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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

My Top 25 Makeup Brushes and How I Wash Them

The fact that I have 25 favourite makeup brushes may sound a little bit excessive and I don't every single one of these brushes every day, but they are all little gems and have brilliant uses. Before I became a professional makeup artist I had no idea about the power and brilliance of makeup brushes. I owned about 15 makeup brushes and while they did the job well at the time, they were cheap and poor quality. Throughout my course in Vanity X Makeup Academy I build a professional kit which included both makeup products and great brushes. Some of the following brushes are inexpensive and some a little bit more pricey, but I can tell you now you won't regret buying any of them!

Please excuse some of the grubby handles on my brushes, at least you know they are very well loved and used a lot! 

This brush is a dense taklon synthetic fibre brush. It was designed with a round, domed shape head which is perfect for reaching the contours of the face. I personally use this brush to apply foundation, and my client's absolutely love it. It is extremely soft and it helps to give the foundation the most flawless finish. The CJ can also be used to apply powder products to the face, whether it is a setting powder or blush. This brush is also amazing for cream contouring. The CJ has a beautiful gold ferrule and a duck egg coloured handle.

I picked the Morphe M439 when I was in New York last year, and I've since purchased 3 more. This is a deluxe buffer brush, the domed bristles blur complexion products and leaves your skin looking perfect. This brush is packed with bristles and is super dense, which is amazing for helping product to blend well. The only fault I have with this brush is that it's hard to reach in between the brows and sides of the eyes, as it is quite a large brush.

This is one of the first NIMA Brushes that I ever used, it quickly became one of my favourite makeup brushes. It is so soft, packed with synthetic bristles and gives the skin flawless full coverage. What more could you want?

I purchased the Buff and Blend brush set at the Irish Beauty Show in March and I have to say I'm a huge fan of the majority of brushes in the set. They can also be purchased separately. This is the perfect size foundation brush, it is dome shaped and synthetic fibres. This brush isn't as stiff as the other foundation brushes I've spoken about above, but it actually works really well. It gives the skin a flawless finish and the brush does the work for you.

The Terrie brush is named after the blogger and NIMA ambassador Terrie Mc Evoy. It is a new release and one of my most treasured makeup brushes. I primarily use this brush for applying and blending under eye concealer. It is quite similar to the NIMA Flat Head Kabuki, except smaller. I've also used this for applying foundation and cream contouring. 

This brush is the most amazing powder brush I have ever used. It is insanely soft, theres little to no fall out of bristles and because it is tapered it is perfect for applying product to any area of the face. I use this brush to apply setting powder and for blending any harsh lines when I apply a bronzer. The only downside of this brush is that it can only be purchased in the Elite Face Detail Set, I'm hoping NIMA will release this on it's own as I would probably purchase about ten!! That being said, the Elite Face Detail Set by NIMA Brush includes 5 face brushes and will only set you back €65 which is a brilliant bargain.

7. NIMA Brush ' The Harley'

I cannot get enough of the Harley and I don't know what I ever did without it. The creator of NIMA brush named this brush after her little girl, I love how the brushes are named it gives a really personal touch. The Harley is a brush I can't live without. I use it to apply bronzer and blush. It is a handmade brush made with brushed goat hair, the hairs are so long and whispy! It's a seriously good multi tasker.  

8. NIMA Brush 'The Blaithin'

I adore the Blaithin brush for contouring the face. It has the most amazing tapered point which helps you get the really precise contour. If you use a light hand when applying your contour shade it will be precise perfection, if you want to blend it out a little bit more just put a bit of pressure on the brush.

9. NIMA Brush 'The Tara'

The Tara is another brush that I use for contouring. It is an angled contour brush which is amazing for pushing contour into the cheekbones and giving you a sculpted look. It is also brilliant for blending out product and to give you more of a natural contour.

10. Buff and Blend BB05 Contour/ Blush Brush

The BB05 is an amazing brush for apply blush to the apples of the cheeks and sweeping it backwards. It is beautifully angled and packed with bristles. I used to be terrified of using blush in case I looked like a clown. But this brush is amazing as it seems to pick up the perfect amount of product every time I use it.

11. Morphe M501

This is my ride or die highlight brush and I literally won't use anything else. This is without a doubt my favourite highlighting brush, no other brush has come close. This is basically a super large eye blending brush, it is the perfect size for the tops of the cheekbones. Jaclyn Hill raves on about this brush constantly and I can totally agree why. It picks up the perfect amount of product and blends it beautifully onto the skin.

12. NIMA Brush 'The Danielle' 

The Danielle Brush is the perfect eyebrow brush. I always use the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade and this brush works wonderfully with it. The Danielle is perfectly tapered, stiff and has short bristles, perfection in an eyebrow brush. I often use this brush to apply shadow to my lower lash line or to smoke out shadow on my lid. This brush can also be used to apply liner.

