Your makeup application is only going to be as good as the tools you use. And when it comes to swirling, blending, and sweeping makeup flawlessly, only the right brushes will do. The question is, what are the right brushes? You got the powder brush, the contour brush, the foundation brush, the fan brush, the Kabuki brush, the concealer brush, the eyeshadow brush, the eyeshadow crease brush, etc. While you can buy them individually, it will take you some time to build your set and cost you a lot more money. This is why you’ll need to invest in a good makeup brush set. It will already have what you need and save you a ton of money and effort. So, which kit is perfect for you? Let’s find out!
Top 10 Makeup Brush Sets of 2018 Reviewed
- Top 10 Makeup Brush Sets of 2018 Reviewed
- 1. E.L.F. Studio 11 Piece Brush Collection
- 2. Real Techniques Core Collection
- 3. Sigmax Kabuki Kit
- 4. Morphe 15 pc Vegan Pro Set – Set 697
- 5. BS-MALL Makeup Brushes Premium Makeup Brush Set
- 6. Andre Lorent PRO Makeup Brush Set
- 7. Bobbi Brown Basic Brush Collection
- 8. Kevyn Aucoin The Expert Brush Collection Travel Set
- 9. Too Faced Teddy Bear Hair 5-Piece Brush Set
- 10. SHANY Pro Signature Brush Set
- How to Choose a Makeup Brush Set
1. E.L.F. Studio 11 Piece Brush CollectionMakeup Brush Set Under $50
The E.L.F. Studio Brush Collection costs you $30 and comes with 11 brushes so each brush costs around $3. Undoubtedly, this is a bargain. But cost is not the only consideration. The brushes are well made, the synthetic bristles are dense but very soft, and there is no shedding. And these brushes can be used for both wet and dry makeup. For those who aren’t sure which brush is which, E.L.F. has you covered because the brushes all have labels and the set comes with a manual.
- soft yet dense bristles
- comfortable handle
- slight chemical smell out of the box
- the case could be better (cheap plastic)
- some users have reported the brush detaching from the handle
2. Real Techniques Core CollectionMakeup Brush Set For Beginners
Real Techniques is another line of makeup brushes that offer quality at an affordable price. The synthetic taklon bristles are ultra-plush, smooth, and soft. They are also 100% cruelty-free. In addition, the brushes have a hand cut hair design that ensures you don’t end up streaking your makeup all over your face. What we love about this particular set is that it comes with a panoramic case that can be used as a stand. Plus, the 4 brushes on their own are so versatile, you can live on them alone!
- perfect for newbies
- ultra-plush, cruelty-free, brushes
- panoramic case
- the pointed foundation blush may be too small
- some sets sold on Amazon may be fake
- the case can’t fit more brushes
3. Sigmax Kabuki Kit
These synthetic brushes from Sigma Beauty feature Sigmax fibers that were specifically designed to apply powder, cream, and liquid makeup without letting the bristles absorb the products. No wasted makeup here, ladies! The set comes with a round Kabuki, an angled Kabuki, a tapered Kabuki, a flat Kabuki, and a flat angled Kabuki. FYI, the extra thick fibers are really soft, not scratchy at all.
- easy to clean
- no wasted product
- the packaging is flimsy
- no case included
- not for everyone
4. Morphe 15 pc Vegan Pro Set – Set 697Makeup Brush Set For Makeup Artists
Morphe is well-known for creating super-soft, professional-grade makeup brushes and this vegan brush set is no different. The 15 brushes provide you with everything you need to create the complete look. You can use cream, liquid, or powder products with these brushes. The quality, as usual, is excellent. You get 5 face brushes and 10 eye brushes. For the money, you definitely get a lot of bang with the 5 face brushes and 10 eye brushes in this set. The only problem is, you’ll need to be a little more experienced with makeup to get the most out of all the brushes.
- vegan and cruelty-free
- professional-grade, incredibly soft brushes
- not for beginners
- the faux leather case has a chemical smell
- some users have found a couple of the brushes not to their liking
5. BS-MALL Makeup Brushes Premium Makeup Brush Set
This 10-piece makeup brush set from BS-MALL is a crowd favorite and not just because the set costs around $10. Each brush is soft and supple, rarely sheds, and doesn’t streak. It’s easy to use and easy to maintain. And despite it’s price, it can perform just as well as brushes sold by big name brands.
- very soft
- spreads the makeup evenly
- holds up to washing and daily use
- chemical smell out of the box; rinse well
- the brushes don’t have labels
- when washed, the brushes soak up a lot of moisture
6. Andre Lorent PRO Makeup Brush Set
Andre Lorent’s Professional Makeup Brush Set are 100% cruelty-free, vegan brushes made out of synthetic hair. It comes with the 5 essentials you’ll need on a daily basis – foundation brush, powder blush, angled liner brush, eyeshadow brush, and lip brush. All of these are placed inside a very elegant looking white, round case which enables you to easily carry your kit with you, set it on a counter, and get your makeup on.
- elegant white carrying case
- 100% cruelty-free, vegan brushes
- no wasted product
- slight plastic smell out of the box
- excellent customer service
- the brushes are travel size
7. Bobbi Brown Basic Brush Collection
Small and simple this set may be, but it sure does pack a punch. Bobbi Brown’s Basic Brush Collection is a 6-piece set that comes with a waterproof carrying case. They look like artist brushes which we love because aren’t we all creating masterpieces with our makeup brushes? All the brushes are labeled, well crafted, and of high quality. While the set isn’t enough for a full face, it’s a good starting kit for those who are just beginning their journey into the world of makeup.
