Makeup Wars – favorite brushes

Each time Makeup Wars comes together to share posts a topic is decided. While we all don’t post on every one, this week’s is definitely going to be a popular one. MAKEUP BRUSHES!!! We are all beauty enthusiasts so favorite brushes is done with ease. For me though it’s narrowing down my huge collection to just the ones I use all the time. I love luv crave brushes and even though I have over 100 the ones I’m sharing today are the ones I use every week if not daily. A few were sent for review but the majority are ones I’ve purchased and would gladly do again.

Favorite makeup brushes
Favorite makeup brushes


Artis Oval 10
Artis Oval 10

When I first reviewed Artis Oval 10 I didn’t realize that it would eventually become my all time favorite face brush. I am madly in lust over this brush. At the time I was using it for powder but I soon learned that it was ideal for foundation. It gives me the smoothest visage ever and makes my skin look airbrushed. With over 250,00 soft bristles it marries the best of two worlds with its softness and refined blending application.

Artis Oval 10 Brush
Artis Oval 10 Brush

At $77 it’s expensive but the cost is small in proportion to my use and adoration. (Available at Saks and the Artis website)


MAC eye brushes 239, 272, 219, 217
MAC eye brushes 239, 272, 219, 217

My first cosmetic job was as a freelancer for MAC Cosmetics. I lived and breathed MAC and that’s when my brush collection really grew. I had (past tense) a pro discount and knew that what I used on clients was what I wanted to use on myself. They are still the eyeshadow brushes that get the most use. It might have something to do with owning duplicates of them – ahem. MAC’s eye brushes all start with the number 2 in their numbering system.

MAC 242 is my favorite since it does just about everything – lays down color, blends shadows, the tip can be used with liner, and is great with both soft colors and more intense ones.

MAC 239
MAC 239

MAC 272 sadly has been discontinued – I don’t know why though since the curve makes it great for the browbone area as well as the lid. It works the same as the 239 but it has the great angle to it.

MAC 217 was always my favorite blending brush but unfortunately the newer ones are bigger and not up to the original. I still love it though and use mine constantly. I’m sure I’ll wear them out at some point.

MAC 217
MAC 217

MAC 219 is my favorite pencil brush. Shockingly I only own 1 of these but I’d happily buy another.

MAC 219
MAC 219

The MAC brushes aren’t enough to keep me satisfied, sort of like Lay’s Potato Chips, I can’t stop at one.

BEAUTY JUNKEES MINI KABUKI SET are brushes that you just can’t beat. Fabulous for eyeshadows and even better for concealer. I pretty much use these interchangeably. At $14.97 this is affordable luxury.

Beauty Junkees Mini Kabuki Set (Eye Makeup Brushes: 5 pc Precision Brush Set)
Beauty Junkees Mini Kabuki Set (Eye Makeup Brushes: 5 pc Precision Brush Set)
Favorite eye brushes: Shu Umera 10, Make Up For Ever 218, Anastasia A6, Cinema Secrets 12, Smashbox 4
Favorite eye brushes: Shu Uemera 10, Make Up For Ever 218, Anastasia A6, Cinema Secrets 12, Smashbox 4

5 other brushes that get a lot of use include the Shu Uemera 10, made of Kolinsky/Sable. It’s an extreme luxury at $95 but it’s worth it if you have the money.

Make Up For Ever 218 Medium Blender Brush ($25) is great with powder and cream shadows. I use it for blending as well as application.

Make Up For Ever 218
Make Up For Ever 218

Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro A6 is my newest brush (reviewed here) and it’s quickly became one of my favorites. Of the three brushes I received from them I notice that I’m reaching for A6 the most. I love it as a firm blending brush.

Anastasia Beverly Hills A6
Anastasia Beverly Hills A6

Smashbox 4 was one of my first highend cosmetic brush purchases. I don’t think you can find this anymore which is a shame. It was called a concealer brush but I love it as a cream eyeshadow brush. Why do brands discontinue their best products?

Eyebrow brushes are my newest obsession and my two favorites are from IT Cosmetics and Full Brow. IT Cosmetics Build a Brow Brush 12 is unique because of the bristles. They are of different lengths so they really reach into your brows to deposit color. It works especially well with a cream brow product. Full Brow is perfect for powders. It just seems to apply the powder more easily and evenly.

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Build A Brow Brush #12 and Full Brow eyebrow brush
IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Build A Brow Brush #12 and Full Brow eyebrow brush
IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Build A Brow Brush #12 and Full Brow eyebrow brush
IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Build A Brow Brush #12 and Full Brow eyebrow brush

MAC CHEEK BRUSHES: There are two MAC Cheek brushes that I use all the time. For blush I like the large angled MAC 168. Some blush brushes are so big that I’d end up with blush all over so a smaller size is my jam. The other is MAC 165, I’ll use it for blush and it’s wonderful for highlighting and contour. Sadly it was an LE brush but the Tapered Face Brush 138 would do the same job though it’s bigger.

MAC 168 and 165
MAC 168 and 165

Even though I could go on forever I’ll stop with 3 of my favorite face brushes.

