Top Make-Up Brushes

One of my pet peeves is splurging on a luxury brand eye shadow or face powder only to find that the compact does not come with a brush. What am I supposed to do, squeeze a brush along with my compact in my clutch when I’m on the go?

While I wish that the brands guilty of this would skimp on something else – perhaps if they opted for models over celebrities in their ad campaigns? – the reality is that more and more brands are expecting us to purchase our brushes separately.

Ironically, two brands that actually provide both mirrors and brushes with their compacts – Hourglass and Kanebo – manufacture some of the best brushes on the market.

The Sephora collection brushes are also worth singling out because they are ingeniously designed to stand upright, and they come with a cap to protect the bristles from contamination.


Clockwise from left:

1. Sephora Collection I.T. Brow Filler Brush, $14: An angled brush for brow filling.
2. Sephora Collection I.T. Round Powder Brush, $40: A lush brush to apply loose or compact powder.
3. Sephora Collection Professional Platinum Natural Fan Brush #43, $27: A mover brush that helps fan away excess power.
4. Kanebo Sensai Gel Brush, $55: Handcrafted in Japan, this brush is designed with a careful mix of natural and synthetic hair to pick up the appropriate amount of bronzing gel.
5. Mark Hook Up Eye-shadow Brush, $6: One of four specially designed brushes meant to hook into a connector, so you can have a multi-tasking wand.
6. Bare Escentuals Mini Brush Collection, $25: The set includes a tin and four mini brushes: Full Flawless Face Brush, Angled Face Brush, Full Tapered Shadow Brush, and Eyeliner Brush.
7. Hourglass Retractable Foundation Brush, $42: For on-the-go, this brush is made with soft PETA-approved Takelon bristles for quick and effective powder application.
8. Prescriptives Round Buff Brush, $30: For applying powder (foundation, finishing, bronzing, highlighter…), this brush also has a convenient grip handle.
9. Prescriptives Foundation Brush, $30: Apply liquid or cream foundation with this brush that has the perfect hair density for full coverage.