My Favorite Makeup Brushes

October 30, 2020 (updated January 1, 2022)

Whether you’re a makeup connoisseur or you prefer the au naturale look, makeup brushes can seriously up your application game. But they can feel like an investment—which is why we’ve rounded up the best makeup brushes from clean beauty brands so you don’t have to try them all.

Lisa is looking in a mirror while using a brow brush on her eyebrow, a best makeup brush.

Part of the fun of natural, organic makeup is how easy it can be to apply, on top of the killer benefits it can have for your skin. And the accessibility of a stick foundation or a pot ‘o color blush is irresistible for on-the-go application, travel (we’ll get back to it one of these days!) or creating a quick, everyday look.

But, as any makeup artist will tell you, the secret to getting the most out of your makeup is to employ high-quality brushes. Not only can they help you conserve product, but they offer a pulled-together finish that’s trickier to get when you just pat-pat-pat with your ring finger (though we love a makeup routine that engages our artistic side).

RELATED: Nontoxic Makeup On A Budget

That’s why we’re rounding up on the best makeup brushes from clean beauty brands—check them out to up your makeup routine ASAP.

LIQUID FOUNDATION: Vapour’s Foundation Brush | $46

When it comes to liquid foundation, it’s a toss-up between Vapour’s Foundation Brush and Clove + Hallow’s Perfecting Buffer. Both are very similar, but I think the Vapour brush is a little softer—so I’m going with that one as my top picks. If you want to save a few bucks go with C+H. Here’s why I love Vapour’s Foundation Brush…

Vapour liquid foundation brush with details on the brush and handle

Let’s start with brush density. Some foundation brushes are too loose and I’m often left wondering if it has the capacity to move/blend product. On the other hand, other brushes are too dense, which is a problem because I feel like it actually removes product. Vapour’s Foundation Brush hits the sweet spot in the middle and leaves your foundation looking flawless.

Also, size matters. Vapour’s is big enough to cover a larger surface area, but small enough to get into all the crooks of the nose and sides of the face. But it’s also not too small that you have to do 50 passes. If it sounds like I’m describing the Goldilocks of foundation brushes, I am. Bonus: It’s the perfect size for the apples of cheeks, so it can double as an effective cream blush or cream bronzer blender as well.

Okay, so back to the softness. It features vegan fibers held together via an FSC-certified Birch handle, Vapour’s brush is like velvet! I mean, there’s nothing worse than a foundation brush that pricks your face. Can I get a witness?

RELATED: My full review on Vapour Beauty Organic Makeup.

And since you asked, this is my favorite foundation and my favorite BB Cream!

SAVE: Use code TOG15 to save 15% on Vapour’s Foundation Brush here.

MASKING: Laurel’s Fan Treatment Brush | $36

A long-time favorite, nothing even comes close to Laurel’s Fan Treatment Brush. It’s a champ at mixing product, holding product and evenly applying product. Plus, it delivers product to a wide surface area with very little effort ensuring your mask goes on evenly and treats evenly. It’s also wicked easy to clean.

Laurel mask brush next to bowl

Some mask brushes are just TOO MUCH BRUSH and it soaks up all the mask and leaves none for your face. And girl, when you’re investing in your skincare, the last thing you want to do is waste it on your brush.

I also love that this vegan bristle brush is held by a slender walnut handle made from reforested land. It’s a great size and easy to hold.

You can’t buy this brush separately which is actually a blessing because it comes with the ultimate handcrafted pottery, ivory mask dish. I have had this duo for years and use it weekly!

Be sure to check out my favorite hydration-promoting mask and the 5 masks that deliver instant results.

Shop Laurel’s Mask Treatment brush here.

EYELINER: Gressa Angle Liner Brush | $13

I use Gressa’s vegan Angle Liner Brush religiously with RMS’s Cake Liner.

details on Gressa's Angle Liner Brush

Wet the tip a bit and it picks up product like a champ—then you can just press it into your lash line almost like a stamp. I also like it to blend and smudge out pencil liner too. It’s a great shape and angle that replicates the lash line. Plus it’s structured enough to deliver product, yet soft enough to blend/smudge.

Shop Gressa’s Liner Brush here.

CONCEALER: Fitglow’s Conceal + Correct 2-in-1 | $32

Fitglow’s vegan Conceal + Correct 2-in-1 is super soft, super practical and dual-sided—HALLA! I tend to apply my concealer with my fingers but 9 times out of 10, it looks way better when it’s blended with a brush.

details on Fitglow's dual-sided Conceal and Correct Brush

I love that this one is dual sided so you can flawlessly blend smaller areas or bigger areas. You can even use the smaller side to apply and then the larger side to blend.

I actually like using the smaller side on my lids when I use an eye primer too. Both sides are dense enough to blend product while still being super soft. 

SAVE: Use THISORGANICGIRL to save 20% on Fitglow’s Conceal + Correct brush here.

ALL OVER POWDER: ILIA Beauty Finishing Powder Brush | $42

Does anyone else love a powder brush the size of a dinner plate? Just me? Lol. That is not this but it’s close.

up close details on ILIA's finishing powder brush

I like that this vegan brush is super soft, large and symmetrical. Some of the powder brushes are tapered or angled and I just really like the feeling of an all over, all at once application when it comes to powders. It’s the size and the softness that gets me here every time.

Shop ILIA Beauty’s Finishing Powder Brush here.

Cream Eyeshadow: RMS Eye Polish Brush | $22

I used to hate cream shadows, but now I love them. Just a wash of color and eyes look bright, alive and dewy. I think one of the reasons I hated it for so long is because I was applying it with my fingers. This wasn’t giving me the precision I wanted and it was also adding more oil to the finished product.

up close details on RMS Beauty eye polish brush

Now that I discovered RMS’s Eye Polish Brush, I’m converted. 

