Best Blush Brushes | By Coverage (Updated 10/2019)

The right blush brush is really dependent on what product one’s trying to apply! A very pigmented blush often requires a less-dense, more feathery brush for foolproof, buildable application, whereas a lighter or sheerer blush works better with a denser brush.

It can also depend on whether one’s naturally a bit heavier handed or lighter handed, as it may mean that going for a less-dense brush is more or less ideal.

Best Blush Brushes for Sheerer Coverage

When you want sheer coverage blush application, you’re looking for airier, more feathery brushes; they’re less-densely packed with bristles and have a lot of movement.  They’ll work better with softer, more powdery formulas as opposed to denser, stiffer powder products–on average. However, if you have an intensely pigmented blush that’s firmer,

01/06

Wayne Goss The Air-Brush  
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush  
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush  
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush  
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush  
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush  
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush  
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush  
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush  
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush  
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush  
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush  
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush  
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush  
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush  
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush  
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush  
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush  

Wayne Goss The Air Brush ($35.00)

It is a small, more paddle-shaped face brush with tapered bristles that come to a rounded edge.  It’s aptly name The Air Brush because it is airy; it’s not densely-packed, so it has a feathery feel against the skin (though not ticklish!).  I prefer using this brush with sheerer formulas or ones that are more powdery but would avoid with stiffer formulas (need something denser for those). Available at a Beautylish.

01/05

Sonia G Fan Pro  
Sonia G Fan Pro  
Sonia G Fan Pro  
Sonia G Fan Pro  
Sonia G Fan Pro  
Sonia G Fan Pro  
Sonia G Fan Pro  
Sonia G Fan Pro  
Sonia G Fan Pro  
Sonia G Fan Pro  
Sonia G Fan Pro  
Sonia G Fan Pro  
Sonia G Fan Pro  
Sonia G Fan Pro  
Sonia G Fan Pro  

Sonia G Fan Pro Brush ($32.00)

It is a small, goat-haired fan brush that has a rounded, pinched ferrule where the brushes flare outward to create a gently curved edge. It is incredibly soft and moves fluidly against the skin–no feeling of any individual bristles at all. Available at Beautylish.

01/05

Wayne Goss Brush 14 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 14 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 14 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 14 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 14 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 14 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 14 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 14 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 14 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 14 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 14 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 14 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 14 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 14 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 14 (White)  

Wayne Goss Brush 14 Cheek Brush ($33.00)

This is a longer-than-average cheek brush that flares outward from the base and then tapers toward the last third of the brush head to a rounded edge.  The gradual taper of the bristles and the rounder shape make it excellent for applying intensely pigmented blushes for a sheerer effect.  I’d reach for this over the previous two for any very, very pigmented, more contrasting shade of blush (like a matte red blush for me). Available at Beautylish.

Honorable mention: SUQQU Cheek Brush ($123.60) is an extremely silky, airy brush, but it’s harder to purchase in a lot of countries.

Best Blush Brushes for Medium, Buildable Coverage

In my experience, most blushes have more medium to semi-opaque pigmentation with a moderate hand, so these are the kind of brushes that work well with those. You can use a lighter hand with them to get sheerer coverage or a heavier hand to pick up more product in one pass for more intense color application.

Sometimes, you may find that you like one brush for the initial lay down and diffusion of color but prefer another shape for really buffing and blending out the edges for a seamless result.  I find this to be true with more matte blushes as well as any blush that is a bit harder to blend out.

01/04

Sonia G Face Two  
Sonia G Face Two Brush
Sonia G Face Two  
Sonia G Face Two  
Sonia G Face Two  
Sonia G Face Two  
Sonia G Face Two  
Sonia G Face Two  
Sonia G Face Two  
Sonia G Face Two  
Sonia G Face Two  
Sonia G Face Two  

Sonia G. Face Two ($48.00)

It’s a small-to-medium sized brush with a flatter edge, so it’s almost like a small, buffing brush with good spring and enough fluffiness to make it a really well-rounded tool.  I find the shape to work well for gently patting onto the surface of a product and getting the exact application I want (even sheer, really) and can easily get medium and buildable coverage. Available at Beautylish.

