March 27th 2017
On writing my Ultimate Guide to Makeup Brushes and Tools, I came to realise that beauty tools can be very personal to the user. There’s something intensely therapeutic about blending makeup delicately into your skin with a smooth sponge, executing a seamless smokey eye with a fluffy brush and perfecting a flawless lip with a nimble applicator. That’s before you consider the choice between natural and synthetic brushes (see my guide for the lowdown on this), advances in applicator technology and multitaskers that save the day when time, and space, are tight. A collective that’s pretty clued up on what makes a good brush is the beauty blogging community. They test the latest beauty products using a trusty repertoire of brushes, sponges and gizmos, and they’ve likely scoped out the myriad of options out there to create a definitive edit of the very best tools for the job. I’ll let some of our favourite beauty bloggers take it from here...
My favourite all-time makeup brush is the BareMinerals Supreme Finisher. I literally use this brush every single day! I love it because it is as soft as a feather and does everything - you can use it to apply blush, bronzer or highlighter, basically anything in powder form. I use it for setting my makeup with finishing powder to complete my look. It picks up the powder very delicately and I never feel as though I've applied too much. I take this everywhere with me - it's a do-it-all brush that meets my every need!
BareMinerals Supreme Finisher Brush, £24, buy online
Check out Jamie's Beauty Rocks blog here
One makeup brush that I cannot live without is the Crown Brush Medium Face Contour Brush. I use this on a daily basis for blending my base, from primer and concealer to my foundation. It is also great for blending cream contour and applying cream blusher. With it being synthetic, the brush hair is super soft and feels so gentle on the skin. I also love the fact that it is vegan friendly too. I prefer having makeup brushes that you can use for multiple things. I tend to use this for buffing in liquid foundation and blending my under eye concealer in, it leaves a really seamless finish.
Crown Brush Medium Face Contour Brush, £8.79, buy online
Check out Zoe's blog here
The Nanshy blending sponge is something I look to every day for perfecting my look in a matter of seconds. The light and malleable foam helps to buff my base in and get rid of those unsightly brush marks, while blending my concealer perfectly to brighten dark circles. I love the flat surface and angular tip for getting into every corner of my face, plus it cleans up beautifully to look as good as new.
Nanshy 4-in-1 Makeup Blending Sponge, £5.95, buy online
Browse Hayley's London Beauty Queen blog here
Tarte's The Buffer is one of my all-time favourite makeup brushes as it’s so fantastic at applying base; it’s quick, effective and almost foolproof as you literally just dip it into product and lightly buff it all over the skin; it takes seconds and the finish is beautifully airbrushed and natural. If you need a bit more coverage you can layer really well with it too. It also washes up brilliantly, which is something you might not expect from a brush that’s so large and dense. I have four of these in my collection!
Tarte The Buffer Brush, £26, buy online
Read Sascha's Beauty Geek UK blog here
As a lover of eyeliner I can’t be without my Makeup Atelier 0 Brush. Its ultra fine tip means I can create sharp feline flicks for a heavily lined eye or add subtle definition to the lash line for the illusion of thicker lashes. It’s perfect for disguising the band on false lashes due to its minute tip and is also a great multitasker. I use it for pinpoint concealing or on those awkward to cover blemishes, or even for creating the look of hairs in the brow area. I’ve got many brushes I’d class as my go-to’s, however, I’ve found nothing so far that can replace this brush!
Makeup Atelier 0 Brush, currently out of stock but keep an eye out here
Dive into Carly's Beauty Sauce blog here
Bobbi Brown Full coverage Face and Touch Up Brush is a daily essential and hands down the best face brush I’ve tried in terms of performance and results. If you’re looking for a HD finish, I think this is as good as it gets. The touch-up end fits perfectly into the corners of eyes to buff in concealer, while the tightly packed ‘face’ end blends foundation seamlessly for a refined, pore-blurring finish. While this double ended brush was a limited edition, the Full Coverage and Touch Up brushes can be purchased individually. Plus, they are both are kitten soft!
Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Touch Up Brush, £26, buy online
Explore Nic's Strawberry Blonde blog here
My favourite brush has to be Real Techniques Fan Brush. I love it for precise application and detailed contouring. The shape of the brush makes it perfect for contouring the nose and creating chiseled cheekbones.
