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A reeeally old set of Mirraq double ended brushes that I bought in a Fry’s supermarket, have given me quite a many years worth for such an inexpensive, but well made little set! Also, love all my e.l.f. Studio brushes, the C Eye shadow Brush in particular, and those $1 blending brushes! Plus, all the double-ended UD Eyeshadow brushes that have come with almost every palette I’ve gotten of theirs.

I always thought I was the only one who actually likes those UD brushes, LOL! Between those & all my tarte brushes from the old 10-pan palettes, I really don’t need any more.

Amd yes, those e.l.f. brushes are indispensible! It’s not an eye brush, but have you tried the Ultimate Blending Brush? I bought it on a whim, and soon after, picked up 2 backups: one for liquid/cream, one for powder, and the third for buffing out any “color” cosmetics.

Tbh, Amy, I don’t think I’ve seen that one out here yet. Then again, it’s been awhile since I’ve hit one of the Super Target stores. I may need to check that out!

I’m in transition on brushes right now, because I’ve spent oodles on skincare and makeup and am woefully overdue to upgrade my brushes. Still saving for some Hakuhodo/Chikuhodo/Louise Young/Wayne Goss brushes. In the meantime: oddly, my old Sonia Kashuk Large Crease Brush (discontinued; now the 116) is such a great crease blender for me! Much better than my MAC 224s which I find not firm enough for blending. I know I should love a more expensive brush, but there it is! My NARS 3 Eye Shader (pre-2014, when they released all new brushes) I adore; it seems to apply a nice wash of shadow more evenly than my MAC 252. MAC 266 and NARS 2 (discontinued/replaced) for lining, and a Bobbi Brown 2 pc lip brush are my favorites. I’m all over the map with powder and blush brushes and need to buy new ones. Christine, if you’re reading, I was just looking at your Quelle Surprise review from Flowerscope and I LOVE LOVE your eyes in those photos! I know it’s not a complicated nor unusual look, but I adore it nonetheless.

Real Techniques deluxe crease brush
Sigma E45 – Small Tapered Blending Brush – Natural
Sigma Flat defining brush
Zoeva Luxe soft Definer
Arose Beauty: Pointed pencil and a Flat brush in the set, synthetic.

Where do you get your Zoeva brushes from? I’ve been eating to pick some up, but I wasn’t sure where. I think they are based in the UK and I’m in the U.S. so I wasn’t sure about international charges and all that.

they are based in germany but the shipping to the us is obviously more expensive than the usual, but from what i heard zoeva is a lot better than sigma and morphe brushes

My husband bought me a rose gold set for the holidays. He paid the exorbitant shipping because I was really crushing on them. It was a brilliant surprise I LOVE them but I wanted to keep the to my absolute must haves. Like, sob if the doggie or I accidentally destroy them, faves.

Shadow/laydown: Hakuhodo J242G (good to have 2 or 3)
Shadow/crease: Hakuhodo J142 (good to have 2)
Shadow/crease & blend: Hakuhodo J5523 (good to have 2)
Shadow/outer V: Koyudo C011p
Shadow/inner corner/tiny pencil: Hakuhodo G5515
Shadow/line under eye: EcoTools angled brush
Brow powder: Anastasia Beverly Hills brow brush w/spoolie
Foundation/place & blend (liquid): Sephora 55.5
Foundation/blend: Koyudo Fu-Pa 13
Blush: Koyudo BP016
Highlighter: Sephora 53.5
Powder: Hakuhodo J104
Concealer/under eyes: Hakuhodo G542
Concealer/spots: Hakuhodo G538

Thanks! They all fit in my little Hakuhodo case (hence the short Sephora brushes instead of full size). I seem to usually do my makeup in my car. I had a Chikuhodo Takumi lip brush I loved, too, but it’s disappeared. 🙁 I use the J142 and the J5523 fairly interchangeably–I like the J142 a little better. I’m not completely sold on the Koyudo C011p for the outer V, so I’m going to try the Makeup Geek one Christine mentions. The Koyudo blush brush is to die for, though! The other brush I want to get is like the J142 but smaller–a small crease brush–J146.

Good subject! I was just looking to see if you had a list of your favorite brushes. I have been trying to find a Mac Stylistic 129 brush based on your review that it was one of the softest brushes you had ever felt. The only one I have found is over $80. That’s crazy!

I’m very simple when it comes to eye brushes. On work days I can get by with just a MAC 217, although sometimes I’ll also use my Lancôme precision eye brush (not sure if that’s the name but they don’t make this one anymore) for smudging eyeshadow/eyeliner.

