The 7 Best Makeup Brushes of 2023

The 7 Best Makeup Brushes of 2023

Whether you’re a celebrity makeup artist in the making or just want to the perfect everyday look, the right makeup brush can make all the difference. There are plenty of different makeup brushes for everything from bronzer and highlighter to liquid foundation — we even have spoolies for mascara with extra soft bristles and eyebrow brushes for achieving the perfect arch.

The right type of makeup brush will depend on the makeup look you’re trying to achieve, and the amount of makeup application you’re after. You may also want to consider the other types of applicators in your makeup kit, like beauty blenders, so there’s no overlapping when picking out the makeup tool for your kit.

The best brushes you add to your makeup kit may vary, depending on the type of makeup you do and the products you use. For instance, you may use larger, fluffier brushes for applying setting powder, blush, or bronzer, whereas highlighter brushes are wide and fan-shaped, and lip brushes are small and designed for details.

Avenue B is here to help you find the perfect products, whether you’re an expert makeup artist or a beginner just getting started on your makeup journey. When the time comes to create the next makeup routine, begin creating a makeup kit that works for all your needs, including the face brushes you can rely on.

1. e.l.f. Contouring Brush for Sculpting

Contouring has been growing in popularity in recent years, partly due to the rise of online makeup artists on TikTok and other social media platforms. It’s a remarkable skill to utilize during the makeup application process, and you want to ensure you have the right brush for the job.

Contouring is like the Photoshop of real life, only without the software. It adds lines and dimensions, slims down where you wish, and turns those cheekbones into architectural wonders. This isn't just painting your face; it's sculpting a masterpiece.

You've got options — cream, liquid, sticks. Research your contour as thoroughly as you'd stalk your favorite celebrity's latest style. When it comes to the application, allow us to introduce e.l.f. Contouring Brush for Sculpting, a short and stout beauty.

The hair of the brush is densely packed together, which makes it ideal for achieving the precision application of contour you’re after, and the brush is cruelty-free and made entirely without animal hair.

If you’re looking for fuller coverage with your e.l.f. Contouring Brush for Sculpting, you’ll apply the product to the top of the brush. When you utilize the sides of the brush, you’ll be able to achieve a lighter, more natural final look.

2. e.l.f. Smoky Eye Brush Kit for Shadow

Another e.l.f. Cosmetics brush product you won’t want to miss is the e.l.f. Smoky Eye Brush Kit — what’s better than a smokey eye look? The smokey eye is a classic makeup style that has been around since at least the 1920s. 

The origin of the look is largely credited to Hollywood star Marlene Dietrich, who supposedly used soot and Vaseline (yes, really) to achieve the smokey look and set the stage for a million smokey eyes to follow. In the 1990s, the style was perfected and established by the artist who worked for Tom Ford, Linda Cantello. 

At the time, the look went totally against the polished, perfect style and portrayed lived-in, dance-ready, and out-on-the-town, thanks to the smudgy, in-motion application style. It’s easy to see why makeup aficionados have fallen in love with this makeup look for generations. 

It transcends time and holds an inherent sensuality and allure that continues to reign even in the era of modern makeup trends. It’s also easy to customize and stylize to fit your preference, so you can craft a smokey eye look that feels like your own.

It’s especially easy to do so when you’re using the e.l.f. Smoky Eye Brush Kit. It is designed specifically to help makeup enthusiasts achieve the perfect smokey eye style for the next night out on the town. 

The makeup brush set comes with five eyeshadow brushes, the eyeshadow C brush, the buffing or blending brush, the small angled brush, the small precision brush, and the fluffy eye blender brush. This product is so useful for distributing pigment and achieving that look you love that it was named a 2019 Glamour Beauty Award winner.

To begin using this product, you’ll want to apply a layer of base shadow to your lid. Then take a darker color and shade over the entire lid in that color until you reach the crease of the eye. Finally, apply a darker shadow along the lash lines, and begin the blurring and shading out processes.

Like all of their products, the e.l.f. Smoky Eye Brush Kit is vegan and cruelty-free. The brushes are made with soft, synthetic bristles, which means the e.l.f. Smoky Eye Brush Kit is as good at protecting nature as helping you achieve the smokey eye look. 

