Top Makeup Brushes and Brush Sets

Makeup brushes are a must in any woman's makeup drawer. You don't have to spend a ton of money on a makeup brush. Acrylic ones actually are easier to clean than the brushes made from fancy animal (sable, pony, squirrel, goat, and badger) fibers. But the pricey ones will last you forever — and cost you a lot up front.

Extra tip: When traveling, wrap makeup brushes in a bandanna. The cloth will protect the bristles and collect makeup.

You won't find a better brush set than this one from Kevyn Aucoin. A favorite with makeup artists, this extraordinary brush set allows for precision contouring and placement. Comes with 12 brushes and a brush roll.

Perfectly priced at $30, this 11-piece set is an all-time favorite among beauty editors and makeup artists.

Get all the brushes you need in one set. Sonia Kashuk brushes are inexpensive but don't feel cheap.

One of Amazon's bestsellers, this 24-piece makeup brush set is perfect for those on a budget. Priced affordably, you get a lot of brushes (made of goat and badger) for the money. Don't expect these to last forever, but they are a good gift for a teenager or a beauty aficionado in your life (or even yourself).

Want the best? Try Paula Dorf's eyeshadow brush. This gentle blue squirrel brush blends shadow from lash line to the crease of your eye. Great for contouring. Another great option: Shu Uemura.

Throw out the freebie eyeshadow applicator and instead use a sable eyeshadow brush such as this one by Sephora.

While some people love eyeliner pencils, we prefer to line our eyes with a wet eyeliner brush dipped in a dark eyeshadow. The best eyeliner brushes on the market are from NARS and M.A.C.

This brush has a stiffer hair that gives excellent control and blends products easily

Some makeup artists (including Laura Mercier) use concealer brushes to apply concealer to dark undereye circles and any discolored areas on the skin. The pad of your middle finger works well, also, but you do get more coverage with a brush. This is a great one.

One of the best brow brushes on the market. Other great brands: Shu Uemura.

Many makeup artists swear by foundation brushes for the perfect foundation application. Trish McEvoy's brush is by far the best foundation brush I've tried. I've owned mine for years and it's still in pristine condition.

An amazing inexpensive option for a powder brush. Gets super high points on Users love the softness of the bristles and the overall quality of the brush. Great for powders or bronzers.