The Hit List – My Top 10 Makeup Brushes

Hit List Makeup Brushes Pinterest Preview

It’s Monday, which means another article in “The Hit List” series, and this week I’ll be sharing my top 10 most frequently used makeup brushes. I tried to narrow it down to my top 5 makeup brushes, but it was an impossible task. Here they are, in the order that I generally use them:

Real Techniques Buffing Brush

Real Techniques Buffing Brush 1
Real Techniques Buffing Brush 2

This range of brushes has become an online cult classic, being the brain-child of Samantha Chapman, one half of the YouTube powerhouse channel Pixiwoo. The synthetic bristles and densley packed, rounded shape make this an ideal brush for buffing in my foundation. I find it to be a really useful tool for achieving a flawless base.

Rae Morris #4 Square Kabuki

Rae Morris Square Kabuki 1
Rae Morris Square Kabuki 2

This teeny, tiny kabuki is super soft and perfect for gently buffing my concealer under my eyes. It blends it out flawlessly, and helps to prevent my concealer creasing and caking. I also think this is going to be a handy little contour brush, but I haven’t had the opportunity to try it for that purpose yet.

Real Techniques Blush Brush

Real Techniques Blush Brush 1
Real Techniques Blush Brush 2

Another brush from the Real Techniques collection. This brush is touted as a blush brush, but I personally prefer a much smaller, more controllable blush brush. I do, however, adore this brush for application of setting powder. The bristles are quite soft, and the “blown out” and extremely tapered shape makes sure that powder application is light and never cakey.

Rae Morris #2 Mini Kabuki

Rae Morris Mini Kabuki 1
Rae Morris Mini Kabuki 2

This baby yachiyo-style kabuki brush is deliciously small, with a base diameter of around 1.5 cm, and a bristle length of just under 3 cm at it’s longest point. I find this to be the perfect brush to apply my blush. I use it for application of both cream and powder blush, and apply it with a gentle buffing motion.

MAC 239

MAC 239 Flat Shader 1
MAC 239 Flat Shader 2

You can see by looking at this particular incarnation of a 239 brush just how banged-up and well loved it is! I own many, many flat shader brushes, but none of them quite duplicate the shape and density of this one. I find it works equally well for pressed eyeshadows, loose pigments and cream products. It’s not the softest brush in the world, but I never use it in a sweeping motion – for packing colour onto my lids, there is no better brush.

Rae Morris #7 Deluxe Precision Shader

Rae Morris Deluxe Precision Shader 1
Rae Morris Deluxe Precision Shader 2

This brush is my secret weapon in achieving a perfectly blended eye look. I rarely, if ever, use this brush to deposit colour. My favourite way to use the Rae Morris Deluxe Precision Shader is to keep it completely clean, and use it to blend out any harsh lines. It’s an absolute miracle worker, and so unbelievably soft.

Rae Morris #9 Detail Precision Shader

Rae Morris Detail Precision Shader 1
Rae Morris Detail Precision Shader 2_0

This teeny, weeny blending brush has taken the place of a pencil brush in my eye makeup repertoir. It’s a little more tapered and much softer than a traditional pencil brush, and is perfect for smudgung out eyeliner, or running colour under my eyes.

Smashbox Travel Precision Liner Brush

Smashbox Push Liner Brush 1
Smashbox Push Liner Brush 2

The Smashbox Travel Precision Liner brush is a fantastic push liner brush. The bristles are stiff without being spiky, and the edge leaves a crisp, sharp line. I use this for tightlining my upper lash line with gel eyeliner.

Crown Brush C217 Bent Liner

Crown Hook Liner Brush 1
Crown Hook Liner Brush 2

If I’m being honest, the brush that I have photographed above is not the BEST representation of this brush – this one is old and ratty, and I’m due to replace it at the upcoming Beauty Expo. Having said that, I have never found a hook liner brush that compared to this one. The bristles are the perfect length and stiffness for a controlled application, and the angle of the ferrule is perfect for a precise application. I pick these up by the handful at the Beauty Expo, they’re around $3.00 each from memory, and they’re amazing!

Crown Brush IB132 Stiff Brow

Crown Angled Brow Brush 1
Crown Angled Brow Brush 2

This brow brush by Crown is stiff without being spiky, and the tip is perfectly sharp (again, the one pictured is due to be replaced – bring on Beauty Expo!). I can use this brush in a stamping motion to simulate eyebrow hairs for a natural look, in more of a sweeping motion to fill in my brows more fully, and in a pinch, it works incredibly well for a feline flicked liner. Again, I think this brush is around the $3.00 mark, and I restock every Beauty Expo.


They’re the 10 brushes I’m using religiously at the moment, and I love them all. However, I am a bit of a hussy for brushes, so if you have an amazing brush that you love, and I haven’t mentioned it here, let me know in the comments below – I’m always on the lookout for a new favourite!