01/04

Sonia G Designer Pro  
Sonia G Designer Pro  
Sonia G Designer Pro  
Sonia G Designer Pro  
Sonia G Designer Pro  
Sonia G Designer Pro  
Sonia G Designer Pro  
Sonia G Designer Pro  
Sonia G Designer Pro  
Sonia G Designer Pro  
Sonia G Designer Pro  
Sonia G Designer Pro  

Sonia G. Designer Pro ($46.00)

It’s a slightly smaller-than-average cheek brush, but it’s moderately dense and has a more paddle-like shape (with a soft, domed edge), so it lays down product easily with a few taps but then has the density necessary to diffuse and blend out products evenly. Available at Beautylish.

01/06

Sonia G Sculpt Three  
Sonia G Sculpt Three  
Sonia G Sculpt Three  
Sonia G Sculpt Three  
Sonia G Sculpt Three  
Sonia G Sculpt Three  
Sonia G Sculpt Three  
Sonia G Sculpt Three  
Sonia G Sculpt Three  
Sonia G Sculpt Three  
Sonia G Sculpt Three  
Sonia G Sculpt Three  
Sonia G Sculpt Three  
Sonia G Sculpt Three  
Sonia G Sculpt Three  
Sonia G Sculpt Three  
Sonia G Sculpt Three  
Sonia G Sculpt Three  

Sonia G. Sculpt Three ($32.00)

It’s a small, but mighty, smaller fan brush that picks up product evenly and deposits in precisely, which I find perfect for creating intense glow exactly where you want it. Available at Beautylish.

01/08

Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo G5545BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  

Hakuhodo G5545 Blush Brush ($63.00)

It is a medium-sized, flatter blush brush with a rounded, tapered edge that picks up product well and distributes it gradually and naturally diffused.  I like using this with very pigmented cheek products or more softly-pressed powders.

01/05

Wayne Goss Brush 12 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 12 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 12 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 12 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 12 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 12 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 12 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 12 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 12 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 12 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 12 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 12 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 12 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 12 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 12 (White)  

Wayne Goss Brush 12 ($53.00)

It is more of a classic blush brush; medium in size, moderately-dense, and lightly domed.  It applies color more moderately but is amazing at blending out edges as denser brushes work better for buffing in small circles (but without lifting up base products, as the bristles are quite soft). Available at Beautylish.

Best Blush Brushes for Intense Pigmentation

These are slightly larger, denser versions of the brushes listed in the section above–more rounded, medium-to-large-sized blush brushes. I reach for these when I’m using lighter shades, applying bronzer all-over the face, or if I’m working with a sheerer powder to begin with and want a bit more coverage out of it. These also work well for buffing and blending out color already placed on the skin, where I’ll use a clean one of these style brushes after I used something more precise to apply my blush.

01/06

Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  
Hakuhodo B505BkSL Blush Brush Round & Flat  

Hakuhodo B505 Blush Brush ($98.00)

It is a medium-to-large blush brush that’s quite dense (but not stiff) with tapering bristles that makes it fantastic for diffusing and blending out blush.   The size works well for those who apply bronzer to a greater portion of the face, though.  This brush is also available in the J-series for less.

01/06

Wayne Goss Brush 11 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 11 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 11 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 11 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 11 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 11 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 11 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 11 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 11 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 11 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 11 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 11 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 11 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 11 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 11 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 11 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 11 (White)  
Wayne Goss Brush 11 (White)  

Wayne Goss Brush 11 ($48.00)

It is a medium-to-large sized face brush that has a rounded edge, tapering bristles, and moderate density.  It’s actually marketed as a “Buffing Brush,” which is what I tend to use it for–making sure blush edges are perfectly blended and the like.

