What are your top five must-have face makeup brushes?


What are your top five must-have face makeup brushes currently? Share!

SUQQU Cheek, Chikuhodo Highlight, Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Make Up For Ever #128, Hakuhodo J4004

Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

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!

47 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.
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

MAC 217, Sonia Kashuk small shadow brush, RT contour brush, their cheek brush, and gotta say their sculpted brush too lately… hmmm

Rae Morris Pro Power (the magnetic one with black bristles, which is softer and has less resistance than the older, white-bristled Pro Powder)
Rae Morris Deluxe Kabuki
Sephora Pro Airbrush Concealer 57
Sephora Pro Foundation 47
Shu Uemura Kolinsky/Sable 12 (technically an eye brush, but I used it for apply setting power to targeted areas like under the eyes)

Louise Young LY07 ,Zoeva #128 cream cheek ,Make Up For Ever Large Foundation brush#108 , MAC 138 ,Sonia Kashuk #129 Duo Fibre Fan brush

Zoeva
101 Luxe Face Definer brush
102 Silk Finish brush
105 Luxe Highlight brush
126 Luxe Cheek Finish brush
Elf studio powder brush

Very surprised you put the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush! I loved it at first but notice streaking regularly! Do you have any tips to prevent it?

I don’t have issues with it streaking, but do you wash it after every use? I know if I don’t wash it regularly that the foundation will cause the bristles to hold together (creating more like mega bristles, lol) and that would streak.

Some of my favorite face brushes are the e.l.f. Stipple Brush (yep, that’s right, this cheap ass stippling brush is AWESOME), the Smashbox Cheek & Face brush, the Zoeva 106 Powder brush and the flat top buffing brush and tapered powder brush from Stelicious.

I’m still on the hunt for a good blush brush (preferably something on the smaller side).
What would you recommend Christine? I don’t think we have hakuhodo or chikuhodo available here in the UK, and I don’t want to go near anything like Tom Ford pricing.

Can you tell me what brands you have access to/have the right pricing? 🙂 I have no idea what the pricing scale is like for brands in the UK (I know TF is expensive, but some brands are really marked up overseas while others aren’t).

Not sure about everything but I know Mac and Real Techniques are available and within my price range. Oh and we just got MUFE which I believe is around mac pricing here so that’s fine too.
Most brands are available, just some like Hakuhodo, Sephora and most “indie” brands aren’t.

Thanks for the reply!

1) BareMinerals Full Coverage Kabuki Brush for my Original Foundation 30 SPF and Mineral Veils. I’ve tried others, but I think this one gives me the best coverage and works it into the skin the best. NOTE: The bristles are goat hair. Fortunately, goat hair can be shorn off the animals without killing them, and BareMinerals is a CF company. If you’re vegan or allergic to goat hair, you’ll want to skip this.

2) Real Techniques Blush Brush (the one with the pink handle — got mine from Target). My HG blush brush. Synthetic.

3) E.l.f. Studio Contouring Brush. My HG brush for applying contour. It’s exactly the right size and shape for me. I can even contour around my nose with it. Synthetic.

4) Bdellium Precision Kabuki Airbrushed Effect 957. It’s perfect for buffing out powder blush, contour, foundation. Synthetic.

5) Tarte’s The Slenderizer Bamboo Contouring Brush – another great contour brush, except I can’t do my nose with it. The domed end is good for applying, and really getting into the hollow of the cheek. The flat, slanted end is perfect for blending and buffing out contour. Synthetic.

1: Round kabuki foundation or sephora #56
2. E40 or equivalent
3. MAC 242 (nothing packs on lid color better)
4. F35 under eye setting powder
5. Real techniques powder brush (mutli tasker for powder or blush)

I probably need to overhaul my face brush collection. I must have a flat foundation application brush for concealer, otherwise I cannot wear it at all. I have several expensive concealer brushes but none of them work on my mature skin (I am 49). I currently use Lancome’s flat foundation brush. I use Bobby Brown’s blush brush and bronzer brush–no complaints, they work great for me. I use Estee Lauder’s all-over powder brush. And though you asked for brushes only, I want to give an honorable mention to using a beauty sponge for both sheering out my foundation after application and pressing in my face powder (I spray it with rose water and press my powder into my skin).

