5 Eye Brushes Every Woman Should Own

must have eye brushes

To achieve beautiful and flawless eye makeup looks, you need the right brushes. But with so many different types available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. So, I’ve put together this little guide to show you the five eye brushes every woman should have in her arsenal, plus tips on how to use them and recommendations about some good quality tools at all price points. Because, while good brushes are an investment, it doesn’t always have to be an expensive one. :)

So, let’s get started:

1. Flat Shader Brush

A must in any brush collection, a flat shader brush usually has a squared-off shape. Its bristles are dense, stiff and slightly domed, which allow them to pick up a lot of colour and pack it tightly onto the lid, providing an intense finish. In an emergency, this brush can also be used to apply eyeshadows in the crease. Smaller flat shader brushes, instead, also work well at smudging colours under the lashline. This is the type of brush we use every time we apply eyeshadow, so it’s best to have at least a couple in your stash.

One of the most popular flat shader brushes is, undoubtedly, MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush ($25.00). If, like me, you have small eyes, a better option would be MAC 213 Fluff Brush ($24.00). Are you on a budget? Then, try Gosh Flat Eyeshadow Brush (£7.00). It’s just as good as the MAC 239 Brush, but a lot cheaper! Another favourite of mine is E.L.F. Eyeshadow Brush. It costs only $1.00!

2. Stiff Dome Brush

A stiff dome brush has round-shaped bristles that are tapered into a dome. They are stiff but soft, allowing you to blend even the darkest colours seamlessly into the crease. Its shape makes it easy to blend out harsh lines, feather out eyeshadows to create smokey eyes, and add depth to a look. The best stiff dome brush is MAC 217 Blending Brush ($24.00). It’s expensive, but worth every penny. I have yet to find a decent dupe for it. I’m actually thinking of buying a second brush to use as backup. It’s that good.

3. Tapered Blending Brush

Commonly known as fluffy brush, the tapered blending brush has long and wide bristles tapered into a dome. The bristles are soft, but not dense. This makes the brush flimsy and inappropriate for any precise work. However, that doesn’t mean it is useless. On the contrary, this brush excels at softening harsh lines on the crease and browbone areas. Because it doesn’t move a lot of colour around, it simply softens its edges rather than blending it out too much, which makes it perfect for smokey looks.

But it also works well at applying highlighting shades on the browbone. It’ll just deposit a very soft wash of colour. In addition, tapered blending brushes also double up as concealer brushes: they do a great job at hiding dark circles and bags under the eyes. I use the Smashbox Crease Brush #10 ($24.00), but other good options include MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush ($32.00) and Sigma Tapered Blending Brush E40 ($13.63).

4. Pencil Brush

If you need to do any precision work, or want to apply colour on the lower lashline, then you need a pencil brush. It has dense and short, tapered bristles that end in a point, like that of a pencil. A pencil brush can be used to apply colour in the inner corners of the eyes, smudge it near the lashline for a softer or smokier look, or to apply and blend it on the crease for a very defined cut crease look.

The most famous pencil brush must be MAC 219 Pencil Brush ($25.00), but my favourite is Gosh Round Eyeshadow Brush (£7.00). The quality is just as good, but its point is smaller, which makes it more suitable for people with small eyes.

5. Angled Eyeliner Brush

The most versatile type of eyeliner brush, the angled eyeliner brush has short, flat and slanted bristles that can be use for tightlining, drawing both thin and thick lines along the lashline and creating cat eye looks. The shape of this brush allows you to control the shape and size of the line, allowing for a more precise application. Plus, it works well with all types of eyeliners, and even with eyeshadows. I use the Ecotools Bamboo Flat Eyeliner Brush ($5.29), but other, more expensive, options include and Japonesque Travel Angled Eyeliner Brush ($11.00) and MAC 263 Small Angle Brush ($20.00).

What are your must-have eye brushes?

Product Review: Gosh Effect Powder in Pineapple

Name: Effect Powder in Pineapple
Brand: Gosh
Price: £5.50

From Gosh’s website:
A small glass jar with an incredibly silky, iridescent powder in a variety of colors. GOSH EFFECT POWDER can be used as an eye shadow. This shiny powder can give either a strong color effect or be faded out for a shivering effect as a highlighter. Can also be mixed with other colors of eye shadows for a dramatic effect.

What I liked:
– beautiful selection of colours
– soft, creamy texture, blends easily
– shades have a nice metallic and luminous finish
– jars have sifters

What I didn’t like:
– colour payoff is sheer when used dry
– like all loose eyeshadows, application can be messy
– not long-lasting without a primer

Gosh Effect Powder loose eyeshadows are raved about by many, even by those who aren’t that fond of pigments. Some even go as far as to say they’re better than my beloved Barry M Dazzle Dusts, so of course I had to get one and put it to the test. My choice fell upon Pineapple, a pretty yellow-gold shimmery shade with the slightest metallic finish. But is it better than Barry M pigments?

