Two of the most frequent questions I am asked are "What brand of brushes do you use?" and "Which ones do you recommend?" I use all MAC brushes and Ive made a collage (in the above photo) of my top choices. I have at least 2 of each in my personal Makeup collection. In my working kit, I have multiples of each, along with some other ones not listed. For the ones I use most, such as the #217, I can have as many as 15 when I go on location for work. After working cosmetic retail in the past, I've tried some of the top brands of brushes. There are some amazing ones out there but the quality and price point for MAC brushes is incomparable to me. I've used them since I first started doing my own makeup in highscool and have since been the only brushes I will purchase.
There are a few reasons I personally love them. First of all, I learned to do my makeup and professional makeup with my MAC brushes. Some of those brushes I bought from my very first purchase 13 years ago, are still in my kit today. In fact, my oldest brushes are my favorite and most used still today. As long as you take propper care of them (see previous post on how to clean your brushes), not only will they last for years, but they will get better with time. Mine have gotten softer and fluffier throughout the years. Before I was a professional makeup artist, I bought them only based off of the results I got from using them. After getting hired at MAC and learning all the details of how they are made and why they work so well, I became a loyal user for life.
MAC brushes are professional quality, handmade from the highest quality of materials. When taken care of, the bristles don't shed on your skin or get left behind in your makeup. There are more bristles per brush than any drugstore brand. One of my personal favorites, is they are cruelty free and don't test products on animals. This is important because who would want a makeup brush from an animal that was harmed or killed?
Im going to list the brushes in my collage from left to right, with a brief description of each.
1. #187 Duo Fibre Face Brush. "A large full circular brush used for lightweight application and blending of face powder or pigments. Used to create soft layers or add textures. Made from a soft blend of goat and synthetic fibres."
2.#188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush. This is basically a smaller version of the #187. I have tons of these and use them for all cream or liquid products on the face, as well as some powder products.
3. #168 Large Angled Contour Brush. "For expert application of cheek contour." I use this for applying bronzer and blush. The super soft bristles make it easy to apply without placing too much product on the skin.
4. #252 Large Shader Brush. "Soft but firm bristles for shading with eyeshadow or emollient based products." I use this one for applying cream products on the eye the majority of the time. Mostly used for applying eyeshadow base (my favorite is MAC Paint or MAC Paintpot).
5. #217 Blending Brush. "For shading or blending of colour or creamy products. This brush has fine, densley packed fibres arranged in an oval shape." I think I own at least 20 of these. I use it for applying eyeshadow, blending eyeshadow, applying concealer, highlighting the skin... It's my favorite brush of all time.
6. #224 Tapered Blending Brush. "For controlled eyeshadow application. This brush has soft fibres which taper to form a medium size dome shape." I have just as many of these as the #217. Typically I keep these in hand to blend out each color of eyeshadow as they are placed. This is essentially like the #217 its just a touch bigger and fluffier. I dont use to this to apply eyeshadow but I do use it for blending the shadow and sometimes with concealer.
7. #266 Small Angle Brush. "For creating sharp, precise lines." This one if perfect for applying eyeliner or filling in brows.
I know brushes can seem pricey and it can be tempting to just go with the cheaper drug store brand, but just consider all the benefits of purchasing professional quality brushes. Yes, you may save half the money on a dupe, but that dupe will definitely have to be replaced in no time. Purchasing a cheaper version multiple times over the course of 10 years will definitely add up to cost more than just going with the better quality brush from the start. I can gurantee you will 100% see and feel the difference of using the better quality. Your skin will thank you when its not itching from low quality bristles that have shed onto your face.