The 7 Best Concealer Brushes
When I worked as a makeup artist, having the right tool for the job made all the difference, and take it from me, the best concealer brushes will make fast work of sleepless nights and skin woes. Yet, with so many brushes on the market, it can be difficult to know which ones are right for your needs.
A Brush Guide
Different types of makeup brushes are better at concealing certain things.
- For under eyes: An under-eye concealer brush should be flat and about the width of one of your fingertips. The shape and size follow the contour of your eye while allowing you to pat concealer gently on delicate skin.
- For covering acne: A skinny brush especially one with a pointed tip is perfect for stippling heavy coverage where you need it while allowing the rest of your skin to breathe.
- For heavy coverage: People who are looking to lay down heavy coverage over large areas — for example, to cover melasma or tattoos — will want a flat brush like the ones used for under the eyes or something similar to a Beauty Blender sponge that can quickly cover a larger surface area.
- For setting: If you're targeting under the eyes, you’ll want a large fluffy brush with a dome shape that’s larger than a concealer brush but not quite as big as what you’d use to contour. For acne, a small dome-shaped or flat-top brush allows you to place powder without shifting the makeup underneath. For larger areas, you might prefer a puff or sponge for efficiency, but press gently and make sure to dust off any excess.
Synthetic Vs. Natural Bristles
Synthetic bristles are usually preferred for concealer brushes. Since you’re probably working with creamy or liquid products, you’ll want to be able to thoroughly wash them on a regular basis, and natural brushes tend to be harder to clean. Taklon is a high-quality type of synthetic bristle and is a name to watch for if you’re in the market for cruelty-free makeup brushes.
Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned pro, these are some of the best concealer brushes to add to your collection.
1. The Best Overall
The Real Techniques brand by YouTube gurus Sam and Nic Chapman channeled the sisters’ years of experience as professional makeup artists into a high-quality line of products that provide amazing value. This travel-size concealer brush comes packed with full-size features, touting over 11,000 reviews and a 4.6-star rating. Shoppers call it "a makeup kit must-have," saying that the “shaped-but-still-fluffy” Taklon bristles are good for both creamy concealers as well as powder, while the rounded shape fits neatly under the eyes. (And it can be a great pinch-hitter for applying contour or highlight when you’re tight on space.)
2. The Best Drugstore Concealer Brush
This budget find comes courtesy of Wet n Wild, a brand known for affordable cosmetics that often dupe more expensive labels. This drugstore concealer brush is small enough to take on breakouts or the area around the nose, with the right shape to target under eye shadows. The synthetic bristles are easy to wash and cruelty-free. For less than a dollar each, you could pick up an entire arsenal. And if you dabble in FX or cosplay makeup, it might be worth having a few on hand so you don’t have to worry about destroying a more expensive brush with spirit gum or latex.
3. A Small Flat-Topped Brush For Setting Concealer On Breakouts
A small synthetic flat-topped kabuki concealer brush is great for dab-and-dash concealer applications and is the perfect choice for spot-applying powder or mineral concealer, too. I like it for applying setting powder (especially powder foundation) directly onto breakouts or working in the area around the nose. The bristles are dense but not stiff, and the flat top means you can set your concealer with an even layer of powder that won't disturb the makeup underneath.
Reviewers say this "great little concealer brush" is fabulously soft and and stiff enough to provide coverage but fluffy enough to blend out the edges. "What a difference this brush makes! Achieved better coverage than ever before. Highly recommend" another reviewer wrote.
4. An Eyebrow Concealer Brush That's Not Too Stiff
For carving out the perfect brow, a thin, flat brush with dense cropped bristles has just enough structure to draw a sharp line but won’t scratch delicate skin. This brush uses a blend of synthetic and natural bristles. Shoppers report that it's comparable to more expensive brands and surprisingly high quality given the affordable price point. The bristles won't shed or fray, and it can also be used for drawing on precise winged eyeliner or defining the lower lashes, too.
5. This Super-Skinny Brush For Pinpoint Precision
Although it's technically made for eyeliner, this little brush delivers big results. Use it as a spot concealer brush for seamless, natural-looking coverage by targeting only what you want to hide and letting the rest of your skin breathe. Shoppers says this thin brush with a solid wooden handle and easy-to-clean Taklon bristles is stiff enough to draw a precise line without dragging on sensitive skin or bending during application. "Got this brush to replace my Mac brush," another review confessed, adding: "This brush is a lot more softer."
6. An Eco-Friendly Concealer Brush Set In Sustainable Bamboo
This vegan concealer brush set is PETA-certified cruelty-free, made from renewable and recycled materials, and sold in "tree-free" packaging for an ethical beauty purchase that you can feel good about. It includes one double-ended brush with a small precision applicator on one end and a slightly larger flat concealer brush on the other for working under the eyes. The angled brush is a hard-to-find addition — use it to blend out your concealer or clean up the angles on your cut crease. Shoppers say these "just right" brushes get into tight corners and seamlessly blend edges for a flawless finish. "I didn't realize this concealer brush set would be such a game-changer," one reviewer shared, adding, "I actually look now as if I get a little sleep once in a while."
7. A Double-Ended Retractable Concealer Brush For Travel
A double-ended travel concealer brush with a cap prevents dirt and bacteria from getting into your tools while you're on the go. (It's especially important to keep complexion brushes clean and protected when you're traveling, since bacteria can trigger breakouts.) This retractable brush is coated in a durable piano lacquer to hold up against wear and features a pointed brush on one end for detail work with a small flat brush on the opposite end that's ideal for cleaning up brows or redness around the nose. The bristles are of medium softness for versatility. "Stiff enough to use with the cream concealer but soft enough to use around my eyes. I like the cover that keeps it clean," one shopper wrote, but others noted that this isn't the most effective choice for covering larger areas.
Also Nice: A Set Of Complexion Sponges That Are A Beauty Blender Dupe
If you want something that can apply liquids, creams, and powders to areas both large and small with an airbrushed finish that won't break the bank, this set of five makeup sponges is it. They are a spot-on dupe for the more expensive Beauty Blender — and you can get five of these for less than half the price of the original. These latex-free sponges transform into pillowy applicators when wet, sheering out products just enough for second-skin coverage. Then flip the pointed end around to dab on concealer while magically blending out harsh lines. "Honestly really stinking happy with my little sponges," said one shopper.
I personally own this set: The raves are real, and my only complaint is that the vivid colors are a sore thumb on the vanity.
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