Makeup Brush Sets Can Be Hit-or-Miss, But Reviews Say These 13 Are Always "Hit"


(Image credit: @tobimakeup)

I'm not the only one who religiously reads reviews before making a purchase, right? TBH, reviews often push me to smash the order button, but they can also stop me in my tracks completely if they aren't looking so positive. One type of item I always scroll through the reviews on before buying is a makeup brush. Sure, I get a lot of recs from celebrity makeup artists as well, but to make a thoroughly educated purchase, it's a good idea to get a well-rounded perspective. That's why I've done both this time around. 

The arsenals of celebrity makeup artists are always filled with the best foundations, primers, eye shadow palettes, and, of course, brushes. Each artist has their own unique taste and preferences when it comes to brushes, and they know best because, well, they're the ones who use them the most. Not only did I take a peek at what brushes they'd personally give to their friends this holiday season, but I also made sure the brush sets they chose were a hit with shoppers, too.

For their best-rated picks (that are also holiday-gift ready), keep scrolling. The sets below are always a hit—with both makeup artists and buyers.


(Image credit: @glossipgirl)

Best Overall: Sigma Beauty Essential Travel Brush Set

Best Affordable: Real Techniques Makeup Brush & Sponge Set

Sonia G. Pro Eye Set

My Makeup Brushes Capri Vegan Brush Set

Morphe x Ariel Signature Face 5-Piece Brush Set

E.l.f. Cosmetics 19 Piece Brush Collection

Colourpop Ultimate Brush Roll

It Cosmetics Your Superheroes Full-Size Travel Makeup Brush Set

Sephora Collection Complete Brush Set

Artis Black Bag Bundle 4

Zoreya 15-Piece Makeup Brush Set

Ducare 27-Piece Professional Makeup Brush Set

BS-Mall 14-Piece Makeup Brush Set

What to Look for in a Makeup Brush Set

Everyone's preferences are different when it comes to makeup brushes. The first thing you'll want to look for is the type of bristles your brush set has. You can opt for natural hair brushes (made from animal hair) or synthetic-bristle brushes. This is something important to pay attention to, especially if you're vegan and prefer not to use real animal hair in your brushes. Natural hair brushes are better for powder- or talc-based products like setting powder or blush, while synthetic brushes are better for cream or liquid products like foundation and concealer. Synthetic brushes are also denser and provide more of an even application because they don't have pores in the strands like natural hair brushes do. Synthetic brushes also tend to be easier to clean product out of for this same reason.

In terms of what type of brushes your makeup brush set should have, we recommend having at least the basics—a foundation brush, concealer brush, two eye shadow brushes (one for blending and one flat brush for lid application), and a blush brush. Of course, your set can include more if you like creating more intricate looks, but these five basics will always get the job done. 

Shawna Hudson
Associate Beauty Editor

Shawna Hudson has worked in editorial for over six years, with experience covering entertainment, fashion, culture, celebrities, and her favorite topic of all, beauty. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton, with a degree in journalism and has written for other publications such as Bustle, The Zoe Report, Byrdie, Elite Daily, Mane Addicts, and more. She is currently an associate beauty editor at Who What Wear and hopes to continue feeding her (completely out-of-control) beauty obsession as long as she can. Stay up to date on her latest finds on Instagram @shawnasimonee.