eyeshadow products with this brush, and I also use this brush to blend everything together or as I go. It essentially performs all of the functions to bring together any eye look. It’s fluffy, but still has a touch of firmness so you can have control over what you’re doing with the brush. In terms of picking up color, this brush accomplishes it fairly easily. I rarely have to pack on shadow in order to get pay-off (only when the shadow is fussy, not the brush!). However, the bristles of this brush could be softer, and I would say that is the only downfall of this brush. I use this brush to apply and blend shadow both on the lid and crease and on my lower lash line.

6. MAC 190SE
Another recent acquistion, and I personally do not use it much, if at all. For me, it is simply not necessary, as I apply and blend my foundation with MAC’s 187 stippling brush (#14). However, this brush can be good to initially apply and brush out liquid foundation, because then you can smooth it out with the 187 or fluffy dome brush to buff it out to give your foundation an “airbrushed” or “flawless” look.

7. [Unknown] Stiff, thick angle*
My aunt gave me some random makeup kit, and it happened to include this brush, and it somehow became an essential brush in order for me to fill-in my eyebrows. As I mentioned with Loew-Cornell’s 793 (#3), this is one of the two brushes I must use in order to fill-in my eyebrows. I simply pat this brush with Expresso eyeshadow and apply it to my inner brow portion (the thickest part), and it really is that easy and all that I use it for. Bristles are hard, but it is a stiff enough angle brush with a good width to cover the majority of the inner portion of my eyebrow. Currently, I am considering replacing this with a higher-end brush, because it is quite rough.


From left to right:
8. MAC 168SE*
9. Loew-Cornell 3/8 270 Maxine’s Mop (craftstore)*
10. Loew-Cornell 3/8 270 Maxine’s Mop (craftstore)*
11. MAC 219
12. MAC 252
13. Loew-Cornell 1/2 270 Maxine’s Mop (craftstore)

8. MAC 168SE
I bought this brush only a few weeks ago, but it has become a staple brush in my everyday look. It is meant to contour, and I use it for that purpose. I pick up a touch of bronzer (just a bit darker than my skin itself) and contour my cheeks. I consider this brush to be fairly soft, and it does a good job of taking a little product and making it go a long way. I personally do not like white brushes because you can see them getting dirty as soon as you use them (and sometimes they can get stained). The angled dome shape is perfect size to fit into the hollow of your cheeks in order to contour them. I have yet to use the brush to contour other parts of the face, and it could be harder to use in smaller areas that require more precision.

9. Loew-Cornell 3/8 270 Maxine’s Mop (craftstore)
If Philosophy’s Shadow brush (#5) was the most important, this brush would be the second most important. I use it in every single one of my looks so long as there is a pigment involved. I apply all of my pigments wet, so I have to keep a separate brush that can take the wetness without having to worry about wanting to use dry shadows later on. I have two of these, because I like to have one for lighter pigments and one for darker pigments. They are small enough to allow for precision, but not too small that covering your entire lid is difficult. They do stain easily (which may be the nature of pigments), though. The bristles could also be a touch softer, but overall the firmness and shape of the brush make pigment application easy and worry free.

10. Loew-Cornell 3/8 270 Maxine’s Mop (craftstore)
See above :)

11. MAC 219
At last we get to a MAC eye brush! One of many I bought, but this is one I was too lazy to return. I do not feel this brush is particular exceptional, and it is definitely not a must-have by any means. It is soft, but quite firm with the bristles coming to a slight point at the tip. The only use I have found for it is to apply shadow on my lower lash line, and I probably only use the 219 to accomplish this 4/10 times I apply shadow to my lower lash line, anyway.

12. MAC 252
Another MAC eye brush I forgot to return, so here it sits. It’s a flat, large shadow brush, but I find it too large to deal with application. It does not really allow for precision in terms of initially applying the shadow, nor the blending process. It isn’t too firm, but it’s not very fluffy, and I feel like it tends to eat up the shadow I pick up with it. I currently use this brush for extremely dark eye shadows (again, so I do not dirty up my main shadow brush), like if I use MAC’s Carbon eyeshadow.

13. Loew-Cornell 1/2 270 Maxine’s Mop (craftstore)
This is a larger version of #9 and 10, and as a result of its size, the brush is less useful than its smaller counterparts. I do use it to apply pigment on my cheeks, sometimes, but I have not used this much lately. It tends to be a brush of the last resort.


From left to right:
14. MAC 187*
15. Philosophy “Blush”
16. MAC 187SE

14. MAC 187
I am positive that most people have heard of this brush, and they have also heard numerous raves on it. I like the 187 (first positive MAC brush experience!), but I do not think it is the best brush ever made, and it is not my holy grail brush, either. Of course, I do not use mineralized skinfinishes, and I know most people use the 187 to apply those, so take what I say with a grain of salt. This brush is so soft and fluffy, and it is perfect for blending liquid foundation (I use Studio Fix Fluid) so that the finish is flawless. I did not find that it applied blush as nicely as my regular blush brush did (#15), so I’ve kept the 187 purely for foundation. Plus, I find that using it for liquid foundation makes it seem gross to use it for other things, too, unless it has been washed!

15. Philosophy “Blush”
This used to be a staple brush for whenever I was applying blush and/or bronzer. It is reasonably soft and fluffy, not at all stiff and immovable. It picked up color well, and it did not seem to apply the blush heavily, either. There is nothing inherently wrong with this brush, because I have used it regularly since I have got it (at least a year ago), but since purchasing MAC’s 182 buffer brush, I have favored that instead.

16. MAC 187SE
This is a smaller, machine-made version of MAC’s 187. I travel frequently, so it was worth picking up this miniature version of my staple 187. Plus, it was hard to pass it up with the price tag being so low (because you get four other brushes, too). In a comparison of this 187 and the regular 187, it isn’t quite as soft, and it feels denser than the larger 187.

From left to right:
17. MAC 182 (Couture)*

17. MAC 182 (Couture)
My newly acquired and beloved 182 buffer brush, Couture edition. This has to be the best MAC brush I have been able to use, and it accomplishes what it is supposed to do exceptionally well. I have been using it apply my blush on my cheeks, and also to blend the blush and contour lines together. Sometimes I use it to apply pigments as highlighters for my upper cheekbones, too. It works fabulously to blend all the various face products I have used throughout an application to help bring everything together. The brush is luxuriously soft and dense, picks up color like a dream, and applies wonderfully. I absolutely recommend this brush — so much so that I am seriously contemplating purchasing a second 182.