The texture definitely is. Gosh pigments have a very soft, creamy texture that blends like a dream whereas Barry M ones are a bit grittier in comparison but still apply easily. Also, I experienced less fall out than I would with the Dazzle Dusts, although some still occurs. But even so, Gosh Effect Powder in Pineapple hasn’t won me over completely.

The reason? When applied dry, the pigmentation is very poor and, if I try to blend it, it becomes so sheer to be almost invisible to the naked eye, forcing me to apply layer after layer after layer.. You will have to use it wet or with a primer such as Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, which is formulated to give eyeshadows that beautiful foiled look, to get this to show up properly, and even then the colour is still quite soft. An eyeshadow primer is also necessary to avoid creasing and make the pigment last all day.

Gosh Effect Powder eyeshadows come packaged in circular pots, which look quite small, but don’t let that fool ya. They still contain enough product to last you for a lifetime. In addition, the jars come with sifters which reduces the chance of accidents and helps make application less messy. Overall, I think Gosh Effect Powders aren’t that bad for the price, and their texture intrigues me so much that I think I will try one of the darker shades (there are about 30 shades in total), hoping it’ll have better colour payoff.

Available at: Superdrug stores in the UK, Shoppers Drug Mart in the USA

I’m in love with the texture of Gosh Effect Powder in Pineapple: it’s so soft and creamy! But the pigmentation of this particular shade is really poor and I have to apply lots of layers to get it to show up properly. It comes packaged in a small jar with a sifter, which makes application less messy, but some fallout can still occur.

Rating: 3.5/5

New Collection: Gosh Cosmetics Magic Forest Autumn 2011

Gosh Magic Forest is a colorful collection that features petrol, green, brown and deep purple shades. I’m particularly interested in trying the two eyeshadow quads. I remember buying one ages ago but wasn’t impressed. The texture was hard and the shades poorly pigmented but I have heard they have just been reformulated and improved so I’m curious to know how they now perform. The nail polishes look very pretty too. Here are more details:

Available in Crystal Ball (gold green, brown, dark purple and petrol) and Magic Tricks (lime green, purple, dark plum and dark green).

These soft eyeliners are now available in Metallic Brass, Funky Violet and Woody Green.

This useful brow kit contains: Brow Powder shades – easy to blend and match (Light, Medium and Dark), a Wax Cream to fix and shape, created to hold a perfect shape all day (can also be worn alone), Applicator + Brush and a built-in mirror; – which makes it easy to take with you everywhere for flawless and beautiful brows.

This shiny lip glaze has a built in mirror and light that makes it easy to apply everywhere. Now available in Pick Me, Magic Potion and Miss Mystique.

These polishes have a thin texture which makes them easy to apply, dry quickly and provide good coverage. Now available in Deep Purple, Fairytale and Mystical.

What do you think of this collection? Have you see anything that interests you?


Looks: Extravagant Red

Hello everyone,

today’s look is a bit out of my comfort zone. It’s not really an extravagant look at all, but it is extravagant for me. Wat did I do? Well, instead than wearing bright eye makeup, I decided to make the lips the focus of this look and wear red lipstick! I actually love red lippies and I’m finally starting to feel comfortable wearing them so you can expect more bold lips looks in the future. 😉 Because of the red lips, though, I kept the rest of the makeup quite natural. I hope you’ll like it.

Products used:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
– Gosh Effect Powder in Pineapple
Sleek Makeup I-Divine Storm Eyeshadow Palette
– Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero
– Eyeko Big Eyes Mascara
Layla Hydro Tense Foundation
Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer
E.L.F. Studio Golden Bronzer
– Wet n Wild Lip Liner in Milk Coffee
Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick in Extravagant Red

– Start by applying an eyeshadow primer to your eyes (I used Too Faced Shadow Insurance) to help makeup stay put all day and improve the color payoff of the eyeshadows.
– Pat a soft gold eyeshadow (I used Gosh Effect Powder in Pineapple) all over the crease and bring it slightly up into the crease.
– Apply a darker gold shade (I used the one in the Sleek Makeup Eyeshadow palette in Storm) on the outer part of the lid. Blend well.
– Sweep a reddish brown (I used the one in the Sleek Makeup Eyeshadow palette in Storm) on the outer V and blend. Now, using a pencil brush or a shader brush, apply the same shade on the lower lashline too.
– Line your upper lashline with a black eyeliner (I used Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero) and apply mascara.
– I mixed Layla Hydro Tense Foundation in n.3, which is too dark for my skintone, with my day moisturizer (Olay Total Effects day cream) to create a shade that would match me and applied it all over my face. Then I applied concealer (I used Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer) on my undereye area to hide my dark circles.
– On my cheeks, I used the two lighter shade in the E.L.F. Studio Golden Bronzer as blush.
– I don’t have a red lip liner so I used a neutral soft pink shade (I used Wet n Wild Lip Liner in Milk Coffee) instead to define my lips.
– Now, using a lip brush, apply a true red lipstick shade (I used Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick in Extravagant Red) on your lips.

