The Best Makeup Brushes: Face

I’ve always had a love affair with brushes. They are essential to creating a masterpiece, be it in paint or makeup! I want you to know that while makeup brushes are very worth investing in, they don’t all have to be expensive to be good. Here are 9 of my favorite face makeup brushes, in a variety of affordable price points.
1-2. Real Techniques 4-pc. Core Collection Makeup Brush Set • $18  This set is an unbelievable value being that 2 of my favorite face brushes reside in it! The contour brush is the perfect size and density for contouring, but also for applying a highlight or setting under eye concealer. The Buffing Brush is probably my favorite foundation brush ever. It buffs liquid and creams into the skin perfectly with it’s dense, but slightly domed head, for a flawless finish, sans brush strokes.

3. It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Brush • $48 I’ve been really impressed with It Cosmetics’ brushes, being that they are all synthetic but feel and perform like animal hair. I’m going to ignore the word “ball” in the brush name unless you want to hear some inappropriate jokes. This brush is great for applying setting powders or even blush. So damn soft with perfectly graduated bristles.

4. Sigma Beauty F80 Flat Kabuki Brush • $24 This is kind of the OG flat top kabuki for liquid foundation and for good reason. The size of the brush head has good coverage to place and buff out product quickly and the bristles are dense but have enough give to create a seamless look. The only thing I don’t like is that these are a bit tough to clean so see how I do it here.

5. Sigma Beauty F05 Small Contour Brush • $21  I always come back to this contour brush. I love the soft, dome-shaped head for fitting perfectly under the cheekbones. It also moves around the temples and hair line great for creating a soft, natural contour.

6. EcoTools Powder Brush • $5.08  I’ve had this brush forever and it never disappoints. It’s my favorite brush for applying loose powder, hands down, and talk about affordable! It’s synthetic bristles feel so luxuriously soft and it feels so gentle on the skin. For as long as I’ve had it, it’s so resilient and goes through multiple cleanings like a freaking champ.

7. Real Techniques Blush Brush • $8.99  Everyone needs a proper blush brush and if you want to spend under $10 on one, or just need one in general really, this is my favorite. I love the shape of the brush head as the tip grabs the pigment while the sides blend it out.

8. Sephora Pro Airbrush Concealer Brush #57 • $24  If you conceal blemishes or areas of discoloration, you need this brush. It’s so great for stamping concealer onto a problem area and then lightly stippling and buffing out the edges. So good.

9. Real Techniques Setting Makeup Brush • $8 I love this best for applying my highlighter but it also doubles as a great brush for setting under eye concealer, as it’s name implies.

Make sure you’re taking good care of your brushes by spot cleaning every few days with something like this and doing a thorough wash at least every month, if not more often.


  1. Marcy Gonzalez

    04/19/2016 at 2:38 PM

    Ivy, you’re totally the BEST! I respect your opinions and now have a great excuse to go shopping =) Thanks for the thorough recap!!

    1. Ivy Boyd

      04/19/2016 at 8:26 PM

      So happy to hear it was helpful, Marcy! Thanks so much for reading! Watch for eye brushes in my next post 😉

  2. Camille

    04/20/2016 at 10:08 AM

    This is super helpful! I’ve been looking for a good blending brush and makeup set!! 🙂

  3. Maggie Trice

    04/20/2016 at 10:20 AM

    This is AWESOME! Thanks for posting, I will definitely be looking into these!

  4. Elizabeth Mayberry

    04/20/2016 at 10:38 AM

    I have a couple of these! I should check out the rest!!

  5. Ashley Tintinger

    04/20/2016 at 11:04 AM

    Love this! I’m in need of new brushes. Thanks for the tips!

  6. Ashley

    04/20/2016 at 11:35 AM

    I am actually shopping for new makeup brushes now, what a perfect time for your blog, thank you!

  7. Best Makeup Brushes: Eyes - Wake Up For Makeup

    04/26/2016 at 10:27 PM

    […] hope you enjoyed my roundup of favorite face brushes. Now onto the eye […]

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