Best of: Brushes

Tuther day was a hateful one, for that day was brush washing day. Yes folks, you must clean your make up brushes, both thoroughly and regularly. This goes for sponges and Beauty Blenders too. All hail the Beauty Blender. It’s especially destable because I have accumulated so many of the darn things over the years. Don’t judge but…



May I add, most of these were not purchased individually, that is not an economical means of expanding ones collection. No, I mostly buy sets and a kind and generous husband gifts sets that his attention has been artfully drawn to, to me. In addition, I don’t think that in this day and age you need to spend big bucks to find quality brushes. Good brushes are essential to successful make up application but good does not mean expensive. Keep an eye out in TK Maxx and Superdrug often does good wee deals online and instores.

The following are my most used and most useful brushes. They’re all incredible and with each brand mentioned, you can’t go wrong! Do you need them all? No. Pick what suits your needs.


I’ve tried to select brushes which offer various levels of cover and suit different types of foundation. Personally, I don’t use cream foundations but, given what I know, the first two selections should work nicely. 

Zoeva Silk Finish or Real Techniques Buffing Brush

These two are very similar. The first is a little more densely packed than the latter, and is a little larger, but the finish they both give with a liquid foundation is exactly the same. I love using these when I’m after coverage in a flash but also when I want to buff my foundation into the skin. This means your base and complexion are in synergy with one another and makes a full coverage foundation a little more natural. I acquired both brushes as parts of sets (click here for Zoeva and here for Real Techniques). Unfortunately the buffing brush from Real Techniques is only available in this set but the Zoeva one can be bought separately for £13.

Real Techniques Stippling Brush £11.99 from Boots

This can be used, as the name suggests, to stipple or tap the foundation into the skin or in a buffing motion to give lighter coverage. Excellent for both finishes and creates an airbrush effect.

Real Techniques Sculpting Brush £9.99 from Boots

Don’t ever feel you must use a brush for its intended purpose. I hate this for contouring but adore it for liquid foundation! Play about and see what works. This gives the maximum coverage your chosen foundation will allow and is best used in sweeping motions across the complexion.

Eco Tools Powder Brush £9.99 from Boots

This is my choice for powder foundations, including Bare Minerals Original and Matte loose formulas. The natural bristles of the BM brushes don’t agree with my skin. They’re too coarse and shed like crazy. This wee gem from Eco Tools is bunny tail soft so won’t irritate the skin, it’s large, and therefore covers quickly and allows you to build coverage to the desirable level. 


Real Techniques Setting Brush £7.99 from Superdrug

I have two of these. One I use to blend liquid concealer under the eyes and around the visage and the other, to set the under eye area. This brush works beautifully for both purposes. It is super soft so is perfect for the delicate eye area. A hard wee worker and an absolute must have, in my opinion.


NYX Multi-Purpose Buffing Brush £14 from Boots

If it’s a light dusting of powder you’re after, to set your make up artistry in place, this ain’t the one for you. If you want a completely matte finish and/or you’ve been cursed with the oily skin, then stop right here. You’ve found your setting brush. Works as well with pressed powder as it does with loose. I recommend a pressing or tapping motion with this so you don’t start moving your foundation about. 


Zoeva Sheer Cheek £13 from Beauty Bay

I was born in the eighties, so I feel it’s part of my DNA to love a good bit of blusher. Placement can be a bit of a puzzle for some but I think I’ve got that bit down now. The fact that I like to see the colour on my cheeks can mean blending is a bit of a mare. Enter this brush! It does all the work and in very little time. Perfectly sized and blends as you apply.


Real Techniques Contour Brush (Part of the Core Collection set which includes the buffing brush mentioned above.)

I’m not into a heavy contour. I don’t really want a sharply chiselled cheekbone and, as of right now, I’m not the owner of a double chin that requires disguise. As a result, other brushes intended for this job don’t float me boat. The finished result is usually too obvious for everyday wear and too intense for me altogether. This wee number is different. Perfectly sized to sit in that hollow under the cheekbone, and therefore to give the illusion of shadow, but it does it softly, with subtlety (how weird does that word look in black and white?!) and with just enough of a blur to beg the question ‘Did she contour or didn’t she?’


Elf Highlighting Brush £4 flipping 50

£4.50?! Yes, it be true! I’ve been trying a few Elf products lately and so far, so good. But this, this is a wee gem!!! I am obsessed. Until fairly recently I had been using a fan brush to apply ‘the glow’ and there’s nothing wrong with that. This is just…better! It picks up the PERFECT amount of product, the rounded tip makes product placement a doddle and bish, bash, bosh…shine bright like a diamond!


NYX Dual Brow £9 from Boots

Angled liner brush on one end, which I like for sculpting the brows using a pomade and a spooly at the other end to brush those hairs through. The result- perfected brows, groomed to perfection. Also works well with powders and gives you plenty of control.


There are just too many to pick from here and each have their own wee job. Below are my top picks and, to be fair, if you owned all of these you’d be laughing.

Crease- Zoeva Soft Definer £9 from Beauty Bay. This is my absolute favourite brush for the eyes. Use it for laying down those transition shades, for defining the crease and for blending. It makes my limited skills appear better than what they are and helps you blend as you go. Blending is the key to any good eye look. If you struggle, get this brush.

Lower Lash Line- Elf Beautifully Precise Smudge Brush £6. I use this when I want to smoke out my lower lash line. Many a pencil brush like it but not many for six quid.

You can’t go wrong with a brush set from Real Techniques. They are, absolutely and without doubt, in joint first place with Zoeva for me. The quality of the brushes for the price point is exceptional and with the lovely Sam and Nic Chapman’s YouTube channel, to teach you how to use each brush, well, they’re fool proof!

If you’re wanting to get your eyeshadow brush collection started then I’d highly recommend the Starter Set which is currently just a shade over £13 on the Real Techniques website. For that money you are getting a brush to lay down a base, a luxurious crease brush (which I prefer for blending and softening edges), an accent brush (amazing for inner corner highlights), a liner brush and an angled liner. Sure you couldn’t beat it!

Ok, so that was longer than I’d planned but given the number of brushes I possess, and the fact that there is literally only one that I don’t use, it’s hardly surprising that I found it difficult to whittle the number down.

Anywho, I hope you have found it helpful either for yourself or if you’re planning to buy something for a fellow make up lover! 

If you have any questions or recommendations be sure to leave me a comment. You’ll make my day!

Thanks for stopping by!

J x

Current Thoughts

  • Pallet Project.
  • It’s 12.22am and I am wide awake.
  • Pinterest.
  • Not doughnuts!!!!

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