The 5 Best Makeup Brush Sets

By on November 27, 2013

Often, people don’t pay enough attention to the tools that they use to apply their makeup. Let’s face it: brushes, tweezers and eyebrow pencils are much less exciting to shop for than rich, red lipsticks or sparkling, smoky eye shadows.

However, they are just as important as the cosmetics you use in terms of making the most of your beauty routine. The right brush can make all the difference when it comes to getting that eye shadow shade, cheek flush, eyebrow shape and lip line just right.

It’s also smart to buy your brushes in sets, because you’ll save money big-time. Unless you just need to replace one specific item (such as a powder or blush brush) you’ll get the best deal if you buy a five- or six-piece set, which should contain everything you need, as well as a cool carrying case for your tools. It’s also good to find a brand you like and stick to it. That way, you are using all of the same quality tools for every kind of makeup you apply to your face. Mixing and matching brush brands, depending on their quality, can sometimes produce poor or uneven results when it comes to your final facial makeup look.

Additionally, it’s key to make sure you’re taking care of these tools—the goods one’s aren’t cheap, but if you care for them regularly, they’ll last you a long time (usually up to two years). Washing your brushes weekly is a must in order to avoid irritation, redness and breakouts due to bacteria build up. Especially when it comes to eye makeup brushes, which can easily cause infection if they’re not not clean, and can be especially bothersome if you have sensitive skin.

So in addition to checking out our five favorite makeup brush sets, be sure to pick up a good makeup brush cleanser or learn to how to make a formula of your own.

1. Sephora Collection Tools Of The Trade Brush Set, $62

Sephora’s Tools of the Trade Brush Set contains of eight high-quality, professional-grade brushes. It comes with a cool brush roll, which fits easily in the side pocket of a purse or travel tote, so you can carry around all of your tools with ease. The set contains a powder brush, a small contour brush, a fan brush, a blending eye shadow brush, a precision eye shadow brush, a smudge brush, an angled liner brush and a combo brow brush and comb. It truly has everything you need to put on a proper face, whether you’re on-the-go or getting ready in your own home.

2. Takashi Murakami for Shu Uemura Shu’s Princess Fun-Tasy Mini Brush Set, $69

Shu Uemura’s limited-edition brush set is part of the brand’s 2013 collaboration with contemporary Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. The carrying case is adorned with a beyond adorable, pretty princess design, and the four essential brushes inside—a cheek brush, an eye shadow brush, an eyeliner brush and a lip brush—are all well made. It’s a great gift to give for the holidays, as are the rest of the items in Shu Uemura’s specially designed Christmas collection. If you like them, you should definitely get a jump on these unique beauty goods, as they are all limited-edition creations that will certainly sell out in a flash.

3. The Bobbi Brown Basic Brush Collection, $185

Six state-of-the-art tools are included in this basic brush collection from makeup mastermind Bobbi Brown. You’ll be able to apply your makeup with the precision of a pro with this set, which contains a foundation brush, an eyebrow brush, a face-blender brush, a concealer brush, an eye shadow brush and an eye liner brush. Plus, it comes with a simple case for storing all of your supplies. If Bobbi Brown is one of your favorite makeup brands, then this is the brush set to buy. It’s simple, but incredibly high quality.

4. Elizabeth Arden 5-Piece Brush Set, $30

Since 1910, Elizabeth Arden has been producing quality cosmetics— as well as makeup tools—that millions of women have come to rely on. That big red door holds a lot of clout, which is why this set is on our best-brushes list. In addition to a sturdy black zip-up cosmetics case, the collection includes an all-over eye shadow brush, a combo eyebrow brush and lash comb, a contour eye shadow brush, a eyeliner brush, and a combo face and blush brush.

5. EcoTools Fresh & Flawless 5-Piece Complexion Set, $15


For the eco-conscious beauty connoisseur (and really, shouldn’t we all be one?), the brushes in this set from EcoTools are all 100% cruelty-free, and made with beautiful bamboo handles. The brand is known for their incredibly soft-bristled brushes, which feel like lovely, light tickles when you use to them apply your powder, blush or bronzer. This giftable case contains five essential brushes, all of which feature beautifully designed, recyclable aluminum reinforcements below the bristles. The set includes a flat concealer brush, a buffing concealer brush, a precision foundation brush, a complexion blending brush and a full powder brush. It makes a great gift for a beauty-obsessed loved one—or yourself!