My Favorite Makeup Brushes! Part 1: Face Brushes

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See how excited I look at sharing with you my favorite makeup brushes? SO HAPPY! I'm sure it's maybe sorta kinda possible somehow that you might know that I have an inordinate number of makeup brushes. When my female family members visit they literally leave with goody bags filled with makeup brushes and makeup because seriously, there is no reason for any sane human to need as many brushes as I have. Seriously.

Very bad for my hoarding tendencies. Very good for you as I've tested several brushes over the last decade or so and have come up with a few that I think are actually share-worthy and generally budget friendly as well. :)

I've categorized them into 2 basic categories: Face and Eyes. Check out the video and short reviews below.

Mint shirt and cardigan are from J. Crew
Necklace is from Stella & Dot
Bracelets are from Forever 21 & Hautelook
Earrings are these Wired Gems from HQCD
Nail polish is Revlon Whimsical

Now, to get on to the individual short brush reviews! For this post, I want to introduce to you my favorite face brushes.


This is your typical big, fluffy, soft powder brush. It does shed a bit when you first get it but I find the shedding reduces after a couple washes. I'd advise not to skimp on the powder brush since cheaper brushes tend to be scratchy even if they look similar.

This is another powder brush favorite which is slightly smaller than the F30 and its bristles are thinner. It's very soft and luxurious on the face although it may be harder to get a hold of.


The F40 is hands-down my favorite blush brush because it fits into the contours of my cheeks perfectly. I also like that the white bristles let me know when it needs another deep cleaning soon.

MakeUp Show 22B01
The place I got this brush from is no longer carrying it (sad) but this brush is wonderful for bronzer because it's quite dense and works great for contouring the face.

The F35 is a nice, smaller powder brush which is great for highlighting products since it's not too dense. You don't want to look too shimmery from overdoing highlighter. This is the perfect size to bring a soft glow to the tops of cheeks.


This is a newish brush to my arsenal, but I can definitely see why people have been raving. When I first saw/touched it it was a big "ooh, ahh" moment since it's a baby version of the super luxe Sigmax brushes. Perfect for concealing redness and undereye circles, very soft, very dense. Love it.


Coastal Scents lip brush (old)

This is a generic and very inexpensive lip brush that I got years ago from Coastal Scents who no long carry it. What I love about this one is that for one, it's pink. Come on. No but really, although I'm admittedly not a huge lip brush user on myself (I do use them on clients), this small synthetic lip brush is actually the perfect tiny size for covering up one of my greatest skin concerns, post-acne hyperpigmentation. Obviously, it also works perfectly for precise lipstick and gloss application as well.

It just goes to show that just because a brush is labeled one thing doesn't mean it can't be used however best suits your needs individually. Just keep in mind that generally, synthetic brushes work well for liquids and cream products while natural bristles are great with powders. Rules, of course, can be broken but it's a good general rule of thumb.


Ah, my beloved Sigmax brush. I already mentioned this in my Naughty & Nice 2011 video (while somehow managing to forget to include it in this video) and it's still as good as then. I love how this seamlessly buffs in liquid foundation to satiny perfection. I can forgive the long dry time of synthetic brushes for how soft and dense this is. Regular old flat foundation brushes really have nothing on the Sigmax brushes.

This brings us to the conclusion of the face brushes in my current favorite rotation. (Heaven knows it will probably change again in a few months anyway!) I hope this served not only as insight into a few good brushes but also into what different brushes can be used for. 

I will continue on with my favorite Eye Brushes for my next post so stay tuned!

Disclaimer: Some of the products in this post were provided by their subsequent companies for blog consideration. All opinions are 100% honest. This post is not sponsored, just me sharing my favorite brushes. :)

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  1. Great post! Can´t wait to see your next post!

  2. Thanks for your review x)
    Now I know which brush should I get already hihi XD

  3. I love sigma and make up show brushes <3

  4. waah you have so many brushes~! btw I also love brushes with white bristle. <3

  5. thanks for the great review. Overwhelmed with how many makeup brushes out there. Good to know which ones are recommended. I'm starting to build my brushes collection.

