I really only use about four eye brushes and they work perfectly for my daily routine and this blog; I’ll list them in “must-have” order of purchase; also below will be cheaper alternatives of comparable quality that I have tested, tried and loved just as well.
1. MAC #239: Eye Shader Brush, $25.00
A great brush for packing color onto the lid. When you first use it, it doesn’t appear to pick up color at all, but one swipe on the lid and you see how much color was actually grabbed by this brush! It’s also a superb choice for packing pigments on the lid; it does help to eliminate fallout. This is usually my “go-to” brush when I apply any color onto my lids.
2. MAC #286: Tapered Blending Brush, $32.00
(NOTE: I use the discontinued #222, but this is essentially the same brush.)
I use this brush for applying color to the crease when I want a softer look. You can also use the #224 for this look, but if you have smaller eyes (like me), this is definitely better at keeping the color more contained to the crease. This brush really helps build the color and makes the final product look professionally blended. I’d be lost without this brush!
3. MAC #217: Blending Brush, $24.00
As with many makeup lovers, the 217 is an indispensable tool. I use this for blending and also applying color to the crease when I want a softer look. This is especially great for smaller eyes. I have three of these in my brush collection since first publishing this post. I am madly in love with it.
4. MAC #224: Tapered Blending Brush, $32.00
I like to use this brush for blending everything after application and I LOVE it. If you’re trying to decide between this one and the 217, this one is better for larger eyes or if you have a lot of lid space. Running this brush over the crease in a windshield wiper motion instantly blends out the harsh lines and makes the colors seamless. This is also a great tool for stubborn eyeshadows that may be harder to blend out. I also use this when I want to dust color onto the lid lightly. It creates a beautifully soft wash of color when you want to have a more natural look.
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And if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on eyeshadow brushes (trust me, I had to save up for a little while to get the MAC brushes!), I also own quite a few brushes from Sigma and MakeupGeek. Their brushes are of comparable quality, but at a MUCH better price point. Below I’ll list the MAC comparables for these brushes.
1. MAC #239 = No MUG Comparable
2. MAC #222/286 = MakeupGeek’s Soft Dome Brush for $7.99 ea.
3. MAC #217 = MakeupGeek’s Stiff Dome Brush for $7.99 ea.
4. MAC #224 = No MUG Comparable
To view all of MakeupGeek’s brushes, you can click here: www.MakeupGeek.com
1. MAC #239 = Sigma’s E55 for $14.00 ea.
2. MAC #222/286 = Sigma’s E45 for $14.00 ea.
3. MAC #217 = Sigma’s E25 for $14.00 ea.
4. MAC #224 = Sigma’s E35 for $16.00 ea.
To view all of Sigma’s brushes, you can click here: www.SigmaBeauty.com