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 ELITE MIRROR OVAL 10

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 EYESHADOW BRUSHES

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!


*some affiliate links in use

Anastasia Pro Brushes – you don’t know what you are missing

Anastasia Pro Brushes A10, A13, A6

Anastasia Pro Brushes A10, A13, A6

There is nothing better than having amazing eyeshadow brushes in my opinion. I’m a confessed “brushaholic” and I’m not ashamed to admit that. When Anastasia Beverly Hills told me about their Pro Brushes you better believe I was all over them. I graciously thanked them and now I’m thankfully using them.                                           samples

Anastasia Pro Brushes (from top) A10, A6, A13

Anastasia Pro Brushes (from top) A10, A6, A13

Anastasia Beverly Hills is a brand that’s famous because of creator Anastasia Soare’s incredible skills as a eyebrow specialist. Her first items, the ones that brought her fame, were her brow products which are still best sellers. As time passed she spread out into new areas and now Anastasia Beverly Hills is one of the innovative and popular brands that I use.

Anastasia PRO Brushes on the ABH Mario Palette

Anastasia PRO Brushes on the ABH Mario Palette

There are 12 brushes in the PRO collection, only found online at her website. They’ve created other brushes that you can find on Sephora, Ulta, Macy’s, and more but these PRO brushes are phenomenal and worth ordering them from Anastasia Beverly Hills. Without further ado let’s learn about these three brushes so you can go purchase them!

Anastasia Beverly Hills A10

Anastasia Beverly Hills A10

ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS A10 may have the look of MAC’s famous 217 brush but they aren’t the same. ABH is a better brush and that’s saying a lot considering how long I’ve been a fan of the 217.

Anastasia Beverly Hills A10

Anastasia Beverly Hills A10

ABH A10 is called the Diffuser Brush. It’s a fluffy tapered brush made with  premium goat hair. The brush is very soft and has a great amount of give but not so much that you can’t use it for just about everything. It’s recommended to use this for diffusing and shading. I find the A10 to be extremely versatile and use it for both laying down my crease shade and blending it to perfection. At $21 it will make a great extension to your collection. If you don’t have this shape brush you are really missing out!

Anastasia Beverly Hills A13

Anastasia Beverly Hills A13

Anastasia Beverly Hills A13 is their Medium Shader brush ($20). This softly domed brush is a perfect lid brush but you know it’s much more than that. Made of pony hair and blended with synthetic fibers it works very well for smaller eyes too. It’s so beautifully soft and blends pigment perfectly without kicking up powder.

Anastasia Beverly Hills A13

Anastasia Beverly Hills A13

The way I normally apply powder eyeshadow is to put on a lid shade and a brow shade before I apply color in my crease. Even though I can do all three jobs with ABH13, I prefer it for my lid and browbone areas. It blends the colors together without a line of demarcation and caresses my eye while doing so.

Anastasia Beverly Hills A6

Anastasia Beverly Hills A6

I saved my favorite for last. If I could have only one ABH Pro brush it would be Anastasia Beverly Hills A6 ($21). It’s made of premium synthetic fibers and is good for both wet and dry use. You can see a color differential in the fibers.

Anastasia Beverly Hills A6

Anastasia Beverly Hills A6

ABH Pro 6, Buff and Blend, can be used for both eyes and face. It works well with a highlighter shade but what I love it for is my eyes. This is what I feel I’ve been missing in a blending brush. I love the softness and the feel of it in my crease especially.

Anastasia Beverly Hills PRO Brushes

Anastasia Beverly Hills PRO Brushes

I don’t always buy from an artist’s website since it’s so easy to purchase from larger sites online but with free shipping at a $25 purchase I’ll be visiting there more often. I’m dying for the Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit ($40) so I know that Pro Brush A7, the Large Blender brush, is in my future.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit

Anastasia Beverly Hills Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit

Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Brush A7

Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Brush A7

Are you a brushaholic? What’s your favorite brush?   —  Marcia

*brushes sent for consideration