Real Techniques Fan Brush, £20.99 as part of a set, buy online
Explore Amy's blog The Pretrender here
The Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face Brush would have to be my favourite. One of my main skin concerns is redness so I need to build more coverage around my cheeks and nose. What I love about this Bobbi brush is that it works to serve two purposes. When used in circular motions, it enables me to achieve a really flawless, buffed out finish on the whole face. The round head doesn’t leave any tell tale stripes in my foundation. Hannah Martin from the Bobbi Pro Team taught me a great tip for using this brush too: if you stipple it in areas where you need more coverage (for me, the cheeks and nose) it gives you maximum cover. This way, I cheat the illusion of even skin by buffing it to create a soft look on the majority of the face and stippling the coverage where I need to. It’s like a two-in-one.
Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face Brush, £31, buy online
Dive into Rose's Mixed Gems Beauty blog here
The Real Techniques Bold Metals Tapered Brush is my favourite brush from the Real Techniques collection. It has a specially designed tip which can be used to highlight or add blush across the cheeks for a flawless finish. The tip is also great for blending highlighter across the cheeks and the brush fits my cheekbones perfectly for contouring as well. Another perk is that it’s rose gold and looks gorgeous!
Real Techniques Bold Metals Tapered Brush, £30 for three piece set, buy online
Check out Merry Musing here
My favourite beauty tool is the Bare Minerals Precision Face Brush. A flat topped kabuki, it makes foundation application so quick and easy. I simply dot on the foundation all over my face, then blend together for flawless even finish. The brush gives a medium to full coverage depending on how much foundation I use and the angled shape makes it nice and easy to work around the natural contours of the face. The brush can also be used for powders and I love how dense yet soft the bristles are. It keeps it's shape well after washing, doesn't shed and is by far the best foundation brush I've ever used.
Bare Minerals Precision Face Brush, £24, buy online
Check out Fei's blog Peonies and Lilies here
Ohh this is a toughie. If I had to pick just one brush that I would class as my favourite, it would be the Real Techniques Multi-Task Brush. That’s the one I use the most. As I have an extremely busy day job and blogging is just a hobby, I am often fixing my makeup on the go, so I need a 'one size fits all' brush that I can have with me. The Multi-Task Brush is perfect for the application of all types of powder, be it foundation, setting powder, blusher or bronzer. I can even use it to apply eye shadow if I opt for one shade. It is just quite simply an amazing, easy to use, multi-tasking brush.
Real Techniques Multi-Task Brush, £20.99 as part of a set, buy online
Read Rachel's Beauty Queen UK blog here
Real Techniques Buffing Brush is my number one, go-to makeup brush. It gives my base the most flawless finish and works equally well with liquids or powders. You only need a small amount of product as the cruelty-free bristles do a great job at working it into the skin, so you’re left with great looking skin, rather than appearing like you have very good makeup! It’s only available as part of their core collection (I’m hoping they’ll release it as a single brush soon!) but the other brushes in the set are so good that it’s well worth the investment!
Real Techniques Buffing Brush, £20.99 as part of a set, buy online
Explore Kat's Tales of a Pale Face blog here
I never thought I would use any tool other than my buffing brush to apply my base. However, the Beauty Blender is my most loved tool when it comes to applying make up. I use it for my foundation, concealer, contouring and also my newest obsession, baking. This sponge works well with any cream product and blends it in better than any other brush I’ve tried. I always dampen mine with water before use so the sponge expands and then use a ‘bouncing’ motion on my skin to apply the product. Everyone needs to add it to their makeup collection.
Beautyblender, £16, buy online
Read Phoebe's blog here
My favourite makeup tool has to be the Multi-Tasking Brush by Brush Works, for the simple reason that it's my fail safe multitasker! What I love about it is it's dense texture, meaning that it's great for applying liquid and cream foundations. Then, when it comes to contouring, it doubles up as a great tool to apply a dark bronzer to cheekbones, my jawline and temples. The soft bristles making blending a dream! It's also brilliant for when I'm on a night out and just need to pack one brush in my handbag.
Brush Works Multi-tasking Brush, £6.99, buy online
Read Emma's blog here
Furless Pro Stippling Brush is a vegan face brush and one of my favourites to use. With soft synthetic flat top bristles it gives a smooth finish to my foundation whether cream or liquid. I also like to use it to buff in my primer from time to time. I can clean it quickly and reuse it to apply my blush using soft circular motions. It always gives a flawless, airbrushed finish. All that, and it’s cruelty free!
Furless Pro Stippling Brush, available to ship here
Read LaaLaa's Dolce Vanity blog here