BEST MAKEUP BRUSHES | NOVEMBER 2017

Whether you are new to makeup or are a professional makeup artist, the right brushes make all the difference. However, there are many types of brushes and features to consider including brush sizes, bristles options, and materials that can affect the quality and overall purpose of a makeup brush. With that in mind, our team conducted extensive research to find the best makeup brushes on the market. For each product selected, we provide the specifications, key features, and other considerations. If you aren’t quite sure where to start, what to look for or what price range to consider, check out our buying guide. Read more about our methodology.

Best Overall

97

This 8-piece makeup brush set provides brushes for your entire face, not just your eyes or cheeks. Featuring a handmade design, synthetic bristles, and a lifetime guarantee, these makeup brushes will last you a long time.

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Best Value

96

This makeup brush set is perfect for beginners and those new to makeup. This kit features makeup brushes boasting a beautiful design, soft, synthetic bristles and very little shedding. Additionally, each brush handle in this 7-piece set is smooth and durable, helping you easily and precisely apply your makeup.

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Makeup Brushes BUYING GUIDE

  • KEY CONSIDERATIONS

    Bristle Type

    The type of bristle is one of the first things you should consider when choosing a makeup brush. Natural brushes use animal hair — such as sable or raccoon hair — and are ideal for applying powder makeup. These brushes typically boast a long life span and they become better as you use them more. Synthetic brushes are good for applying creams and liquids and are a popular brush option. Synthetic brushes do not trap makeup, so they are excellent for more precise application.

    Durability

    Look for makeup brushes that can handle extensive use. Low-quality and less expensive makeup brushes may begin to shed over time or after a thorough cleaning. Although, keep in mind that a large factor of the brush’s durability relies on you and how well you maintain the brush. Without proper care, even high-quality products will fall apart much faster than well-maintained and regularly cleaned items.

    Softness

    Makeup brushes should be soft, not rough and scratchy on your skin. If the bristles are too abrasive, it could irritate your skin, particularly sensitive skin. However, before you look for the softest brush available, you want to avoid bristles that are too soft as these products won’t give you the precision you need.

    Ergonomic Design

    A brush's handle can affect how easy it is to apply your makeup. Consider brushes with ergonomic handles that are easy to hold and grasp onto. Some brushes come with very thin and flimsy handles while others are large and awkward.

  • PRICE BREAKDOWN

    Makeup brushes vary drastically in price. Brushes $20 and under are typically synthetic brushes that are ideal for those new to makeup. You may find individual brushes for this price or small kits with only a handful of items. These brushes will do a decent job but may wear down over time. Makeup brushes between $20 and $100 are typically higher-quality products. You can generally purchase large makeup sets with dozens of brushes in this price range and choose between synthetic or natural bristles. Professional makeup brushes are usually $100 or more and feature extremely well-made products that are ideal for professional makeup artists. Many of these products are only available for purchase directly from its company, not a third-party seller. In many situations, unless makeup is your livelihood, you can generally find brushes that are just as durable, soft and precise at a much lower price tag.

FULL product reviews

We research hundreds of products in order to bring you a final, unbiased list of the very best. We also use a proprietary algorithm to score each product in terms of quality, value, and brand reputation. These subscores are then weighted to calculate our overall scores. Read more about how we calculate our scores.

4K products
considered
246K RATINGS
ANALYZED
37 research
hours

Best Overall

TOP PICK

Be You Beautifully Chic Core Collection

The Be You Beautifully Chic Core Collection is a versatile makeup brush kit. This 8-piece set provides brushes for powder, foundation, eye shadow and more to help you achieve your full look with just this one kit. Each brush is made using synthetic hair and backed by a lifetime money-back guarantee — a rare feature for such budget-friendly makeup brushes.

