February 13, 2014

Focus On: Blending Brushes

As I've become increasingly obsessed and picky about eyeshadow, the same thing has happened with brushes. I've always been a firm believer in good make-up brushes, and own far too many at this stage. These four are definitely my most used for blending eyeshadow out post-application, and building up extra colour in the crease. I'm hoping that post might be useful to quite a few of you as if you're after picking up one of the numerous new palettes that have hit the market over the last few months, it's worth making sure that your tools are top-notch to get the very best out of your eyeshadow!

MAC 217

In the unlikely event that you're haven't heard about this brush before, drop everything and listen up. This is the ultimate eyeshadow brush - I have two and would happily buy two more. I have the Crown Brush dupes as well, but to me they just aren't as good, so I reserve them for laying down colour.

The 217 is predominantly a crease brush for me. It's brilliant at adding depth eyes in seconds and it's rare that I'd ever not use it at some point when applying eyeshadow. Having a clean one on hand to blend with is also invaluable if you're after a perfect gradient effect!

MAC 268

For me, this is just as good as (if not better than) the 217. For my eye shape at least (fairly round with a defined crease), this works better than the 217 on the lower lash line, although I usually do employ a smaller brush for that job. I suppose the main difference between this and the 217 is that this blends better on its own, and the 217 is slightly better for achieving colour intensity. The 268 is a bit more foolproof, I think, and kind of does all of the hard work for you! I often use both for a look, and consider this pair as essentials.

Sigma E40

This is kind of a "finishing" brush if you will - I like to sweep clean it over the crease post-application, or do a bit of extra blending with a neutral matte colour like Urban Decay's Naked. Again, this is a fairly foolproof brush for achieving a clean blend in and around the crease. I wouldn't use it under the eye, but it's a fantastic brush nonetheless.

Crown C433

In my experience, Crown brushes are quite hit-and-miss, but the good ones can be very good. This is probably my favourite eye brush from Crown; it's kind of the MAC 217's rounder sister. I use it in the same way as the 217 - for blending and building up colour. This works particularly well to bring together a matte eyeshadow look - it just airbrushes colour together. If you like the 217, you will definitely like this.

I really hope this post was useful to some of you... Do let me know what your favourite blending brush is, I'm always on the lookout for new gems! 


  1. I could not live without my MAC brushes now! I have had them for about 7 months and they are may main brushes, I still love my Eco Tools brushes and I use them with my MAC but my MAc ones I will always replace when I need to!


  2. I have the mac 217 and 224 for blending, I could not do my eye makeup without them! x

  3. I’ve been on the hunt for eye brushes, only have one from NIMA but it’s annoying if you only have one!

  4. an inexpensive but (i think) equally good blending brush is the Boots No 7 Eye Contour brush. Costs a tenner but you can use those No& vouchers and pay about e6! :)

  5. I agree with Aideen. I think the No7 eyeshadow brushes are great and such good value especially with the vouchers!


  6. Blending brushes are I think the brushes I'd be will to spend more on - them and foundation brushes. I think they make all the difference :)

    Also, am I the one who finds blending really therapeutic?!


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