Best Makeup Brushes for Brows & Detail Work

This is the last post in my series on my favorite eye brushes, and it covers the more miscellaneous brushes for brows, detail work, and the like. These are the brushes I typically rotate through each and every week like clockwork (though there are more I use in a week, but these are the ones I’ll use first!).
I would love to hear about the brushes you can’t live without for brows and detail work — share your picks in the comments!

For the last couple of years, I’ve been using brow gel/creams to fill my brows (like Anastasia Dipbrow), and I prefer a stiff, angled liner or brow brush that isn’t too thin nor too thick. For grooming my brows, I’ve had no trouble using various spoolie brushes, but after discovering Smith’s angled spoolie, there was no going back!
Smith 214, NARS 47, Zoeva #17, Smith 205
Smith 214 Spoolie Brush ($16.00) is an angled, spoolie brush that is excellent for grooming brows into place while simultaneously softening the brow after it’s been filled in.
NARS 47 Angled Eyeliner Brush ($28.00) is a thin, angled brush that’s firm and stiff but in the best of ways for a really controlled, precise application of brow color.  Mine is actually the 38, but NARS updated their brushes, and it’s now the 47 (I have both and there’s no difference in the brush head, just the handle).
Zoeva 317 Wing Liner ($9.80) is a strong, angled brush with a firmer feel that has just enough give to move in fluid strokes for filling in brows.  I have a few of these (they’re in a lot of the limited edition sets), and they’re always in my weekly mix of brushes to clean.
Smith 205 Angled Liner Brush ($) is a small-to-medium, angled brush that’s firm without being overly stiff or rough on the skin.  It’s narrow enough to yield more hair-like strokes but gets the job done quickly.
Details & Lash Line
If you’ve seen my looks, I love a good punch of color on my lower lash line, so it’ll come as no surprise that I have several picks for detail work, particularly the lower lash line. I use these brushes for depositing more intense, deeper color into my crease (typically after I’ve applied other shades) as well as for applying color and blending said color out on my lower lash line.
Urban Decay Smoky Smudger, Hakuhodo G5548, Hakuhodo B5520, Zoeva 230
Urban Decay Smoky Smudger Brush (E208) ($24.00) is a small, rounded domed, synthetic brush that is excellent with powder and cream products for depositing color into the crease without losing opacity.  It also works well for diffusing and blending out areas for a very blown out, diffused look.
Hakuhodo G5548 Eye Shadow Brush ($27.00) is a medium, tapered pencil brush that is exceptional for depositing color into the crease (I prefer to do this after I already have done some blending work with crease/transition shades) to darken the area.  It also works well on the lower lash line! It’s like the big sister to the B5520.
Hakuhodo B5520 Eye Shadow Brush ($22.00) is a small, tapered pencil brush that comes to a more noticeable point at the edge, so it can deliver precise application.  I reach for this one for inner corner work as well as for when I want a very thin line of color underneath pencil eyeliner.
Zoeva 230 Luxe Pencil Brush ($11.50) is small enough to be precise but fluffy and rounded enough to smudge and blend eyeshadow (or liner) on the lower lash line easily.  It’s not the softest of pencil brushes (though not rough/scratchy), which I find practical for smudging pencil liner in particular.
Lower Lash Line
The first brush is my go-to for applying liquid glittery eyeshadows (like Stila’s Glitter & Glows) to my lower lash line, usually on top of another powder. The other two brushes I find particularly useful for really blown out, diffused lower lash line work.
Urban Decay Tightline, Hakuhodo J5529, SUQQU Eyeshadow Brush M
Urban Decay Tightline Brush (E213) ($22.00) is a flat, synthetic brush with a domed edge that is quite small, which makes it perfect for applying liquid and cream products to the lash line.  I tend to use it with liquid, glittery eyeshadows that function as top coats on top of my eyeliner or other eyeshadow.
Hakuhodo J5529 Eye Shadow Brush ($17.00) is a thin, narrower crease brush that’s a bit shorter than the average tapered, crease brush that I’ve learned to love for blending and diffusing darker eyeshadows along the lower lash line for a supremely diffused gradient of color.  It has quite a bit of give, which I think works on the lower lash line but can be too much for use in the crease.
SUQQU Eyeshadow Brush M (£48.00 / ¥8,000) is a small, tapered crease brush that I’ve found invaluable for diffusing matte eyeshadow underneath my lower lash line, especially along the outer portion of my lash line.  It also works well for depositing color into the crease and for more precise blending work around the crease area.  The big downside is (besides the price) availability, as it takes some legwork to get shipped to the US.

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