  • 97overall
  • 98quality
  • 92value
  • 96brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Versatile kit. This 8-piece set provides the right brushes for applying powder, foundation, concealer and eyeshadow. The kit also features a sturdy storage case and is small enough that you can throw it into a suitcase or keep it in your purse when traveling.
  • Lifetime money-back guarantee. If you aren’t happy with these makeup brushes, you can receive a full refund, no questions asked. This lifetime guarantee is a rare feature and only offered by a handful of companies that offer products in this price range.
  • Handmade design. These brushes are made to withstand extensive use. They are handmade using synthetic hair and wooden handles. The high-quality design and materials used with this product prevent shedding and skin irritation.
  • Vegan. These brushes were not tested on animals and involve no animal-cruelty in manufacturing them.

Other Considerations

  • Too soft. While the soft feel of these brushes is a benefit, some users reported the brushes were almost too soft, which can affect a brush’s precision.

Best Value

TOP PICK

Docolor Mermaid Makeup Brushes

The Docolor Mermaid Makeup Brushes stand out with their beautiful design, soft bristles and smooth handle. This kit’s synthetic bristles easily pick up makeup and they rarely shed, even after several washes and extensive use. Boasting 7-pieces and a travel case, these brushes help you apply full coverage on your face without costing you a fortune.

  • 96overall
  • 96quality
  • 99value
  • 94brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Does not shed. Despite the low price tag, these makeup brushes are made using high-quality materials and they boast a durable design. This means you won’t lose many bristles even after extensive use or numerous cleanings.
  • Easy to hold. These Docolor makeup brushes feature a smooth, colorful handle. The smooth nature of each brush makes it easy to hold and helps you apply flawless streak-free makeup.
  • Attractive Design. Each brush features an attractive pink design. While many makeup brushes are very basic with black or brown exteriors, the pink design gives these brushes a more attractive, fun and feminine look.
  • Soft synthetic bristles. Each brush features premium synthetic bristles that are soft and fluffy. These fibers are packed tightly in the brush head to ensure you can flawlessly apply the makeup without irritating your skin.

Other Considerations

  • Some brushes have too tiny of bristles. Some brushes in this kit are small and the bristles are tiny. The smaller design makes it hard to be precise when applying makeup to certain areas on your face.

BEST BY CATEGORY

Best Natural Makeup Brush Set

why buy?

You should consider a natural makeup brush set if you desire fluffy and soft bristles. These brushes are made using natural animal hair and are best for applying powder. The bristles on these brushes have a cuticle — just like human hair — that can easily grab onto pigment and apply it easily on your face. Plus, you can quickly clean these brushes using a little shampoo.

Top Pick

SHANY Professional Brush Set

Beginners and professionals alike will find something they enjoy with this 32-piece natural brush set. It features numerous brushes for applying makeup on all areas of your face, making it is less likely you’ll need to purchase additional brushes and tools. Users with sensitive skin will benefit from the soft and silky bristles on each product. The bristles are made from a variety of animal hair including goats, badgers and sables.

  • 91overall
  • 93quality
  • 79value
  • 89brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Bristles made using a variety of animal hair. These brushes are made using goat, badger, sable, squirrel and raccoon hair which helps give it the soft and silky feel you need. The bristles are also extremely durable and excellent for applying powder and mineral makeup on your face.
  • Lightweight and great grip. These brushes are not awkward and clunky but are lightweight and sleek, making them easy to hold, particularly while trying to be precise with your application.
  • All-inclusive kit. The large 32-piece kit ensures you have all the necessary brushes to apply full coverage. Some brushes in this kit include an eye shadow brush, powder brush, liner brush and foundation brush.
  • Great for sensitive skin. While similar brushes can be rough and abrasive on your skin, these SHANY products are extremely soft and silky. You can easily apply makeup on all areas of your face without worrying about skin irritation.

Other Considerations

  • Minor smells upon opening. Some users report that when opening this kit, there was a foul smell. Unfortunately, this smell can be common among natural brushes and just requires extra cleaning, particularly before first using the brushes.

Best Synthetic Makeup Brush Set

why buy?

If you want an easy and popular makeup brush, you should consider a synthetic makeup brush kit. These brushes are made using synthetic bristles and are excellent tools for applying any cream or liquid to your face. These brushes don’t hold onto makeup like natural brushes, letting you be a little more precise in your application.

