Best Eyeshadow Brushes [Review] in 2021
written by nail expert Jess Rowley
See full list of products
Applying eyeshadow has become an art in the beauty industry, but what brushes take a natural look to a masterpiece? It requires a set of trusty brushes and a hell of a lot of practice.
But you aren’t the only one in this; you could spend hours watching youtube to master a perfect eyeshadow look and still struggle.
There is a wide amount of different eyeshadow brushes: from the shade and blend brush to the smudge and line brush. It can be super confusing and a little bit intimidating at first.
But don’t worry, I have good news!
I have done all the research for you, looking at 27 different eyeshadow brushes, factoring down to the basics that you need to complete the coolest eyeshadow looks effortlessly. Together we will break down all the confusing features.
Here’s a tip: although a good brush seriously helps, it’s all about practice, so pair one of my brushes out of this guide and keep going and trust me, you’ll love the looks you’ll come out with.
You don’t want to miss the first product on my list– it’s my favorite eyeshadow blending brush ever.
Top Picks of the Best Eyeshadow Brushes
EcoTools Eye Enhancing Duo Brush Set
best eyeshadow brush set
If you’re looking for the full set of all the best eyeshadow brushes you need, then I cannot recommend this set by EcoTools enough.
Not only does is this set kitted with four brush heads to shade, define, blend and smudge, but they’re also all completely cruelty-free, vegan, and made out of recycled materials.
You need to apply the eyeshadow with the shader brush and use the angled liner to line the eye shape. Then blend the shadow to reduce harsh lines and streaks and then smudge along the lash line.
You can focus on your new eyeshadow looks and practice until those eyes are insta-worthy. They are also super travel-friendly and will give you a flawless finish every time.
Honestly, I tried these brushes a few months back, and I’m completely hooked! If you love your furry friends and love a good makeup look, you need to try these out.
- Cruelty-free and vegan
- High quality
- Shade, define, blend and smudge
Latest deal: EcoTools Eye Enhancing Duo Brush Set
Real Techniques Eyeshadow Makeup Brush Set
Best eyeshadow brush kit
Here’s another brush set that is a must-have for your eyeshadow application; the eyeshade and blend brushes are brilliant for an easy two-color shadow application. It even includes a bonus brow brush!
The base shadow brush has finely tapered bristles that allow you to build and apply your makeup easily, while the deluxe crease brush has a soft, oversized design that allows for effortless blending in the crease.
But wait, that’s not all:
Real Techniques Eyeshadow brush set is designed to give a smooth, flawless application at ease for both liquid and powder eyeshadows; they also do not shed bristles after use which I found was brilliant.
These two brushes are the ultimate pair and a must-have in your makeup kit. They will be sure to give you a flawless and effortless finish at ease. Plus, you can’t argue with the quality you get for the price.
- Applies and blends makeup like a dream
- Flawless finish with ease
- High quality
Latest deal: Real Techniques Eyeshadow Makeup Brush Set
Sigma Beauty E30 Pencil Brush
best eyeshadow brush for the crease
If you’re looking for a pencil brush to reach to the tight areas that a normal brush won’t touch, then you need to try Sigma E30.
Not only does this brush have the perfect shape to fit into smaller areas like to add a highlight to the crease or to blend out the eyeshadow around the lash line, but you can also use this brush to blend cream or gel eyeliners on the top lid.
But here’s the best bit.
The bristles are made out of SigmaTech fibers that allow you to apply your eyeshadow like a pro, but they’re also durable, easy to clean, and hypoallergenic. If you look after this brush, it will be sure to last a long time.
I use this brush every time I use eyeshadow along my bottom lash line and cut crease; it gives me a smokey but natural finish every time. It made a huge difference to my eyeshadow looks.
- Fits smaller areas to add highlight or blend
- Can be used for both cream and powder
- Durable and easy to clean
- Issue with shedding bristles
Latest deal: Sigma Beauty Pencil Brush
Sigma Beauty Eye Shading E55 Makeup Brush
Now, if you’re looking for a brilliant eye shading brush to apply your eyeshadow base, then Sigma E55 is up for the job.
Its soft and dense bristles ensure an even and flawless base application for your creams, eyeshadow pigments, and primers.
The bristles are short and dense, which is ideal for high-impact colors; plus, by them being so dense, you can build up your eyeshadow easily and evenly until you’re happy with the coverage.