Best Blush Brushes for Liquids & Creams

Like I’ve found for liquid and cream highlighters, I routinely opt for fingertips over brushes in most instances–they’re efficient, the warmth improves blending, and mean no extra brushes to wash!  I prefer more duo-fiber style brushes and will opt for synthetic for true liquids and creams as they’re more resilient and don’t absorb product.

As I find smaller brushes to be more precise, which is necessary when dealing with liquids and creams, my favorites for blush are exactly the same as highlighters!

MAC 159S Duo Fibre Brush ($35.00)

It is a small-to-medium-sized, domed cheek brush that has more feathery, sparse bristles at the edge, which help with gradual, diffused application.  Available at Nordstrom.

Real Techniques Setting Brush ($7.99)

It’s a small, more precise synthetic brush that works well for applying highlighters to the high points of the face.  I typically use it with liquids and creams, but it could also be used with powders. Available at Ulta.

Check out my other brush guides: Best Highlighter Brushes | Best Eyeshadow Brushes

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For powders, I typically reach for my Real Techniques Blush Brush. It’s to big & unwieldy for blush, but it fits my face well for bronzer, and is soft & fluffy enough to the point I don’t have to worry about going in too heavily. I also have a Sonia Kashuk brush, which is my HG, but it was in a set that was LE, and I haven’t found a dupe, nor has SK rereleased it… It’s big, soft, and fluffy, but tapers into a flat edge. It’s also perfect for highlighter.

For liquids & creams, I just apply with any random paddle brush, and blend out with a Real Techniques sponge, which I prefer to the Beauty Blender for this purpose. Because I also use it for my foundation, the residual product on the sponge also helps the bronzer blend better into my face.

I forgot to add for blushes! I have an old Essence of Beauty angled blush brush that I reach for 99% of the time, or the RT Multi Task brush. Another one I use on occasion is the Wet n Wild angled blush brush, which I really do like, but it’s the newest of the 3, and I tend to forget about it, especially since I don’t wear blush every day…

The Real Techniques Blush brush has been my one and only for years. It’s really good at diffusing color. I still love it for bronzer but I’m starting to fall out of love with it for blush….. it has no precision. I just bought an EcoTools Precision Blush brush and I really like it. It’s super soft, quite dense and paddle shaped (similar looking to the ones you listed under Moderate). It’s really good for firm, buildable blushes like Clinique Cheek Pops.

Looking forward to recommendations from others–I could use an affordable brush for feather-light application.

I love the bigger, denser blush brushes, but I find that the flatter, more paddle-shaped ones offer better placement sometimes, especially with pigmented shades.

I have two brushes I use for powder blushes, the Hakuhodo J5523 and MAC 168. The 168 is theoretically a contour brush but it’s fine for blush. It’s somewhat loose and fluffy, so I usually use it for more pigmented blushes. The Hakuhodo is dense and dome shaped and can really pack on color. It feels super luxe on my skin!

I also have an elf small stipple brush for cream products buuuuut I don’t love it. The MAC 159S in your picture looks similar but much nicer. I might have to get that when the elf brush inevitably breaks.

I got a random Rite Aid brand blush brush for free in a makeup exchange like 5 years ago and still use it exclusively. We don’t even have Rite Aid where I live, so I never would have discovered it otherwise!

I’m a fan of using a dense, white goat brush for blush, but I love brush and prefer a heavier application that most people. I have an angled white goat brush which I adore for blush, but I’ve had it so long that the writing is worn off and I can’t figure out what brand or model it is. I’m hankering after a Wayne Goss though, at the moment.

For people looking for vegan brushes, the Realy Techniques blush brush works really well with powders for a synthetic. It is super fluffy and has a hot pink handle. I have a couple because I like to use a ton of different blush colors over the course of a week and they hold up to washing really well, even those fast dry cleaning sprays (which I would not use on a natural brush for fear of drying it out). Best price I’ve found is on Amazon.

I love using angled blush bushes for powder blush. My Sephora Pro #49 has served me well, but I would love if anyone has recomendations for an angled brush for creams. I currently use a Real Techniques duo fiber blush brush or my Sonia Kashuk duo fiber stippling brush.

