3 makeup artists share their favourite eye makeup brushes
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By Kate Niven
Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / September 10 2018
No longer will the plastic applicator that comes with your favourite eyeshadow quad suffice when creating the perfect eye makeup look. In fact, as we’re all becoming more and more makeup savvy, many of us are looking to fill our personal makeup kits with a wide range of brushes that will help us create a variety of looks. But in a world where there are thousands of brushes to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down the search. That’s why we reached out to three of Australia’s top makeup artists to find out the Holy Grail eye makeup brushes they can’t live without.
Michael Brown, celebrity makeup artist
Responsible for the faces of Jesinta Franklin, Delta Goodrem and Ksenija Lukich, Michael Brown sure knows a thing or two about creating eye looks that range from classic and neutral to dramatic and sultry. And the brand of brushes he swears by to create such looks? Zoeva. “Nearly all of my eye brushes are from Zoeva. I love the size, shape and how easy they make blending. So much is layered and blended these days in eye makeup, and [Zoeva brushes] work perfectly to create an everyday eye or full-blown glam. Here are Brown’s three top picks:
Zoeva #228 Crease Brush: “I use this first for my base shade (usually a taupe-based shade) all over the lid and mainly in the crease. I also use it throughout as my blend brush.”
Zoeva #223 Petit Eye Blender Brush: “I use this brush mainly for the lower lash line to create a smoky shadow effect.”
Zoeva #238 Precise Shader Brush: “This brush is great for the inner corner tear duct highlight. Just one dab is all you need.”
Alphie Sadsad, Sephora Australia National Artistry Lead
Because Sadsad works across all of the 141 brands available at Sephora, he’s been able to work with a whole host of brushes from different brands. Here are the top three he’s always reaching for:
Zoeva #221 Luxe Soft Crease Brush: “This is my favourite soft blending brush. The tapered bristles are great for any eye shape and perfect for buffing out and building shadows.”
Dior Backstage Eyeliner Brush No 24: “The flat edge makes for a super precise application; I use it wet or dry for tight-lining, creating a cat eye, and blending out gel or pencil liner.”
Anastasia Beverly Hills #14 Dual-Ended Firm Detail Brush: “This stiff brow brush helps deliver the right amount of brow powder, cream, gel or wax, making application really easy. I finish with the spoolie to blend it out for a natural look.”
Nicola Burford, celebrity makeup artist
Perfecting the art of red carpet, runway, magazine and television makeup is no small feat, which is why Nicola Burford is such an industry icon. And after more than 20 years experience, Burford has used a few brushes in her time. Here are her four (she couldn’t pick just three!) favourite eye makeup brushes:
My Kit Co. My Fluff & Buff Brush: “Perfect for applying, blending, buffing, contouring, deepening colour and softening colour with cream or powder eyeshadows. I use this brush by applying product in small circular motions in the crease, lid or brow bone. It’s a great brush for washes of colour, creating a halo around the eyes, smoky effects or for detail and definition. The best all-rounder.”
MAC #209 Eye Liner Brush: “A medium-sized liner brush that’s best used with cream or gel liners for a fast, no-sweat liner application. To use, load up the brush with product (remove any excess by rolling the brush over a tissue, keeping the quill in shape). With the pointed end [facing] towards the inner corner, glide the brush along the eye line in one easy movement. The brush is firm enough and wide enough for a one-stroke application. Finish the wing by turning the brush around so the point of the brush creates the wing tip as you join the end of your line to the wing. To get the most professional finish, before you begin the other eye, remove any old product from the brush and start again with fresh gel or cream liner.”
Zoeva #223 Petite Eye Blender Brush: “I love this brush for lower-liner smudging and smoking. It feels beautifully soft and spongy on the delicate area along the lower eye line. I love it to really blow-out a smoky eye. Being made of synthetic fibres, it’s really great at blending out pencil liners and shadow sticks, and layering powder shadows. It’s even small enough to do pin-point detail such as highlighter on the inner corner of the eye (to brighten) or intense detail in the contour.”
Hakuhodo J Series Eyeliner Brush Flat (JF21): “This tiny brush is my secret weapon. I use it on almost every makeup look I do. It’s ideal for drawing extremely fine lines. It’s flat and firm and easy to control. Use with a black or brown gel liner loaded on its edge; I press this little gem along the lash line – along the underside of the lashes and on top to create an ‘invisible’ liner. The result? You get a deepening of colour and appearance of thickness at the root of the lashes rather than an actual line, perfect for the ‘no makeup’ makeup look or for ultimate lash depth for a contemporary makeup look.”
Now you’ve got your makeup brush kit sorted, make sure to find out why cleaning them regularly is so important.
What’s your favourite eye makeup brush? Let us know in the comments below.
Main image credit: Sevak Babakhani
Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.