If you could only use three cheek/face brushes, which would you use?

Real Techniques Expert Face (for liquid foundation), SUQQU Cheek Brush (for highlighting/blush), Make Up For Ever 128 (setting powder).

— Christine
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Compare Any Two Swatches

Curious how two shades compare to each other? Type in the shades below to get instant side-by-side swatches!

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

30 Comments

Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.

Two are e.l.f. Studio Line brushes. And they’re not very new, but still work great! The Angled Blush Brush is what I use for contouring. The regular Studio Blush brush for blush is pretty decent, for that one, I may look into a later upgrade. Then for highlighting, I use the Lucie 522 Tapered Highlight Brush. It is as soft as….well, you know. ?

Chikuhodo Z-1 (setting powder), Chikuhodo Z-4 (blush), and the Chikuhodo GSN-2 (buffing, finishing). I’m pretending that foundation brushes don’t count because that’s just unfair! Or else I’d have to adapt and learn to love using a beautyblender (I often feel like the only person around who isn’t a fan of them).

E.l.f small stipple brush for foundation and cream blush. Tarte double ended contour/highlight brush, I’m not sure the exact name of it, it was limited edition and sadly sold out now, for powder, blush, bronzer, contour. E.l.f concealer brush for setting under eye and for highlighting

Aaaah, three really seems too little! Four would do it!
Marc Jacobs The Face III for foundation and bb cream
Suqqu blush brush for blush, highlighter and bronzer.
WG Air brush for powder, highlighter and bronzer. I know it is quite small to powder the all face but it is just my favorite to set the under eye area !
If I could have an extra I would take the Zoeva 142 to conceal my dark circles!

Hmmmm….toughie. I will look forward to input here as I am still looking to dial this in.

Liquid foundation — still on the hunt so I’ll pick three others. 🙂

Otherwise, Sigma F20 (biggie) for bronzer/light contour; Wayne Goss Brush 11 for blush; Wayne Goss Airbrush for buffing/highlight.

I’ll cheat on this one because one of them is a double ended brush 😉
Real techniques powder brush (the big one) for setting powder or powder foundation
MAC 135 for bronzing/light contour
and a Sephora double ended blush brush. One side for powder blush and another for cream blush (more often than not I use my finger to blend out too)
I never use a foundation brush, I find my fingers to be handy enough (lol get it?).

As with eye brushes, it really depends on the product used… If I’m using a cream contour, I’m going to use a different brush than I use for a powder; some foundations work best with different brushes given their density, as well as the coverage I need/want at the time. Besides, I’ve been known to use an average of 8 brushes at any given time…

I feel so weird, I have all these great mid-range or high-end brushes but the ones I would pick (and the ones I still use allll the time) are…

Ecotools Complexion Brush (not even sure they make this one any more), Ecotools Precision Blush brush, and Ecotools Large Powder brush!

This is a bit easier than the impossible question (for me anyway, lol) for only 3 eye brushes. I could use a beauty blender for foundation, concealer and concealer setting powder — so I still get to pick 3. I’d go with the WG #14 for powder blush, highlighter and a bit of contour (yes, in a pinch it will work if the powder isn’t majorly hard-packed), the huge EcoTools slanted, synthetic kabuki brush for pressing on a setting powder, and the LE WG 2015 Holiday Brush for finishing powder (which can also apply contour in a pinch as it’s a large flat paddle brush).

That WG #14 is one fantastic little face brush!!! I’d be lost without it. I’d love to have another!

Liquid foundation: Artis Elite Mirror Oval 7 Brush (love this brush because the foundation finish is flawless!)
Blush/highlighter: Wayne Goss #13 (perfect brush)
Setting powder: Chanel big, fluffy brush that I bought 15 years ago. (I’m going to be lost when it comes to replacing it).

Again, I use four face brushes a day so this is a challenge!!

I would choose: real techniques buffing brush for foundation (and it can be used under my eyes too if I use a patting motion!) There’s no name on it, but a giant fluffy powder brush, MAC duo fibre blush brush (which doubles for highlight for me!)