I have a somewhat related question–at least about types of brushes. Right now I am possibly losing my mind trying to figure out what brush to buy for precision application of WET eyeshadow into the crease? I have been all over the internet for the past 48 hours and I don’t know what to do. I have reread your must-have eyeshadow brush post four times. Can you recommend an eyeshadow brush for precise crease application that will work well for wet shadow?

I think five face brushes is exactly what I have: a Real Techniques powder brush, Real Techniques blush brush, Eco Tools fan brush, Eco Tools stippling brush, and Sephora retractable kabuki brush.

If I had to re-do my blush stash for some unspeakable reason, the first thing I would buy would be the Essence Of Beauty travel set. They’re double-ended, so you really do get everything necessary, the quality is there, they’re really soft, and around $15 USD. My favorite of the bunch, and the one I’ve been using daily, is the angled blush/accent brush. I use the fluffy blush brush to highlight, and the accent brush to contour, as the size & density are perfect.

I love brush questions….I always need suggestions.
Wayne Goss nº 13.
Wayne Goss nº 2.
Wayne Goss Holiday brush.
MakeupForever extra large powder brush, not sure of the number, it´s new and I really like it.
Up & Up Complexion brush from Target….I KNOW, weird….I prefer it to the Real Techniques, go figure!

Can´t wait to see the favorite eye brushes!

I totally agree, especially the nº13. I am going to take a look at the Marc Jacob´s nº2, I have his concealer brush which I like very much. Thanks!

I don’t have a lot of brushes to choose from… But my faves are Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Setting brush, Sculpting brush, Blush brush, and Coastal Scents Bionic buffer! (Can you tell I’m a RT fan?)

MAC 159, Sephora Pro Airbrush Concealer Brush, Sedona Lace Dome Contour, Sedona Lace Synthetic Blender Brush and ELF Powder Brush.

-Tom Ford bronzer brush
-It Cosmetics Velvet Luxe Soft focus sculpting brush #315
-MAC 168
-MAC 109
-Real Technique Expert face brush

Real Techniques Expert Face, Tarte’s Maracuja Foundation Brush, Sonia Kashuk Flat Top, Sonia Kashuk Crease Brush, and my Armani Eyeshadow Blending Brush.

In no particular order, the Shiseido foundation brush (use it almost all the time), Sephora #28 Pro Cream Shadow Brush (I use this for concealer and it’s even better than their concealer brush), Sephora #45 Mineral Powder brush, IT Cosmetics Flat Topped Buffing Brush (for their powder foundation) Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (if I could slip in a 6th it would be my old and much used Pur Minerals angled blush brush).

I don’t really use too many brushes on my face. I really like the real techniques trio buffing, contour, and concealer set. I use a beauty blender and one brush that has grown to be a favorite is the Nars yachiyo #27. I’m not big on foundation or blushes so..

Oh, I need to read ALL these answers! The Sigma F80 is the only face brush in my arsenal that I MUST have, and I really need more. I’d really love to get:

– an all over setting/finishing powder brush. Definitely have my eye on that MUFE 128.
– a highlighting brush
– a contouring brush
– a cheek/blusher brush

I’ve been hearing about that SUQQU for so long. $200+ is a LOT for a brush. Can it REALLY live up to that hype?! I wish there was a way to try it, that’s definitely the kind of purchase I’d want to test drive before committing to.

My routine, typically sees more than 5 brushes. So, here are my essentials:Tom Ford (02) cream foundation; Hakuhodo B002; Sephora #79 (contour);Chikuhodo cheek/highlight, Chikuhodo highlight or Hakuhodo’s J400 fan:Wayne Goss 02. Hourglass 04, and Kevyn Aucoin Blender/concealer brush and Stila #33 are essentials for me too that I think deserve honorable mention for a full face. Also a beautiful finishing brush is Hakuhodo’s Kokutan finishing brush L. I have the one made of goat and it’s really super soft. Gives a beautiful finish. I hate that my suqqu doesn’t trump my chikuhodo after what I paid for it .But,mostly,I reach for the latter. I know that was more than 5. But, If the house was burning, I’d grab my daughter, my dog,& my brushes. 🙂