I usually drape my blush, applying it a little further back and at an angle rather than straight on the apples of my cheeks. I usually put powder on the smaller, denser end of the angled brush and trail the fluffier part behind when applying to help diffuse and blend the application.

That’s a trick question as I don’t really have a favourite brush; it’ll depend on my mood and the effect I wanna get. But here’s a list of the brushes I’ll use for blush and bronzer:

– Real Techniques Stippling Brush: perfect for cream or liquid blushes and bronzers
– Real Techniques Blush Brush: I’ll use it with my Guerlain Terracotta powder or sometimes to blend my blush
– Real Techniques Multitask Brush: same as RTBB
– Zoeva 126 Luxe Cheek Finish: great for more precise application of my Guerlain Terracotta powder, for quick blush application and with my darker or more pigmented blush like theBalm Instain blushes or Urban Decay Rapture. The brush being denser and larger, it allows me to deposit the product on the entire targeted zone before blending it; plus, theBalm Instain blushes being very pigmented and easy to overdo, their brush allows me to build them up easily
– Zoeva 106 Powder: great for all-over application of my Guerlain Terracotta powder
– Zoeva 105 Highlight brush: I sometimes use it for diffused blush application, no matter pigmentation. It’ll build up a product like Benefit CORALista perfectly, but it’ll also allow to apply theBalm Instain blushes lightly
– Smashbox Buildable Cheek Brush: last addition to my brush collection and I love it! So far I’ve used it with my theBalm Instain blushes and it’s perfect to control pigmentation

Sorry, long post again, hope that helps! 😉

Haha! You are like me 🙂 I am the same way – it would be very hard to pick just one single brush! I’d want to know more about application, the products most used, etc.

hi christine, just a suggestion, for future brush posts, you may want to use a background colour conducive to showing both black and white bristles. in the first few photos, i can hardly see the suqqu shape compared to wayne goss. perhaps grey would suit both colours and present better imagery? quite surprised frankly that you continued to post the photos!

I’m sorry the photos weren’t useful to you, Zeezee. I thought the photos were fine on my end – obviously some of the black brushes were closer to the background to my eye in a few instances, but as I had more white-tipped/brown/white brushes that I did feel the black was best as the goal was to have one photo per section! I do not have a gray background, though, so it wasn’t an option to consider for me. Thank you for your suggestions!

Out of all the different kinds of brushes, cheek brushes are my weakness. I can’t seem to get enough of them!

I recently got the Chikuhodo T-4 for applying blush, and I’m in love! One of the blushes that I always struggled with is NARS Exhibit A – gorgeous colour, but so pigmented and easy to go overboard. The T-4 applied and blended it out flawlessly. I tap on the pan, swirl on my cheeks, and I’m done! Just prior to getting the T-4, I really liked EcoTools’ Sheer Finish blush brush – it’s very soft, great at applying super pigmented blushes softly. It does take a bit more care than the T-4 though to not go overboard.

I also like the Real Techniques blush brush, however, I prefer to use them for less pigmented blushes as it builds up pigmentation nicely. My T-4 applies sheerer blushes a little TOO sheer for my liking.

For cream blushes, I’ve been using my Hourglass No. 2 brush. Once upon a time, it was my liquid foundation brush, but since I stopped wearing foundation that brush has just been sitting on my vanity. I find that it works beautifully with the cream blushes in the Natasha Denona Diamond & Blush palettes!

I like the mini powder brush from Charlotte Tilbury’s mini travel brush set too. It’s super soft and the perfect size for my cheeks.

Chikuhodo’s T-series is quite nice! Glad to hear it’s living up to your expectations so far 🙂

Appreciate your recs on EcoTools!

The Chikuhodo T-4 is a workhorse for me. I love it. I’m quite fair, but wear medium-to-dark blush colors. Many of them are very pigmented, and I get the best results (by far!) using this brush. For me, the cost has been worth it!!!

