In this post, I will be talking about the face brushes that I reach for regularly. The brands, hair types, and price points featured are quite diverse. I think it’s important to note that the most expensive or most popular brushes aren’t necessarily the best. Before purchasing new makeup brushes, you should know which shapes and hair types best suit your needs. If you don’t know, practice with the cheapest brushes you can find (ELF is great!) and do some research. Check out my last blog post, A Beginner’s Guide to Fude (Japanese Makeup Brushes), for more tips.
I use a Beauty Blender for most liquid foundation. It’s overpriced and sucks up a lot of product, but I’ve yet to find a tool that blends out my foundation as flawlessly.
For powder foundation (like Laura Mercier Mineral Powder), I use the Hakuhodo B104 Powder Brush Round. The brush becomes much fluffier as you use it (here is a picture of it before I used it). I like it because it’s big and soft, making powder foundation quick to apply and blend. It is made from Saikoho, the softest goat hair, which is one of Hakuhodo’s specialties.
The Zoeva Cosmetics 142 Concealer Buffer brush has been in my rotation for the past eighteen months. I like it for concealing both blemishes and the under eye area. The head is pretty small, so it’s not for people who draw massive concealer triangles under your eyes. It’s a fairly dense brush, and it does a great job of applying and blending concealer without taking away any coverage. It’s also quite soft for a synthetic (vegan taklon) brush. Overall, I think that Zoeva brushes are fantastic quality and I’m really happy with most of the brushes I’ve tried from them.
If you love applying blush as much as I do, I really think that the Chikuhodo Z-4 Cheek / Highlight brush is worth the splurge. It’s an experience. This is an extremely soft brush made of grey squirrel hair. The ferrule is pinched in a oval shape, the bristles are tapered, and it has the perfect density to pick up just enough product for a precise, even blush application.
Before I tried the Z-4, I was a huge fan of the EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush. The bristles are tapered, allowing for precise application, and the overall shape and density make it easy to apply and blend blush. If I lost this brush, I would repurchase it in a heartbeat as it plays an integral role in my travel makeup bag.
I’ve used the ELF Stipple Brush on and off for two years, and I’ve had trouble finding a bronzer brush that I prefer. I like this because it disperses and blends bronzer in a very natural way. I find that a lot of bronzer brushes are too large, resulting in bronzer everything, or too small, making bronzer tedious to apply. Goldilocks would approve of this brush – it’s just right.
I hated the way that highlighters looked on me until I tried the Hakuhodo J4004 Fan Brush. It does an amazing job of diffusing powder on my cheeks without emphasizing my skin texture too much. It has the perfect ratio of fluffiness to density and it’s super soft for goat hair. I’ve washed this several times since I picked it up eight months ago, and it’s in great shape.
I don’t like travelling with this brush because I worry about damaging it. I usually bring the ELF Small Tapered Brush with me instead. It doesn’t blend out highlighter as naturally as I’d like, but it gets the job done and I don’t worry about losing it.
I like big, fluffy brushes for setting powder and finishing powder. I have quite a few similar brushes from Zoeva, Sephora, Urban Decay, Tarte, and ELF, but my favourite for setting powder is the Zoeva 106 Powder brush. I recently acquired the Chikuhodo PS-1 Powder brush from the Passion Series, and so far I really like it for finishing powders.
What are your favourite face brushes? What kind of shapes and hair types do you look for?
Thank you for reading!
Disclaimer: All brushes were purchased by me. The images and text are my own. The CDJapan links are affiliate links, but all other links are regular links.