Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My Top 5 Makeup Brushes - Collab

My Top Five Makeup Brushes (Collab)

I am very excited to share with you my five favorite makeup brushes! This post is actually a collaboration with two other cruelty-free beauty bloggers; Catherine of Buying Cruelty Free and Christine from Makeup Guinea Pig. As always, all brushes in this post are cruelty-free, and made only of synthetic "hair."

Catherine and Christine will also be sharing their top 5 makeup brushes here: 



 *Don't Forget To Follow Us on Twitter!*

@MakeupMatters1    @bcrueltyfree   and   @MakeUpGuineaPig 

While I am very excited about this post, it was also extremely hard to narrow my favorites down to five. However, that's also what made this post really fun!  It was a challenge to really sit down and go through my brushes and decide, which are my favorites. To help me decide, I set some rules for myself. First, I chose brushes that are favorites for my personal use, not necessarily ones that I use on others.  I assume most of you reading this will be looking for makeup brushes for your own personal stash, so I thought it would be most helpful to go with ones that I personally use on a daily basis. For my daily makeup, I use about 12 brushes. Whenever I want to know which makeup products are my favorite, I think about which ones I repurchase over and over. To choose my favorite brushes, I kept track over a few days to see which ones I reached for more than others. 

FTC: Please note, some of the brushes in this post were sent to me for consideration, some were purchased by me. All opinions are my own. I do not get paid to write reviews. I do not get any compensation if someone purchases one of these brushes. I simply write reviews and make recommendations in hopes of helping others make good purchasing decisions. 

These are the five I narrowed it down to (in no particular order):

  1. IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Brush 
  2. 100% Pure Cruelty Free Blush Brush 
  3. Earth Diva Cosmetics Multi-Purpose Brush 
  4. Bdellium Tools Professional Makeup Brush Bambu Series Blending Brush #776 
  5. Kelley Quan Synthetic Red Sable Patented Wave Brush, Vegan Beauty Brush #17

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Brush: This is my HG bronzing brush. I absolutely adore this for applying bronzer to the face and neck because the bristles are just so super soft that you can buff on your bronzer without disturbing your foundation or powder underneath. Like all my brushes, this does serve multiple purposes. I also like using this brush for setting powder.  I often like to powder just the T-zone and leave my cheeks a bit more dewy. The rounded tip to this really lets you precisely powder just the areas you want to.  This is also a great one for blush for the same reason it's good for bronzer; it simply does not disturb your foundation underneath. The rubber handle makes it very comfortable in the hand. This brush is luxurious in every way and it's a favorite in my collection for sure. 

100% Pure Cruelty Free Blush Brush: Of the brushes mentioned in this post, I've had this one the longest. This is a tried and true brush for me. Again, I use this brush for multiple things; blush, bronzing and contouring, and buffing in foundation. However, I really find I use this mostly for blush application. I know most of you don't think of a flat top brush when you think of a blush brush. However, due to the size of the brush head, and softness of the bristles, this really allows me to perfectly place the bristles on my cheekbone and stipple on the color. The flat top head allows me to angle the head into the contour of my cheekbone, allowing for perfect placement every time. This brush just gives the most natural appearance and it is super affordable. The white bristles make it easy to know when your brush is dirty without them staining. I've had this brush for a while now, and it still looks as new as the day I got it. While many companies make a brush in this shape, the length and softness of the bristles are what make this one a favorite.

The above picture really captures how soft the bristles are on this brush. It just feels so good against the skin.

Earth Diva Cosmetics Multi-Purpose Brush: While this may just look like a standard flat paddle foundation brush, I assure you it's so much more. This brush is just perfectly constructed. When I compare it against other flat paddle brushes in my collection, I can really see the difference in craftsmanship. It just seems like a lot more thought and effort went into making this brush. First of all, the head is much fuller than a traditional flat paddle foundation brush, which is what makes it so multi-purpose. This brush was created with mineral makeup in mind, so if you are a  mineral makeup wearer, this is a good pick. However, even if you don't wear mineral makeup, this brush is still a must have in my book. It works with mineral & liquid foundation, primer, blush and bronzer. What I often use it for is to apply my powder highlighter. The soft domed tip allows you to perfectly sweep on shimmer to the tops of the cheekbones, then blend it out by simply turning the brush. Since the head is fuller, it not only applies well, but picks up powder products with ease. This brush has a smooth bamboo handle and is made with synthetic taklon hair. The size and fullness of this brush head is what makes it a favorite for me for highlighter application.

 When viewed from the side, you can really see how full the brush head is compared to others like it.