I messed up. I have the Chikuhodo Z-4. I just caught my mistake when I looked at Christine’s recs for highlighter brushes and noticed that the Z-4 was one of them. I, however, use the Z-4 for blush only. (Not sure anyone cares, but I wanted to correct myself. I’m sure the T-4 is a lovely brush.)

I have a Real Techniques blush brush that was recommended to me by a MUA at Priceline – it’s tapered to one side, if that makes sense, and it fits my cheeks perfectly.

How have I NOT seen this brush? I’ve looked at the RT Blush Brush sold here in Canada and it doesn’t look angled at all. Maybe I need to take a closer look!

Thank you so much for doing these brush posts. I always learn so much about shape/technique and what products to use.

I’m still figuring out which shape I prefer for blush application (I suspect a smaller, more precise brush is what would suit me best from what I have used).

I use the RT blush brush (which I agree, is very big) with very pigmented blushes (only do a very light tap and then lots of blend); for my cream blushes, especially Colourpop’s Super Shock Cheeks, I like the RT Stippling brush, and then going over with my WG Air Brush with finishing powder to blur out and blend the edges.

With stiffer blushes I like to use some of my older Bare Minerals goat hair brushes that I have that are more paddle shaped and pick up product well.

I also bought a Sonia Kashuk (no. 24 I think which is discontinued) which is super dense so I can only use with very light blushes and a very light hand, then I use the WG Air brush to blend and blur out the edges.

I’m very interested in the Hakuhodo J116 you mentioned, It seems like that would work well for me, although it’s maybe too small… not sure. Do you use any “angled” contour style brushes for blush application? Why or why not? Or do you have any that you like these that you could see working for blush application? Thanks Christine!

Hey Priscila,

You might find you like two brushes – maybe something smaller for application and then maybe a more general, blending/buffing style brush for any time when you need a little extra diffusion? (And I bet you already have some brushes that would do the latter!)

I’d say the 116 is more similar to the Wayne Goss Air Brush, which you have already. I don’t think I have this one, but the G5536 has a brush head of 42mm in length and is still a flatter brush at 9.2mm (per Hakuhodo). https://hakuhodousa.com/collections/blush-bronzer/products/g5536bksl-blush-brush-round-flat

I very occasionally use angled brushes, but I’m fortunate that I have a ton of blush brushes so I tend to keep my angled brushes for contour. The ones I use most often are Hakuhodo’s B512 and G511 – they’re similar, just the G511 is smaller.

I suppose you’re right… I kinda already more than one brush to apply blush products, one for application and another to buff and blend. =)

I checked out the brush you mentioned, the G5536, and I’m intrigued. I think that’s probably a better size for me and I’m going to add that to my b-day wish list. I also like the size/shape of the B512 you mentioned too.

Thank you Christine for your reply. The Hakuhodo site can be so overwhelming and intimidating to me. =)

I like the Real Techniques Blush Brush. It doens’t pick up too much color, and it diffuses it easily. That’s very important considering how pale I am.

I use it for bronzer, too, on the rare occasions I wear it. I don’t do my whole face, just where the sun touches, so RT Blush Brush works perfectly for blending that out.

My go-to blush and bronzer brushes:

Powder products:
– WG 12 is relatively new to me though I’m enjoying using it for bronzer, (stamping it on, then blending). Also like the WG 00 for bronzing the face.

– WG 15 fan brush especially when blush/bronzer is in a narrow band like TF Afternoonerer Palette or in a multi-shade compact and you want to pull out a shade or two, like Chanel’s Sunkiss Ribbons blush palette. Also great when a light hand is needed.

– WG Air Brush is great when wanting to use the same brush for bronzer and blush and don’t intend to use it for buffing pressed powder to set the look at the end.

– Bobbi Brown Angled Face Brush really good when I want the blush to hug the underside of my cheekbones. The brush works well for any intensity and when wanting to swirl a brush through multi-coloured products.

