The Best Makeup Brushes and Brush Sets

By Ellie Child - 1 year ago | Updated
Best makeup brush set

You’ve bought the fancy highlighters, stocked up on contour kits and splurged on the glitzy eyeshadows, now it’s time to complete your kit and truly master your makeup application. The first step? A full set of makeup brushes.

While beauty brush shopping may not be the most exciting of hauls to undertake, it is a necessary step in nailing your makeup routine and finally learning how to get that Kimmy K contour. Whether you’re looking for a brush set on a budget or would rather go pro, our guide to the best make up brushes and brush sets has you covered for style and practicality.

From Morphe makeup brushes to Spectrum Collection, you can find the best makeup brush sets to gift yourself or a loved one this year.

Below, we've listed our go-to brushes, putting forth our save and splurge favourites for each section. This means you can find cheap makeup brushes for when you're on a budget, or indulge in something a little more high-end for when you're wanting to treat yourself.

Best foundation brushes:

Foundation brushes are ideal for efficient and mess-free applications, working particularly well with liquid formulations. We recommend finishing off with a beauty sponge to ensure a streak-free finish!

Scott Barnes #68 Ultimate Foundation Brush

Scott Barnes #68 Ultimate Foundation Brush

£28.33 £30.50 (8% off)

Splurge: Yep, the clue is in the name... The Ultimate Foundation Brush from self-taught makeup guru Scott Barnes can be used for powder, liquid or cream foundation and works with almost all concealers too while also doubling as a multi use tool below the jawline and onto the body, including the neck, chest and shoulders. It's your all round foundation go to.

Real Techniques Foundation Brush

Real Techniques Foundation Brush

£7.15 £8.99 (21% off)

Save: This Real Techniques Foundation Brush combines an innovative design with a tapered brush head to cover all areas evenly, all the while still reaching those smaller and more difficult places such as around the eyes and nose. Better still, it is made using synthetic, antimicrobial fibres for a clean and hygienic finish.

Best eyeshadow brushes:

Eyeshadow brushes arrive in all different shapes and sizes, but today, we're looking at the best all-rounder designs that both apply and blend out your favourite eyeshadows. With that said, we'd also advise checking out our full collection of eyeshadow brushes so you can line, smudge and style your looks too!

Fenty Beauty All-Over Eyeshadow Brush

Fenty Beauty All-Over Eyeshadow Brush

£17.00 £20.00 (15% off)

Splurge: Unleash your inner artistry with a multi-use eyeshadow brush that is both pretty and practical. This application brush is perfect for applying powder and cream formulations whilst also maintaining a fluffy end to blend the pigments out.

Kent Brushes Twelve Angled Eye Contour Brush

Kent Brushes Twelve Angled Eye Contour Brush

£8.10

Save: Shop British with one of our favourite conscious beauty brands, Kent Brushes. This affordable brush uses synthetic bristles that both apply and blend out your favourite eyeshadows for the perfect smoky eye. We love this brush for its professional precision and wallet-friendly price!

Best bronzer brushes:

There's often a lot of confusion between bronzer brushes and contour brushes. These two must-have tools both help to chisel your cheeks and warm up your complexion, but the main difference is between the brush head. Bronzer brushes usually have a more rounded, domed head, whilst contour brushes tend to be slightly more angular.

Laura Mercier Bronzer Brush

Laura Mercier Bronzer Brush

£38.00

Splurge: If you’re the proud owner of the Laura Mercier Matte Bronzing Powder, you’ll want to add this brush to your basket ASAP. This sell-out bronzer brush works in tandem with powder bronzers, using its softer-than-soft bristles to evenly distribute the pigment for a skin-enhancing wash of warmth.

Sigma Beauty F05 Small Contour Brush

Sigma Beauty F05 Small Contour Brush

£15.03

Save: Taking out the effort of bronzing, the Sigma Beauty F05 Small Contour Brush is an easy-to-use brush that is made using responsibly sourced packaging and parts, boasting an easy-to-use design.

Best blusher brushes:

Add a pop of colour to your complexion with a brush that targets the apples of your cheeks. Blusher brushes tend to work particularly well with powder products and can even be used as a blending brush for translucent face powders.

bareMinerals Blooming Blush Brush

bareMinerals Blooming Blush Brush

£17.60

Splurge: Densely packed synthetic fibres work together to pick up both pressed and loose blusher pigments, smoothing them evenly over the apples of your cheeks for a warmer complexion. The brush offers a long shelf life and a domed head that delivers seamless coverage.