It is made out of hypoallergenic synthetic bristles (just like Sigma’s Pencil brush), which means they’re easy to clean and safe for skin. They don’t stain like other brushes, either.
Overall this brush is brilliant for adding the fullest pigmentation for the base so you can complete the most vibrant looks that will stand out from the crowd. You can also use this brush for natural looks as well as bold looks.
- Soft, dense bristles
- Ideal for cream eyeshadows
- Easy to clean
- Issues with faulty products
Latest deal: Sigma Beauty E55 Eye Makeup Brush
Elf Eyeshadow Crease Brush
If you’re looking for an affordable option, you need to try out this brush; it will blend your eyeshadow into your crease like a dream to give a blended look like a pro.
The tapered tip is excellent for contouring and adding depth and definition and works perfectly with loose or pressed eyeshadow, wet or dry. It is also super easy to clean, even if you’re using a highly pigmented eyeshadow.
As if that’s not enough:
It is also completely cruelty-free and vegan, and hypoallergenic, thanks to its synthetic bristles. If you love a fluffy crease brush but are looking for an affordable option, you must try this one out.
- Cruelty-free and vegan
- Excellent for contouring and adding definition
- Blends like a dream
Latest deal: Elf Eyeshadow Crease Brush
Impora London Eye Brush Set
Best affordable eyeshadow brush set
For the value and price of this brush, I don’t think you can beat this set. Not only does it have two double-ended brushes, but each brush is fit for each use of eyeshadow: blending, defining, smudging, and shading.
The high-quality synthetic fibers will make applying eyeshadow easy while also giving a flawless finish, making this brush brilliant for all users.
Plus, these bristles being synthetic also means that these brushes are great for sensitive skin– they also get bonus points for being cruelty-free and vegan.
But best of all:
These brushes are super soft and do not scratch on the skin; they blend everything effortlessly while not absorbing the product. This brush set ticks all the boxes– you don’t need to break your bank to have pretty eyeshadow looks.
- Double-ended brushes
- High-quality synthetic fibers
- Cruelty-free and vegan
- Super soft
- Have to order through UK Amazon
Latest deal: Impora London Eye Brush Set
Sigma E25 Blending Brush
best eyeshadow blending brush
When it comes down to blending brush, you want one that’s slightly firm but works well to soften intense lines, and edges on the lid– lucky for you, Sigma’s blending brush does all of these things effortlessly.
This product is a real award winner with its wide and slightly flat firmer bristle blending functions.
The high-performance synthetic fibers outperform traditional animal hair while also being hypoallergenic, antibacterial, and cruelty-free. These synthetic bristles are also extremely durable and won’t lose their shape after a few uses.
You can also guarantee that these brushes won’t soak up your product; I love how much pigmentation this brush can add to your eyeshadow look.
But that’s not all:
The 3-ring brush ferrule is made with high-performance Sigma Alloy, which adds to the durability. The brush as a whole is made out of sustainable wood, which makes this brush scratch-resistant and long-lasting.
This brush is worth every penny for the finishes it gives your eye makeup– you won’t be disappointed.
- Firm but soft bristles
- Synthetic fibers
- Hypoallergenic, antibacterial and cruelty-free
- Doesn’t soak up your product
- Some customers found quality was poor
Latest deal: Sigma E25 Blending Brush
Docolor Eyeshadow Brush Set
If you’re looking for a professional blending brush set to blend your eyeshadow safely without any side effects, you need Docolor’s eyeshadow set.
Where do I begin?
These soft, durable bristles are made out of the highest quality materials while being at an affordable price point. These brushes are made with sensitive synthetic bristles so that you can use them without irritation.
These brushes are super portable and will complete everyday looks effortlessly. They are essential for either at home or on the go for quick top-ups of eyeshadow.
This kit includes a smudging brush, highlighting brushes, and smokey brushes — ready for every look. Not to mention the color, your eyeshadow won’t be the only one catching eyes with this unique color scheme.
All these features are brilliant, but here’s the kicker:
It is completely cruelty-free and vegan! So not only will you make a statement with your eyeshadow, together, we can combat climate change and promote more ethical products. Nothing feels better than showing off a new makeup look to realize that it’s all cruelty-free.
- High quality but affordable
- Comes with a brush case
- Includes all the eye brushes you need
- Cruelty free and vegan
Latest deal: Docolor Eyeshadow Brush Set
Best Eyeshadow Brushes Buyers Guide:
When it comes to finding good quality brushes to use on your favorite makeup looks, it can be a complete game-changer. Nothing makes me more excited than a new brush or new brush set arriving in the mail.