One thing I always do in my makeup routine is apply an eye base. Its the only way that my eye makeup lasts all day and doesn't crease. I use the patricia brush to apply MAC paint pot to my eyelids and up to my brow bone.

14. Inglot 6ss

The Inglot 6SS makeup brush is a recent purchase of mine and I fell in love with it instantly. It is one of the most amazing blending brushes I have ever used! It is pricey in comparison to my other favourite makeup brushes, but it is really good quality and blends shadow to perfection.

15. Buff and Blend BB08

The BB08 is another blending blush that I absolutely love. I think it's fair to say it is the most popular Buff and Blend brush, it is nearly always sold out so if you see it in stock you should grab it.

16. NIMA Brush 'The Donna'

The Donna is another new release from NIMA Brush and it is a beautiful blender made of goat hair. It is perfectly tapered and will blend eyeshadow perfectly and effortlessly.

17. NIMA Brush 'The Jennie'

The Jennie is my #1 brush ever. So much so that I own 5 of them! It is the perfect size for applying shadow into the crease, it is super fluffy and blends shadow amazingly. I also use it for applying highlight to the inner corner of my eye, brow bone, cupids bow. And it is the perfect brush for contouring the nose!

18. NIMA Brush 'The Debs'

The Debs is an amazing crease blender brush. It is so finely tapered at the tip of the brush, so you can get right into the contour of the eye and soften shadow effortlessly. It is made of goat hair and is extremely soft.

19. NIMA Brush 'The Ali'

If you like applying glitters or pigments, this brush is the one! I adore the Ali as it is really small, dense and stiff, perfect for applying loose pigments and glitters to the lid of the eye.

20. Buff and Blend BB10 Angled Eyeliner Brush

I use this brush every single time I create a dramatic blown out smokey eye. It is so thin and stiff, it fits perfectly under my lash line and smokes out black shadow exactly how I like it. This can also be used as an amazing winged liner brush or a brow brush.

21. Zoeva 317 Winged Liner Brush

I don't know what I did to apply my inglot gel liner before I came across this brush. It is seriously tapered and stiff, exactly what you need in an eyeliner brush. This is ideal for beginners as the shape of the brush does the work for you.

22. NIMA Brush 'The Yvonne'

The Yvonne is another amazing brush for gel liner. I use this to create the feline cat eye and for the inner corners of my eye. I've had mine for a year now and it is still in perfect condition. NIMA brushes are amazing quality and are made to last.

23. Buff and Blend BB02 Pencil Brush

I've never found a pencil brush quite like this one. I have a heap of them and normally I don't reach for them, but this one is one of my favourite makeup brushes that I reach for regularly. The bristles are extremely soft and smoke out shadows amazingly, especially along the lower lash line.

24. Nima Brush 'The Ollie'

The Ollie is the most amazing smudger brush I have ever used. I demoed at the NIMA Brush stand in the RDS last month and I have used this brush every single day since! It is also a brilliant brush for smoking out eyeliner or apply shadow all over the lid.

25. Fuschia Concealer Brush

This brush is absolute perfection. It is really small and fits perfectly under the eye. The bristles help to blend out the under eye concealer, and it doesn't soak up product either. As far as I know this brush only comes in a 10 piece set, its a brilliant set for €45 though. I've had mine since last year and they are still in great condition and the brushes come with a black brush tube which is so handy for when you are travelling or going on holidays.

How I wash my brushes

Being a makeup artist means my brushes get a lot of use and touch a lot of faces, I am a tad OCD when it comes to making sure my brushes are spotless. For a deep clean I am a massive fan of the BLVD cosmetics brush bath, I got mine from I got the lavender scented one and it is just amazing! I recently ran out of it and it seems as though TRND beauty are out of stock, if anyone can recommend a good alternative it would be very much appreciated.

In between uses I spot clean my brushes and I've used so many different products for this. I was a big fan of the mac brush cleaner, my issue with this is that it doesn't have a spray pump and I went through the bottle very quickly. I also tried the inglot brush cleaner and although it is effective, I absolutely hated the smell its very pungent and my brushes felt very dry afterwards. I'm using the Makeup Revolution brush cleaner at the moment and I'm very impressed so far, it cleans brushes very well and smells quite nice too! The Makeup Revolution brush cleaner was recommended by the gorgeous girls at Matte to Metallic, check out their blog here.

I'm also a massive fan of the NIMA brush egg. This is a little tool with grooves and ridges which helps to lift makeup, dirt and sebum out of your makeup brushes. It definitely speeds up the process of washing brushes and you don't have to use as much cleaning product either.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post,



  1. Wow. That's an impressive collection of brushes considering I have one. =D Great post!

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  3. Great post! I needed this, I'm always trying to figure out how to use different brushes xx

  4. Gosh so much I didn't know!! I don't even use a face brush but need to start doing so, this post has been super helpful, thanks!

  5. I need to get my hands on some of these brushes, my selection needs help!


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