Day 2 of Beauty Tools & Essentials: Face Brushes

July 27, 2009

Powder Brushes: I tend to splurge heavily on powder brushes. The most luxurious powder brush I’ve tried is the Trish McEvoy #5, but I find myself using my MAC powder brushes more often. The Laura Mercier Blending Brush is a more coarse brush meant to apply mineral foundation to the face in a circular motion. The MAC #150 and #134 are similar in size, but the #150 is fluffier giving a sheerer application while the #134 is denser and fuller. I also like to use this for highlighting powders.

1. MAC Large Powder Brush #150
2. MAC Large Powder Brush #134
3. Stila Large Powder Brush #8
4. Trish McEvoy Powder Brush #5
5. Trish McEvoy Bronzer Brush #37
6. Laura Mercier Blending Brush

Blush Brushes: Being obsessed with blush, I probably have the most blush brushes out of all the types of tools I own. Most of these I own duplicates of so I don’t have to wash them as often. Some like the MAC #129 are meant for both powder and blush.

1. MAC Powder/Blush Brush #129
2. MAC Blush Brush #116
3. Stila Blush Brush #1
4. Laura Mercier Cheek Colour Brush
5. Shu Uemura Natural Brush #20
6. Trish McEvoy Sheer Blush Brush 2B (revamped version)
7. Trish McEvoy Sheer Blush Brush 2B (older version)

Angled Face Brushes: These are meant to help contour the face. I have yet to master the art of contouring, so I use these for blush and highlighters.

1. MAC #174 (pro, discontinued)
2. MAC Large Angled Contour #168
3. MAC Angled Contour #169
4. Shu Uemura Natural Brush #2oH
5. Trish McEvoy #27A

Foundation or Cream Product Brushes: The oldest brush is the Prescriptives foundation brush which I believe was the first mid-highend/department store line to come out with one. Other companies like Bobbi Brown and MAC followed soon after with their own versions. I have to say that out of all the ones I’ve tried, the Prescriptives foundation brush is still my favorite (has lasted since 1998 when I purchased it). There are several cheek cream blush brushes out there, all of which are too small for me to find functional, so I often use these foundation brushes for cream blush as well.

1. MAC Face Brush #189
2. MAC Foundation Brush #190
3. Chanel Foundation Brush #16
4. Prescriptives Foundation Brush
5. Giorgio Armani Blender Brush
6. Stila Concealer Brush #11
7. MAC Concealer Brush #195

Bronzer, Contour & Highlighting Brushes: In addition to blush, I’m also into bronzer. I have to admit, I don’t love all of these. Whenever I get my makeup done at events, I often get sucked into buying the tools they use and push. My recommendation – definitely go to events, they are a great way to learn new techniques and color combinations. Do some of your own research first about the line by looking at each company website and browse through the products in advance so get an idea of what they have to offer. That way you’ll have a better idea of what to look for, ask to try out, and start a shopping list.

1. Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush (new version)
2. Laura Mercier Bronzer Brush
3. NARS Bronzing Powder Brush
4. Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush (old version)
5. Stila Double Duty Cheek Contour & Blush brush#21

Highlighting Brushes: I cannot live without the MAC Duo Fibre Brush #187 and absolutely love the new Duo Fibre Powder/Blush #131 (released with Color Craft). If you could only have 2 highlighter brushes, these would definitely be the ones I’d pick. Like the concept but not the price? I’ve seen similar brushes at Target for less.

1. MAC Duo Fibre Brush #187
2. MAC Small Duo Fibre Face Brush #188
3. MAC Duo Fibre Powder/Blush #131
4. MAC Tapered Face Brush #138
5. MAC Tapered Cheek & Highlighter Brush #165
6. Trish McEvoy Blending Brush #48
7. Bobbi Brown Face Blender Brush

Short & Kabuki Brushes: I find myself drawn to short brushes because I find them cute and often they are made with super soft materials. The Laura Mercier Face Brush is intended to be used with the Mineral Finishing Powder as well as other powder formulations. I find the handle too short for the size of the bristles making it difficult to hold. The Laura Mercier Mineral Primer Brush has a half moon-shaped head and small handle I find difficult to hold, so I find that I rarely use this one as well.

1. Bobbi Brown Face Brush
2. MAC Small Buffer Brush #183
3. MAC Small Buffer Brush #181
4. Laura Mercier Face Brush
5. Laura Mercier Mineral Primer Brush

Again, if you have any brushes for the face that you love, please share!!!

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  • Farah July 27, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    WOW that is some awesome collection of brushes 🙂

  • em July 27, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    oh god this is the best post ever! I am so jealous of your brush colletion! love all your brushes! the new MAC duo fibre brush looks just amazing! that MAC 174 brish looks like heaven 🙂

  • Catherine July 28, 2009 at 12:26 am

    Wow, so many face brushes! I am so envious of your collection of powder brushes… I totally want to smoosh all of them on my face hahaha. 😀

    I'm currently using almost all EcoTools brushes haha. I have the powder brush, the blush brush, and the mineral set. In the mineral set I like their baby kabuki for foundation, the blush/powder brush for highlighter and the eyeshadow brush for concealer, actually haha. The concealer brush is the only one I don't use. In addition to that I have the MAC HK brushes, and I mostly like the 187SE for stippling on a teensy bit of bronzer (MAC Golden Nectar is quite pigmented) or for using with an all-over powder like MAC's beauty powders.

  • cateyeliner July 28, 2009 at 10:30 am


    You're the BEST Phenomenal post!

    Thanks for doing all the work! I throughly intend to use you're post as a reference for future brush purchases!

    (personally, I'm a big fan of the trish mcavoy brushes) and…i'm sure you knew that there is a dolce and gabanna beauty counter at the saks in beverly hills)

  • Citrine July 29, 2009 at 3:00 am

    Wow, I love reading your posts where you put everything side by side and the fact that your reviews are so clean-cut (looking at your post made me realize how much BS I have.)At this moment I only have a bunch of Stila brushes (love them!) and 3 Sonia Kashuk…But I think I might get a Illamasqua liner brush when they put the whole line in US.

  • cateyeliner July 29, 2009 at 5:53 am


    Forgive me for calling you Sabrina! I'm new here!

    And since we're talking about brushes, I was just at the Dolce and Gabanna counter at the Saks in Beverly Hills and I was told that they have their own line of brushes debuting with the fall collection or with the holiday collection. Either way it should be interesting to see what they do, considering the level of quality of the Dolce and Gabanna Beauty line. I'll have to look at your reviews of the products that you have purchased and see what products we have in common. I havent't really played with any of my D&G hauls, yet..

  • Anonymous July 29, 2009 at 11:24 am

    I really love these comparison posts where the different brands are side-to-side. I'm familiar with several lines of brushes and what types of brushes each line offers; but rarely do we see the different brands together so we can really compare their unique features.


  • Amette September 22, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Oh!! Nice! Face brushes are more important for makeup… I'm just looking for one!! Thanks for the help!!

  • DANA November 9, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    OMG Love this post!! Love how you lay them all out side by side… and you have all of them! Wow… I am so using this as reference… hehehe thanks for posting this up!


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