I have tried a wide array of eyeshadow brushes over the years, and trust me, I’ve had some bad ones, ones that scratch your face or don’t blend your eyeshadow at all.
We’ve all started with the sponge applicators out of the eyeshadow palette from when we’re kids and how far we’ve all come when it comes to makeup since then.
Whether you’re here as a beginner or just looking for a new eyeshadow brush to try, I’ve got you covered girl, let’s go through the full rundown.
Key Features & Things To Check:
When looking for eyeshadow brushes, there are quite a few features and things you need to check before you click to buy– whether it’s down to preference or use.
What you’re using the brush for:
There are actually quite a few eyeshadow brushes to choose from, and they all have a different use or purpose. The basic four are the shader brush, blending brush, pencil brush, an eyeliner brush.
For the full rundown of each, check out my guide on the different makeup brushes here.
Most importantly, before you click to buy, you need to think of what you’re going to be using this brush for; if you’re looking for a basic makeup look, a shader brush and blending brush will do the job nicely.
But if you’re looking for eyeshadow art, then you may want to invest in all four.
Synthetic vs. natural brushes:
When it comes to eyeshadow brushes, I would always go for synthetic over natural. Not only are these brushes often cruelty-free, but they don’t soak up the product as much as natural.
The difference between the two is that natural brushes are made out of animal fur and hair, whereas synthetic ones are made out of nylon and other plastics.
Even better if you can find a synthetic brush that’s made out of sustainable materials like EcoTools, that is not only vegan and cruelty-free, but the brush and packaging are sustainable for the environment and made out of recycled materials.
This is one of the most important factors to consider before buying a makeup brush; it will make your brushes last longer and improve the quality of a brush as a whole.
No one wants a brush where the bristles fall out after a couple of uses.
Vegan and cruelty-free:
Nowadays, products and brushes are becoming much healthier for the environment and better for wildlife and animals.
There are many more vegan and sustainable options around for you to choose from, high quality and affordable.
Instead of buying from unethical manufacturers, I cannot recommend switching to cruelty-free and vegan companies so we can combat climate change and the animal testing industry one brush at a time.
Frequently asked Questions
What brush should I use for cream eyeshadow?
If you decide that using your fingers isn’t for you or looking for a more intricate eye looks, then getting the right brush is the first step. I recommend using a blending eyeshadow brush or a flat synthetic brush to maintain the pigment.
You can even use a smudger brush if you’re looking to get into tighter corners or if you’re looking to use creamy eyeshadows for eyeliner using an angled liner brush. It is all down to preference.
Do you wet the brush before eyeshadow?
If you’re looking for a well pigmented, creamier eyeshadow look, then you can wet down your eyeshadow brush before use. It will make your finish much more intense than without wetting it.
How many brushes do you need for eyeshadow?
You only really need around 3 to 4 brushes to complete an eyeshadow look: a shader brush, blender brush, liner brush, and a smudge or pencil brush. Once you’ve become more advanced and develop your eyeshadow looks further, you can add more brushes to your kit.
Why are washing your eyeshadow brushes so important?
Eye brushes are the most important to wash as bacteria build-up can cause eye infections which are never nice. I would recommend washing your brushes every few weeks to keep up the hygiene and general care of your brushes while preventing the risk of infections.
How do you clean your eyeshadow brush?
First things first, you need to wet the bristles with lukewarm water; I like to rub the bristles under the running tap with my hand for a minute or two before going in with a cleanser to help break down the buildup.
Place a drop of your cleanser into the palm of your clean hand or makeup brush cleansing mat and massage the bristles for a few minutes. Rinse and repeat until your eyeshadow brush is clean and the running water is clear after rinsing.
Squeeze out the excess moisture and leave it to dry on a towel on its side.
Check out my full guide as to how to clean all your makeup brushes here.
Hopefully, after today, I have helped you select a new brush to add to your kit while giving a breakdown of what makes brilliant makeup brushes as well as the use for each.
Choose out of any I’ve selected today and remember practice makes perfect; you may not get it right the first time but keep trying. One of these brushes may be your new best friend.
Cheif Editor & Nail Technician Expert
Jess Rowley, a veteran nail tech, has been studying beauty over the last 11 years and has completed the nail technology program in California. Watching the latest trends in beauty, Jess searches for the highest quality products that make your nails feel loved.