Our Top Pick
– Tom Ford
Best Luxury Brand
– Sonia Kashuk
Best on a Budget
If youâ€™re a makeup enthusiast, you know that the best makeup brushes can give your daily routine an invaluable precision boost. A well-designed brush will have soft, springy bristles that hold their shape well â€” allowing you to apply just the right amount of product â€” plus a comfortable handle that lets you adjust your grip from the tight control of applying eyeliner to the looser application of blush or finishing powder.
For anyone looking to build up a collection of reliable brushes for daily use, we loved the quality of the Sephora Collection ($20-$40 per brush). Their slim, tapered handles are easy to grip, and the brushes deposit makeup smoothly and evenly, keeping their shape well with minimal shedding post-wash. We also appreciated the sheer range of Sephora’s offerings, from its essential brush collection to sparkly holiday gift sets and collaborations with major makeup names like Hakuhodo. Whether youâ€™re collecting go-to brushes for your personal routine, or hunting for the perfect gift for a makeup-loving friend, Sephora has you covered.
We were blown away by Tom Ford’s luxurious brushes ($47-$115). Though pricey, their quality was mesmerizing. The brushes have extremely soft, dense bristles and perfectly balanced mahogany handles that allowed for a level of control less expensive brushes just couldn’t replicate. Besides applying your makeup flawlessly, the brushes are beautiful enough to just display on your vanity, thanks to deep red-brown handles, gold metal ferrules, and white bristles. We didn’t want to part with them.
If youâ€™re a newcomer to makeup and aren’t ready to spend a lot, or if you just want decent brushes without bleeding your pocketbook dry, we’d recommend Sonia Kashuk ($2-$20 per brush). During testing, these brushes beat out more expensive contenders like MAC thanks to their soft, full bristles, although some of our testers disliked Sonia Kashukâ€™s handles, which have bulbous curves that make it hard to control exactly where you grip each brush. Sonia Kashuk does stands out for being cruelty-free â€” if animal testing is a no-go for you, this brand has historically taken a strong stance against it. (We dig into the details of what “cruelty-free” actually means below.)
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