Like many of us my early makeup collection started with a stolen eyeshadow and brush from my mother. And like many of us, as I grew up makeup brushes did not seem as crucial as they really are. Two or three poor quality flat brushes were all I had and it was not until I moved away from the eyeliner life and embraced the eyeshadow world with open arms that I realised their importance. Over the past few years, my eyeshadow brush collection has suffered a lot of declutters and has had many additions. As they say a workman is only as good as his tools and only through a lot of trial and error did I find the brushes with the right design, shape and quality that aid me in achieving a well blended, clean eyeshadow look.
Today I am presenting you with the brushes I reach for every day. I find these to be my absolute essentials and all you need to achieve any look as well as a great place to start if you are looking at investing into some tools. You do not need to purchase these exact products, even though they are great, however even a variation on these will be of great help in applying your eyeshadow seamlessly.
This brush is a great option for blending out eyeshadow. It is wonderful for adding diffused colour to the crease as a transition shade, or for blending out colour you have applied to the lid. As the brush is shorter than your average blending blush, I feel that I can get quite precise application and blending without ending up with colour all the way up to my brows.
It is of great quality, very soft but firm and has not lost shape or quality due to cleaning. It is cruelty free, with exclusive synthetic, antimicrobial fibers engineered to better hold, apply and blend product.
Also in the blending family, this Zoeva brush is less fluffy and more domed, fantastic at diffusing edges while depositing more targeted pigment in the inner or outer corner of the eye. As it is more tightly packed and less floppy, it does a great job of diffusing shadow edges without much effort, creating a soft and natural look without harsh lines.
This brush features a blend of natural-synthetic hair which isn’t great as it limits it to use with powder products only. I have used it to blend out cream shadow and it still performs, but it’s not ideal. The natural and synthetic bristles also react differently to water, so you may need to be careful with reshaping it once washed. I have an open spot in my collection for a quality synthetic alternative to this brush.
The flat, oval shaped Zoeva 227v Soft Definer is great at achieving soft transitions and softened edges. As it is made with pure synthetic hair, it is designed for use with both cream and powder eyeshadow, having the ability to lay down colour for a well blended, but defined look.
The brush is very soft and of great quality, maintaining shape and softness through repeated washes. Definitely prefer the synthetic bristles from Zoeva to the natural blend found in #223.
This full, round shaped brush is my favourite for a wash of colour all over the lid due to its size. It easily picks up and deposits product, seamlessly blending it out. This is a standout from Real Techniques, from their Bold Metals range. I find their main range quite mediocre, especially since their single brushes are priced at the same level as Sigma and Zoeva, however some of the limited edition ranges that come out are great quality.
This brush is made with soft synthetic bristles. The handle is weighted, which feels very luxurious and comfortable, aiding with brush control during application.
I have to say, the tiny crease blender from Morphe is a bit of a life changer. I have deep set eyes with slightly hooded eyelids, so finding a brush that can help me work around that has been a challenge. This brush has filled that spot for me. It is flexible but quite small and precise, making it perfect for more detailed work, such as blending a darker shadow into the outer corner and crease or adding some colour to the upper or bottom lashline.
Made with synthetic bristles, it has lasted washes very well. The quality of Morphe brushes has surprised me, especially for the price. Definitely not quite to the standard of Sigma or Zoeva, but for someone looking for a more affordable alternative they are great.
For years I just couldn’t understand how to use flat shadow brushes, but now they are an integral part of my routine. Used with cream or powder shadows, they help with precise application and packing pigment in areas in which simply using the finger will not do. Quite a basic brush, but a necessary one.
Made for use with gel and cream liners, this brush is quite essential not only in that department, but also with eyeshadow and brow product. I have three of these brushes, one for each way I like to use them, which is reasonable with a $4 brush. I use this for gel liner, for lining my top lash line with eyeshadow for a softer effect, as well as for filling in my brows. It is very small and sharp, with a lot of structure, making it a great little tool.