My Favorite Eye Brushes - Sonia Kashuk, MAC, Sigma and more

While contemplating my favorites in the beauty arena for the year or season, I realized I felt pretty strongly about brushes. I thought I'd share my favorite eye brushes in a few groupings and why I like them. A note on the Sigma brushes, I don't love all of the ones I have, but the ones mentioned here work well and wash up beautifully (they look how I want my hair to look, shiny and easily smoothed into shape).

Shader Brushes

I use this to pack on a bunch of shadow to my lids, primarily. If I'm being quick/lazy, the thicker shader brushes I'll flip and use for blending. They all grab a lot of shadow at once so you can pile it on easily.
  • Sigma E55 - can use to blend as well
  • Sigma E60 - thinner but can cover a large area at once
  • MAC 239 - smaller and applies color well but I wouldn't say it's strictly necessary for the price
  • e.l.f. Eyeshadow "C" brush - this sucker grabs a ton of shadow and is very thick and dense which can make it a little hard to spot clean but also works for blending 
Large Fluffy Blending Brushes

Now my eye space isn't such that I can use these all that often for applying color since these are all pretty big, but I can if I make sure to only get a small amount of shadow on the tip of the brush. Otherwise, I use them for general blending at the crease up into my brow bone. I just realized that 3 of the 4 are Sonia Kashuk brushes! Two, unfortunately, are not available anymore. However! the one that is available is very lovely (and quite similar to one of the limited edition brushes).
  • Sonia Kashuk from a set bought a couple years ago, see brush below for comparable replacement
  • Sonia Kashuk Core Tools No. 109 Pointed Blending Brush - soft, fluffy and with enough of a point I can use it in the crease if I'm careful - and what a steal at only $3.99!
  • Sigma E35 - smaller than a MAC 224 / Sigma E40 (which I find just too big and not that great of bristles) it's not too floppy or dense - it does not wash up as well as the other brushes though and has tended to splay out a bit
  • Sonia Kashuk Small Multipurpose Powder Brush (discontinued, boohoo) - I use this often for setting powder under my eye because it's so soft but I can use it clean for blending out the edge of the crease 
Crease/Blending Brushes

I use these brushes more for applying color and blending the crease. All but the small tapered blending brush (E45) I will often use to do all parts of my eye look from applying lid color to crease and brow bone.

  • Sigma E70 - this is another brush that really cleans up beautifully, it's just the right amount of fluff to work in the crease and blending edges but I can flip it over and use it more like a shader brush as well
  • Sigma E25 - the MAC 217 dupe, I honestly can't tell the difference between this and the MAC version - same softness, shape, fluff, etc - regardless I like them both
  • MAC 217 - I've had this for a while to compare to the Sigma version, I've been a little disappointed with how it's washed up and it really needs something to shape the bristles while it dries or they tend to splay out all over the place
  • Sigma E45 - a rounded ferrule shape (as opposed to the pinched of the three above), it has a nice point with some fluff to apply a small amount of shadow and blend in the same motion
Detail/Smudge/Miscellaneous Brushes

I wear liner or cream shadow most days and often like to smudge it out. Sometimes I use my fingers, but I do like the more even controllable result of using a good brush. I have several of these small detail brushes which I use for either lip brushes or applying shadow precisely to my inner corner. Lastly, a big chunky brush from Sigma that I felt worth mentioning because again it's a really nice quality brush.

  • Urban Decay 24/7 Blending Brush - picked this up on a bit of a whim while looking for something softer to use for applying shadow on my very sensitive lower lash line, found it's very nice for blending cream shadows (as I think was the design) up into the crease and smoothing out any patchiness
  • Sigma E21 - came in the Performance Eyes kit but now available separately, it's very nice for smudging out liner on the lash line in a more precise manner
  • e.l.f. Small Precision Brush - I've used this as a lip brush lately, but it works well for doing detail application around the inner corner when I don't want a giant highlight
  • CVS or Target detail brush - not sure where I got this one, there are a few places that sell similar small synthetic detail brushes which serve the same purpose as the e.l.f. brush for small price
  • Sigma E50 - this didn't really fit into any of the categories but can be used for applying color at the brow bone, blending at the brow bone, applying highlight on the face, etc. 
Brow Brushes

I apply some sort of brow product every day I wear makeup, using pencils when I'm feeling lazy and powder when I'm not. I waffle over what my favorite brow brush is, but have found it's always one of these two.
  • ULTA Professional Eyebrow Brush - this is slightly fluffy but not as thick or firm as the Smashbox brush, applies a fairly soft but precise brow
  • Smashbox #12 brow brush - applies a little more opaque brow color, I bought this due to raves from Melanie - mrkongsmom on YouTube and it really works well for me
So that about wraps it up! This took a little longer than I was anticipating, but I did want to share some thoughts on each brush in the grouping. I may get to posting a face brush favorite but I think there are less standouts in that category for me currently.

What are your favorites? Have you tried any of mine? Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!