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder No. 8, Japonesque Kabuki, Wayne Goss 00
IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder No. 8, Japonesque Kabuki, Wayne Goss 00

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder brush is the softest, fluffiest brush. I think mine was part of a TSV (which is why you should always pay attention to the TSV!!). I love IT’s brushes and this one is a great example of what cruelty free brushes are all about.

Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder brush
Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder brush

The Japonesque Kabuki is long discontinued. It’s similar to Nars Yachiyo Kabuki though it was less expensive. It’s not the softest brush but it’s wonderful still for cream blush. It picks up the color well and diffuses it so my cheeks are softly blushing. japonesqueWayne Goss 00 is now only available as a duo – one black, one white. I bought it in a preorder and was able to buy just the one. Go find a friend to split this duo with! This is what I expected of all my Wayne Goss brushes. This is perfection in the way it applies any powders as it just hugs my face and feels like a baby bunny. I’d use it for foundation if I didn’t have the Artis.

While I really haven’t given you many wallet friendly brushes I personally think that brushes are an investment and that they are often worth the extra money. I’m sure if I were first beginning I’d look at ELF, EcoTools, Beauty Junkees, and Real Techniques to shore up my collection. But my shares today are my best and brightest.  What brushes make you stand up and applaud?  —  Marcia

Let’s go brush shopping with Makeup Wars!

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  1. Nancy | 10th Apr 17

    I still haven’t tried Artist, but with as many makeup brushes as I have, I always feel guilty about buying more. I share the love with the MAC 217–not a day goes by that I don’t use it!

  2. Lola Seicento | 10th Apr 17

    Wow, I see so many brushes that I don’t have, and that I want! I had a feeling that we would both feature our beloved Artis Oval 10!

  3. Kelly Logan Gould | 10th Apr 17

    that FULLBROW brush is my go to brow brush!!!

  4. Phyrra | 10th Apr 17

    Those It Cosmetics brushes are great!

  5. Brooke Pakulski | 10th Apr 17

    MAC brushes are my OG! I still love the 239 the best for shadows!

  6. Sandy P | 10th Apr 17

    Love my IT brushes and also the mini Kabuki set. The oval brushes have peaked my curiosity though.

  7. Kathryne | 11th Apr 17

    I should have bought that oval brush you featured and didn’t settle for fluenta oval 70 brush because the latter didn’t give meet my expectations. I love Beauty Junkees too, very affordable without compromising quality

  8. Erika | 11th Apr 17

    I am loving this series. As a brush junkie my wish list is growing and I want more, more more! lol I need to break down and buy a Goss brush, as some point. I admit, I’m not his biggest fan and I think that is colouring my perception of his brush brand and holding me back.

  9. Brittany | 11th Apr 17

    You can never go wrong with MAC brushes. They were some of my first and still some of my best brushes. But that Artis? I think I need to splurge on that baby. It looks so luxurious!

  10. Bailey | 12th Apr 17

    Brushes are a girl’s best friend! I didn’t know the 217 had changed, but I’ve got four in my collection so I should be alright (for the time being…)

  11. Never Say Die Beauty | 14th Apr 17

    I am definitely lusting after all the Artis brushes. I wish they were sold someplace where there was even an occasional sale, but I don’t think they are. I am so dying to get one for foundation. I’d also like to try some Wayne Goss one of these days. In the meantime, I’ll be satisfied with my Beauty Junkees, IT Cosmetics and even my Sonia Kaschuk brushes.

  12. Kristi V BeginNails | 14th Apr 17

    I’m so behind the times when it comes to brushes. I just got for Christmas my first set of Sigma brushes. 🙂 I got a face set & a eye set. The only other brushes I had before that were Sephora brand ones….don’t judge me! LOL

  13. Cindy (Prime Beauty) | 14th Apr 17

    I love my IT Cosmetics & MUFE brushes, they are so soft and perform so well!

  14. The Jedi Wife | 15th Apr 17

    The Artis brush sounds amazing! I’ve not been loving my blender and my foundation brush is not winning me over. I don’t mind a hefty price tag for something that works and will get a lot of use!

  15. Judy | 15th Apr 17

    I share your love for MAC 219! I really like IT’s brushes, I reach for them a lot.

  16. Norah | 16th Apr 17

    You got some great brushes! I agree that some of the discontinued MAC brushes were superb, so hold on to your stash.

  17. Lacquerexpression | 17th Apr 17

    Great post! I’m starting to get back into makeup and I Currently have lots of Shephora and Bare mineral brushes.

  18. Naked Without Polish | 17th Apr 17

    I’ve tried to understand the oval type brushes. I’m not a make up wearer so maybe it is just difficult for me to understand.

  19. Nikki | 17th Apr 17

    The Full Brow brush is also my go to Brow brush. I’ve been pretty much exclusively using IT Cosmetics brushes with a few Anastasia Beverly Hills Brushes mixed in there.

  20. Painted Fingertips | 18th Apr 17

    I definitely don’t have enough brushes! I try to make just a couple work for everything.

  21. Ehmkay nails | 18th Apr 17

    So many brushes! I don’t think I need that many ahah

  22. Anastasia | 20th Apr 17

    I can’t live without my Artis Oval 10, it’s the best foundation brush I’ve ever used hands down.

  23. Stephanie Louise Telford | 20th Apr 17

    Some awesome picks here!

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