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The Best Makeup Brushes

Last updated on May 8, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Makeup Brushes and dug through the reviews from 20 of the most popular review sites including Open Kloset by Karina, The Scrapbook of Style, Sound Body Life, Womens Edge, BestReviews, Smart Homekeeping and more. The result is a ranking of the best Makeup Brushes.

Best Makeup Brushes

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Makeup Brushes and also dug through the reviews from 20 of the most popular review sites including Open Kloset by Karina, The Scrapbook of Style, Sound Body Life, Womens Edge, BestReviews, Smart Homekeeping and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Makeup Brushes.

Our Picks For The Top Makeup Brushes

Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Lazy Perfection

12-Piece Brush Collection

Overall Take

This luxurious set of makeup brushes may be an investment, but it practically applies your products for you. Each brush head is packed with more than twice as many bristles as regular brushes. As a result, each one has a super luxe, velvety feel, and you'll get a controlled application... Read More

Experts Included
DWYM Beauty and Personal Care Experts plus BestReviews, Buy The 10. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Artistic and professional designs seperates them from the rest of the pack."

Anjou

16-Piece Makeup Brush Set

Overall Take

This wallet-friendly set includes seven larger and nine precision brushes for maximum versatility. The cruelty-free synthetic fibers deliver a precise application for amateurs and professionals alike. It also features a brush for every product and task, including eye shadow, brows, lips, complexion and more. Additionally, the dense, velvety... Read More

Experts Included
DWYM Beauty and Personal Care Experts plus Open Kloset by Karina. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" The dense, soft, velvety synthetic fibers dispense the products evenly and are not easy to shed"

EmaxDesign

12-Piece Makeup Brush Set

Overall Take

The eco-friendly makeup brushes work well on all skin types. While some brush materials can cause inflammation or irritation, these are super soft and gentle. The only downside of this set is the unlabeled brushes, so you need to decipher what works with different products on your own.

Experts Included
DWYM Beauty and Personal Care Experts plus The Scrapbook of Style, Sound Body Life, Womens Edge. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" They are as soft as teddy bear fur (or just something really soft)!"
  The Best Value

eBo

Trade 32-Piece Makeup Brush Set

Overall Take

This set includes every possible shape and size brush you could ever need to apply makeup — and all at an incredibly low price. The synthetic brushes are made to last. Every piece also fits in a convenient carrying case made of eco-friendly materials. This set helps you look good... Read More

Experts Included
DWYM Beauty and Personal Care Experts plus BestReviews, 10 Best Review and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Offers large selection of brushes at a value price. We love its roll-up carrying case, made from earth-friendly materials."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the makeup brushes available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products to review and score.

View All Product Rankings

20

Expert Reviews Included

Reviews from our DWYM category experts and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Open Kloset by Karina, The Scrapbook of Style, Sound Body Life, Womens Edge, BestReviews.

84,662

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart and 4 others.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Lazy Perfection 12-Piece Brush Collection

Expert Summarized Score
10.0
2 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
10.0
4 user reviews
The DWYM Expert Take

This luxurious set of makeup brushes may be an investment, but it practically applies your products for you. Each brush head is packed with more than twice as many bristles as regular brushes. As a result, each one has a super luxe, velvety feel, and you'll get a controlled application of any product.

What other experts liked
Artistic and professional designs seperates them from the rest of the pack.
- BestReviews
There are almost all the things you need to get that natural makeup application for a beautiful look.
- Buy The 10
What other experts didn't like
They are quite an investment but you are paying for the highest quality brushes on the market.
- BestReviews

The Best Bang For Your Buck

eBoTrade 32-Piece Makeup Brush Set

Expert Summarized Score
9.2
3 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.0
692 user reviews
The DWYM Expert Take

This set includes every possible shape and size brush you could ever need to apply makeup — and all at an incredibly low price. The synthetic brushes are made to last. Every piece also fits in a convenient carrying case made of eco-friendly materials. This set helps you look good and feel good, too.

What other experts liked
Offers large selection of brushes at a value price. We love its roll-up carrying case, made from earth-friendly materials.
- BestReviews
Roll up carrying case stores and protects brushes with ease.
- Booms Beat
Nice, dense and soft bristles.
- 10 Best Review
What other experts didn't like
Some users don't have the need for so many brushes, and some of the larger brushes shed.
- BestReviews

Overall Product Rankings

1. Lazy Perfection 12-Piece Brush Collection
Overall Score: 10.0
Reviews Included: 3

2. Anjou 16-Piece Makeup Brush Set
Overall Score: 9.8
Reviews Included: 4

3. EmaxDesign 12-Piece Makeup Brush Set
Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 7

4. BS-MALL Makeup Brushes
Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 8

5. eBoTrade 32-Piece Makeup Brush Set
Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 4

6. SHANY Pro 24-Piece Signature Brush Set
Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 7

7. BESTOPE 8-Pieces Makeup Brushes
Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 7

An Overview On Makeup Brushes

With the right set of makeup brushes, you can think like a professional makeup artist and look like a model, all from the comfort of your own home. If all you ever use are the mini brushes included with compacts and palettes, your beauty routine may be ready for a major boost.

