10 best eye makeup brush sets
Perfect your peepers with these tried and tested brushes, from cult classics to new favourites
Applying the perfect eyeshadow can be tricky, but finding the right brushes can be even trickier. The average YouTube tutorial seems to use a dozen different brushes, which can be overwhelming for a novice.
While some brush kits promise to offer a brush for every different stroke, the main areas a decent kit should cover are blending, buffing and working in the crease of the eye.
Whether you’re looking for an everyday kit or something a bit more luxe, we’ve tested a range of sets to give you a roundup of the best brushes on offer right now.
Morphe x Jaclyn Hill the eye master collection: £39, Cult Beauty
Jaclyn Hill is the queen of eye makeup, making this collaboration the ideal choice for anyone hoping to recreate even the most extreme looks. Containing eight different brushes, the kit features everything from a transition to a brow bone highlight brush.
While five of the brushes utilise natural hair and the other three are synthetic, all feel super soft on the skin and evenly and smoothly blend pigment into the lid. Coming in a glittery silver case – perfect for those who like to apply their makeup on-the-go – this set is great value at £39.
MAC shiny pretty things brush party advanced eyes: £39, MAC
This brush set was made for those who prefer simplicity in their makeup routine. Unlike some of the bulkier sets, MAC offers just five mini brushes. Aesthetically, they were our favourite of the bunch – the metallic blue shade is different enough to stand out, while the accompanying pouch makes a pretty addition to any makeup collection.
While we weren’t entirely sold on the functionality of the eye smudger brush, we were particularly impressed by the rounded smudging brush – this swayed us. Plus, the set was too pretty not to include.
Zoeva screen queen complete eye set: £65, Beauty Bay
When it comes to quality, Zoeva never fails to impress. This twelve piece set offers brushes for eye makeup steps you would have never even considered using a different brush for – such as the petite fan brush, designed to "remove excess mascara". This can be a pro or a con, depending on how adventurous you feel with your makeup routine – but we liked the range of brushes on offer.
They’re surprisingly soft for a mixture of natural and synthetic hair – our favourite was the luxe powder fusion brush, which helps smooth out the transition between different shades.
EcoTools eye enhancing duo set: £6.99, Amazon
For those who prefer to keep their eye makeup simple (or are too intimidated by beauty vloggers to go any further) this two piece eye brush set covers all your bases. Not only is it purse friendly, it’s also environmentally considerate – each brush features two different heads to maximise practicality. They promise to shade, define, blend and smudge, but our tester found that there was very little that this set could not do.
Bdellium tools golden triangle complete eye brush set: £90, Beauty Bay
While they may be the priciest entry on this list, this Bdellium set feel and look luxurious. You also get a lot for your money – the set boasts fifteen different brushes, suiting every need. The softness varies depending on the purpose of each brush, but each applies as smoothly as the other. Another bonus is that they cleanse well, shedding no hair with each wash.
Iconic London complete eye set: £40, Cult Beauty
Available in two different colours – black and cream – this kit comes with seven different brushes. The set and accompanying makeup bag is vegan, which is surprisingly rare with high quality makeup brushes, but the hairs are very soft for synthetic fibres.
What we loved most about this set was the clear distinction between each brush – from the eye shader to the pencil brush – it’s easy to tell what each one is for, which can be tricky for an eye makeup novice.
Real Techniques enhanced eye makeup brush set: £19.99, Superdrug
You can never go wrong with a Real Techniques brush set – they’re consistently reliable and high quality. This set covers all the basics with separate brushes for your shadow, crease, shading, lashes and fine liner. They all pick up product well and we were especially impressed by the inclusion of a lash brush to separate any clumpy mascara situations. If we had just one critique, it’s that the crease brush isn’t quite pointed enough for a sharp shadow look.
Spectrum 8 Piece Eye Blending Brush Set: £29.99, Asos
Spectrum are known for their weird and wonderful brush sets, and while this set might be on the tame side for their range, it’s still sure to stand out in your collection. We loved the ombre purple and blue hairs, which are thankfully just as effective as they are pretty.
Some of the brushes seem a little unnecessary – a few are too similar to each other to be really useful additions to your kit – but, as an added bonus, they’re vegan-friendly.
Narshy eye brush set: £29.95, Beauty Bay
We were pleasantly surprised by this brush kit. The hairs looked slightly bulkier than we were used to, but they were more precise than most of the entries on this list. PETA-approved, they’re vegan-friendly with anti-bacterial synthetic fibres that are soft on the skin. This kit is available in two colours, but our favourite was pearlescent white.
Brushworks precision eye & brow set: £16, Feel Unique
This kit covers all the basics, even incorporating your eyebrows. Aside from the usual functions, we really liked the angled liner brush, which applies gel eyeliner like a dream. Not only is it purse friendly, working out at just £4 per brush, but they feel very sturdy in hand. The hairs also achieve the right balance between gentle but tough enough to pick up even the lightest eyeshadow pigments.
The verdict: Eye makeup brush sets
If you’re looking for a brush for every occasion, you can’t go wrong with Morphe’s Jaclyn Hill eye master collection. However, if you prefer a simple eye look and don’t need an excess of brushes, we recommend Real Techniques’ enhanced eye makeup brush set.
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