Makeup runs out, but great makeup brushes are forever. That is why it is so important for every makeup lover to have incredible brushes in their arsenal. Buying makeup brushes individually definitely does not make sense (at least not in the beginning) when there are so many amazing makeup brush sets available for much better prices.
However, there is no one best brush set – there are many different kinds of makeup brushes that address different needs, which meant I had to make a list of the best makeup brush sets. Some of these sets are totally comprehensive, in case you need a clean start, while other sets can jump-start a new collection but would still need some augmenting with individual brushes.
Some of these makeup brush sets are smaller sized and made for travel, while others are filled with full-sized brushes. No matter what kind of brushes you want or need, and at which price point, you will find an amazing set to fill your needs.
1. Artis Brush Elite Mirror 10 Makeup Brush Set
These gorgeous mirrored makeup brushes represent one of the best makeup brush sets in the oval brush category. This is a complete set with which you could easily apply a full face of makeup, once you get past the oval brush learning curve.
The mirrored handles are clean and gorgeous, and include a thicker grip pad, making for much more comfortable makeuping. The brush fibers are impossibly soft and totally vegan. This makeup brush set can be purchased from Net-A-Porter.
2. Sigma Beauty Basic Face Kit
This 5-brush set from Sigma makes into the best makeup brush sets hall of fame, because it is more than perfect for achieving a perfect complexion. The brushes in this set are all vegan, and can be used to apply liquid, cream, and powder based products. The handles are a classic, shiny black that will fit in any makeup bag. You can pick this set up at Nordstrom.
3. E.L.F. Cosmetics Silver 11-Piece Brush Collection
At only $30.00, this makeup brush set from E.L.F. is not only a steal, but it is also the most affordable of the best makeup brush sets. These brushes are enough to achieve almost any makeup look, and they come in a comfortable gray pouch.
These vegan brushes are soft and easy to use. The only thing separating them from a more high-end set is how lightweight they are. You can find this set online at Ulta.
4. Sephora Collection Trade Brush Set
This 8-brush set from Sephora includes almost everything needed for a full face, and it’s a perfect set for on-the-go touch-ups. These 8 makeup brushes are a mixture of synthetic and natural hair brushes, and they come in a convenient roll-up pouch that has room for a few more brushes.
On its own, this collection isn’t exactly enough, but it is a great way to augment a pre-existing brush collection (especially if you are looking to venture into higher quality brushes), or a good way to start a brand new collection. These makeup brushes are sold at Sephora.
5. Bobbi Brown Basic Brush Collection
This basic set from Bobbi Brown might be small and simple, but the makeup brushes are of such a high quality that this is certainly one of the best makeup brush sets. This 6-brush set is a little all over the place, with brushes for both the face and the eyes, but not exactly enough for a full face.
They come in a waterproof carrying case, and have a unisex design that is reminiscent of artist brushes, so you’ll be ready to get truly artistic. This awesome set is available at Sephora.
6. IT Brushes Your Beautiful Basics Airbrush 101 5-Piece Set
With this makeup brush set, the name says it all. These ultra-soft brushes can all be used for both liquids and powders, and are an excellent place to start if you are looking for a new foundation and concealer application method.
The makeup brushes are all rounded, with a metallic handle. They come in a classy black carrying case that has a bit of extra room in it for a few makeup items. Available at Ulta, this is another great deal for one of the best makeup brush sets.
7. MAC Look in a Box Basic Makeup Brush Kit
This is one of the tinier makeup brush sets on the market. This 5-brush set is the kind of set you could take with you to a desert island, because in a pinch it can get a lot of work done. The handles themselves are on the smaller size – perfect for jet setters with small hands.
These natural and synthetic fiber makeup brushes cover both your face and eye makeup needs. This would make for a lovely gift for a young makeup newbie. Buy it directly from MAC Cosmetics.
8. Too Faced Teddy Bear Hair 5-Piece Makeup Brush Set
This is the most adorable of the best makeup brush sets on the market, featuring shamelessly pink and gold handles, with a glamorous heart-studded carrying bag. It’s another great set for on-the-go touch-ups, and essential needs for both face and eyes.
These makeup brushes are synthetic, as part of Too Faced’s commitment for being totally vegan and cruelty free, and yet they are still super soft. The bristles are self-cleaning, and able to repel bacteria. You can get this lovely makeup brush set at Sephora.
9. Sigma Beauty Best of Sigma Makeup Brush Kit
This excellent makeup brush set from Sigma will instantly update your brush collection, since it features all of the best Sigma brushes. This is also one of the best makeup brush sets value-wise. It is not the cheapest, but it offers a great bang for your buck since every brush here is a winner.
You’ll find yourself reaching for the makeup brushes from this set day after day, especially for the wonderful blending brushes in it. These sleek brushes are available through Nordstrom.
10. Kevyn Aucoin The Expert Makeup Brush Collection Travel Set
This makeup brush set gives you 10 brushes in 5. Each dual ended brush in this Kevyn Aucoin set is crafted to perfection with a specific use in mind, whether to give you flawless skin or smoldering eyes.
This makeup brush set is heavy on the face brushes, and most of the brushes are made of natural hair fibers. They come with a sleek leather carrying case with extra space, and are perfect for travel. Get this set at Net-A-Porter.
11. Real Technique Mini Trio Makeup Brush Set
This three-brush set from Real Techniques is an excellent little set for applying foundation, powder, and concealer. It is no surprise that this is one of the best makeup brush sets, seeing as Real Techniques brushes are known for their high quality, great price, and ultimate softness.
These vegan brushes are fun and colorful, and come in a cute clear pouch. You can get them at Ulta for just $9.99.
Are you looking for a brand new set of makeup brushes, or a smaller set that will augment your existing collection? Which of these makeup brush sets is your favorite? Comment and let us know!
Photos courtesy of Net-a-Porter, Sephora, Nordstrom