Bdellium Tools Professional Makeup Brush Bambu Series Blending Brush #776: This is my holy grail eyeshadow blending brush. I will never again go searching for another eyeshadow blending brush, because this one is pure perfection. If I were to design my perfect eyeshadow blending brush, this would be it. This shape of this brush is something I have been searching for for a very long time. For some odd reason, all of the companies that make great synthetic brushes, don't seem to make eyeshadow blending brushes in this shape and I just don't understand why. Anyone who loves makeup has heard of the M.A.C. #217 Blending Brush. It's a staple in most makeup artist kits. However, that brush is made out of animal hair, so I simply refuse to buy it. I requested this type of brush from so many companies, and Bdellium Tools is the only one who listened. I'm sure I'm not the only person that requested this type of brush, but kudos to Bdellium tools for listening to their customers. This is the best eyeshadow blending brush hands down. You absolutely need this brush in your kit! I have one or two that are somewhat similar, but I found either the handle was too thin, or the bristles weren't fluffy enough when looking at the other brands. This brush is seriously perfect. The handle is just a little thicker, making it very comfortable to hold, and the stiff domed brush head is the perfect amount of fluffiness versus stiffness to blend. This brush is available in their Green Bambu and Pink Bambu series. The difference between the two (other than color), is that the Green Bambu brushes have a shorter handle. This is simply a matter of personal preference. If you like to sit closer to a mirror when you do your makeup, you may prefer a shorter handle. If you are prefer a longer handled brush, or are looking to use this for professional use, go with the Pink Bambu. I own multiples of this brush, as it's the brush that I use with every single eyeshadow application. These are also great for blending out cream eyeshadow, and even under eye concealer. I did notice that the Pink Bambu version seems a little bit fluffier than the Green Bambu version for some reason, but in practice, they both seem to work equally as well. 

 Note the difference in handle lengths between the Green & Pink Bambu lines.

 The Pink Bambu version does seem to be a bit more fluffy, but they both work equally well.

Kelley Quan Synthetic Red Sable Patented Wave Brush, Vegan Beauty Brush #17:
This is my go-to brow brush. In fact the wave design of this brush head is so unique that it's patented, so you won't find another like it from any other brand. This brush was designed specifically for eyebrows. While a traditional angled brush works fine, the wave pattern of this brush gives the most realistic natural "hair like" strokes when applying brow powder.  Since the bristles are synthetic, you can use this same brush for applying your brow wax, and then dip it straight into your brow powder. I also like this with the Tarte Waterproof Brow Mousse for a very natural, but defined brow. This brush is handcrafted in the U.S.A. using premium synthetic blends for the bristles. While this brush may be a little bit more pricey, to me it's worth it because it is so unique, and it gives the most natural looking appearance to brows compared to any other brush I've tried. I have a few brushes that I've purchased from this brand, and they all come in these pretty hot pink boxes. The boxes, are so nice, that even though I've had this brush for a while, I just had to save one of the boxes!  For those of you not familiar with this brand, Kelley Quan is a makeup artist who designed a range of vegan beauty brushes that are hypo-allergenic and easy to clean, without causing any cruelty to animals. Unlike most synthetics on the market, her brushes are made with multiple types of synthetic fibers to help more closely mimic the texture of various animal furs such as Sable, Mink, Blue Squirrel and Goat.

 Each brush comes packaged in the signature Kelley Quan pink box.

I hope you enjoyed this look at my top 5 makeup brushes. I would love to hear what your favorites are! 

Don't forget to check out the 5 favorites from Catherine & Christine:



A big thank you to these ladies for including me in their collaboration!

Please share your 5 favorites in the comments below.

Remember, all comments are approved individually, so don't worry if you don't see your comment right away. As always, thanks for reading. I appreciate you all! 


  1. You did an amazing job!!! And you picked some really great sounding brushes! I love the looks of the Kelley Quan Wave brush.

    I didn't know Bdellium had a Pink Bambu line as well. I love the Green Bambu brushes I've tried.

    The IT Cosmetics brush looks incredible too! It looks a little bit like the Real Techniques Blush Brush.

    Love, love, love your picks! :)

  2. OK the IT Cosmetics blush looks AMAZING! I need to get it. I've been so impressed with the one IT Cosmetics brush that I have, I've been really lemming to try more. You and Christine both included Bdellium brushes, which I've never tried... I'm heading over to check out their site immediately! ;) I'm so glad to learn about Kelly Quan - I'd never even heard of the brand... I realized doing this post how many of my brushes are Eco Tools or Real Techniques, I really want to branch out and support other CF brushes as well. The shape of that brush is so interesting, I don't think I've seen anything like it before. Thank you so much for sharing your picks, Liza - I'm so glad we did this! :D x

  3. I randomly found your blog (and this post) when trying to find a difference between the Bdellium bamboo lines as online they all appear the same. Thanks so much for this and other posts which shows an in depth look at ALL the brushes you feature! As a MUA it's really hard for me to purchase brushes sight, unseen but I am dying to try these and you finally sold me on them! I wanted the green but now I am going for the longer handled pink! Thanks!

    1. Glad you found this helpful. Bdellium Tools is debuting their pink bambu sets June 29th at PHAMExpo. Then they will be available to the general public in July. I think they are currently only available as singles, so if you want a set you may want to wait. I think you will really enjoy the longer handle of the pink line. Happy shopping! Thanks for reading!

  4. Excellent information on your blog, thank you for taking the time to share with us. Amazing insight you have on this, it's nice to find a website that details so much information about different artists.
    scream team

  5. Thanks for sharing your picks!! i loved this post..
    Queen B Brushes

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. Amazing collection for makeup brushes set i glad to thanks this post ..

    My Makeup brush Set

  8. amazing job i really like your idea and work ...

    professional makeup brush sets

  9. This article is really fantastic and thanks for sharing the valuable info

    what are the best makeup brushes

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Comments/Questions are highly encouraged. However please refrain from posting links to other sites. I cannot always respond personally to every post, but appreciate and read them all.