For other looks I’ll use the Real Techniques shading brush, Real Techniques Fine Liner brush (has this been discontinued?) and the Lancôme blending brush (the actual name escapes me as this brush is OLD but I really call it my eraser brush as it as it can blend eyeshadow out to nothing).

These five brushes are my staples. There aren’t many of them and I like to keep things simple, using as few brushes as possible! I rarely use anything else. ?

I couldn’t live with my Sigma E55 and my Wayne Goss 04, then it’s nice that I have Wayne Goss 03, and Sigma E17 and E21 for gel eyeliner and smudging.

MAC 217 and 239, some unlabelled Sonia Kashuk white handled brushes – a flat brush like a smaller 239 and one with black hairs that is a crease brush – Kat von D’s double ended Shade+Light contour eyeshadow brush and Sephora’s very cheap smudge brush and their #28 Pro Cream Shadow Brush (it’s no longer sold in Canada for some crazy reason but I have 2 of them, one of which, with the handle cut shorter, I use for concealer).

As someone with a hooded crease, all my time is spent on building up that area to recede and create contour. I’m nuts about pencil brushes in various sizes and stiffness, so I have 4 of those that are must haves:

Chikuhodo Z10
Hakuhodo B5520
Zoeva 240
MAC 219

MAC 217, MAC 239, (workhorses laying down base, cream products, mobile lid packing)
MAC 221, Hakuhodo S146 (tapered brushes that work really well for smaller eyes)

Zoeva 134 Massive large tapered brush which is a fav for blending the whole eye look out

Bobbi Brown Ultra Precise Eye Liner (self explanatory)

There are more I use, but these are definitely the core and sit in a separate spaced out holder so I can identify and reach for them easily.

Hi Melissa and Anat:

I have a layer of skin that sits over my crease. You can see my eyelid, but the skin covers my actual crease. There are so many different types of hooded eyes and mine are also have slightly downturned as well so to address my key issues I do the following:

I use at least two ‘crease colours’.. the tend to be midtone and matte. I apply the lightest one first which covers a larger territory. Using the Chikuhodo Z10 pencil brush. It is quite soft, but also pointed so it allows me to direct the eyeshadow exactly where I want it. I place it right on top of that piece of skin and then I blend it upwards in a dome shape aimed not central, but slightly more towards the corner of my eyebrow. Look at Christine’s crease work, mine is similar in shape and it lifts the outside corner of the eyes. The only difference, I lay in a second crease colour which is darker, I apply it on top of the first one, this time with a stronger brush, the Hakuhodo and I concentrate the colour on that skin hood so further recede the area, but I do not extend it as far up.. so it ends up layered. Sometimes I will take a finer pencil brush such as the Zoeva 240 and create a cut crease right on that fold of skin in an even darker colour. Does this make sense? I blend everything out so it is seamless. Be careful and apply your colours in thin layers. Don’t attack the area with a really heavy loaded brush, you’ll end up with splotchy shadow that is impossible to blend. If you have a hard time blending shadows, start with a cream base with a MAC 217. It makes it easier to blend everything out.

Oh, key point: when I use my pencil brushes, I am always moving the brush in very small circles, not in straight lines. Do not pinch your brush with your fingers tightly, you will end up with too much pressure on your brush which gives you drawn lines which are impossible to blend..so use light super small circles.. it makes a huge difference.

I also layer colour under my lower lid in the same fashion so the upper matches the lower. I graduate this colour too. So whatever crease colours I have, I apply the lightest first, with a wider pencil brush MAC 219, then I apply the darker crease colour on top with a skinnier pencil brush (either the chikuhodo or the hakuhodo), then I apply my darkest colour along the lower lash line with the Zoeva. I extend this colour up from the outer corner of my lower lid to create a bit of a wing. This is the only way I can wear wings that look ‘normal’.. it also serves as a really good guideline. You never want shadow outside of this line… it will only drag your eye down. You can also make it in the shape of a vee and bring it in a bit into the crease. I do not cover much territory on my eye with really dark colours.

I then line my eyes with brighter shimmery eyesliner and this makes a huge difference on how wide-eyed I can look. I line the bottom directly on the waterline, the upper fully, but thinly. I tightline with black to make lashes look fuller, but not to reduce the amount of eyelid showing. Use a shimmery shadow on the mobile lid. Use satin or matte shadows (I prefer totally matte) for crease work. Curl your lashes!..also helps to open them up.