  6. after reading so many raved reviews about sigmax F84 brush I think I should try this out.

  7. Brushes galore! haha I want some new brushes *bookmarks* ^^

  8. I haven't tried that many powder brushes, but I love LOVE the Ecotools Retractable Kabuki brush. Soooo soft and dense! Feels like a teddy bear. :) Plus, it's very affordable. And great for travel. I think Ecotools overall is a pretty good brand.

  9. Hey Jen I wanted to know if you can do a video review/your gel/cream liner favorites cause I also have monolids but they're not too severe where most of it folds underneath but my inner corners do tend to crease alot on gel liners... I've tried many brands and was wondering which ones you like. I usually stick with waterproof but some flake when I take it off and gets in my eyes! I LOVE the Physicians Formula black liner from their trio but I really only use the black and it's a bit of a waste for the other two colors not the mention it's not really that cheap, so it'd be great if you can recommend some! Thanks Jen!

    1. Have you tried the Wet n Wild gel liner? That's been my go-to lately although I do also like the Lioele Gel Liner and MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack (which is my old school favorite since forever). I've also heard Bobby Brown's is good as well!

    2. Hm... I haven't tried the Wet n Wild one but I recently bought MAC fluidline in Blacktrack and it's not my favorite or what I was hoping for... it's kind of too creamy and took a few drying and re-applying to layer on cause it would leave that streaky line when it's not pigmented enough, if that makes sense...? =/ And it would smudge on my outer corner when I curled my lashes with my mascara, leave residue on my curler, and of course some of it rubbed off after curling... Not sure if the formula was different or something but I prefer more drier and pigmented gel liners.

      I own the Bobbi Brown one as well but when it came in the mail, it was super dry... maybe I got a bad one? But it didn't last long for my inner corners, smudge and crease-y lol.

      I'll give Wet n Wild a go but I really love Physician Formula's black liner in their trio! If they ever came out with it as an individual product... I'd be their most loyal customer haha. Thanks for the recommendation and if you have any more recommendations, let a sistah know! :D

  10. Commented on your YouTube this time. Your videos are getting better and better =)

  11. Hey Jen, have you tried the Elf Studio Flat top powder brush ? I've heard a lot of rave reviews, and I want to know what you think about it :)

    1. I haven't tried many elf brushes. I had bought a basic eyeshadow brush but found it to be scratchy and disappointing so I've avoided buying more from the brand. If you try it and like it though, let me know. :)

    2. Their studio line brushes are amazing! I love the Studio flat top powder brush, their complexion brush, their small angled (eyeliner) brush is AMAZING (not to get mixed up with the angled eyeliner brush which isn't that great) and it's only $3 so I can replace it without regret if the bristles start to get weird... but most brushes from their studio line is superb. Target carries some but not all. You should try them Jen!

      Oh and don't forget to use to get coupon codes because 90% of the time there's codes to get half off the studio line, free shipping after $25 purchase, and etc. :)

  12. I love hearing people's make up brush thoughts! Can't wait for the eye part!

  13. hello!! i have a question
    i have a combination skin and was wondering if mac's studio sculpt foundation
    would be good.. i've seen some review it has worked for some oily skin people
    and saw you using it so wondering :D
    and one more! even though i exfoliate and moisturize, i get dry patches
    especially when i use concealer.. how do i prevent that and
    get a perfect coverage?? thx XD

    1. Studio Sculp foundation gives a really amazing finish, especially for photos, but it's not good for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. I can only use it once in a while!

      For dry patches, a hydrating primer before your foundation might help, or using a more hydrating foundation or concealer formula. I also find that dabbing a bit of Vitamin E oil on flakes before applying concealer helps too.