Top Pick

Andre Lorent PRO Makeup Brush Set

If you are looking for durable synthetic makeup brushes, this set may be for you. Each brush boasts LuxeFiber, a synthetic fiber that makes for easier application and a softer experience. These brushes are sturdy, durable and well-made — you won’t experience much shedding after extensive use. Unfortunately, this kit only features 5 brushes, so you may have to purchase additional items to create a complete makeup kit.

  • 97overall
  • 98quality
  • 94value
  • 96brand

Why We Recommend It

  • No shedding. These brushes are durable and are the perfect tool for everyday use. The synthetic bristles are strong and can withstand extensive use and numerous washings without falling out.
  • LuxeFiber bristles. These Andre Lorent makeup brushes use a synthetic fiber called LuxeFiber, which gives the brushes a softer feel and is excellent for sensitive skin. It also aids in the application process and makes applying makeup much easier and more precise.
  • Included designer travel case. This 5-piece set comes with a designer case. The case is small and robust, so you can easily carry it in a purse or suitcase, and it is aesthetically appealing so it won’t be a sore spot if left on a counter.

Other Considerations

  • Not a complete set. This kit only offers five brushes: foundation brush, powder and blush brush, angled liner brush, eyeshadow brush and lip brush. If you need additional brushes, you’ll have to purchase those items separately.
RUNNER-UP

L Cosmetic Makeup Brushes Set

The L Cosmetic Makeup Brushes Set is the perfect kit for beginners. It boasts 15 pieces and each brush is made using synthetic fibers. The items in this kit feature ergonomic handles, aiding in flawless makeup application, and this kit boasts bristles of various sizes and shapes. Furthermore, this makeup brush set includes many extras including a small storage bag, makeup sponge and cleaning tool.

  • 93overall
  • 93quality
  • 91value
  • 94brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Numerous bristle options. This kit boasts many options to help you create the exact look you desire. You can choose between small, medium or large bristles, along with round, angled or even tapered bristles.
  • Easy-to-hold handles. The brushes in this makeup kit boast sturdy, ergonomic handles, making the application much easier.
  • Includes many additional tools. Not only are there 15-pieces included with this makeup kit, it also comes with a square handbag, makeup sponge and cleaning tool. The cleaning tool helps you easily deep clean each of your brushes on a regular basis.

Other Considerations

  • No included instruction on brushes. Beginners may have to do some research before properly using this kit. The brushes are not labeled or numbered, making it a challenge for newbies to know the purpose of each item.

Best Oval Makeup Brush Set

why buy?

You should buy an oval makeup brush set if you want an easy way to apply your makeup and still receive a flawless and unblemished look. Oval brushes can hold up to 10 times the amount of fibers your average makeup brush boasts and are terrific tools for blending and contouring.

Top Pick

BeautyKate 10-piece Pro Oval Makeup Brush Set

These oval makeup brushes are made using fine synthetic fibers and are perfect for applying liquid, powder or even creams to your face. The premium synthetic bristles are soft and silky, which is excellent for sensitive skin. Each brush features a large, sturdy handle with texturized grip pads, and this 10-piece kit provides most of the tools you need without any additional purchases.

  • 90overall
  • 92quality
  • 78value
  • 90brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Texturized grip pads. These brushes are extremely easy to hold thanks to texturized grip pads. The handles and neck on the brushes are made from plastic.
  • Dense, synthetic bristles. The bristles on these brushes are extremely dense, helping you receive flawless, precise coverage. These bristles are also soft, making them an ideal beauty tool for individuals with sensitive skin.
  • Easy to clean. While some oval brushes can seem intimidating to clean, these oval brushes don’t require much work and maintenance. Simply place the brushes in warm water and apply shampoo to each brush and lather. Rinse the brush and let air dry.

Other Considerations

  • Brush tends to separate from handle. After extensive use, many users complained the brush started to pull away from the handle. This means you may have to replace this set much sooner than expected.
  • No travel case. This 10-piece makeup comes in a nicely packaged box but does not include any type of storage container or travel case to use after unboxing the brushes.