L.A. Girl PRO.Brushes 107 Blush Brush

L.A. Girl PRO.Brushes 107 Blush Brush

£7.46

Save: Streamline your contouring routine by introducing this synthetic/natural fibre blush brush from the skilled brush masters at LA Girl. 107 seamlessly deposits colour onto cheeks and blends beautifully for a natural looking finish. The exceptional, high quality, soft synthetic/natural hair provides excellent pickup and payoff for precise application

Best highlighter brushes:

Ah, our favourite step in our beauty routines. Nothing brings us more joy than adding a swish of shimmer to the tops of our cheeks, especially when we have the tools to hand that make the process completely effortless.

bareMinerals Diffused Highlighter Brush

bareMinerals Diffused Highlighter Brush

£17.60

Splurge: Team your go-to highlighter together with your new beauty bestie. This highlighter brush is perfect for blending out all highlighter formats for a soft-focus effect that shows off your best points. Plus, its precision tip means you can apply your glow in all the right places for a controlled, contoured finish.

Bellápierre Cosmetics Fan Brush

Bellápierre Cosmetics Fan Brush

£5.95

Save: The Fan Brush from Bellápierre Cosmetics is an exceptionally soft, versatile brush that can be used for applying bronzer, highlighting, or contouring. With its' fanned bristles, achieve a natural look by gently dusting on colour and with 100% synthetic fibres, it will not shed during makeup application either.

Best brow brushes:

Bushy brows are back and here to stay. Get the brow brushes that ensure a thick 'n' fluffy brow for an easy application that boasts professional-looking results!

Laura Mercier Double Ended Brow Definer Brush

Laura Mercier Double Ended Brow Definer Brush

£19.95

Spend: Double up on the brow-enhancing action with the ultimate 2-in-1 brush from Laura Mercier. This sleek brush contains a ‘sketch’ end which applies pomades to fill our thinner brows, while the ‘intensify’ brush end works in tandem with powders to add dimension and colour intensity.

Kent Brushes Twelve Angled Eyebrow Brush

Kent Brushes Twelve Angled Eyebrow Brush

£6.30

Save: Make room in your makeup bag by shopping this handy, affordable brow enhancer. The precision brush end showcases angular, tapered bristles that apply pomades, waxes and powders, streamlining your journey to the perfect arch.

Best concealer brushes:

Cover up those delicate and hard-to-reach areas around the eyes and nose with a tailored concealer brush that works with you, not against you. Hiding those unwanted impurities has never been so simple.

Hourglass No.8 Large Concealer Brush

Hourglass No.8 Large Concealer Brush

£37.00

Spend: Effortlessly conceal the tell-tale signs of late nights and early starts with the Hourglass No.8 Large Concealer Brush. This all-vegan, cruelty-free brush contains PETA-approved Taklon bristles which are more hygienic and less irritable than traditional animal hair bristles.

Best makeup brush sets:

Sometimes, one just isn't enough. Kit yourself out with a set that contains everything you need for a flawless finish. And besides, nothing looks smarter on your beauty table than a uniform set of brushes!

SOSU by SJ Luxury Brush Collection

SOSU by SJ Luxury Brush Collection

£18.72 £26.95 (31% off)

Discover this ultimate makeup brush collection for the face and eyes. Made of the highest quality synthetic fibres as you'd expect from Sosu by SJ for a flawless make-up finish, this luxury collection allows you to seamlessly and effortlessly apply and blend your favourite cream, powder and liquid formulas.

bareMinerals Face & Eye Brush Trio

bareMinerals Face & Eye Brush Trio

£26.13

This brush trio from bareMinerals features three essential brushes (we're talking powder, blush and eyeshadow), each made with fluffy, synthetic bristles, all are vegan-friendly and fitted with responsibly sourced wooden handles.

Morphe Rose Away 6-Piece Travel Brush Set

Morphe Rose Away 6-Piece Travel Brush Set

£19.79 £26.00 (24% off)

Get your glow to go with these Morphe rose gold brushes for your eyes and face. With super-soft synthetic bristles, these brushes keep your look flawless, while the chic mini handles and sleek travel tubby are perfectly sized to pack for your next getaway.

delilah 8 Piece Brush Collection Set

delilah 8 Piece Brush Collection Set

£147.00

Who said brush kits had to be boring?! This sleek, chic brush kit from delilah contains a mixture of complexion and eye tools that blend out your base products to ensure model-like results, every time.

Once you've kitted yourself out with the best in the business, why not check out our guide on the best way to clean your makeup brushes?

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Ellie Child

Written by Ellie Child

With five years’ experience under her belt, Ellie has worked alongside a range of highly regarded makeup artists, giving her a real insight into what consumers should be spending their money on.

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