The 19 Best Makeup Brushes of All Time, Picked By Professional Makeup Artists

20 best makeup brushes elle

Cindy Ord

When it comes to stippling on foundation, flicking out a sharp cat eye, or naturally highlighting cheekbones, the best makeup brushes are your secret weapons to a flawless finish. Sure, fingers can do some of the work, but it’s quality tools that make all the difference (not to mention, using brushes tend to be more hygienic—so long as you properly clean them). With so many options available, it can be hard to figure out exactly what type you need. A good starting point is assessing the level of face painting you plan to do regularly. Those who prefer full looks or are always experimenting may want to invest in a professional set. Meanwhile, beginners eager to get down to the basics can start with frugal finds that are still worthy of attention.

To help figure out which brushes are a must in your kit, we consulted over a dozen makeup pros—including celebrity artists Jamie Greenberg and Ashunta Sheriff who’ve worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood (think Rashida Jones and Taraji P. Henson). Because if you want a good recommendation, turn to people who regularly work on the red carpet, behind movie sets, and generally need their work to look effortless in harrowing conditions. Doing your makeup for a selfie is hard–doing it for the Oscars is even harder. Ahead, find the 19 best makeup brushes recommended by these experts—from MAC Cosmetics eyeliner classics to must-have sets for bronzing, blending eyeshadows, and more that you can grab from your nearest beauty store.

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For Vegan Bristles

Sigma Beauty

Basic Eyes Kit

For Eyeliner

My Kit Co

1.21 My Flat Definer

For Buffing

Make Up For Ever

Highlighter Brush Small 140

For the Eye Crease

Sigma Beauty

E25 Blending Brush

For Body Makeup

Real Techniques

Foundation Blender

For Liquids and Powders

Sephora Collection

PRO Foundation Brush #55

For Eyeliner

M.A.C. Cosmetics

212 Flat Definer

For Cream Makeup

KVD Beauty

Lock-It Setting Powder Brush #20

For Multipurpose Blending

M.A.C. Cosmetics

188 Synthetic Small Duo Fibre Face Brush

For Contouring

Tom Ford

Cheek Brush 06

For Cream Blush

Bdellium Tools

Studio 954 Duo Fiber Slanted Kabuki

For Eyeshadow

M.A.C. Cosmetics

217S Blending Brush

For Multipurpose Blending

Real Techniques

Blush Brush

For Concealer

Sephora Collection

Pro Concealer Brush #71

For Eyeliner

Laura Mercier

Flat Eye Liner Brush

For Finishing


M310 Large Soft Fan

For Lashes


Eyelash Comb

For Eyeliner

Anastasia Beverly Hills

Angled Cut Brush Small 15

For Eyeshadow


Hood Eyeshadow Brush 13

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