    2. Thank you XD
      I would've never thought of vit E hehe :P
      then what kind of primer and foundation would you recommend?
      i'm thinking of long-wearing with good coverage and still looks natural for combination...
      (am i expecting too much? XD)

  14. Hi Jen, I was wondering if you know of any good highlighters. The two that I'm looking at are the Nars Albatross and the YSL Touche Eclat. If you have any other suggestions that would be highly appreciated :)

    1. Some of my favorites are Dior Amber Diamond Skin Shimmer, Kevyn Aucoin highlighter in Candlelight, and NYX mosaic powder in Highlighter. :)

      YSL Touche Eclat is more of a concealer/highlighter combo if you like a brightening undereye effect and NARS albatross is a little glitterier than I prefer but it's a powder like those I mentioned before.

  15. wow after watching this video i really feel like i have a very minimal brush collection and do not use brushes enough. i only use one brush to apply bb cream and a large powder brush to apply powder. hmm maybe i should be looking into investing in some of these brushes. the makeup show brush looks absolutely beautiful actually :)

    <3 rae

  16. I'm waiting for spring makeup tutorials ! ;)

    Kisses. ;P

  17. Hi Jen, thank you for your reply re: pigmented lips. Could you please recommend which Urban Decay palette is best for my colouring? Naked 1 or 2 palette?

    According to a seasonal colour analysis I'm deep autumn, I have dark brown/ auburnish hair, brown eyes and warm undertones. In Mac foundation I'm NC25-30. And I generally don't pull off cool tones very well. As for my overtones- I'm not entirely sure but I have mild rosacea on my cheeks and dark circles from lack of sleep which might affect my overall colouring.


    1. I think both would look lovely. They both contain a lot of warm colours, but the Naked 1 is slightly more warm overall, in my opinion. (All are warm except creep (sparkly black) and gunmetal (blu-ish grey)). Have a look at some swatches online :)

      I have dark brown hair, brown eyes and warm undertones (but am about NC20)

  18. brushes look fab, Im getting some sigma sets for my bday very soon, cant wait for them! :-)

  19. Great review & video<3
    I was looking for a new face brush but, didn't know where to start.


  20. I love your blog! I'm following you x)

  21. Any stippling brushes you'd recommend? :)

  22. Hi Jen! i have been looking at your videos for the past few days and i love your tutorials. For mineral makeup , do you recommend the sigma F30 brush? or the smaller version for foundation?

    1. I've actually been using my Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki and it applies really nicely with good coverage. :)

  23. Hi Jen! Your videos are great. I was looking at the different Sigma sets online...would you recommend the brushes with Sigmax HD filament or the regular ones? Thanks!

    1. I definitely love every Sigmax brush I've tried but I don't think they are replacements for the regular ones, they just have different uses. Sigmax brushes are fantastic for foundations and regular ones are great for powders like blush and eyeshadow. :)

  24. Hi Jen!
    First off, I wanted to thank you for all the research and hard work you put into these blogs and videos. I follow a lot of guru's and you're def my go-to!
    Question: I know you've been using mineral and powder as your base foundation nowadays, what brush would you recommend for that?

  25. Hi Jen, love ur reviews specially sigma f84.
    i collecting reviews about this f84, since i only have f80 for my foundation. for now, its pleasent to use f80, but im still a girl that looking for a better one.
    actually i have a question about this brush, dont you think this brush is made for blush instead of foundation? i have search on makeup show brush, and there is a similar brush to f84, it is mentioned for blush brush.

  26. What is the difference between applying powder with brush and a puff/sponge?

    I have oily skin, so I need to know wich one will give me a flawless and lasting cover.


  27. Hi Jen,
    Thank you for your review! Helps a lot!

    Question.... Im checking out your link for the makeup show brushes and I'm really close to buying some but I'm a little skeptical about ordering from an overseas company. Have you ordered from them directly on this site? And are they a legit promising retailer? Thanks!

  28. Great review! Every details are very informative and useful. After reading this one, you can help me a lot to finding a new brushes. Thanks for sharing this post!

    Makeup Brush Set