01 November 2011

Trade Secrets: Make-Up Brushes; Spree, Spend or Splurge?

Kicking off this new post series, makeup artist extraordinaire, Sarah Lanagan, shares her views on the best brushes.

"When it comes to make-up brushes, I often get asked what the best brands are, whether it's better to invest in a big name or if there bargains out there; in other words, do you really get what you pay for when shelling out for designer goods?

After mmm-ing and ahh-ing about it, my answer is almost always the same; a slightly noncommittal “It depends…” Now, I know that doesn’t seem very helpful at the moment, but it really does depend on whether:

  • You’re big into make-up
  • How often you’ll use the brushes and…
  • Whether you actually want to spend money
I’ve put together a little short list of some different options, which in my experience are all great quality but differ in price and style meaning they’ll suit any budget or need!


EcoTools; an earth-friendly and vegan range, these brushes are made with incredibly soft taklon synthetic fibres and feature bamboo handles with recycled aluminium for a durable yet sleek design aesthetic. The 6 piece brush set comes in at €19.50 and the individual brushes range from €5 upwards. There isn’t a vast variety but the quality is definitely there! 
EcoTools brushes are available in Boots Chemists or via their official website www.ecotools.com


Inglot; a Polish brand that’s starting to make waves here in Ireland offer high quality, make-up artist brushes that come in a wide variety of styles and provide the option of synthetic or natural hair depending on whether you’re using powder or cream products. They are the same standard as recognizable make-up artist brand brushes but aren’t as pricey because the company is still new and name isn’t as well known. Prices start at €11 per brush.

Inglot are available in Jervis Shopping center, Liffey valley & Dundrum   


Shu Uemura; I believe make the highest quality brushes and are always seen in make-up artist’s brush rolls. The sheer variety available can be daunting but with Christmas ever approaching, now is the time that companies start releasing their travel sized kits and limited edition collections, making it (slightly) easier to choose. My advice when going for more expensive brushes is to choose ones that you’ll be using regularly, as that way you’ll get the best value out of them, especially seeing as some brushes can cost as much as €70.

Shu Uemura is available in Brown Thomas. "

Have you tried any of these brush brands and what was your verdict?

Check out Sarah's blog, Pretty Easy, or visit her website  for more great tips, tricks and stunning makeup looks.  


July Girl said...

Great post always mean to get myself some decent brushes then get dazzled by all the choice! Love to know which ones Sarah thinks are the essentials?

Mandy said...

No Mac, controversial! Nice to see some variety. Have not tried any of these three brands but think Inglot and Ecotools sound good, Shu Umera well outside my price range though.

fluff and fripperies said...

@Julygirl, the same thing happens to me. I end up standing there holding an armful of brushes, paralysed by choice until I put them all back and leave the shop sharpish! I shall deffo ask Sarah for her recommendations.

@Mandy, I know, shock horror!

Lucky said...

Agree with you Julygirl & Emma - always get confused. Although I have on several occasions bought an array of brushes and then don;t know what they're best for !!

Zoe said...

Personally i think its best to mix and match the brands of brushes you use, from elf to mac i think there's great ones from most brands!
shu umera look and sound amazing but they are definitely out of my price range though!


Dollyrouge said...

This is a very apt post for me right now as I need to do a complete overhaul of my kit. I started building up my brush kit ten years ago and it now encompasses brushes from Mac right down to Elf!
Some have seen better days so I am thinking of getting some Sigma brushes to see how they fare. I will keep you updated although it will probably be christmas before i get them. ^ Rach

fluff and fripperies said...

Thanks guys! @Rach, you must have quite the collection after 10 years! I applied pretty much everything with my fingers for far too long of my makeup wearing life and now have only a handful of brushes I regularly use...

Tina said...

Was just debating with myself today whether or not to get some ecotools brushes because they were on sale. Might have to go back and buy them after seeing this post ;)

Sarah Lanagan said...

Hey everyone, delighted you enjoyed the post! I have to agree and say that a mix and match of different brands ultimately is the best, but it takes time to find what you like.

To be honest, this was a difficult piece to write as I could write an entire book about brushes!! I didn't include MAC as I felt that most people would know about them already.. so thought I'd give a little recognition to some slightly lesser known brands!

little t said...

I was recently very pleasantly surprised by the quality of an eco tools foundation brush I bought. Would definitely recommend it.

fluff and fripperies said...

That's it, I'm snapping up a couple the next time I'm in Boots!

Thanks again for the fab post Sarah x