– Bobbi Brown blush brush – it’s dense but can be used for any intensity by varying how tightly you hold the brush. I reach for it when in a hurry as it gives a good placement and blends the edges easily.

– WG 14 and Holiday 2017 with medium to intense shades to build coverage slowly. (I love the glow that the Holiday 2017 brush imparts.)

– Charlotte Tilbury Powder and Sculpt brush for those difficult blushes that have an overspray or hard material that softens once a scratchy brush has gone over it.

Cream products:
– WG 10 is a current favourite for cream blushes as it really polishes the cream into the skin.

– WG 01 Anniversary Vol 1 to blend in cream bronzer and blush. I like the effect especially if I used the brush for foundation that day.

– Bobbi Brown Full Coverage brush, for cream blush and bronzer.

My preference is for an angled brush for applying blush. I’ve been using a ratty old PUR minerals “freebie” for years because I can’t find something similar to replace it – at least not something that gets a decent rating on MUA for a reasonable price.

Hallelujah I saw some TF brushes finally! I have the set, but completely agree; there are better brushes out there at a more competitive price point. I was starting to wonder if the cheek/face brushes had fallen out of favor as I’ve never experienced any other brushes beyond TF’s that are made in Japan. Thanks for the comparative posts. LOVE that you compare performance across so many brands; helps us make savvy decisions.

TF’s brushes are definitely great, and if you dig the aesthetic, they’re well-done. I love the handles – they aren’t like any other brand that I own.

Hi! I reached out to you on twitter about asking a question so I thought I’d do it here- which of the cream friendly-brushes would you most recommend for blending out ColourPop super shock cheek products? I love my blush and highlighter from them and always apply with my fingers, but I feel like beauty blenders pick up too much product and my fingers aren’t effective for blending.

I’d say the MAC 159S might be the better bet, since the bristles are more feathery, so I feel like you should be able to get the diffusion you’re after without it grabbing a lot of product.

When I apply Super Shock Cheeks, I usually use my fingertips. What I’ll do is swirl my fingertip in the pot, then I’ll pat the color where I want it and then use a clean finger and use the edge to gently blend the edges – almost like a scuffing motion but very gently.

For some reason, my absolute favorite blush brush is the Sephora Professional blush brush 49. It’s a moderately dense angled synthetic brush and mine has a silver handle and pale yellow bristles that are gray at the ends (I bought it on sale when they discontinued the silver handles). Honestly, the main reason I like it so much is it’s pretty, and its easy to see color on it (and it looks even prettier with colorful powder blush on its ends), but it puts on a sparse, blended coat of blush that’s fairly difficult to overdo. I’ve never seen the need to replace it.

The timing of this is so helpful, Christine, thank you. I have certain blush brushes, a Sonia G, a Chikuhudo, a Linda Hallsberg, Suqqu etc. But with the combination of moisturizer and sunscreen, my face is often, ahem, dewy, throughout the day, and certainly in the AM when I apply makeup. And I worry to muck up these brushes, and have to clean them more often, and I also worry about the moisture transferring from brush or fingers to the blush and causing hard pan. I can’t say that this has ever actually happened. And the reason why is that I tend to more use my less favorite blush purchases, like last year’s Nars palette, or the Clinique Pop blushes, and apply with my fingers. The technique is similar to what you mentioned above. Because these are less pricey, I’m more casual about that. So here I have the new Hourglass quartet, which I adore and which I got because I can basically grab and find a shade for any eye look, and I hesitate to use it because of this problem. Do you have any suggestions for that?

Second question, and I apologize for asking. But it’s stumping me. How does one calculate the value from for example spending $100 and getting a $20 gift card vs. and getting a 20% discount?

What is the difference in bottom line value between spending $100 at Beautylish and getting the gift card. And spending $100 at Sephora during the Rouge Sale for $120 worth of products @20% off? I ask because I’m an idiot at math.

The difference is 20% off is cash in your pocket immediately, whereas $20 gift card is money you spend later, so it’s more of a future reward. If you’re someone who rarely buys makeup, then 20% off is better in terms of subjective/personal value, but if you’re someone who routinely buys beauty products, then you know you’ll use the $20 gift card in the future, then it is effectively the same.

