Choosing The Best Makeup Brushes

Good makeup brushes are essential for proper makeup application. This is even more true if you use drugstore makeup, because it often is not as well pigmented, making good application rather important. Drugstore items are also often packaged with cheap applicators that don’t really cut it for proper makeup application.  If you purchase more expensive makeup, there often will not be any applicators included, as the companies assume that you already have decent makeup brushes.

So, choosing the best makeup brushes is important. Fortunately, quality makeup brushes do not have to break the bank. While some pricey brushes are also very high quality and provide excellent results, there also are some pretty good inexpensive makeup brushes available at your local dig box retailer or drugstore.

MAC holiday brush set

There are four primary differences between lower end, affordable makeup brushes and the more expensive professional makeup brushes

(1) Price: the most obvious difference is price. Drugstore quality makeup brushes are often under $10, while professional brushes can run $20-40 or more. But before you scream at the difference, pro brushes are made to last. You will replace even the best of the drugstore quality makeup brushes more often, as they simply do not hold together as well or for as long.

(2) Materials: Professional makeup bushes are generally made of animal fibers, which holds and applies pigment more evenly. This allows for the best possible look. For liquid makeup application, animal fibers tend to work the best at providing a streak free look. For the nest eye shadow application, pro makeup brushes also are often preferable.

(3) Durability: Professional makeup brushes last longer. A pro brush will not lose bristles to the extent that a cheaper brush will.  They also will last longer overall, as they are less likely to break. Inexpensive makeup brushes often lose a few bristles, especially when they are new. But often once they are broken in, they usually can work nearly as well as the pro brushes. Some brands are better than others though. For example, Eco Tools tend to hold up pretty well, but Sonia Kashuk makeup brushes have a history of losing a lot of bristles.

Below are some choices of great brushes across several price points.

The Best Drugstore Makeup Brushes

Low on money? One of the best cheap makeup brush brands is Eco Tools.  The Eco Tools line of makeup brushes are very affordable, and they are quite easy to find in both drugstores and big box store.  Eco Tools brushes also tend to hold up pretty well. They don’t lose bristles all that much. the brand is also ecologically sound, with the brushes constructed out of recycled materials. The brushes come packaged in natural cases and the brushes themselves have attractive bamboo handles.

ecotools brush kit

Sephora also makes a line of fairly good makeup brushes. These run a bit more in rice than Eco Tools, but there are a wider range of options and kits, and generally the line is still quite affordable.

The Best Professional Makeup Brushes

There are numerous excellent choices in professional makeup brushes. Probably the most popular and widely respected are the  MAC Makeup Brushes. MAC makeup brushes are always quality and when it comes to price, they actually are fairly reasonable for the quality that you get from the brush. For a good deal on MAC brushes, watch for the MAC holiday brush sets that come out every year. The brushes in the sets are the same high quality as the standard brushes, but they are made with shorter handles, something I personally prefer anyway. Buying one of the MAC holiday sets can be an excellent opportunity to purchase quality brushes while saving quite a bit of money.

Trish mcEvoy Brush Set

There are numerous other higher end brushes, and just about anything from one of the top department store brands is going to be a quality brush. Lancome makes nice brush sets, as does Laura Mercier and Trish McEvoy.  To view a number of excellent brushes, take a look at the Nordstrom Makeup Brush Sets.  As with the MAC brushes, finding travel sets can be a nice way to save money.

Shop For Makeup Brushes

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The Best Makeup of 2011

It is time again for the best makeup of 2011. Below are the eight best products we tried this year, in no particular order.

best makeup 2011

(1) Tokidoki Perfetto Eyeliner: Tokidoki puts out some great cosmetics and their eyeliner is fabulous (we also adore the eye shadow palettes). You can see more, along with a swatch here:   Tokidoki Perfetto Eyeliner Review

(2)  Murad Soothing Skin, Lip, and Cuticle Care Stick: this soothing stick dispenses a nice gel that is great for a number of areas, including the lips. Learn more here:  Murad review

(3) Tarte Lipsurgence Lip Tint: Love, love, love Tarte’s lip tints! these crayon shaped tints provide nice color that lasts very well. for a look at one in action, see our Tarte True Blood Lip Tint Swatch.

(4) MAC Sheen Supreme: MAC created a real winner with their Sheen Supreme line of lipsticks. You can view a number of them here: MAC Sheen Supreme Swatches

(5) Kevyn Aucoin Mascara: If you like tubing mascara, you owe it to yourself to check out the highly rated product from Kevyn Aucoin. Here is more information:  Kevyn Aucoin Mascara Review

(6) Nars Holiday Collection: Nars put out a beautiful holiday collection this year that any woman would love. Read our report:  Nars Holiday

(7) Eco-Tools Brushes: For good quality, ecologically sound, and affordable makeup brushes, look to eco-tools. Here is our review:  Eco-Tools Review

(8)  Duwop Private Red: Duwop has a great neutral red lipstick that looks good on just about everyone.For more on finidng the best red lipstick read our article on the subject here: Best Red Lipstick

Interested in years past? See our Best of 2009 and Best of 2008 lists.

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Eco Tools Makeup Brush Review

The best makeup brushes are usually made of natural hair or very high quality synthetic materials and tend to be expensive. But there are a few affordable brands that are sufficient for good makeup application without breaking the bank.   Eco-Tools is one of those brands. The Eco tools line of synthetic brushes tends to be pretty decent quality for its price point, which happens to be very affordable.

eco tools brushes

As a bonus, the products incorporate some environmentally friendly traits. So, if you like green products, this is a line to look at. Ecotools makeup brushes have bamboo handles with a ferule that is made from recycled aluminum. The brushes are packaged in biodegradable and a reusable sleeve.

I found the brushes quite adequate for makeup application and hair loss with them was minimal-something that can often be a problem with cheap makeup brushes. There is a good variety of eye shadow brush sizes, and the blush brush was particularly impressive. Almost everything in the line is available for under $10 and there are some cute kits and sets available.

Eco-tools also makes bath tools. You can find them at most big box retailers and some drugstores, as well as online.

Shop for Eco Tools Makeup Brushes

 

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