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My Favourite Makeup Brushes (Mostly Drugstore)

November 30, 2018

I don’t have the largest brush collection, but it’s definitely bigger than most. It’s actually a double edged sword, especially when it comes to cleaning them. It means I don’t have to wash my brushes as often, but it also means that when I do, there’s one hell of a big pile. As a result, I often put off my deep cleans for as long as possible. Most recently, it was about 9 months. YIKES!

I’ll be honest, before really getting into makeup, I used one or two brushes for pretty much everything. I used an eyeshadow sponge that came in an old Covergirl eyeshadow quad to swipe colour on my lids. And for my face I used one of my mom’s blush brushes, which was literally ancient and coated in bacteria from never being washed. Now the thought makes me cringe! Guys…I’ve stressed this before and I’ll stress it again. Clean your makeup brushes!! You can thank me later.

Anyways, I shared a glimpse of my dreaded brush washing chore on Instagram a few weeks ago and ran a poll to see how many of you would be interested in a post featuring my favourite makeup brushes. I was surprised to see a pretty decent number of you said yes. So here we are!



e.l.f. Flawless Concealer Brush

On most days, I use my fingers to blend out concealer, but sometimes I feel like that can be a little time consuming. On days when I want to get ready fast, I use this brush. I like to use patting motions to avoid streaks, but it does a really great job! It also holds up well with liquid and cream products. I often use it to buff out cream bronzer and haven’t had any issues with the bristles falling out.

e.l.f. Stipple Brush

I love this brush for powder bronzer (if you couldn’t tell by the orange-y-brown stain). I use it every single day, because I’m literally obsessed with bronzer and it just happens to be the perfect size for my face. It has two different layers of synthetic hairs. The longer ones (which are usually white) pick up the perfect amount of product, while the shorter black ones help sheer out the pigment and flawlessly blend it on the skin. I prefer to use swirling motions, rather than stipple motions. It can also be used to apply foundation, but I find that can cause it to shed a little easier.

e.l.f. Cosmetics Highlighting Brush

This is a great brush for highlighting OR setting concealer with powder under the eyes. The pointed shape makes it super easy to get right under the lash line. I personally use it for highlighter because it’s super fluffy and prevents me from going overboard. Before this brush, I had was rocking some serious Tin Man vibes.

e.l.f. Cosmetics Pointed Powder Brush

Meet my absolute favourite brush for blush! It’s thick, fluffy and incredibly soft. But it also tapers to a point at the top, which makes it perfect for concentrating blush on the apples of the cheeks. I have a small head, a small face, and small cheeks. This brush is a great size for me personally.

e.l.f. Cosmetics Blush Brush

Despite being meant for blush, I like to use this brush for setting my under eyes to avoid creasing. It’s flat, paddle shape is kind of odd for applying blush, but it’s great for applying powder under the lash line. It’s a little more dense, and therefore packs powder on a little more intense, which is great for brightening the under eye area!

Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki

Again, on a typical day I will just use my fingertips to apply foundation. My next choice would be a sponge (I love the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge). But some days I want a full coverage application and this brush does the job! It packs on foundation a little heavier than normal, without looking cake-y. I use a combo of patting and buffing motions to smooth everything out and find I don’t have any issues with streaking. I also find that because it’s very dense and flat, it doesn’t absorb as much product as a sponge would.

In addition, it’s also my go-to when using cream blush. Of all my brushes, this one does not leave behind pesky hairs in my product. It picks up just the right amount of pigment, and by using gentle patting motions, it applies just the right amount of colour onto my cheeks without disturbing the foundation underneath.


Sigma Tapered Blending E35 Brush

I bought this brush nearly five years ago at IMATS Toronto and it’s still going strong. It’s a staple any time I apply eyeshadow because it’s the perfect shape for my eyes. It features long bristles with a slightly pointed tip, which makes it easy to control how much pigment is picked up, and where colour is placed. It’s also moderately fluffy and blends colours really nicely together in the crease.

e.l.f. Cosmetics Fluffy Eye Blender Brush

This is the fluffiest eyeshadow brush I own! It’s thick, super soft and perfect for blending harsh edges or laying down transition colours in the crease. At first I was scared that it was going to be too large for my eye size and shape. But that fear obviously kept me from realizing that I needed a large eyeshadow blending brush in my life. It’s made a huge difference in the way I do my makeup.

bh Cosmetics Tapered Shadow Blending Brush

This cute little gal came in an incredibly affordable set that I bought ages ago. It’s on the smaller size, so I like using it for deepening the crease. It’s also a little shorter and more dense than my other blending brushes, so it’s best for concentrating colour, rather than buffing it out.

e.l.f. Crease Brush

This is the smallest eyeshadow blending brush I own. It fits nice and snug in the crease of my eyes, but it’s also my chosen tool for buffing colour along the lower lash line.

As you can probably tell, I’m a HUGE fan of drugstore brushes – especially e.l.f. Cosmetics ones! They’re so super affordable and, in my opinion, the quality is worth more. The brushes are all soft, apply and blend products beautifully, and have held up well over the years. I highly recommend them to anyone! Whether you’re a makeup junkie like me, or someone that should probably just add to their two count brush/eyeshadow sponge “collection”, these brushes will come in handy and won’t break your bank.

OK…now it’s your turn. What are your favourite makeup brushes?


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