I have an IT foundation brush that came with the foundation that I dislike immensely and I will never use again. I have four blush brushes since I usually use two blushes at a time. One is Chanel retractable kabuki to take with me in my handbag and the Chanel Pinceau Retouche Touch-up Brush that I use at home. Also a big fluffy brush for setting powder and I can’t remember the name of it. Oh, and MAC 128 and MAC 182 for blush. A few MAC eye shadow brushes too. I buy the colorful Sonia Kashuk brushes not to use but just because they are colorful and pretty : )

Marc Jacobs n.2
Tom Ford bronzer
Wayne Goss 2, 13, and the holiday brush

WG 13 and the holiday brush are great at multitasking.

RT sponge (I know it’s not a brush, but I only ever use it for liquid foundation/concealer)
Eco Tools tapered blush brush
RT powder brush for when I need to set liquid
RT buffing brush for powder foundation
Eco Tools fan brush for highlighting the cheeks and nose

Face brush – for setting powder
Angled blush brush
Estee Lauder eye shadow brushes – I got them in a set some time ago – a combination of fluffy and short brushes for applying eyeshadows.

MAC 217
MAC 219
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Real Techniques Powder Brush
and I know it’s not technically a brush but my Beauty Blender is a go-to for me

hello!:) right now I am using+lovin makeupgeek face buffer brush for blending my blush or powder, sigma tapered highlighting brush to set my concealer or highlight my face, bm flawless face brush to apply powder lightly, an old paulas c brush to apply blush, and I love my sigma e 70 med angled shading brush for e/s!!!

Sigma F30, F40, Real Techniques duo fibre contour brush, a travel sized Sephora blush brush & Bobbi Brown foundation brush.

RT Multi Task and 300, Sigma F82 and F84, Sephora Large Powder 61 for face. For eyes Sigma E40 and E25, MAC 266 and 233, and this Elizabeth Moss All Over Shadow I got in my Ipsy bag is great for smoking out your corners. Honorable mentions are the double ended brushes from Naked 2 and Anastasia Tamanna Palette.

I wonder why the Shiseido foundation brush is such a low-key, not so discovered tool? It definitely performs better than my RT and Sigma brushes in being able to blend liquid foundation and provide an almost air brush finish. It’s like a hybrid tool – brush and beauty blender in one because it’s so dense and soft.

My most used face brushes are my 30 yo Trucco face brush, it’s something I bought when I first got my cosmetology license and it still works great for powder, blush, and bronzer. I also use Urban Decay, it Cosmetics, NARS, and Cornell-Lowe art brushes. I have a few Redken brushes that are quite old, but still work great. I have bought many brushes through the years, and I found I prefer Taklon brushes rather than natural hair. I found that while Kolinsky Sable was great for nail enhancement work, I don’t like natural bristles for applying my makeup. I have brushes from The Body Shop, Sephora, Ulta, and a few others, but I hardly use them. I like a soft brush and Taklon brushes seem to work better for me, and the Loew Cornell art brushes are so inexpensive and they make a huge assortment and you can find dupes for any makeup brush.

I am extremely hard on my brushes. I get cystic acne, so I wash my brushes after every use, so a good brush means no shedding, tight ferrules, easily washable, and holds up under the abuse. Some of my favorite brushes are so long discontinued, but they are still in great shape. I recently started using it Cosmetic brushes and I love them for foundation, concealer, eyeshadow, and eye liner. I love brushes, but I have had bad luck with shedding, loose ferrules, and the hair matting with some MAC brushes I had to have because every review was glowing. They just didn’t work very well for me, I gave them to my sister.

I don’t think I use five face brushes. I use like, 10 eyes brushes but only two or three face! Still, I’d pick MAC 187, Real Techniques Powder Brush, and the elf Small Tapered brush (I don’t much like elf brushes but this one is strangely excellent).

Hi!

Do you have a blush brush you can recommend for less than $35? I dont do very heavy makeup and have had the same blush brush from high school. (I am 27 now!)… I want something smaller and with light coverage so that I can build up the color.

Thank you!!

Martha

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!