Crap, I think I wrote a novella here. But maybe there is something here that works for both of you! Have fun with your shadows 😀

Thank you for sharing these fantastic tips! I also have hooded eyes and find it challenging to apply eye shadow. I am definitely going to practice your techniques and try a few of your recommended brushes. 🙂

Thanks Wwendy for your favs as i , also, have hooded eyes and can’t seem to figure out what brushes would be best. Looks like I might be going shopping soon!

LOL.. shopping! that’s fun 🙂 These are great for hooded eyes and also small eyes. Most brushes are far too big for mine and I could never figure out why I was struggling with eyeshadow placement all the time. Turns out the pencil brush is my fav and I achieve a lot of my layering by just changing the size and density of the brush.

Where do you get your Zoeva brushes? I’ve heard some good things about them and wanted to try them out. Do you just order them from the company’s website or do you know if anyone else carries them?

I know it has been a few months since your posted this, but it was so helpful to me today. I have been doing extensive research on brushes for my hooded eyes. Thank you for describing how you use them.

No problems, Rachel. I hope you find something helpful for you. Since this post I have changed up a few things and I am now using a Smith Quill Crease Brush Small for my crease work because of its size. It is very similar to the MAC 217, but a bit smaller and fits perfectly for my eye size. I use it to lay down first and second crease colours and then move to pencil brushes if I want more definition in the area. Best bet is to find a brush that is not too soft, I prefer synthetic and fits perfectly in the space of your crease (or fake crease if you have to create one) to halfway up to your eyebrow. Pulling crease work too high is common with hooded eyes and that makes everything look very muddy. Aly Art on Youtube is very good (but fast) at describing technical details. I find I understand her instructions very well, but have to replay bits so I catch the details. 😀

Thank you so much for your reply. I didn’t know if you would see this or not. I will definitely check out that youtube channel and thoses brushes. I have worn eyeshadow for years but only recently discovered that I have hooded eyes. Now I understand why I was never achieving success with many of the eyeshadow tutorials I was watching. I kept hearing about the MAC 217 but after looking at it I just kept thinking it would be too big for my eyes, particularly since I feel like I am a beginner now in learning to work with my hooded eyes. I will try to find that Smith Quill Brush. It is interesting that you suggest synthetic brushes instead of natural, because I have been reading the opposite. Is the synthetic better for hooded eyes? It could be that all those recommendations for natural hair brushes were from people that do not have hooded eyes 🙂 Could you possibly suggest a list of eyeshadow/shading/crease brushes for me that you currently use. Thank you so much for your help.

Right now I’m really happy with the brushes I use for shadow. MAC 239 (lid), MAC 219 (highlight), Quo crease brush (transition shade), MAC 221 (crease).

Morphe G17 Round Blender
Morphe G27 Pencil Crease (but I use it for blending Colourpop shadows on the lower lashline, great for that, even the super glittery flaky ones)
Real Techniques Shading Brush (MAC 239 dupe)
Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush (tapered tip for the outer v)
And this might sound silly, but the brush that comes with my L’Oreal gel liner pot. It’s just a tiny filbert shape liner brush but the handle is very short so I can get close to the mirror.

Preface to my first few: in Ye Olden Days of a volunteer student’s part-time budget, I found my favorite three eye brushes on Amazon from the Grace Arts WS12 watercolor brush set. I just gave them a really good wash to get rid of any chemical residue when I got them and I’ve never experienced any irritation so it was worth the $8.

Grace Arts flat 8: for pressing eyeshadow against the lash line, packing onto the lid, diffusing lid colors together, THE BEST at minimizing fallout.
Grace Arts round 8: diffused blending in the crease and outer V.
Grace Arts round 6: precise color application in the crease and blending out the lower lash line.
Elf $1 blending brush: the actual best thing for transition shades.
Sephora #10 pro crease brush: blending the outer corner, blending up towards the brow bone, blending 37 shadows together–blending savior.

Real technique buffing brush!
I use it to buff products and no need to photoshop again cos it gives photoshop effect already

I have a lot of paint brushes that I’ve used for years for eye makeup as well as other makeup. They seem to work really fine for me.

I was just telling someone to go to the craft section at Michael’s or wherever and look at paint brushes. A lot of them are the same as makeup brushes and they cost a whole lot less.

I mostly use sponge applicators like the ones you find in palettes from dior etc.
Not very professional but I Love them.
For liquid liners I Love a silicone liner (cannot remember the Brand)
For “combing” the lashes a small Fan brush from Mac.

Sonia Kashuks angled crease!! It’s great for vibrant crease colors and precise placement, but still blends super well!

