The eyes have it. Now granted, that’s not the original saying, but we’re just switching it up for fun, because we can, and it’s true. Your eyes are the first thing most people notice when they meet you, and you want them to make a bold impression. Eye makeup has to be one of the most fun things to play with, out of all the stuff in your beauty collection. But it’s not enough to have beautiful shadows, liners and brow pencils. Just like a mechanic needs the right tool for the job, you need the best eye brushes for creating all kinds of different looks.
Different types of eyeshadow brushes perform distinctly different functions. The same is true for bristle types, which run the gamut from synthetic to fur. Let’s break it down, so you can pick the best eyeshadow brush set, or group of single brushes, to amp up your eyes for the most dramatic results.
Blending brushes – generally have a narrow, tapered head. These brushes make it easy to sweep color over your entire eyelid, pack color into the crease of your eyelid, as well as taper between colors.
Contour brushes – are most often used to pack darker colors into the crease of your eye, usually several shades darker than the rest of your lid. They make it simple to add dramatic effects to specific areas of the lid.
Defining brushes – are small and usually flat. They can be used to line your eyelid or they can help to define the palette you’ll fill in with other shadows. They’re terrific for creating an outline for wings.
Smudge brushes – these seem self explanatory, just because of their name, but they are a versatile tool that can allow you to blend efficiently from color to color, or to spread highly pigmented shadows and kohl liners above and below the eye without a mess.
Liner brushes – as you’d suspect, are geared toward putting that fine or thick line above and below the lids, but they can also come in handy when you want to touch color into tiny places, fill out your brows or precisely define color. They come with straight or bent handles, and I’d recommend you try both styles to see which is easiest for you to handle.
Synthetic bristles – usually made of nylon, these bristles are obviously animal friendly, but what makes them better than natural hair brushes? Synthetic fibers don’t have any cuticle, so they’re often more efficient for precise application of cream and liquid shadows and liners.
Goat hair bristles – are among the most common fibers for makeup brushes. Goat hair is soft, fluffy and relatively inexpensive, but brush prices don’t necessarily reflect that. You’ll want to do your homework. They have lots of texture, which makes them pick up and spread your shadows beautifully and smoothly.
Pony hair bristles – are cylindrical in shape, as well as having a robust cuticle. They are good for spreading color evenly and tend to be more expensive than goat hair brushes. They keep their shape well if cared for properly.
Squirrel hair bristles – are conically shaped. They are among the more expensive brushes because their fine, pointy tips make detailing so much simpler. Squirrel hair is extremely soft, and is often the choice of professional makeup artists who have a deft hand at using these finer brushes.
So now you have lots of options to think about as you go shopping for your eyeshadow brushes. If you’re new to eyeshadow, or even if you have lots of experience, you can still use some great hacks for making your makeup look like it was done by a real pro. Here’s a great video to get the best from your investment in eyeshadow palettes and brushes.
While you’re getting ready to create your most gorgeous set of eyes, start out by hydrating your lids with a great eye cream. That’s especially important if you’re a bit older, and your eyelids are getting a little crepiness to them. If your lashes are long, but straight, snag an eyelash curler to give them the wow factor. If your lashes are lackluster, start a daily regimen of eyelash growth serum. It really works wonders, and we’ve put a link to the best of them at the bottom of this article. And, if you want to take your look over the top, mink eyelashes can be fun for special occasions, or even everyday wear. Naturally, a couple of coats of mascara will give your eyes a finishing touch that brings it all together. The next time you bat your eyes, you can bet you’ll be noticed. Get started with these Best Eye Brushes 2018.
Best Eyeshadow Brush Sets
1. JAPONESQUE Dual Fiber Eye Brush Set
Why get just one eyeshadow brush when you can get a set of three at such a killer price? This awesome set from JAPONESQUE gives you three beautifully crafted brushes, with perfect bristles to create your desired look. The fluff shadow and crease brushes easily blend and soften shadows. The eye detailer brush makes it simple to define and shade. They help you deftly tuck in color on your eyelids with perfect precision. You can easily add color to the outer corners of the eye, or smudge liner at the lash line for an expert smoky effect.
Crafted with a professional length handles for better control, this eye makeup brush set works well with pressed or loose eye shadows, as well as cream eye shadow products. Because this set is such a reasonably priced option, you can afford to splurge on the JAPONESQUE Pro Smudger Brush or the JAPONESQUE Pro Concealer Brush to fill out your brush set.
