I posted about my favorite eye brushes and favorite face brushes a few weeks ago; you probably noticed that many of them – especially the eye brushes – are on the more expensive side. So, I thought it would be useful to do a round-up of my favorite ELF brushes since they’re inexpensive and although not all of them made it on to my favorites lists, I still like and use them.
Overall, I’ve found that I prefer the Studio line brushes (which sell for $3 each) to the Essential line brushes (which sell for $1 each). I’ve tried several brushes from the Essential line, and found the face brushes scratchy; the eye brushes are okay, but not great. In contrast, the Studio line brushes are very soft and very well made – I haven’t had a problem with any of them shedding, even after several washes. All of the black-handled brushes in this post are from the Studio line.
The ELF studio complexion blush, which I use for powder, did make it on to my favorites list. It’s very soft and does a good job at applying a thin layer of powder, or dusting off excess powder.
The ELF studio blush brush is also very soft and is nicely shaped; it hasn’t lost its shape after several washings. It is fairly small, so best for those who prefer a more precise blush brush. I generally reserve it for my few shimmery blushes, to avoid getting any shimmer particles on my go-to blush brush between washings.
The ELF eyeshadow C brush is the same shape as ELF’s basic $1 eyeshadow brush, but better quality. Again, it’s well made and soft; however, I don’t love the shape. I prefer a smaller brush to lay down eyeshadow on the lid, and a slightly fluffier brush for blending. I think that if I had more lid space, this would be a more useful brush for me. As is, I tend to reach for it when my go-to brushes are dirty, and it does a great job – it just requires more work because of the fit between the shape of the brush and the shape of my eyes.
I love the ELF contour eyeshadow brush; this really could have been on my favorites list. I use it for applying cream eyeshadow, and it does a great job. Plus, I prefer to use synthetic brushes for cream products (all ELF brushes are synthetic). I’ve also used this to apply concealer to my face, and it worked very well for this. The densely packed bristles are just perfect for applying a thin, even, layer of cream product.
I use the ELF small precision eye brush to go over my eyeliner with black eyeshadow. I used to use it more frequently, but lately I’ve been reaching for the brush that came with the L’oreal gel eyeliners instead, which is a little more precise and has a shorter handle. Still, it’s a good brush to have around.
The ELF concealer brush is the one brush in this post from the Essentials line that I love and use all the time. I actually have seven; six to use as lip brushes (so I always have a clean one!), and one that use to clean up my manicures. It is absolutely perfect for both of those purposes, and it’s so great that it’s only $1!
I forgot to include the ELF blending eye brush, from the minerals line, in the photo of all the brushes. I included this in my roundup of favorite face brushes, because it’s my go-to for precision highlighting. I use a larger brush to highlight my cheekbones, but this is perfect for my browbone, bridge of the nose, and cupid’s bow. It’s very soft and well made – the quality is similar to the Studio line.
Overall, I would absolutely recommend any of the ELF Studio line brushes, and there are some brushes among the other lines that are good as well. And remember that you don’t need to use a brush for its intended purpose; I use an Illamasqua eye brush as a highlighter brush, the small ELF eye brush above as a detail highlighter brush, the Ecotools Bronzer brush as a powder brush, and more — make the brushes work for you!