3. Japonesque Ultimate Blending Brush & Sponge Set for Everything

The Japonesque Ultimate Blending Brush & Sponge Set is useful for applying different creams, liquids, and powder products. When you blend products, you can achieve different looks, like matte, dewy, or natural, meaning you have a wide range of application options and styles.

The Japonesque Ultimate Blending Brush & Sponge Set actually includes three different brushes and a sponge. The powder brush has a big, fluffy brush head with looser bristles and can be used to apply different mineral powders, as well as loose and pressed powder products. 

You’ll also find a concealer brush, which is much shorter and wider, and doesn’t taper the way the powder brush does. The concealer brush is especially useful for covering any shadows or darkness below the eye, as well as any blemishes on the skin's surface. 

The shadow brush is also smaller — it’s wide like the concealer brush, but the head is smaller. As the name indicates, you’ll use a shadow brush for applying any of your favorite eye makeup colors and shimmers.

You’ll also find a sponge, a versatile makeup tool that can be used for full coverage with concealer, powder, and cream foundation and is useful to have in any makeup kit. This sponge is made of latex-free foam, which means it’s a great option for anyone with sensitive skin!

The sponge is also perfectly firm to the touch, allowing for easy control when applying your makeup. Plus, it’s easy to clean, so you don’t have to worry about product buildup that can lead to clogged pores or breakouts.

The brushes are made of cruelty-free synthetic bristles, designed to last for a long time, and hand-cut for maximum softness and ease of application. You never need to worry about streaking or loose bristles when you use the Japonesque Ultimate Blending Brush & Sponge Set. With these brushes, you’ll want to aim to clean them every day or at least every week, depending on the amount of use. 

4. EcoTools Wonder Cover Complexion Foundation Makeup Brush for Coverage

Applying foundation doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can take a few simple steps during the foundation application process to ensure that you achieve a smooth, natural, and comfortable final look every time.

First things first: pick the right shade. Just as a tree changes its leaves with the seasons, your skin tone might shift. Be mindful of this, and don't paint yourself into a corner with the wrong color.

When it comes to application? Think of a gentle breeze, not a flash storm. Use a dabbing, dappling touch, not a furious brushstroke. Start from the heart of your face and move the foundation outwards.

You also want to ensure you match the foundation with the right products for balance and glow, like a reliable blush to add color back to the cheeks and highlighter for a natural final feel. Make sure you set your foundation when you’re finished applying all your products, using either a setting spray or powder, so you don’t have to worry about transfer or product loss.

The EcoTools Wonder Cover Complexion Foundation Makeup Brush is a super useful tool for achieving the foundation look you love, whether you want a light cover or a full face. Foundation brushes are large, wide, and flat, and they get wider as they extend from the handle. The EcoTools Wonder Cover Complexion Foundation Makeup Brush is actually made up of 100,000 bristles, which allows you to achieve the perfect level of coverage with cream or liquid foundations, all while saving time during application.

When you use the EcoTools Wonder Cover Complexion Foundation Makeup Brush, you’ll have an eco-friendly makeup experience, as the handle is made of bamboo, the bristles are synthetic, and the aluminum is recycled. 

The EcoTools Wonder Cover Complexion Foundation Makeup Brush is good for your skin and the environment since the advanced configuration of bristles makes it easy to apply light layers of your favorite vegan foundations. Thanks to the EcoTools Wonder Cover Complexion Foundation Makeup Brush, you can cover any imperfections with ease.

5. Real Techniques Ultra Plush Powder Face & Cheek Makeup Brush for Smoothness

Having a multi-purpose tool in your makeup kit can be useful, especially when traveling. Whether you're jet-setting or just on a tight schedule, the Real Techniques Ultra Plush Powder Face & Cheek Makeup Brush is a multi-purpose marvel you'll never want to leave behind.

The Real Techniques Ultra Plush Powder Face & Cheek Makeup Brush is the ultimate multi-purpose makeup brush you’ve been looking for, as it offers great coverage for all of the products you’ll apply to your cheeks and face. This brush is relatively short and has a large, fluffy head, which is ideal for applying products like powders and mineral face makeup. 

