These Makeup Brush Sets Will Make You Stop Blending With Sponges and Fingers Forever

by Sidney Burds

These Makeup Brush Sets Will Make You Stop Blending With Sponges and Fingers Forever
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Makeup blending: It’s a skill that’s an integral part of your makeup routine. No matter how pigmented your products, how well matched your foundation is to your skin tone, if the application is flawed it can all go wrong real quick.


We’ve all tried sponges that soak up our expensive formulas, and using one’s fingertips is time consuming and messy. Makeup is an art form, so it only makes sense that the best way to apply with precision and blend to perfection is with a brush.


Rather than stare down the brush section at the beauty counter with awe and more than a little confusion, we’ve found the best makeup brush sets for covering your makeup needs and developing your skills.


Scroll below for our favorite options, and don’t forget us when you’re a famous beauty blogger.


Makeup brushes flinging powder in the air



1 of 12 Image Credits: Sephora

Artis Elite Mirror Five Brush Set


These aren't your grandma's makeup brushes. If you're like me and prefer a full makeup look, but want it to blend with your skin in a pinch, these are the brushes for you. The dense bristles only need a light amount of pressure to blend makeup into your skin. The handle design mimics the way the pad of your fingertips move across your face. These brushes will blend so well, you'll have a little extra time to relax during your typical morning rush.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
This was my first introduction to Artis - the set of 5 brushes. It was gifted to me by my mother for the holidays and it honestly changed my makeup routine. I'm a professional MUA and these brushes allow me to achieve the results I want in record time without working so hard to have the makeup look fresh, blended. I use them on myself and clients and they are TO DIE FOR! Also they require hardly any pressure and are super gentle and easy to hold. I highly recommend these.

2 of 12 Image Credits: Target

Best Overall

Sonia Kashuk Essential Collection Complete Eye Makeup Brush Set


Stop using that one brush that came with your most recent Urban Decay eyeshadow palette. It's time to do some adulting and purchase an eyeshadow brush set to cover all your eye makeup needs. From smoky eyes to crisp cat-eyes, this five piece brush set can flawlessly create any eye look. Bonus points for easy-to-grip black metal handles, and the two-toned nylon brushes will look chic in a jar on your vanity.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
These are the softest, most amazing, durable brushes. They all feel and look expensive without breaking the bank.

3 of 12 Image Credits: Ulta

Best for Eye Makeup

Morphe Complexion Crew 5-Piece Face Brush Collection


We've daydreamed about owning one of those at-home airbrush makeup kits. But until we can afford/justify the need for one of those, these Morphe brushes will give you just as good, if not better, results. The Morphe Complexion Collection includes an angled contour brush, diffused powder brush, round buffer brush, highlight blending brush, and a stylish bag to keep it all organized. No more harsh lines or splotchy makeup.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
Amazing! I bought these on a trip when I left all my brushes at home, and my only regret is not buying them sooner! They're so soft, feel good to hold, look great, and they really pick up and spread product! They really cut my makeup routine in half and are AMAZING at blending! They're also really great if you're just starting with makeup and need a basic brush set. I would highly recommend them, they're now a part of my everyday brush set!

4 of 12 Image Credits: Target

Best for Foundation

Real Techniques Make Up Must Have Brush Kit


Dipping your toes into the world of makeup can be scary, but with this makeup brush set by Real Techniques at your side you can do no wrong. This set has it all, a blush brush for blending powder, complexion brush for liquid foundation, deluxe crease blush for eyeshadow, a setting brush for highlight and setting powders, a sponge for liquid or cream formulas. These easy-to-use basics will have you doing makeup like a pro in no time.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
I have become a fan of Real Techniques make up brushes. This set is an incredible value. Four brushes and their great complexion sponge! Every single brush in this kit is one that you will use over and over again. The expert brush is one of the most popular brushes in the real techniques arsenal because it is so versatile. The setting brush is great. There’s even get a blush brush and an eyeshadow brush. All the brushes are comfortable in your hand, they have really nice soft bristles, and they clean very easily. This kit was well thought through. These brushes should last a very long time. They’re worth snapping up.

5 of 12 Image Credits: Ulta

Best for Beginners

Zoeva Opulence Vegan Brush Set


In the early days of makeup brushes, they were often made of animal hair. Over time, it was found that using animal hair was inhumane and did not provide the most consistency. Enter Zoeva's vegan brush set. These professional grade brushes are made of synthetic hair, two-toned, with luxurious deep plum colored handles. They're an elevated experience compared to other brushes. Once you try this set of 10, it will be hard to use anything else.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
Got this from Zoeva direct in the Opulence set box, which must be the loveliest presentation ever. Black, with a Baroque fine art floral decoration. This set is very elegant. Handles are matte burgundy with black ferrules. Bristles are black with white tips. They clean easily and retain their shape. Not fully ashamed to admit, I sometimes use the clean foundation brush on my face, just for the soft sensation. This is a large, complete set, but lots of bang for the buck. The brushes come in a matching burgundy pebble textured leather-like bag. This would be a superb gift for the makeup minded. And I do hope Ulta carries the Opulence complete set for Holiday, because an eye palette and blush/HL trio with these brushes is beyond spectacular. Thanks again, Ulta, for bringing us one of my favorite brands.

