Friday, February 16, 2018

Best Synthetic Brushes - Part 2 (2018 Edition)

Best Synthetic Brushes - Part 2 (2018 Edition)

*Some of the brushes in this post were sent to me for consideration. I do not get paid to write reviews.

Look at these beautiful crease brushes! I am so happy and feel incredibly lucky to have such wonderful synthetic crease brushes in my collection. In 2012, when I first started this blog, I was on a quest for a synthetic version of the popular MAC Cosmetics 217.  The 217 was an eyeshadow blending brush made out of animal hair.  MAC Cosmetics is not a cruelty free makeup brand. However, anyone who has watched a professional makeup artist work, has probably seen the 217 brush. This brush was never known to be the softest, but it was a workhorse of a brush.  My quest continued, and I bought nearly every synthetic brush that had a similar size and shape to the 217 that I could find. My go-to brush for blending has been the Bdellium Tools 776.  They used to only sell this brush in animal hair, until I reached out to them and asked them why they didn't make a synthetic version when they sold so many other wonderful synthetic brushes. They listened to their customer and quickly started producing and selling a synthetic version of the 776, which I own multiples of. I still love and use this brush.  However in December, MAC Cosmetics changed their famous 217 brush, along with many others to synthetic hair. Someone close to me purchased a couple, along with the 239s for me as a gift.  The bristles are silky soft, and this brush has absolutely changed my eyeshadow game. I do not personally shop at MAC because they are not a cruelty free brand.  However, I am very happy to have these synthetic eyeshadow brushes in my collection now.  If we want to see other brands switch from animal hair brushes to synthetic, I believe that we must vote with our wallets.  I did reach out to MAC to thank them for switching from animal hair bristles to synthetic, and I will likely buy more of these in the future. I want to encourage brands to continue to make the right choice. 

I find it somewhat ironic that those who used to buy the 217 are used to the version with animal hair, and are now on a quest to find animal hair brushes from other brands to replace the MAC versions they were used to. I can honestly say I know how they feel, because it used to be very hard for me to find synthetic versions of the animal hair brushes I wanted. I personally never used the animal hair versions of any of MAC's brushes so my only basis for comparison is the other synthetic brands in my collection.  

In 2012, I put together a blog post containing five makeup brushes that I think everyone should own.  Today, I have updated this list for you. 

As with my original post in 2012, I am not saying that you need to buy these exact brushes.  However, these types of brushes (style) are absolutely essential for me. In addition to loving the above brush types, these five are the current brushes that I use nearly every single day. From left to right they are; a brush to apply eyeshadow to the lid, a blending brush, a pencil brush, a smaller face brush for applying blush and/or highlighter, a larger powder brush for the face.  I recommend these brushes to anyone looking for quality makeup brushes for personal or professional use.

The next five brush styles I recommend are below:

Above (left to right): Real Techniques #303 Contour Brush, Crown Brushes small detail brush*, Kabuki brushes from Real Techniques and Everyday Minerals, Kelley Quan Synthetic Black Mink Oval Flat, Furless Must Have Stippling Brush

The Crown Brush detail brush above is from a set of brushes I purchased a while ago. I actually hated the set, but love this one brush from it. I am unsure if it is sold separately, but this style is easy to find. The Real Techniques Detailer Brush from their Core Collection is another great option (not pictured). 

There are many other brush types, styles and brands that I recommend.  Below are a number of my personal favorites.


Above: Larger blending brush for blending eyeshadow and/or applying highlighter - Zoeva 227/Soft Definer vegan, and Furless Bronze Blending Brush

Originally the Furless Blending Brush came as a free gift with purchase. It was not available on their site for purchase. I loved it so much, that I reached out to the company and asked them to please offer it individually for sale. They now carry it on there site for everyone to buy and enjoy!

Above: Everyone needs a good flat eyeshadow brush to apply shadow to the lid. Wet n Wild, Everyday Minerals, Cozzette D225, Urban Decay Pro Medium Eyeshadow Brush

Above: These are some of my absolute favorite face brushes - Kelley Quan Synthetic Blue Squirrel Tapered Brush - Large #22 (ideal for buffing the skin after applying powder, I own multiples of this brush), Crown Brushes brush I use for concealing, Sigma Tapered Face F25, Furless Black Beauty Powder Brush, Cozzette S130

Do I still use some of the favorites from my 2012 post?  YES! I actually still use most of them.  As I've added to my collection, I've gotten new favorites, but I take good care of my brushes and use a lot of different brands. I go through many brushes each week, and keep multiples on hand of favorites, but reach for any number of brushes in my collection depending on the look I'm creating, and the best brush for a particular job. 

I have added a large number of Sigma makeup brushes to my collection over the years, and many of the brushes I own from this brand have become favorites.  You may also notice that some of the brushes I have are from brands that do not sell cruelty-free makeup.  However, all of the brushes pictured in this post are made with 100% synthetic bristles.  

I hope you enjoyed this look at my favorite makeup brushes.  Please let me know what your favorites are in the comments below!

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