Essential Makeup Brushes For Pro Artists

Being creative and having the right products is what sets a great makeup artist apart from the rest. If you also have the right tools you can take it to a whole new level!

Like makeup products, there are so many brush brands to choose from. So how do you know which are best? Trial and error is really the best way to determine those you love.  I think I have tried as many brushes as I have products! Sometimes the biggest difference can be what’s most comfortable in your hand.

Just like there are certain makeup products that are worth spending the extra money on, when it comes to tools purchasing quality brushes is a worthwhile investment. If you take care of your brushes properly, they can last forever!

Synthetic Makeup Brushes vs Natural

Is there a difference between synthetic and natural makeup brushes? Absolutely! I have many of each kind.  There are times one is better than the other. 

Natural brushes are great for powders like eyeshadows and blushes. They are made from animal hair and tend to absorb skin oils and powder pigments. You can typically tell the difference because natural brushes are fluffy and soft. All these things make it the perfect choice to use for blending to a natural finish. 

Synthetic brushes are made of nylon, polyester, or other synthetic materials. They are best for foundations, concealers, lipsticks, and gel liners because they don’t absorb oils and pigments. They are also much stiffer which makes them easier to cut into sharp angles for precision applications like eyeliner.  

My Favorite Makeup Brushes

I have a lot of great brushes in my kit but my absolute favorite brands are Smith Cosmetics, Kevin Aucoin, MyKitCo, MAC, Hakuhodo, Bdellium, and Morphe. You can’t go wrong with these brushes! 

Smith Cosmetics – I use their sculpting series brushes which include brushes that can be used for foundation, contour, powder, blush, and basically anything else for the skin. They can be used for powder, liquid and creams. I love them and use them all the time!

Kevyn Aucoin The Blush Brush – couldn’t live without this one!  Great for contouring too.

MyKitCo – eekk obsessed with these brushes!  James Malloy is one of my favorite artists and I love watching him use his brushes and create these insanely detailed looks.  I love them all but three of my favs are the my tiny liner, my tiny angle, and my feliner brushes.

MAC – of course, the 217 blending brush – need I say more!

Hakuhodo – These are Japanese handmade brushes.  The quality is amazing and they are built to last!  I love the flat shadow brush.

Bdellium  – Their concealer brushes are the best!

Morphe – I love the E30 blending brush for buffing out the eye…bigger than the MAC 217 and has a domed top so easy to get into the hard to reach places!

How To Keep Your Brushes Clean

Sanitization has always been a top priority for me. You should be extra cautious when it comes to disinfecting your brushes but with COVID it is now more important than ever. Keeping your brushes clean also helps extend their life. Some of my best tips for keeping your brushes clean and sanitized:

  • I love Dr. Bronner’s pure-castile soap for deep cleaning my brushes.  I use a paper towel to gently squeeze the excess water out after I clean them and then leave my brushes out overnight to air dry.
  • For cleaning brushes in between clients I use Parian spirits..added bonus it has a great fresh citrus smell that my clients love!
  • Consider carrying multiple sets of brushes. It can be a time saver!
  • And just to be safe – keep disposable tools like cotton swabs, cotton pads, and single-use mascara wands handy if you need them.
Are you a makeup artist looking to break into the bridal industry? That’s my jam and how I built my makeup artistry business. In my second year, I earned in the first 3 months what I had earned the entire year prior!  Grab my free checklist to see how I did it: 10 Things Every Makeup Artist Needs To Know to Make It In the Bridal Industry
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