5 Awesome Face Makeup Brushes I Use Every Day

Published in: MAC Makeup, Makeup Tools, NARS

5 awesome brushes

Survey says that I WILL use most, if not all, of these five face brushes every. Single. Day. They’re my brushes with destiny! — my makeup main squeezes, and my main workhorse tools.


1. NARS Mie Kabuki Brush ($55)

LBD, baby! Little black dress. The NARS Mie Kabuki is the little black dress of my face brush collection because of all the many things it can do. Sometimes I’ll use it to apply face powder, other times I’ll use it as a bronzing brush, and sometimes I’ll use it to highlight or apply blush.

Unfortunately, the price. It’s $55… Buuuut, it can do so much, and above all, it blends like a mofo! I can really see a difference between when I use Mie to blend bronzer or blush, and when I use something else, and I think it’s because of that point in the tip (see the pic below) and how the tip slopes. It makes it easy to buff out edges and get smooth gradients. If you like the sound of that, Mie is available now at NARS counters, boutiques and online.

2. MAC 138 Tapered Face Brush ($53)

Another pointy tip! I mostly use the MAC 138 to apply face powder to specific spots, like the center of my forehead, on and around my nose and mouth, just below my cheeks and on my chin, and while big, fluffy face brushes are fun to use with face powder (and feel great on my skin), I still prefer this smaller brush.


Well, because when I apply too much powder, my face makeup looks heavy and très obvious, and with the 138, I can really target where I’m placing my powder, which means that I can generally get away with using less. It’s available now at MAC counters, stores and online.

3. MAC 109 Small Contour Brush ($35)

The MAC 109 face brush has a small, rounded head that fits just perfectly in the hollows of my cheeks; that makes it a bronzing/contouring champ.

I’m a big bronzer gal, so I rarely use this one for contouring, but I think it’s an absolutely awesome bronzing brush.

I always have to resist the urge to go heavy with bronzer, and I’m tempted put it everywhere (NO, SERIOUSLY), but this brush basically saves me from myself, LOL! It’s available now at MAC counters, stores and online.

5 awesome brushes

From the left: NARS Mie Kabuki Brush ($55), MAC 138 Tapered Face Brush ($53), MAC 109 Small Contour Brush ($35), Real Techniques Contour Brush ($17.99; one of four brushes from the Core Collection set) and NARS Kabuki Eye Brush (not currently available)

4. Real Techniques Contour Brush ($17.99; one of four brushes in the Core Collection set)

Guess what?

Yup, it’s another pointy brush! — and yes, I use it because it’s easy to control.

Apparently, I’m a control freak both in life and when it comes to brushes!

It’s part of a four-piece brush set available from Real Techniques, and it’s the one from the set that I use the most. What I use it for, primarily, is highlighting.

The synthetic bristles handle cream highlighters really well (they don’t absorb the product, which means that more of the product gets on your skin). Sometimes I’ll also wet the brush head first when I use it to apply powder highlighters (usually with MAC Fix+) for bolder, brighter, shinier highlights. It’s available now at drugstores, Ulta and online.


5. NARS Kabuki Eye Brush (I don’t think this one’s still available)

Ballad of a sad tabby… 🙁 This brush was technically part of a NARS gift set last year, and I don’t think it’s still available, but I wanted to mention it anyway because of how much I use it (and just in case you happen to see it for sale somewhere someday).

I don’t actually use it for its original purpose. It’s supposed to be an eye brush, but I can’t use it on my lids because it’s also kind of scratchy, but I have found that it’s a fantabulous brush for very precise bronzing and/or contouring, and I use it for that every day, like to run bronzer along the sides of my nose to make it look a little slimmer and more defined in pics.

Just goes to show ya! Brushes are masters of improv, and you can use them for things other than the things for which they’re designed.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 7 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. So no flat top brushes for you then, ehh? 🙂 Nice selection, though I haven’t tried any of ’em myself… I actually use very few face brushes.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Make-up look | Natural and fake at the same time with the BE Creative Make Up Be Glam Christmas Collection 2015

  2. MonicaP says:

    I like how the Nars brushes are cut – looks fairly unique. I just purchased the MAC 286 (duo fiber blending brush) and I like it so far 🙂

    MonicaP recently posted … Blue top and tan skirt

  3. jane says:

    Those brushes are pretty, but I don’t use powder on my dry skin, with the exception of bronzer. I have a big bronzer brush. I use my fingers for foundation and concealer. I could use a recommendation for an eye shadow blending brush for both powder and cream shadows.

  4. Erin says:

    I need the RT Blush Brush in my life. I might have to pick up the Contour too.
    Erin recently posted … Anthropologie Sale

  5. Fancie says:

    I need all of these! Minus the MAC 109 because I already have and love it lol. I’ve been liking tapered brushes more these days myself and I like that these are small too since I have a small face. I’ll have to save my pennies for the NARS ones but I may need to pick up that Real Techniques set soon
    Fancie recently posted … L’Oreal Rose True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator Review

  6. India says:

    Have you tried any of the up and up target brand brushes? I swear by their powder brush, it’s so soft.
    India recently posted … How I Save Money on Makeup and Beauty Products

  7. Corinne says:

    ur pic shows a Mac 165 not the 138…. they need to bring back the 165!!!

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