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Top 14 Makeup Brushes

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Makeup brushes are a must in any woman's makeup drawer. You don't have to spend a ton of money on a makeup brush. Acrylic ones actually are easier to clean than the brushes made from fancy animal (sable, pony, squirrel, goat and badger) fibers. But the pricey ones will last you forever -- and cost you a lot up front.

Extra tip: When traveling, wrap makeup brushes in a bandanna. The cloth will protect the bristles and collect makeup.

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The Ultimate (Pricey) Brush Set: Kevyn Aucoin

You won't find a better brush set than this one from Kevyn Aucoin. A favorite with makeup artists, this extraordinary brush set allows for precision contouring and placement. Comes with 12 brushes and a brush roll.

Best Mid-Priced Brush Collection: e.l.f. 11 Piece Brush Collection

Perfectly priced at $30, this 11-piece set is an all-time favorite among beauty editors and makeup artists.

Best Inexpensive Brush Set: Sonia Kashuk

Get all the brushes you need in one set. Sonia Kashuk brushes are inexpensive, but don't feel cheap.

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Best Bang for Your Buck Brush Set: Shany Brush Set with Leather Pouch

One of Amazon's most bestsellers, this 24-piece makeup brush set is perfect for those on a budget. Priced affordably, you get a lot of brushes (made of goat and badger) for the money. Don't expect these to last forever, but they are a good gift for a teenager or a beauty aficionado in your life (or even yourself).

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Best Eyeshadow Brush (Pricey): Paula Dorf

Want the best? Try Paula Dorf's eyeshadow brush. This gentle blue squirrel brush blends shadow from lash line to the crease of your eye. Great for contouring. Another great option: Shu Uemura.

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Best Eyeshadow Brush (Affordable): Sephora's Sable Eyeshadow Brush

Throw out the freebie eyeshadow applicator and instead use a sable eyeshadow brush such as this one by Sephora.

Eyeliner Brush: NARS

While some people love eyeliner pencils, we prefer to line our eyes with a wet eyeliner brush dipped in a dark eyeshadow. The best eyeliner brushes on the market are from NARS and M.A.C.

Best Concealer Brush (Pricey): Smashbox

This brush is a stiffer hair that gives excellent control and blends products easily

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Best Concealer Brush (Affordable): Bare Escentuals

Some makeup artists (including Laura Mercier) use concealer brushes to apply concealer to dark undereye circles, and any discolored areas on skin. The pad of your middle finger works well, also, but you do get more coverage with a brush. This is a great one.

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Eyebrow Brush (Pricey): Vincent Longo

One of the brow brushes on the market. Other great brands: Shu Uemura.

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