6 of 12 Image Credits: Nordstrom

Best Vegan Brushes

Sigma Beauty Essential Kit


Your arms are consistently covered in swatches, you spend hours at the beauty store, and your friends are always asking you for product advice. Yes, makeup junkies, we're talking to you. If you've been there, tried that with half the products at Sephora, these are the brushes you should be using during your product trials. This Sigma Beauty makeup brush set contains 12 professional quality brushes for full-face skilled makeup artistry. It covers every brush need you have for your face, at a quality that is unmatched.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
I treated myself to this set for my birthday about 10 months ago - my first high quality brush set - and I love them. They make my makeup application a pleasure. They feel wonderful and they work beautifully. My most used favorites are the F40, the E60, the E30 and the E40, but I do use them all. I've since added to my collection, most importantly the 3DHD brushes, but this set was a great place to start.

7 of 12 Image Credits: Target

Best for Pros

e.l.f. Bush Collection


Ever get overwhelmed at the makeup brush section at the store, then feel faint at the price of just one brush? Same. If you're unsure of how to use a brush, or want to experiment first before making the splurge, try this e.l.f. makeup brush set that gives you 11 diverse, multi-use brushes for the price of one. It also comes with a neatly organized case with a zipper closure for fuss-free travels.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
I received this as a gift and I am so happy with it! The 11 brush set comes in a zippered grey case so the brushes stay put. Inside, each brush has its own elastic/cloth pouch. There is a bunch of room for extra brushes, or in my case lippies, concealer, etc. I keep this set in my weekend bag...(I travel a lot). The brushes work great, price is great, and I recommend!

8 of 12 Image Credits: Fenty Beauty

Best Budget

Fenty Beauty Artistry Pro Complexion Essentials


We've all been there, quickly slapping makeup on our faces while running late. Then about halfway through our workday we catch a glimpse of ourselves in the mirror and spy a horrible blended edge. Apply and blend your foundation, concealer, setting powder, and highlight in a pinch with Fenty Beauty's pro complexion essential makeup brushes set. These soft and dense brushes will blur our your edges within seconds, no more harsh lines!

What Reviewers Are Saying:
Love love love! Soft with full density, my fave brushes.

9 of 12 Image Credits: Eco Tools

Best for Blending

Eco Tools Airbrush Complexion Kit


As mentioned with the vegan brush set, using animal hair for brushes is a no go. If you want to create a noticeably smooth complexion for yourself without the guilt (or high price tag), this is the brand for you. Eco Tools brushes are cruelty-free, PETA certified, and have handles made of recycled aluminum. Even their packaging is made of post-consumer recycled plastic! So, blend out your makeup with a brush set that works for you and the earth.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
I wasn't expecting that good of quality for the price I paid, but wow. Soooooo happy I bought it! The sponge is amazinggggg and it even comes with a brush holder and sponge holder which I loveeeeee! Great buy for super cheap if you're tight on money & really need some new brushes!

10 of 12 Image Credits: Amazon

Best Cruelty Free

BS-Mall Makeup Brushes 14 Piece Set


Our More readers deserve only the best, and with over 7,000 reviews, averaging 5 and a half stars on this makeup brush set, we think we've found it. It's a 14 piece set that has it all: Five all-over complexion brushes for powder and liquid formulas, five for wide angle and blurred eyeshadow application, and four for precise eye and brow liner. Soft but firm, these brushes are gentle on your skin, and perhaps best of all, you can pick the color of the handles!

What Reviewers Are Saying:
I am a make up brush fanatic! I own Sigma and Sephora and IT Cosmetic brushes, as well as e,l.f. and Real Techniques. I love quality not brand labels. This is one of the best makeup brush sets I own. There are lots of thick soft hairs in the brush that help to create a smooth flawless looking finish. The handle and ferrule are made of nice materials and lend the brushes the perfect balance of weight right where you need it.

11 of 12 Image Credits: Real Techniques


Real Techniques Sculpting Set


Contouring looks more complicated than it really is. If you're looking to highlight your cheekbones and sculpt the high and low points of your face like a beauty blogger, this set will get you there. This three-piece set by Real Techniques has everything you need to apply your contouring products: a wide angled sculpting brush for liquid bronzer, a fan brush for sweeping powder and whisking away excess, and a setting brush for controlled highlights.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
I love Real Technique brushes. Have never felt the need to buy high-end brands as I never faced any problem with these. I have many other RT brushes and love them all. I use this set for highlighting, contouring and powder.

12 of 12 Image Credits: Ulta

Best for Contouring

It Brushes for Ulta Superheroes Full-Size Travel Brush Set


Ladies who are on the go, taking trips, or spending more nights at bae's than their own place, this set will help you keep from sacrificing your beauty routine. Exclusive to Ulta, this IT Cosmetics makeup brush set has six unstoppable brushes for flawless full face makeup. Valued at $100 and priced for half that, it's a steal for not only a travel kit, but one for daily use.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
OK, I'm a brush snob. Ever since discovering how much softer high-quality brushes are vs. drug store brushes, I'll never go back. I especially love IT brushes, and this set did not disappoint. I think the handles are a little shorter than usual, but not enough to make them hard to work with. They pick up pigment great as well. If this set is still around when I need more brushes I'll buy it again. It's well priced compared to other brushes of the same quality.