Real Techniques Starter Kit, especially the Base Shadow Brush (it’s perfect for my crease). MAC 239 (I know it’s a shader, but I like it much better for packing color on my lids). E.l.f. Eyeshadow “C” Brush (black handle), Blending Brush (black handle), Small Angled Brush (black handle), Small Precision Brush (black handle), Eye Crease Brush (white handle), and Smudge Brush (white handle). Sonia Kashuk Precision Pencil Brush No. 31. For loose mineral shadows, bareMinerals id bareEscentuals angled Eye Defining Brush. An eyebrow spoolie, but brand doesn’t matter much. Right now I’m using one from bhCosmetics.

Hi ladies
Could you tell me where you buy all those japanese brushes please? Here in France we don’t have them and they are totally unknown …I had already heard of them in some American youtube videos…
Thanks in advance.

I don’t know how accessible this is for you in France, but Sephora did a collaboration with hakuho-do. They did a set and also the brushes separately, but I think the set was for a limited time.

I think my other comment didn’t go through. Try searching “Hakuhodo USA brushes” for the Hakuhodo site. I think they do international shipping. Beautylish sells Chikuhodo brushes, though it looks like there is some sort of shipping issue right now, but you could get on an list for when they start shipping again. Koyudo brushes I get from cd japan — I think there’s a “traditional Japanese crafts” section. It’s a little hard to find the makeup brush section. www (dot) cdjapan (dot) co (dot) jp/maker/11527.

Mac 217 for blending cream shadows…first time I tried it I couldn’t believe my eyes! I also have the Mac 239 but it’s OK. I don’t have any more eyeshadow brushes besides a couple of super-cheap morphe ones… my budget only allows make-up products so I can’t binge on brushes too :^)

I love my Estee Lauder brushes that I received as a GWP many years ago and they are just the right ones for applying eye shadows. I also have a Real Techniques set for blushes, powder and for eyeshadows.

When I first want to get into makeup I was working at J.C. Penney that had a Sephora inside and one of the girls recommended this Kat Von D eyeshadow brush set http://dy6g3i6a1660s.cloudfront.net/NOh5tB__gKv99tJOYNoq5wPoA-g/zb_p-2b/kat-von-d-kat-eye-brush-set.jpg and if I knew then what I know now I would’ve bought another set. I got it super discounted from the clearance section and the blending brush is so perfect for me! The only brush in this set I don’t like is the flat liner brush. I haven’t found a way to actually use to, when I tried using it for gel liner it hasn’t gone in my favor.

Like many others the e.l.f. blending brush is also another staple item for me. I have a makeup geek smalle crease brush that is good for a lot of things as well. I use this small (eye) contour brush from elf as well and it’s so awesome for my crease.

I have hooded eyes and a lot of brushes are too big for me to use. I have a lot of eye brushes that I don’t use that came in sets or where gifted to me and don’t work with my eye shape. I would love recommendations on eye brushes if anyone has any!

I really wanna try some Zoeva brushes but I live in the U.S. and it looks like their website is based out of the U.K. and I’m not very familiar with buying from another country so I would rather not if I can avoid it.

To be honest, most of the time all I use are my fingers. Haha. When I do use brushes it’s always my Ecotools brushes. I use 2 double-ended ones and one single-ended one. I love their angled eyeliner brush!

MAC 239 and MAC 217 (or an equivalent). And I cannot live without some sort of eyelash brush or spoolie to get out clumps. Obviously one needs a blush brush, a powder brush, and an eyeliner brush, but in the “must have” category I say 239 and 217 (or similar blending brush).

All are from Sephora Collection. They are #27- Pro Blending brush, #16-Pro Domed Crease brush (discontinued), #21-Pro Brow/Lash Comb, and #28-Pro Cream shadow brush.

Mac 217, 239, 224, 228, 208, 210, 263, 266. Anastasia BH angled brow brush with spoolie. And various Ecotools excellent brushes including two double ended that came in a set and I really like! Oh and I have some RT also and I use them a lot

I have a ton of eyeshadow brushes, at least 5 of the elf c brushes but the majority of my brushes all brands are stored away. I have the Wayne Goss eye brush set and a too faced set of 3 brushes. I love both so much that’s about it for what I leave out on my vanity. Oh! Except for 2 ancient bare escentuals brushes. One is an eye buki ( their name not mine) that is the best lay down a base shade quickly brush and the other is angled. It fits perfectly in my outer v. But I also use some real techniques…….never mind. This list is going to be much longer than I thought and I just this second thought of the it brushes. I’m a brush addict. Isn’t that the first step?

Mac 219, Mac 224, Mac 217, and the tiny pencil brush that comes in the Eco Tools Essential Eye Kit are the only ones I have that I feel are specifically essential / couldn’t be substituted!

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