When it comes to achieving a flawless makeup look, the tools you use are important. You don’t want bristles falling off onto your face, resulting in you panic-swiping them off and smudging your makeup. While using your fingers is popular among many makeup artists, if you’re on-the-go, it’s not the most hygienic thing in the world. Which is why investing in a makeup brush set could be a game changer for you. From big fluffy brushes perfect for dusting powder along cheekbones to ultra-precise lip brushes for creating the finest of lines, think of these as your beauty tools.
It can be time-consuming but if you get all your essentials in one place, it makes it easier to carry around with you. But do you go natural or synthetic? There are plenty on the market; vegan-friendly brushes are popular. Typically they are made from manmade fibres, which give them extra precision. While natural brushes – usually made from animal hair – move more freely and work really well with powders.
Whichever set you opt for, we’ve chosen the best on the market to make sure you leave the house looking fabulous. From the essential travel sets to the ultra-luxe collections, we’ve rounded up the best.
ZOEVA Rose Golden Complete Brush Set (Vol. 1): £110, Selfridges
If you are a makeup obsessive, this set was made for you. Zoeva has created a number of brush sets, but this one is our favourite because it has everything you need. Whether you are a professional makeup artist or a beauty newbie, these brushes perform incredibly well.
Not only do they come in a nifty makeup bag to ensure they are kept clean and undamaged, but each brush is labelled, so you won’t get mixed up with what brush to use for which part of your face. It is costly, but worth it considering how many brushes are in the set. They don’t malt and they look fabulous. Plus, who doesn’t love rose gold?
Charlotte Tilbury Magical Mini Brush Set: £45, John Lewis & Partners
Charlotte Tilbury is back with her second instalment of the Magical Mini Brush Set. The first drop sold out everywhere and prompted the luxury makeup brand to relaunch the bestseller, and it hasn’t disappointed us. It comes in the iconic glittering gold clutch, perfect for travelling and the perfect fit for your handbag.
The set features the essentials; the blusher brush to paint your cheeks pink, eye blender brush, for a flawless finish, eye smudger brush, for the all-important smokey eye, and lastly, the lip brush specially designed square for even coverage. Whether you are a professional MUA or simply a beauty gal ready to paint the town red, this set is a must-have.
Lilah B. Let’s Face It Brush Set: £125, Net-a-Porter
One of the US’s not-so best kept secret, Lilah B was founded by beauty veteran Cheryl Yannotti Foland, who successfully transitioned her life from maximalist to minimalist by moving from the Big Apple to California. Her brainchild, Lilah B, encompasses the life of an easygoing Cali girl who likes to keep all her essentials in one place. Which is why this brush set, which comes in a chic vegan brush roll, is perfect for those who don’t like a fuss.
It comes with a retractable bronzer brush and retractable foundation brush, keeping both neat and tidy when on-the-go, while ensuring you can execute your day-to-night look seamlessly. And what is a set without your tools to deliver the perfect eye and bold lip?
This one comes with two eye brushes – one all-over brush and a crease brush, and also a lip brush. The bristles are beautifully soft, with little to no malting, so there’s no risk of getting brush hairs all over the finished look. We take ours everywhere.
Spectrum The Bomb Shell Brush Set: £55.99, Spectrum
If you haven’t heard of Spectrum, where have you been? The brand is known for its whimsical designs, including the infamous shell-shaped cases the sets come in. We absolutely adore this set from the Merbabe collection. Each of the 12 brushes are made from high-quality synthetic fibres that are also vegan and cruelty-free, with each one designed specifically for a different application technique too.
This brush set is available in different colourways, packed into a holographic case with a detachable gold chain. Meaning it can double as a clutch. We are in love.
Too Faced Pro-Essential Teddy Bear Hair Brush Set: £49, Cult Beauty
Disclaimer: no bears were harmed in the making of this brush set. Too Faced’s offering features five brushes, including a powder brush, all-over shadow brush, blender brush, contour brush and liner brush, all made from luxurious synthetic bristles that are silky smooth.
While this set is missing a foundation brush (but not a game changer in our eyes) the packaging makes up for it. The set comes in a super girly pink pouch with hearts emblazoned all over and the zip even features a teddy bear charm. This will make the perfect gift for the beauty queen in your life, or… yourself, of course.
Elixi Face Brush Set: £49.99, Elixi Beauty
Elixi has a huge offering of makeup brushes, which gives us a lot of confidence as the brand ensures it has makeup artists in mind. This set is largely made up of face brushes, including a tapered face brush, powder brush, foundation brush and concealer brush.
These feel incredibly professional, not just because of the high-quality vegan-friend bristles, but the weight of the ferrule feels super luxe. Available in black and millennial pink, this eight piece face set is perfect for anyone wanting a set of essentials. The only downside was that it doesn’t come with a case or pouch.
Real Techniques Core Collection Kit: £19.99, Superdrug
This bestselling kit is one of the best on the market because it’s all about that base. With three tools, including a face brush, the all-important blending sponge and concealer brush, these tools help to target small imperfections. It is an absolute staple for an even all-round complexion without having to break the bank.
The Verdict: Best makeup brush sets
We absolutely adored the Zoeva Rose Golden Collection Vol.1 simply because it had everything we ever needed in it, plus it comes in a really useful pouch – keeping all your brushes clean, undamaged and easy to carry around with you. It is at the higher end of the price scale but the quality ensures they will be long-lasting. We also loved Real Techniques Core Collection Kit as everyone needs a core set to achieve the healthiest of complexions, and at £19.99, we can’t really argue with it. We’re sold.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.