Bobbie Brown Blush brush, I can’t remember name of other facial brush but I love it. Wash it every other day and haven’t lost a hair yet, UD Naked 2 eyeshadow brush.

I have a ton of brushes that I use and love, but I could easily do my whole face (except eyes) with these three brushes, all HG status:
1. Jane Iredale Handi a medium density flat top kabuki style brush, perfect for any powders, loose or pressed, including foundations and blushes. If you have the retractable brush option, you can also extend it only part-way for a denser, smaller area giving you more options, plus it’s great for a makeup bag.
2. Stila #8 a long, soft flat brush that is gently rounded to a point. Perfect for laying down setting powder and finishing powder. If you use the sides or tip it’s perfect for contour & highlight. It does shed some which is annoying. I don’t know why this style of brush is so hard to find, I’d love to find something like it that doesn’t shed.
3. Elf Small Stippling Brush is great for any cream or liquid products. The small size allows it to be used for cream contour and highlight besides blushes and foundations.

Like the eye brushes, I think five would have been a much more realistic number for me, but here goes:

1) Real Techniques Blush Brush, because it’s nice and fluffy, and picks up the right amount of color for me. With my very fair skin, I have to be careful not to use too much. This brush is perfect. I could make it work for highlighter if I had to.

2) Tarte Maracuja Miracle Foundcealer Brush. It’s the only thing that works with some of my thinner foundations, besides being ideal for the Foundcealer. I love it with the Lancome Teint Idole and BareMinerals BareSkin foundations. Fingers or a Beauty Blender just don’t work with them for me. It works pretty well for powder foundations and setting powders, too.

3) E.l.f. Contouring Brush. It’s the perfect size and shape for the areas I contour. I prefer a smaller brush for my nose, but I can make this work or use an eyeshadow brush.

If I were doing five, I’d add the e.l.f. Angled Blush Brush for highlighter, and Coastal Scents BR-C-N41 for my nose contour.

If I could only use 3, I’d honestly just apply foundation with my fingers. While I LOVE my Real Techinques Expert Face Brush, I can apply foundation with my hands, but I can NOT apply powder without a tool! So it would be:

Powder: Real Techniques Powder Brush

Blush: Real Tecniques Large Duo-fiber Face Brush (from the duo-fibre collection)

Bronzer: a BareMinerals brush, I don’t even know what it’s called and they don’t seem to make it anymore, but it’s perfect for bronzer because it’s tapered and not too dense. I think it could be Full Flawless Face? It’s actually somewhat rough, but that suits me because it doesn’t pick up a ton of product.

Since I like to apply foundation with my fingers, this might be easier for me than for some people, but I’m having some trouble deciding between synthetic and natural hair brushes, since I would prefer to use synthetic for cream products.

So, synthetic choices: for setting/finishing powder: Sephora Pro Featherweight powder brush #91; for contour and highlight, Make Up For Ever blush brush #160; for blush, Hourglass Foundation/Blush brush #2. Except that, for cream blush, I prefer MUFE #154, Buffer Blush Brush, and for cream contour, I prefer Marc Jacobs Shape and Contours blush brush #15.

Natural hair choices: for setting/finishing powder: Chikuhodo Takumi series T-1 powder; for contour and highlight, Wayne Goss 00 brush; for blush, Wayne Goss 02.

Which leaves out my favorite highlighter brushes, of course: Wayne Goss 14 and MUFE Precision Highlighter and Concealer brush #

Zoeva 102 Silk Finish (for base and can also blend in concealer/ bronzer etc in a pinch)
Real Techniques Blush brush (good for blush but also big enough I could powder or bronze)
Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt brush (highlight, contour, use for setting in a pinch)

Only 3 is really hard! I’d want to throw in the MAC 188 & 187, Real Techniques Expert Face, Zoeva 106, 110, 127, 142 (basically all the Zoeva face brushes…), etc if I could!

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!