- high quality
- artistic feel; gorgeous design
- waterproof, portable case
- not really a complete set
- combination of natural and synthetic fiber; not vegan-friendly
8. Kevyn Aucoin The Expert Brush Collection Travel Set
Unlike our other makeup brush sets, Kevyn Aucoin’s Expert Brush Collection Travel Set gives you 5 dual ended brushes which totals to 10 makeup brushes for flawless full face application. The brushes are made with natural and synthetic brush hairs so individuals wishing to avoid animal products aren’t going to like this. Aside from that fact and the expense, the brushes are top quality, super soft, and create that airbrushed look you’ve been wanting.
- space-saving travel kit for a full face application
- very soft
- top quality and very durable
- very expensive
- not vegan-friendly
- some users found the brushes a bit small (it is travel size though)
9. Too Faced Teddy Bear Hair 5-Piece Brush Set
If pink and gold are your colors, the Too Faced Teddy Bear Hair 5-Piece Makeup Brush Set is right up your alley. The brushes are bright and girly; the case is as well with the teddy bear charm on the zipper and some pink hearts decorating the sides. The kit contains super-soft, vegan and cruelty-free brushes that cover most of what you’ll need to get ready to face the world and do some touch-ups while on the go. The only thing missing out of this adorable set is the foundation brush.
- vegan and cruelty-free brushes
- Ultra-feminine set for the princess in you
- a bit on the expensive side
- lacks a foundation brush
- may be too feminine for some
10. SHANY Pro Signature Brush SetMakeup Brush Set For Sensitive Skin
If you really want a lot of brushes to cover every little thing you need but you don’t want to splurge all your money, then SHANY’s Pro Signature Brush Set is exactly what you’re looking for. It has 24 handmade brushes with natural and synthetic hair and oak wood handles that were selected by professional makeup artists as the essential brushes for creating a flawless look. The hypoallergenic anti-bacterial treated bristles are soft, sleek, and durable. It comes with a storage box and roll-up pouch which makes it easy to take with you anywhere you go. Best of all, you also get a detailed brush guide with this set in case you find yourself confused on where to use what.
- hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial treated brushes
- detailed brush guide that’s perfect for beginners
- roll-up pouch makes it perfect for travel
- not vegan-friendly
- some brushes keep shedding
- slight chemical smell out of the box
How to Choose a Makeup Brush Set
There are plenty of makeup tutorials to be found online and it’s incredible how a few swipes of this and that can transform someone from ordinary to extraordinary. But as everyone learns, your end result is only as good as the tools you use. And the makeup brush is one of the most essential in your arsenal. However, choosing a brush isn’t that easy. There are so many types and brands to choose from that looking over each one is going to be a headache of epic proportions. So, how on earth do you find the brushes that will create your flawless look?
Well, let’s start with why you need a set. The right makeup brush set should cover just about everything you need for a full face application. A variety of face and eye brushes should do the trick. It should definitely have the basics – foundation brush, concealer brush, blush brush, eye contour brush, basic eyeshadow brush, powder brush, eyebrow brush, and a small angled brush. Some sets offer do offer more than just the basics such as a spoolie, a fan brush, a lip brush, and a contour brush.
Now, if you want to, you can buy each essential brush to create your collection. Doing this ensures that you get exactly what you want for your collection. However, it can be an extremely expensive endeavor. And you’ll be lacking some essential brushes while you’re still in the process of browsing around.
With a makeup brush set, you eliminate a lot of the browsing around and cut back on some of the cost. However, not all sets are created equal. Some have really good brushes mixed in with some meh ones. To help you figure out which ones are the best, let’s answer a few questions.
What type of hair is used in the brushes?
Natural hair bristles are, as you’ve probably guessed, not man-made. These bristles are sourced from animals, usually goats and horses. Of course, the question is, how do they obtain the hairs? You’ll need to make sure they do so in a cruelty-free manner. Brushes made with this type of hair is usually soft, great at “absorbing” powder products, and distributes the product evenly on your face.
Synthetic bristles are usually made out of nylon and polyester. These are the perfect option for those who are looking for cruelty-free products that are also vegan. These brushes don’t absorb liquid and cream products so you don’t end up wasting any makeup. And they usually work great when applying foundation and concealer.
Does price = quality?
When it comes to makeup brushes, we’d have to say no. While handmade brushes are generally more expensive and are better quality, we’ve found that some of the least expensive sets perform just as well (if not better) when applying makeup. One good example is the BS-MALL Makeup Brushes Premium Makeup Brush Set which costs $10 but is worth so much more to makeup lovers everywhere. Of course, well-known brands tend to be more expensive.
How many brushes do you need?
Once again, this is a matter of preference. A basic set with just 6-10 pieces may already suffice. In some cases, such as the Real Techniques Core Collection, 4 brushes are enough for a full face application. Some makeup enthusiasts (and professionals) prefer larger sets which have brushes tailored for a specific use.
Are you a beginner?
A starter set is a better choice for a beginner rather than a large collection of brushes for one reason alone – you don’t know how to use most of them yet. It’s always best to start small. You can just add more to your collection as your experience grows. Aside from going for smaller sets, a beginner should check to see if the set comes with a guide or manual such as the E.L.F. Studio 11 Piece Brush Collection to help you navigate the world of makeup application.
What are the features of a quality brush?
No matter what brand or what price you paid for your set, all that really matters is quality. A quality brush will feel soft on your skin, hold your product well but not waste it, distribute makeup evenly, and produces no streaks. In addition, it doesn’t shed and feels just as soft after daily use and washing. If your brushes do not fit this description, then you wasted your money and should start looking for a new set to work with.