I'm no expert, I'm not even a makeup artist, but more like an amateur so I can't really give you expert advice but I can only share with you what I know and what worked for me. The picture above is where I keep all my eye brushes and sometimes some random stuff end up in there as well, lol. I have thought about doing a post about my eye makeup brushes for some time now but I want to also give a shout out to Cynthia for also requesting.
To be honest, you do not need that many brushes for your eyes makeup. I'm just a beauty junkie so I hoard more things than I really need. Then again it's always good to have a back up, just in case one is dirty and you don't feel like cleaning it right away. The above picture has the brushes that I mostly reach, which is only one third of what's in the pencil organizer. I've provided links to where you can purchase these brushes for your convenience, in case you are interested. I am by no means affiliated with these companies, I'm not being paid to mention them, and I paid for everything you see in this post except for the MAC 217, which was a gift from my ex boy-friend.
These are shader brushes. There is a slight variation in them but for the most part they are flat, have a rounded shape, and tappered at the top. These are best used to pack on colors on your eyelids or your brow bone. For powder eyeshadows, the best way to use them is to pick up the color by dabbing into the eyeshadow and use a patting motion on your lids.
From top to bottom
- Coastal Scents Divine Eyeshadow Large. This one works wonders for the price and doesn't shed.
- ELF Studio Eyeshadow C brush. Best for creamshadows. This one never sheds.
- Loew-Cornell. This is an art brush that I got from the craft store. Works great as a shader brush.
- Sephora Professionnel Cream Eyeshadow. This one is actually thick enough to work as a blending brush. Kinda pricy but a good brush, nonetheless.
- ELF eyeshadow brush. Not the best but a decent cheaper alternative. This brush tend to shed quite a bit.
- Sigma E55. My favorite shader brush.
- Coastal Scents Synthetic Shadow. It's much wider than the average shader brush but works well for me.
My favorite for applying powder eyeshadow is the Sigma E55. The bristles are soft but it's dense and firm and the perfect size for my eyes. My other shader brushes also work well but I always want to reach for this one. I am tempted to buy another one, like I need it, lol.
- Sigma Pencil E30. I often use this brush to define the outter V and then use a blending blush to blend the color. The tip is not as pointy or tappered as most pencil brush but I actually love how this is shaped.
- Ulta Professional tapered crease eyeshadow. I mostly use this one when I want a very defined or sharp crease. The tip is more tappered, pointed, and firm.
- ELF Studio Contour Brush. This is another brush I use to define the color on my crease and outter V. I also love using this as a concealer brush.
- Face Secrets Small Shading. This is actually a small shading brush so it can be use for both applying eyeshadows all over lids and crease. I couldn't find the exact same brush on Sally Beauty's website but I'm pretty sure you can still find it at the store.
- MAC 226 (limited edition). Here's another brush that I reach for when I want to define my crease and outter V.
Ok so this is where the magic happens, LOL. Everyone who wants a perfectly blended eyeshadow NEED these blending brushes. No lie! They make a huge difference. You could actually use these to apply eyeshadows but I like them best to blend the harsh edges. Here I have the Coastal Scents Pro blending fluff and the MAC 217. They look and work practically the same! So if you cannot affort the MAC price tag, Coastal Scents is the way to go. Also I have a travel size Sigma E25, which has a very similar shape to these two and works also great.
The reason I love these blending brushes is because they have the perfect amount of firmess and they pick up just the right amount of product for blending. The way they are tappered and slightly splayed allows them to blend like no other. The only con is that these blending brushes shed a little. Not horribly but they do shed a few hair when you clean them.
These are my eye liner brushes, from top to bottom
- ELF Studio Small Precision Brush
- Sonia Kashuk
- Smashbox Arced Liner Brush
- Sonia Kashuk Bent eyeliner brush. This is a good alternative to the Smashbox Arced Liner.
- MAC 211 (limited edition)
I don't know if that Sonia Kashuk brush is still available but it's quite small, rounded, flat, and tappered at the top. It's perfect for eyelining or applying color on the inner corners of your eyes and smudging eyeliners because it gives me so much more control than the angled eyeliner type. The ELF small precision is similar but not as flat. You get a medium to thick line with these. These brushes also work great for setting your eyeliner with a powder eyeshadow.
The Smashbox Arced Liner Brush is also one of my favorite (I actually got this one in a Sephora box kit) but I mostly use this brush if the gel liner I'm using is not thick or if I don't like the brush of the liquid eyeliner and rather use my own. It's great for creating a winged eyeliner. I'd reach for this one if I want a thinner more precise line.
The MAC 211 is a must have for me. I have not seen any other brush out there similar to this one in shape and quality. It's very tappered and pointed at the top. The bristles are very firm so I get alot of control out of it. This one is perfect if you are using a gel liner that's a little dryer because the bristles are very firm, they will up the color with ease. You get a medium to thick line with this brush. Too bad it was limited edition.
Again, you do not have to have a ton of brushes but a few essentials and the ones I mentioned on this posts are the ones I reach for the most. Most of them I have used for a long time and they've hold up their shape quite well and have little to no shedding after several washes. I find that my cheap brushes actually perform quite well but then again, if you can afford a higher end brush, it's totally up to you. Purchasing a brush set maybe cheaper, more convenient, and might be a good way to start building up your collection but from my personal experience, whenever you buy a set, there is always going to be some good brushes, some bad ones, or some you'll probably never use. The advantage of buying them individually is that you get to pick exactly what you need.
I really hope this post was informative. Let me know if you are planning to get any of these or if you've already own some of them and how you feel about them.
Thanks for reading.