It’s lightweight, easy to use, and feels good — even on sensitive skin. The Real Techniques Ultra Plush Powder Face & Cheek Makeup Brush helps you achieve a stunning matte finish and is made with tapered bristles, which allow for easy blending and complete coverage of seams or lines.

If you’re searching for a makeup brush that’s as good for the environment as it is for your skin, the Real Techniques Ultra Plush Powder Face & Cheek Makeup Brush should be a top contender. It’s vegan, cruelty-free, and made with clean ingredients, and it even boasts sustainable packaging… aka, taking care of your skin and Mother Nature is easy.

6. Wet n Wild Flat Top Brush for Flawless Comfort

Meet the Wet n Wild Flat Top Brush, with its soft pink bristles and a no-nonsense name that gets right to the point. It's more than just a brush; it's a multifaceted tool with a flair for style.

The brush gracefully tapers off towards the handle, promising a full-coverage experience thanks to densely packed bristles. This dense packing of bristles makes it easier for them to pick up and cling to foundation, and gives you more control over the application process. Whether you prefer powder or liquid foundation, it can get the job done, and you’ll enjoy using it. 

The Polymax fibers are designed to mimic the feel of real hair, which makes this a soft and comfortable option for individuals with sensitive skin or skin prone to irritation. It’s also cruelty-free, gluten-free, and vegan, so you can look good and feel good about how you got there.

This brush is ultimately designed to help you achieve the smooth application every time, which means a flawless, glowing look that you can use as a canvas for your favorite highlighters, blushes, and smokey eye styles. Not only is it soft, but it blends your favorite products easily and won’t leave any smudges or seams behind during the application process. It's just as versatile as it is reliable, equally suited to the hands of a makeup maestro or someone just starting their beauty journey.

The Wet n Wild Flat Top Brush is a truly all-purpose powder brush. While it’s designed mostly for different types of liquid and powder foundations, it can be used for all your favorite powders, including blush, highlighter, and even setting powder. 

7. e.l.f. Angled Blush Brush for Natural Beauty

We have a lot of great options for brushes that offer coverage and complexion support, but what about a brush that helps to add color back to your cheeks? The Angled Blush Brush from e.l.f. may be just the brush for you for blush and color control, and it’s easy to fall in love with this brush from the very first use.

There are many ways to achieve the perfect blush application, depending on how much color you like and how you plan to contour your face. With the Angled Blush Brush, however, you can simply allow the brush to guide you with its natural shape, which makes it easy to get that effortlessly sculpted look every time. 

All you have to do is start at the apple of the cheek and gently blend the blush or color backward to the ear. When applying blush, small movements in circles can ensure easy coverage and help you achieve a more natural and organic look that elevates your beauty.

There are many reasons to consider the Angled Blush Brush when it comes to your makeup application. Like all of the e.l.f. products we carry here at Avenue B, the Angled Blush Brush is vegan and cruelty-free, thanks to its makeup of synthetic bristles. 

The synthetic bristles actually make the brush better since they conform to the shape of the face with every application, so you can get your brush right where you want it most. You can even use this brush for other products, like bronzers and highlighters, and it works well for powder and liquid blushes. See how this precisely cut brush can help you achieve the ultimate celebrity makeup look when you try it out yourself. 

Find the Best Makeup Brushes for the Year at Avenue B

Like any artist or craftsperson, makeup enthusiasts need the right tools — and one of the most important tools any makeup lover has is the perfect brush. 

Makeup brushes may be a simple, humble tool, but without them, we can’t apply our favorite foundations, concealers, blushes, highlighters, or setting powders effectively. 

That’s where Avenue B can help. We carry a wide collection of different makeup sponges and brushes that perform different tasks, making your makeup journey that much easier.

When the time comes to elevate your makeup routine and pick out the high-quality products for your skincare needs, look no further than Avenue B. Take our skincare quiz to get started on your journey, and pick out the best makeup brush for the next great look.

Sources:

Contouring Is Back. It’s Not What You Remember. | The New York Times

The Face; Brush with Greatness | The New York Times

Dark Circles Under The Eyes: Causes & Treatments | Cleveland Clinic

7 eco-friendly ways to improve your beauty routine | USA Today

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