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Best Brushes & Applicators

Brushes are essential to beautiful makeup application. In order to make the Best Products list, brushes and applicators must:

  • Be well designed for their intended purpose
  • Brushes must be soft and well shaped, not floppy
  • Feel exquisite and be easy to use
  • Be built to last through years of daily use

Professional-size brushes are available in all price ranges. Keep in mind that the density, shape, and cut of the brush is more important than the source of the bristles.

Although many cosmetics companies love to brag about the type and grade of animal hair used for their brushes, remember, you are not buying a mink coat. Hair softness, brush shape, and firmness (which affect application) are what matters the most, no matter the source.

More companies are offering synthetic brushes that are often exquisite replications of natural-hair brushes that must be felt to be believed. These synthetic brushes are worthwhile options, and an easy solution for anyone conflicted about using animal-hair brushes for applying makeup.

Please note that not every single brush from the brands on the list was rated a Best. For comments on individual brushes and individual "Best" brushes, please refer to the respective cosmetics company’s review elsewhere on this site. A brush collection that rates a Best represents a superior combination of performance, craftsmanship, and value.

585633-IIS5 v1.0.0.394 5/23/2015 11:27:55 AM