This vegan brush is fantastic at picking up product, laying down product and blending product. It’s a great size to apply shadow to all over lids. But, it’s not a detailing brush, so keep that in mind.

RMS makeup brushes are all plastic-free, read my full list of plastic-free beauty products here.

Shop RMS Beauty’s Eye Polish Brush here.

Powder Eyeshadow: Clove + Hallow’s Shade + Blend | $21

Let’s keep it real. I am no makeup artist. When I apply shadow, it’s an all-over-wash kinda look. One color on the lids…maybe a highlighter on the brow bone or the corners of my eyes and that’s it. (AKA, the crossroads of having hooded eyelids and lack of skill).

close up details on Clove + Hallow’s Shade + Blend makeup brush

I mean don’t get me wrong—I am so envious of women who can do full eye looks. I covet that dark sultry eye with mad eyeliner like where-does-the-liner-stop-and-the shadow-start-we-don’t-know looks. I would wear the crap out of that look.

But alas…not my strong suit.

Enter Clove + Hallow’s Shade + Blend, the all-over shadow brush. So easy to use. Applies shadow evenly with little effort. This brush is double-sided although I tend to apply with the blend side and blend with the blend side. A TOG staple. #foolproof

Shop Clove + Hallow’s Shadow Brush here.

Blender: VERT Beauty’s Blending Shadow Brush | $30

I’ve had VERT’s Blending Shadow Brush for over 5 years and I still use it almost daily. (Okay fine, you got me. Maybe not daily but at least every time I wear makeup!) I love this brush so much because it’s a beast at blending. It’s made with a mix of ultra-soft natural and synthetic hairs so if you are looking for a vegan brush, this one is not for you. 

VERT Beauty's blending shadow makeup brush for applying eye shadow

I specifically love this brush because the hairs are set at different heights so you have a lower height and a higher height which really allows you to achieve the most perfect blended eye looks. The higher height hairs can blend the most delicate transitions. I always finish with this brush. 

Shop VERT Beauty’s Blending Brush here.

BROWS: EcoBrow’s Defining Brush | $23

First and foremost, I love this brush because it’s dual-sided. One side applies product and the other side is a spoolie to blend.

details on EcoBrow's Defining Brush that's dual-sided for applying eyebrow fillers

Now, maybe you think all eyebrow brushes are built the same because they all look the same. Well take it from me—they are not! I have tried several other EcoBrow Defining Brush doppelgangers and I can spot a fake via first swipe. 

When it comes to brows, it all boils down to how much product a brush transfers. Too much and you look like Burt from Sesame Street. Too little and you’re like, Hello?! Is this thing on? This brush picks up just the right amount of product without over or under doing it. 

The other thing I love about it is you can use this brush to apply brow products in diagonal swipes to replicate brow hair OR you can apply it in wide horizontal swatches to fill in brows all over, which I personally love doing.  

And not to be forgotten, the spoolie is everything when it comes to blending. I also love using this to brush brows up and hold in place before trimming. 

I never stray from this brow product in Taupe Gray that looks so natural and is perfect for my complexion. Be sure to check out my easy brow tutorial while you’re at it! 

Shop EcoBrow’s Defining Brush here.

LIP BRUSH: VERT Beauty Covered Lip Brush | $20

The key to a perfect lip brush is two-fold: 1) it has to have stiff bristles in order to assist in the impeccable application and 2) it has to have a lid.

details on VERT Beauty's covered lip brush for applying lip beauty products

Why? Because a lidless brush is a recipe for turning your makeup brush holder, makeup bag or purse into something reminiscent of a crime scene.

VERT Beauty’s Lip Brush has both, and the handle is long enough for you to get a good grip on it while you’re holding your breath in order to create that perfect cupid’s bow.

Shop VERT Beauty’s Lip Brush here.

MASCARA WAND: ILIA Limitless Mascara | $28

NBD, the patented wand on ILIA’s Limitless Mascara just takes lashes to va-va-voom status with the ability to add definition, volume, length, and SEPARATION like a boss! Read my full review here.

RELATED: ILIA Beauty review

container of ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara with mascara brush

Shop ILIA’s Limitless Mascara here.

What are your go-to, best makeup brushes?

Common questions about makeup brushes from clean beauty brands

What’s the ideal brush for masks?

The perfect brush should not be too dense (to avoid soaking up all the product) and it also needs to be wide enough to apply product on large areas of your face.

What’s the best size brush for a foundation brush?

Big enough to cover a larger surface area, but small enough to get into all the crooks of the nose and sides of the face.

What are the best clean beauty makeup brushes?

ILIA Beauty Finishing Powder, RMS Eye Polish Brush and VERT’s Beauty Blending Shadow Brush. Click here for more.

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of This Organic Girl. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!


  1. Reply

    Kerry Bastoni

    Good Morning!
    This is a great list! I have been considering a few of these so it’s nice to see them on your list. Do you have a brush you would suggest for powered foundation? I have tried so many and it’s been a pricey endeavor. 1 seemed too dense-eating up the makeup, another seemed to plaster it on my face and the latest seemed good initially only to me scratchy now.
    Thank you,

    1. Reply


      Hi Kerry! I don’t have a rec for that unfortunately because I don’t wear power – but I hear you, I hate when the brush eats up all the product. I do like the ILIA power/brush combo, it’s an all-in-one situation….

  2. Reply

    Kerry Bastoni

    I just saw you replied now-Thank you. I actually came back to this post to revisit it..since I am still looking. Thank you again.

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