Product Review: Gosh Eyeshadow Brush Flat XL

Name: Eyeshadow Brush Flat XL
Brand: Gosh
Price: £8.00

From Gosh’s website:
Designed for a broader application of eyeshadow and powder around the eye where you want super soft and smooth toning. 100% natural hair.

What I liked:
– soft but dense bristles
– doesn’t bleed nor shed
– packs on color on the lid well
– looks sleek and elegant
– the price

What I didn’t like:
– not very practical for those that have small eyes
– some people may not like that the bristles are natural

Gosh Eyeshadow Brush Flat XL is the biggest eyeshadow brush I have ever seen! I have small eyes so I had doubts it would have worked well for me but I still bought it, on my last trip to London, because Superdrug was having a 3×2 offer on Gosh brushes (although selection was limited as most brushes were sold out) so this one came free and, hadn’t I liked it, I wouldn’t really have wasted any money. :)

Like the other Gosh eyeshadow brushes that I’ve tried, this too has a black handle that looks sleek and professional, with natural bristles that are very soft to the touch, don’t scratch skin and never shed a hair nor bled even after being washed several times. I think the quality of Gosh eyeshadow brushes is really outstanding for the price and are a great alternative to expensive brushes like those from MAC.

I have to say though that I don’t have much use for this brush but that’s only because, as I mentioned above, I have small eyes. The bristles are dense and pack a lot of color on the lid, but I just find it hard to control where to place the shade. It usually ends up even when I don’t want it and it’s impossible to blend with this brush!

However, on those rare days when I only use one color on the lid, this one works fine. It would also be a great choice for people with big eyes that are looking for a good brush to place the color or for those that need to apply eyeshadows all around the eyes for more daring/editorial looks. As long as you don’t have to do any precise work in a small area, I think you will really love this brush. Now, if only Gosh brushes (and everything else they make) were more easily available everywhere!

Available at: Superdrug stores throughout the UK

Unless you have small eyes (in which case skip this) Gosh Eyeshadow Brush Flat XL has soft and dense bristles that pack on a lot of color. Works great on big areas but it is not suitable for precise work. In addition, the bristles don’t shed nor bleed and the price is reasonable.

Rating: 4/5

Product Review: Gosh Flat Eyeshadow Brush

Name: Flat Eyeshadow Brush
Brand: Gosh
Price: £7.00

From Gosh’s website:
Broad, short hair brush designed especially for all types of eyeshadows. 100% natural hair.

What I liked:
– bristles are soft but dense
– packs a lot of color onto the lid
– no shedding nor bleeding
– looks chic and professional
– the price

What I didn’t like:
– if you don’t like natural bristles, this is not for you

About a month ago, I raved about the Gosh Round Eyeshadow brush and now it’s time to talk about another brush from Gosh, the Flat Eyeshadow Brush, that I bought in London a few months ago. Seriously, why aren’t these brushes more easily available worldwide? They’re awesome! Well, at least their eye brushes are. I can’t speak for the face ones as I haven’t tried them but after my positive experiences with these two brushes I’m so tempted to.

The Gosh flat eyeshadow brush has a black handle, that looks sleek and professional, while the bristles are brown pony hair. I know not everyone likes brushes with natural bristles but I don’t have a problem with them and I like that being brown, they don’t get stained and are easy to clean.

The brush has the perfect shape. It is flat, slightly domed with dense bristles that pick up quite a lot of product straight away ensuring great color payoff with just one or two swipes. I find this type of brush works extremely well at packing eyeshadows onto the lid. In addition, the bristles feel extremely soft on the skin, not scratchy at all.

Although this brush is designed to apply colors on the lid, and does it very well, if I’m in a rush, I also use it to blend colors on the crease and I find that it works quite well that way too. It’s not as precise as the Round blush for blending, but if you’re in a hurry or wearing natural colors instead than crazily bright looks that need to be blended to perfection or they just look awful, then this’ll do too.

I’ve been using this brush for a few months now and wash it regularly. It has never shed a hair, nor did it bleed. In addition, the bristles still retain their shape well after washing and they are still as soft as the day I bought it.

Available at: Superdrug stores in the UK and Shoppers Drug Marts in the USA.

If you’re looking for an eyeshadow brush to apply colors on the lid, Gosh Flat Eyeshadow Brush is a great option. The bristles are very soft but dense and pick up a lot of product for a pigmented finish in just one swipe. In addition, they don’t shed, don’t bleed and are natural. Plus, the price is cheap too!

Rating: 4.5/5