You could always dust translucent powder all-over first before using blushes and the like. Perhaps pick a synthetic brush for this application or use something less expensive?

I’m personally of the mindset of using brushes as I wanted to use them and clean them as often (or as infrequently) as I want – as in what makes me comfortable – and I’ll worry about replacing, if necessary, any brushes down the line. I thoroughly used my MAC brushes for almost a decade and used alcohol-based cleansers on them (drying for natural bristles!), and it was only at that point where a few brushes started to feel drier/scratchier.

I always advocate for buying something you’ll use – it’s like spending $300 on a moisturizer but it was so expensive that you use less than you should and defeat the purpose of buying it in the first place (presumably because you felt it was going to be worth $300 in skin benefits!). Use your brushes!

I use all of my brushes over bare skin, which has moisturizer and all that on it, usually given a half hour to an hour to sink in, and all of my brushes are fine! I wash mine after every use, though I have a lot of brushes, so that equates more to weekly than every day.

Thank you, Christine. This is very helpful advice. It got me thinking that if I had more less expensive blush brushes, I would feel more comfortable washing them after one use. And then foraging around, I found an unopened brush set from BH, which I had put aside to wash before use, due to the chemical outgassing. It’s all unpacked and ready to be cleaned now.

Personally, I use my MAC 127S for everything cheek & contour related. It can be held at different points (very end of brush, middle brush, ferule, pinching the bristles to replicate a denser brush, etc.) so that it works on all pressed powders when applied with the natural fibers; but flipped to the synthetic fibers and used the same way it works beautifully with cream formulas. I’ve used it consistently for several years with minimal shedding and it’s held its shape beautifully considering how rough I’ve been with it.

I was lucky enough that when I made a purchase from MAC’s Alluring Aquatic limited edition line, one of the special edition 127s brushes made it into my package by mistake. I contacted MAC to return it since I didn’t order it and hadn’t been charged for it, but they told me just to keep it and enjoy the freebie. MAC has had a loyal customer ever since! Just wanted to brag on their great customer service (and my good fortune lol).

My favorite blush brush all times is definitely the Sephora Classic Angled Blush Brush #40 (which I think is unfortunately discontinued), it has the perfect shape, perfect density, and if needed it’s also a great brush for powdering or setting the whole face. MAC 168 is also a good smaller angled brush, but it gives a very light application.
For non-angled brushes I also like MAC 116 or 129, which I prefer when I want to use just one brush for all my face (I powder with the brush, then apply bronzer/blush).

I used to be able to use cheap drugstore brushes but as my skin has become drier I’ve had to look for softer, more luxe, plush options that don’t irritate my skin or, worse, make it flake. Thanks for all the recommendations! It can be confusing navigating through the world of natural hair brushes!

For those browsing the comments I’d also like to put in a brief word about Luxie brushes. They’re an indie brush company and their ProTools line makes seriously high quality synthetics 🙂 They recently put them on sale for only $10 apiece and if they ever do it again it really is an absolute steal! Luxie usually does 50% off during the holidays and it’s still way worth it even then. I especially like their powder brushes. Fluffy and soft.

I have a real fear of wearing too much blush and appearing as that old lady with two circles of color on her cheeks. I struggled until I read your last tutorial recommending a fan brush for the lightest application. I have an undyed goat hair fan brush that came in a Sonia Kashuk set and I have been using that with some success. I also have a Hakuhodo/Sephora powder brush that I use for my less pigmented blushes. I bought an e.l.f. small stippling brush for my ColourPop Supershock blushes after people here praised it and it’s fine but I prefer my fingers.

Wayne Goss brushes. All the blue squirrel ones. WG has good prices.Suqqu for the same reason, but very pricey.
I had a few of Sonia’s when they were squirrel fur too.
Goat ones are good when TF had real fur.
Squirrel fur is so soft. And WG brushes so workable.

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