Price: $12.11 (5 percent off MSRP)
- Rated 4.7 out of five stars by users
- Dense enough bristles to get highly saturated colors
- Detailer brush is perfect for spot concealing
- Quality at an affordable price
- Plastic handles aren’t quite weighty enough
- Handles are on the short side
- More like a travel set
2. Amazon’s Choice: Lamora Eyeshadow Brush Set
Great for beginners and almost professional eye makeup lovers, this set includes seven professional quality synthetic eye brushes that are perfect for applying, shading and blending products. These synthetic brushes can save you money, because they easily pick up and disperse product without waste. This kit gives you everything you’ll need for all over eye makeup application. It includes eye shadow, eye liner, eye pencil and blending brushes so you’re ready to create the perfect smokey eye or any other look you want. These beautiful brushes have wooden handles, giving them a little more heft in the hand that makes precise shadow application easier. These non-porous brushes are easy to clean and quick to dry. For professional blending and contouring, the Smokey Eye Shadow Contour Kit is also highly rated and the same great price. Lamora’s foundation brushes are another popular choice for a pittance of a price.
Price: $13.95 (65 percent off MSRP)
- Rated 4.8 out of five stars by users
- Amazon’s Choice
- Brush variety makes for easy shadow application and blending
- Nice long wooden handles
- They are on the small side
- Brush fibers were too soft for some
- Brushes are less dense than more expensive brands
- Some packaging issues reported
3. Best Inexpensive Makeup Brushes: Qivange 12 Piece Eyeshadow Brush Set
Packaged in a pretty pouch, you’ll find the most ten of the most essential eyeshadow brushes along with two brow brushes, all at an incredible price that right now is more than 70 percent off. This kit contains a detailer brush, concealer brushes, multiple sizes of eyeshadow and blending brushes, and more. With so many different shapes and sizes of bristles, you can create as many different looks as you can think of or dare to try. The super soft brushes make blending easy, and the thick wooden handles are comfortable to hold. This sturdy set makes a great starter kit for someone just experimenting with eyeshadow, and at the price, you’ll for sure want to keep a second set in your travel bag.
Price: $8.99 (73 percent off MSRP)
- Rated 4.1 out of five stars by users
- #1 Amazon Best Seller
- Comfortable wooden handles
- Tons of variety/li>
- Brushes may have a paint smell until washed
- Too much similarity between brushes
- Not as dense as some
- Larger brush heads not preferred by everyone
4. Top Rated: Beauty Junkees Eye Makeup Brush Kit
This brush set from Beauty Junkees has your lids, lashes and brows covered. These quality eyeshadow brushes (and more) are each tailored to give you awesome color density, create sharp lines or perfectly deliver smokey sass. Each brush has a bristle type, specific to its purpose – horse for contouring, goat for smooth, bold color application or synthetic for defined lines and perfect wings. The eight piece set includes everything you need to create pretty much any kind of look, from subtle naturals to dramatic mattes.
This highly rated set comes with a series of pro tips to help you become an expert at using each brush for packing, blending, lining, smudging, buffing, diffusing, defining, contouring, highlighting and finishing. They’re also terrific for all kinds of eye makeup, from powders, creams and gels to liquids and glitters. Beauty Junkees also makes a smaller eyeshadow brush set to give you the perfect smokey eye. Their Kabuki Makeup Brush Set, for perfect application of foundation, blush, bronzer and more, gets a whopping 4.7 out of five stars.
Price: $24.97 (50 percent off MSRP)
- Rated 4.7 out of five stars by users
- Similar quality to more expensive brushes
- Specific bristle types for different uses
- Killer price
- Fluffy brushes tend to shed
- Some of the brushes are scratchy
- Eyeliner brush isn’t stiff enough
- Brushes are smaller than some
5. Docolor Fantasy Eyeshadow Brushes
It seems crazy to fall in love with a set of eyeshadow brushes that evoke thoughts of rainbows and unicorns, but this fantasy brush set seems to have consumers absolutely swooning. This six piece eye makeup brush set is indeed sparkly and fun, and one might imagine, also cruelty free. The pretty pink brush bristles are actually soft synthetic that grabs up color and applies it smoothly with no shedding.
With brushes for concealer, eyeshadow, blending, and defining, plus an angled eyebrow brush and a lip brush to boot, this sweet six pack will get you in the right mood to do your makeup every morning. If you can’t get enough of these fanciful brushes, they also come in a ten piece set as well as a 16 piece set, which happens to be an Amazon #1 New Release.
- Rated 4.7 out of five stars by users
- Super affordable
- Non-shedding synthetic bristles
- Makes eyeshadow application smooth and easy
- They’re kind of small
- Don’t pick up product as well as some others
- Some found the brushes were too stiff
- Not as well made as some
6. Becoyou Professional Eye Makeup Brush Set
If one were to choose an eyeshadow brush based purely upon cuteness, these interesting brushes from Becoyou would convince me. Their interesting gourd shape handle is intriguing, and according to users it’s also super function for fine hand control, which you need when you’re doing your eye makeup.
This seven piece set features soft nylon bristles, which make application smooth and easy. It also means these brushes are easy to clean and care for. This set includes a foundation brush, pencil brush, eyebrow brush, eyeliner brush, socket brush, precision brush, and a blending brush so you can expertly apply all of your favorite cream, liquid and powder shadows.