Using the right brush will make it much easier for you to apply every step of your makeup. That means less time staring in the mirror and a later wake-up time for you. How can a few little tools make such a huge difference? Overall, the right brush helps you apply makeup in a more precise manner.

There are several factors to consider when shopping for a set of makeup brushes. They range in price from budget-friendly $10 options to sets costing $500 or more. The handles and bristles are made of a variety of materials, which come with their own pros and cons. Then, you need to look at the intended use of each brush. Some are multipurpose while others are precise and aimed at applying one product to one area only.

Arguably, the most important is the material used for the bristles. Bristles are made of either synthetic or natural materials. Most professional makeup artists prefer natural bristles. The natural bristles are the fluffiest and the softest. Synthetic materials work best for applying creams and liquids.

What really makes natural bristles stand out is that they behave like human hair and have a cuticle. This allows them to grab pigment from your makeup products and hold onto it until you place it exactly where you want it on your face.

The top quality natural bristle is from blue squirrel. It’s also the most expensive. Other natural bristles that perform well are pony hair, goat and Kolinsky sable.

However, synthetic bristles have come a long way in recent years. Need proof? All four top recommended makeup brush sets are made of synthetic materials.

There are also a growing number of eco-friendly brushes made with sustainable materials. For example, the EmaxDesign 12-Piece Makeup Brush Set is super soft and excellent for sensitive skin types.

All of these sets include many more brush options than what you’d use on a regular basis. You don’t necessarily need a huge multi-piece set of brushes. Professional makeup artists suggest a basic foundation of four main brushes. You want a large powder brush, a slightly smaller fluffy multi-use brush, an eye-shadow brush and a smaller shadow brush. The standard eyeshadow brush should be the size of a fingertip, and the second should be about half that size. From there, you can add on a few more sizes for more precision and fine-tuned application.

Brush shapes also vary as well. You want to look for a slightly domed tip with a bit of fluff in all brushes. This shape helps the bristles roll across the skin smoothly. The fluffy texture isn’t just for show. A fluffy brush deposits less pigment so you can be more precise and slowly build for more drama or keep a subtle look.

A high-quality set of brushes truly is a worthwhile investment. When you take care of them properly and clean them regularly, they can last decades. That’s a lot of beautiful years to look forward to.

DWYM Fun Fact

Makeup brushes likely date back to the Ancient Egyptians. We can all thank Cleopatra and her strong eyeliner game for the earliest forms of brushes. Meanwhile, other modern cultures around the world entered the brush industry and made their mark. Germany and Japan are known for their excellent brush-making.

In Japan, the first makeup brushes were inspired by calligraphy brushes. In fact, brush-making was so prolific in Kumano, Japan, it earned the nickname the City of Brushes. The brush-making techniques have been passed down through the generations. These luxury brushes are truly an art in and of themselves.

The high-end brushes are still handmade, one at a time, today. The unwieldy brush hairs require the close attention of human hands. As such, they are arranged, hand tied and trimmed by hand. After all that painstaking work, it’s no surprise they garner high prices.

The Makeup Brush Buying Guide

  • It’s more important to have the right brush for each task than a perfectly matching set to display on your vanity.
  • The handles and bristles consist of a variety of materials, each of which come with their own pros and cons. Make sure to check the intended use of each brush before buying. Some are multipurpose while others are precise and aimed at applying one product to one area only.
  • Price can play a major factor when shopping for makeup brushes. Sets can range in cost from a budget-friendly $10 options to $500 and more. For example, the Lazy Perfection by Jenny Patinkin 12 Brush Complete Collection. It gets rave reviews and comes with an investment price tag of nearly $500. The 12 brushes in the set are handmade by artisans and feature synthetic fibers.
  • On the complete opposite end of the price spectrum is the Anjou 16-Piece Makeup Brush Set. At less than $20 for the full set, it is an absolute steal. It still features fluffy, cruelty-free brushes and boasts precise application. As an added bonus, the set includes a handy travel case that fits every piece.
  • The eBo Trade 32-Piece Makeup Brush Set manages to nudge all the others out of the top value spot with double the number of brushes. For around $15, this set includes every possible shape and size brush you could ever need to apply makeup. The synthetic brushes are made to last.
  • The EmaxDesign 12-Piece Makeup Brush Set includes bristles so soft, some users compare them to teddy bear’s fur. The price, the lowest among the top performing sets, is hard to resist. The whole set costs only around $11.
  • No matter how much you spend on a set of makeup brushes, you’ll want to maintain them by cleaning them regularly. Experts recommend cleaning them with a gentle soap at least once per month. Brushes used around the eye and for applying foundation need a wash every week to prevent bacteria buildup.
  • Cleaning makeup brushes is so important, there are dedicated gadgets to help with the cleaning process. Gloves, solutions and mats can all help clear away product buildup from the bristles.