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My Favorite Make-Up Brushes

Lately I’ve been wondering if expensive make-up brushes are worth the money. I have a pretty large collection of brushes. I have brushes that came as a Gift with Purchase, that I bought from brands like Bobbi Brown and MAC and even cheap $1 brushes from places like Target and nail supplies. Despite having a huge collection of brushes, I do find myself reaching for the same ones over and over. My favorites are very well used, and they aren’t necessarily the expensive brushes.

1. MAC 182 Buffer Brush: This kabuki is what I reach for to help buff in my powder.

2. The Real Techniques Kabuki: Definitely smaller than my MAC buffer, this brush can open up which I find makes it pretty versatile. I’ve been using it to apply bronzer or MAC Beauty Powder.

3. The Real Techniques Foundation Brush: The first foundation brush I’ve ever used that wasn’t flat and about 1 1/2 inches wide. This one is a little fatter and a tad less than an inch wide. I’ve found that this helps a lot with blending around my nose and under my eyes.

4. The Real Techniques Blush Brush: If I want a lighter touch with my bronzer or Beauty Powder than the RT Kabuki (#2) offers, I go for this brush.

5. Clinique Blush Brush: I got this blush as part of a gift with purchase in college. Which means that it is probably 12 or 13 years old (yes, I’m old!) I love it because that little brush is the perfect size for applying blush right on the apple of my cheeks. I like a little pop of color right there. This gets it there.

6. Billy B #11 Slanted Eye Liner Brush: This is perfect for pushing a little dark shadow into my lash line and then getting the perfect amount of smudged color onto the lid itself. I have a lot of other slanted eye liner brushes, but this is definitely my favorite.

7. Coastal Scents Eye Shadow Brush: This is my favorite eye shadow brush, sent to me by Coastal Scents with some eye shadow samples about 3 years or so ago. At the time this brush was selling for about $2 on their site, and I should have bought 10 more. A few months ago I decided I need more… and they don’t sell this exact brush any more! I bought 1 of every shadow brush they offer, “just in case” I couldn’t figure out which brush it was. I got some nice (and cheap) brushes, but not this one. It’s perfect for applying shadow over my lid without overflowing too much over my crease. Love it.

So, those are the brushes that I’m reaching for every morning. What are your favorite brushes? Should I check them out?

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About Me

I’m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

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  1. 5.23.11

    coastal scents brushes/make ups are the best they are cheap but very good quality you cant go wrong with it!


  2. 5.23.11

    Great list Christine! I totally agree, you do not need to spend a lot on brushes with such high quality and affordable brushes available.

    I, too, love the Real Techniques blush brush! So soft! In addition to that one, here are the rest of my current faves: Foundation: Sigma F80 Flat top Kabuki (has revolutionized my foundation application), for powder foundation: Essence of Beauty Kabuki, for blush: Sigma Large Angle countour F40, Bronzer/Contour: Sigma Tapered Face F25, Highlight: Real Techniques Contour brush, eye shadow: elf eyeshadow brush ($1.00 and I reach for it more than my MAC shadow brush!), Crease: Essence of beauty crease brush from the "crease brush duo" (the larger crease brush), Eyeliner (I have 2 faves): Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eyeliner (like you, I have had this one since grad school!), and the Sigma E10 Small Eyeliner.

  3. 5.24.11
    Phyrra said:

    I love the Real Techniques brushes! I also love a lot of my ecoTools brushes, and some of my MAC brushes. Too Faced makes some AMAZING brushes.

  4. 5.24.11
    Dao said:

    I need to check out those Real Techniques brushes. They sound wonderful!

    My must-haves:

    1. ELF Studio powder brush: I know it only costs $3 but you need to check it out. This brush applies my mineral makeup like a dream.

    2. MAC 217: my all-in-one eye makeup brush. When I need to do my makeup fast, I grab it.

    3. Coastal Scents taklon eyeliner brush: it's the one with the black handle and costs less than $3. Like you, I have many slanted eyeliner brushes but this one gives me the perfect winged eyeliner everytime.

    4. The takahari kabuki brush inside Benefit Coralista: I know this sounds corny but it's the only brush that blends Coralista well. Other ones make it look tacky!

  5. 5.24.11
    ~Amber~ said:

    I love blush brushes for foundation..works so nice! The beauty blender is amazing as well!! Flawless!! ;D

  6. 5.24.11

    My favorite brush is 7 one – Coastal Scents.

  7. 5.24.11

    Its great to see good reviews of the real techniques brushes, looks like I need to pick some up 🙂 thanks guyssss

  8. 5.25.11

    All my favorite eyeshadow brushes came free with purchase from Clinique. I like a flat Kabuki for my loose mineral powder blush. I don't even know the brand but I love that little brush. I did splurge once for a lovely large sable brush when I bought some mineral makeup at the Saks counter. I never really got into wearing the face powder, but that brush is so yummy that everyday I'm tempted to give it another try.

  9. 5.31.11

    I honestly really love my Eco tools brushes and the Sonia Kashuk flat blusher brush, it's amazing and so soft. I don't know why but I really can't get on board with kabuki brushes, I'm a failure like that.

    Oh, and you're not old!!!!!

  10. 12.1.11
    Jenn Staz said:

    I love the Real Techniques brushes I have. I should pick up the blush brush, that looks like a nice one. I'm currently using a duo-fiber flat top brush for blush since I tend to have a heavy hand, so this one seems like a good middle ground.