- Rated 4.4 out of five stars
- Well weighted, uniquely shaped handle
- Nylon bristles are cruelty free
- Soft and fluffy
- Brushes may shed after washing
- Bristles don’t hold product as well as some
- Brushes leave streaks when using cream eyeshadows
- Bristles feel a bit like plastic
Best Single & Combo Eyeshadow Brushes
7. Best Eyeshadow Blending Brush: theBalm Give Crease A Chance All-Over Eyeshadow Brush/Eye Blending Brush
This cool two in one tool is the perfect grab and go brush for your makeup bag or for everyday use at home. One side of this multitasking brush is great for applying all-over color to your eyelids. Use the other side to blend your eyeshadows for an even finish. The wide, flat brush allows for smooth dispersal of eye color for an intensive, vibrant look. The duo-fiber technology bristles on the other end evenly distribute pigments for a flawlessly blended look. And you can use these brushes, wet or dry, to create some serious eye drama whenever the moment calls for it.
Another two-fer tool is theBalm Crease, Love & Happiness Smudger Brush/Tapered Crease Brush, that lets your effectively define your crease and has a brush made to line your lower lashes. Get your shadow mojo moving with the super popular theBalm NUDE ‘tude Eyeshadow Palette, and be sure to start with theBalm Put A Lid On It Eyelid Primer to keep your perfectly applied shadow in place.
- Rated 4.6 out of five stars by users
- Cool two in one tool
- Super soft brushes
- Easy to use
- Pretty spendy
- Brush bristles are a bit short
- Double sided brush has to be stored flat to stay in shape
Find more theBalm Give Crease A Chance All-Over Eyeshadow Brush/Eye Blending Brush information and reviews here.
8. Top Rated: jane iredale Eye Shader Brush
To pack on lots of color, blend shadow, or create definition, the eye shader brush is a must-have tool in your arsenal of eyeshadow brushes. Whether you’re seeking a soft or edgy look, any eye shadow design is easy to master when applied with this brush. Its short, flat, medium-density bristles are made of pony hair, which is great for picking up, holding and meticulously applying shadow, and then blending it. That means you’ll have less waste in your eye shadow palette and more drama on your eyes.
The highly rated jane iredale Eye Contour Brush lets you add sweeps of color that highlight your eyes and users give it a 4.7 out of five star rating. Thinner than the contour brush, the crease brush is a long, soft, tapered eye shadow brush made of goat hair is the perfect tool for creating more definition around the eye.
- Rated five out of five stars by users
- Very high quality
- Pony hair bristles pick up and distribute color well
- Easy to pack on color, blend or create definition
- Super spending for a single brush
- Doesn’t come in environmentally friendly packaging
9. Lazy Perfection by Jenny Patinkin Flat/Fluffy Eye Definer Brush
Whether you’re a novice or a serious makeup pro, this ultra soft eyeshadow brush effortlessly adds detail and drama to your eyelids. The unique, flat-yet-fluffy tip of this brush allows for either a precise or diffused application of powder eye shadow. You can use the tip of the brush to create contour or shape, or use the side of the brush to gently pack shadow onto the lid for a sultry smoky effect. Use the narrow edge for a strong line, the wide edge for a soft line, or the flat face for effortless shadow blending. This brush, made of 100 percent blue squirrel, is strictly for your powder eyeshadow palettes.
Soft but dense, the 100 percent white goat Domed Multi-Blender Brush makes concealing, blending and detailing simple. The tiny soft tip of the Pin-Point Liner Brush makes subtle, but precise, application of eyeliner easy to achieve. It also works well for spot concealing, lining the lips and highlighting the inner corners of your eyes.
- Rated five out of five stars based on limited consumer reviews
- Delivers awesome definition
- Natural squirrel bristles hold and deliver color well
- Unique shape has many uses
- Super spendy for one brush
- Strictly for powder eye shadows only
Find more Lazy Perfection by Jenny Patinkin Flat/Fluffy Eye Definer Brush information and reviews here.
10. blinc Eyeshadow Blending Brush
I love eyeshadow brushes that can be used with all different kinds of products, limiting my need to sort through dozens of different ones, while I try to remember which does what. This blinc eyeshadow blending brush works great for shading or blending with both powder or creamy products. Velvety soft, this fluffy little brush has densely packed synthetic fibers that are arranged in an oval shape, which makes it perfect for creating a seamless transition between shadows. To create a perfect palette for your eyeshadow, right from the start, blinc Shadow Primer builds a seamless base for shadows, that helps to keep them true to color, and crease free all day long. Plus it has anti-aging benefits to make it an addition that’s good for your tender eye skin and keeps your shadow looking its best. Total bonus.
Become a master of shading with the blinc Contour Shadow Brush that’s perfect for smudging shadows and liners for the perfect smokey eye look.
- Creates a soft, natural look without lines
- High quality handle that fits hands well
- Blends beautifully
- Picks up product well
- Synthetic bristles
- More expensive than many full brush sets
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