The Best Beauty Tools By Price: Brushes & Sponges |
From kabuki brushes to bouncy blenders, it can be a minefield knowing what tool works best for each step of your make-up routine. We share our latest guide to the ones guaranteed to give you a flawless finish, and there’s one for every budget…
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E.L.F Foundation Brush

£: £3

Cruelty-free and vegan-friendly, this all-natural brush is soft but dense enough to deliver an even amount of coverage. Its flat head means you can get into smaller areas (around the eyes) with ease too.

Real Techniques Foundation Brush

££: £8.99

From the brand that brought us affordable, yet effective tools, comes this newly designed foundation brush that picks up just the right amount of pigment and spreads it beautifully across the face and neck.


£££: £17

It wouldn’t be a beauty tools round-up without a nod to the iconic Beautyblender, whose pointy tip hits tiny targets while the round base allows for all-over buffing.

MakeupDrop Glitz Applicator


£££: £9.99

We also had to acknowledge the brand-new MakeupDrop silicone pad. This innovative, hygienic applicator cleanly applies your foundation without absorbing too much of the product. It also doubles up as a de-puffing tool with experts recommending you put it into the freezer for a quick skincare fix. It’s easy to clean too with just a splash of water.

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Dual Airbrush Foundation and Concealer Brush

££££: £35
A make-up artist favourite, this double-ended brush provides a fingertip-like application (aka soft and weightless) with fluffy bristles that don’t deposit too much of your favourite base in one solid area.

La Mer The Foundation Brush


£££££: £58

The densely packed hairs of this brush seamlessly blend liquid, powder and cream foundations. Expensive but so worth it if you’re looking for a luxe finish to your foundation.


L’Oréal Paris Blusher Brush

£: £7.99
The soft, flexible bristles are ideal for swirling your favourite blusher over the apples of your cheeks and along your cheekbones.

Kiko Smart Powder Brush 102

££: £10.99

Kiko do some of our favourite brushes and this one is no exception. It’s designed for powders but works equally well with creamy formulas for a dewy finish.

Zoeva Luxe Cheek Finish Brush

£££: £14.99

This brush picks up all the pigment you need in one touch and applies it smoothly for an expert finish. Can be used with a bronzer, blusher or highlighter.

bareMinerals Dual Finish Blush & Contour Brush


£££: £21

This easy-to-use offering from bareMinerals has long, feathery bristles that breeze over the face to prevent product pileups while creating chiselled features that you never knew you had

Too Faced Retractable Kabuki Brush

£££££: £30
In our opinion, everyone should own a dinky kabuki brush as they work with every texture of product. Too Faced’s is our go-to, made with cruelty-free teddy bear hair, it buffs in blush and bronzer in seconds. Its portable case means it’s easy carry around too and use on the go. 


NYX Professional Make-Up Pro Lip Brush

£: £8

The slim point of this brush sharpens the cupid’s brow while the main, flat bulk of the brush works to deliver colour precisely.

The Body Shop Lipstick and Concealer Brush

££: £9

This spreads colour for a luscious, plump finish but also allows you to keep layering up your shade for extra intensity. You will need to give it a deep clean though so the colours don’t stain the bristles.

Clinique Lip Brush

£££: £15.50

Hugs the lip line for a precise finish and can be used with either lipstick or gloss. Its retractable brush is a bonus for keeping the bristles hygienic and clean.

MAC 318 Retractable Lip Brush

££££: £20

Spied at every backstage fashion show, this lip brush is a make-up artist staple, working with any formula to provide any finish you so desire. Great for diffusing colour too if you want a lip tone that’s a bit more muted.


Revolution Flex Brush 05 Brow and Shape

£: £1.80

Evens out product to avoid build-up but is also great for grooming hairs into place when you don’t want to wear a gel or pencil on top.

No7 Angled Brow Brush

££: £10

Gives crisp lines and fills in gaps when used with a brow product. Apply in quick strokes for a realistic and natural look.

Anastasia Beverley Hills Duo Brush

£££: £18

Nothing whips unruly brows into shape quite like this. The tiny, slanted nib targets sparse areas, while the smaller brush at the other end keeps hairs locked firmly in place.


Spectrum Brush MA07

£: £5.99

The bristles on this brush allow you to cover the lids in shadow for one-step evening eyes, and their density means you can really pack on the colour for high-impact texture. We love.

Morphe Pro Precision Pencil Crease Brush

££: £5.50

The brush for creating depth and definition, it enables you to blend and contour your eye products for a cool, lived-in finish. 

Sigma E55 Eye Shading Brush


£££: £12.50

Praised for its super soft bristles, this works to smudge eyeshadows on in seconds for your easiest ever smokey eye.

Laura Mercier Flat Eye Liner Brush


££££: £24

Struggle to apply liquid liner with accuracy? This flat brush makes light work of drawing feline flicks and allows you to control gel and liquid liners with ease.

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