Best Makeup Brushes & Makeup Brush Sets

It has been said that one of the unexpected results of becoming a mineral makeup, or non comedogenic makeup user, is the knowledge gained about the brushes used to apply it. The best mineral makeup can look second rate when applied without the right brushes and technique, so keep reading to discover what users think are the best makeup brushes to get the job done right.

Makeup Brushes for Every Purpose

Several different brush tools should be a part of every makeup bag, especially when applying mineral makeup. A makeup brush set generally includes:

  • Kabuki style brush (generally a stumpy, full-headed, soft tool.)
  • Full face brush (Not as full as the kabuki brush and often flat-headed.)
  • Concealer brushes (from finer tools for tight spaces to fuller bristles for greater coverage.)
  • Eyeliner and eye shadow brushes (a wide range of sizes for fine work.)

Kabuki Brush

A Kabuki brush is essential to a mineral makeup kit. Why Kabuki? If you guessed it was named after the makeup brushes used by Japanese kabuki theater artists, you would be right. This is a popular tool for applying color over the whole face and particularly powder foundation. Popular brands include Glominerals, Bare Escentuals and Bare Minerals. Some well made products can be found for a fraction of the price of these higher end brands, but it may take some trial and error to find a good value.

Synthetic or Natural Makeup Brushes?

Cosmetics brushes are made with synthetic and natural hair fibers. Take a hint from the pros when choosing your own: Use the one that suits your personal preference. Here are the main differences between the two:

Natural fibers: These will not be cheap makeup brushes, but the advantages of paying a bit more include better retention of powders due to the nature of a natural hair fiber. This means the powder stays until you are ready to use it, and proponents of the animal hair fibers insist it does a better job.

Of course there is always the all natural consideration. If you prefer to have nothing synthetic touching your skin, natural fibers are the way to go. On the other hand, animal hair can cause allergic reactions in sensitive skin. Consider synthetic fiber brushes if you suspect your skin is having an allergic reaction to animal fibers.

Synthetic fibers: These have several advantages, one being they are unanimously considered to work better for applying creams. Synthetic fibers allow for thicker, heavier application, as well, which is why many eyeliner and concealer brushes are made of synthetics. Although they tend to be less expensive, this does not mean they are less practical. Many professional makeup artists use both synthetic and natural. The important thing to remember is to have a variety of brush styles at your disposal.

Who makes the best cosmetic brushes? Here are a few of the most popular brushes:

Bare Escentuals Cosmetic Brushes

This is a company that gets rave consumer reviews for their entire line, from the Kabuki brush, which is considered to give fuller coverage than many competitors, to their face brush, dubbed the ‘Flawless Application’.

Why Bare Escentuals? It all comes down to smooth, full and easy coverage. These accessories are soft and gentle while being capable of accessing the many smaller areas of the face.

Bare Escentuals offers eyeliner, concealer and eyeshadow brushes also. The ‘Baby Buki’ covers smaller areas such as the corners of the eyes, while the ‘Heavenly Face’ brushes are ideal for applying mineral veils as well as full face coverage with foundation or blush accents.

Bare Minerals Brushes

Bare Minerals brushes are highly rated, as are the cosmetics from their growing line of organic mineral makeup products. Their full flawless goat hair face brush is one of the better products in the market. At less than $30 dollars it is worth every penny, and can work equally well as a concealer, blush or foundation brush.

Glominerals Makeup Brush Sets

Glominerals has an extensive line of brushes. Try the blender for full face coverage or bronzer application. As with other products in the glominerals line, their cosmetic application tools are made with the utmost integrity and adherence to the company mission statement. A glo minerals brush is either 100 percent cruelty free and made of natural animal hair, or constructed of high quality synthetic fibers.

They offer a comprehensive set for each area of the skin and provide brief tutorials for applying their products. A few natural hair examples Glo customers can choose from include the ‘ultra’ made of squirrel hairs for applying all over face base. This tool has a ‘medium bristle’ construction and is very versatile.

The kabuki brushes are made of black capra and offer a dense bristle pack for the mid to full face coverage. Along with the ultra, the kabuki also works well for blending. In addition to these, a full line of well made synthetics are also available. Need to apply liquid foundation? Use the liquid foundation accessory made of orange taklon. These shiny bristles of bright orange are silky smooth and easy to clean when finished. For smaller areas of the face, use the ‘camouflage brush’, also of orange taklon synthetic fibers; excellent for filling in under the eyes. Made of black capra and orange teklon, the fuller flat-headed texture brushes help you achieve layers of color and subtle makeup textures.

While Glominerals offers many more options in both synthetic and animal hair products, including a full line of eye makeup application tools, other mineral cosmetics companies such as Youngblood regularly sell out of some of their more popular tools like the contour and eye/lip applicators.

Youngblood Makeup Brushes

Youngblood cosmetics offerings include natural squirrel hair head fibers that are soft and silky, like the foundation applicator with a flat head for full coverage and blending. Combine this with goat hair kabuki and soft synthetic liquid foundation cosmetic brushes, as well as an eyeliner brush for complete cosmetic brush sets.

Youngblood also goes to the extent of certifying the wood used in making the handles of their makeup tools with the Forest Stewardship Council or FSC. In addition to the above choices, a full product line of natural and synthetic hair tools is available for every application. While Youngblood does not have the lowest prices, the extra care taken to ensure high quality, guilt free products are worth a few dollars more for many people.

Find the Best Makeup Brushes for You and Build Your Own Set of Professional Make Up Brushes

So who makes the best makeup brushes? Use the above examples as a starting point, and then start some self-experimentation. If you have had reactions to natural fibers in the past, start with the softest synthetic fibers you can find. For liquid foundation, orange teklon is a good place to start. For applying foundation powders, consider an inexpensive, cruelty free applicator from Mineral Basics.

The best applicators will depend on how you apply your makeup and on the occasion it is being used for. Choose a broad range of tools, collecting new accessories as the need presents itself. Start with the best quality you can afford and in time you will have a set of professional make up brushes fit for a professional makeup artist.

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