My MakeUp Brush Collection

I have well over 400 posts in my blog, but this is the first time I will be sharing my entire brush collection. Why only now? This isn't just a random post, it's actually a wake-up call for yours truly. I've been having this urge to buy some beautiful synthetic brushes that are on sale right now at an online store, but a voice deep inside told me to stop because I have way too many brushes. How did this happen?

Well, I began by buying MAC brushes here and there, then I started to fall in love with Sonia Kashuk's eyeshadow and liner brushes. I also liked the medium and large shader brushes of Studio Tools. Since these are relatively cheap ($5 each of the Sonia Kashuk ones and around $3 for the Studio Tools), I decided to buy one or two every time I passed by Target. Doing that for a span of several months, I have amassed quite a bit, as you can see in a few. I started to realize that I have way too many brushes when it would take me longer and longer to wash all of them. I knew I had a lot of brushes, I just didn't know exactly how many. So to stop myself from ordering, and to put my collection in perspective, I decided last night to COUNT all my brushes. Yes, count them. I honestly got scared when I went past the 100 count. I was horrified when I reached 200. All in all, I got a total of 240 makeup brushes.

I know, shame on me, as I only have one face and two eyes. Nonetheless, it happened for a reason: I could only wash my brushes every week or two, and I had to use CLEAN brushes all the time, especially for the eyeshadows and liners. I didn't want to use my MAC brush cleaner every time, preferring to use honest-to-goodness shampoo and water to clean my brushes. So I would buy eye brushes and wash them in big batches every two weeks, ensuring that I would use a clean brush everytime. Since I use eyeshadows everyday, I actually got to use most of these brushes on a regular basis.

I have a lot of eyeliner brushes too, mostly from Michael's craft store. I used to buy amazing paint brushes that double as good liner brushes, and since I use a lot of colored mineral liners, I wanted a variety of liner brushes as well. I also have a handful of my ultimate favorite liner brush from Sonia Kashuk (the bent one), but not as many as my Loew Cornell.

Then my favorite mineral makeup companies started to sell beautiful, heavenly-soft vegan kabukis and face brushes, some for dirt-cheap pre-buy prices, so I just had to get them. I have a couple of MAC 187s, but I realized that I could buy cheaper duo fibre brushes that work as good. However, the 222 and 224 MAC brushes are still some of my favorites. I have a couple of each, and they are staples in my everyday eye makeup application and blending. I also have a couple of MAC 217 and Japonesque blender brushes, a couple of Chanel #3s, all for blending and crease work.

I also have a couple of MAC 239 shader brushes, but I realized that I can have the exact same paddle-shaped eye brush in soft goat hair with the same firmness using the Maxine's Mop art brushes that I could get from Michael's. These Maxine's Mops are difficult to find, especially now after everyone had been raving about it and extolling the virtues of using it as an eyeshadow brush. Because of that, I buy them in threes or fours whenever I go to Michael's.

I also have three or four sets of the MAC holiday brushes, so I have them interspersed with the rest of my other brushes.

The eyeshadow brushes with black handles are mostly from Studio Tools, the white handled ones are Sonia Kashuk, the bamboo-colored/tan ones are from Essence of Beauty and Ecotools, and some from Prestige.

The brushes on the left with the white hairs are my goat-hair brushes (MAC and Loew Cornell Maxine's Mop). The ones with dirty pink handles next to those are my Loew Cornell American Painter 4300 brushes that I use for my mineral and gel liners.

Storing them is quite a challenge. I place the face brushes in metal mesh pencil holders (the largest I could find). For the eye and concealer brushes, since they are a lot, I place them in an acrylic cosmetic tray that has a storage area for brushes. I added some compartments in order for it to hold more brushes. I place this on top of my hardwood dresser so the brushes are readily available. My finishing powders and some foundations, and other items that I use regularly are also on the tray.

Sorry for that stray sifter sticker! =D I place my eyeliner brushes in another pail near my gel and mineral liners.


jamie said...

i love!! i love!!:D

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's A LOT of brushes!

Shhh said...

WANT. That is an awesome collection of brushes.

Vanessa said...

Hi sis! I thought I had a lot of brushes! LOL, I have that same plastic storage I think I got it from Target and I love it although I use it to store my facial stuff and hair stuff as well as eyeliners and shadesticks.

I too have a lot of brushes (not as much as you!) but I rarely even use what I have, I find myself using the same consistent brushes so I've been good stopping myself!

Tracy Roa said...

OMG, you have SO many!

AskMeWhats said...

OH MY GOODNESS Aileen!! THAT is a HUGE brush collection! I love it!!!!! I know at times we tell ourselves to stop..but we just can't!!!! It's our nature! LOL I just bought MAC Stippling brush and MAC 217 and I LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Saito Florence said...

Before I scroll down to view the photo, I was thinking how many you can have.I can tell you now I AM SHOCKED! haha

Mel said...

Holy moly. I need to raid your makeup stash.

Rebecca de Guzman said...

Aileen, you have just justified my latest purchase. :)

Seriously, 240? Wow... And to think you also have a lot of MMU. :)

Psalm 23 said...

WOW! with this many brushes you are fully equipped to do some freelance work. Ok now, no more brush purchases!!!! Remember you CAN have the will power to stop!!!

lilaznktty said...

Wow!!! :D Thank you for posting those pictures!! That's very impressive!! How you afford all the makeup and supplies?? :) Can you post pictures of your makeup collection next?? I'm just dying to see it!!

plue said...

Wow! 240 brushes! I have like about 10 or lesser! :P

I bought a no brand thin paint brush for my gel liners too, i saw Loew Cornell but never bought it >_< I am now regretting!

Izzit any thin paint brush will work with gel liners? Cuz i was thinking if the brush didn't work, I can throw it and get another one since it's cheap!

And great blog! Will be coming back for more!


Anonymous said...

*mouth still hanging to the floor*

impressive! ;)

Mel said...

BTW, what are those flat tops with the pink handle? I got attracted to the pink.

Pia Ghosh said...

JEALOUS! The collection is awesome, Aileen. Although yeah, you can probably hold out on the ones you have. Is it just me, or do I *hardly* use my expensive MAC and Shu brushes? I always end up using the Loew-Cornell shader brushes (don't want to get my 239 dirty or wet from mixing medium), the SAME Sonia Kashuk crease brush (finally got a second one yesterday) and the same art store liner brushes!? No more expensive brushes for me!

Anonymous said...

I think I just died and went to brush heaven!
What a collection!
BTW-what are your favourite brushes to apply mineral foundation? Do you use brushes of different density for your different foundations?

Anonymous said...

Hey Aileen! "brush wash day" must be a pain! Kudos on your collection =)

Shen said...

you're killing me with envy, A!!! i love your collection!! :) esp the loew cornells!! :) love it!!! great collection and i soooo know you're proud of them. :)

Mrs. Lynne, said...

Now that my friend, is a lot of brushes. What a great collection though sis. You should take a picture of you giggling in them, hah!

The Shades Of U said...

OMG, thanks for the comments ladies! I notice that everytime I make a collection post, my readers and comments shoot up! lol

Hi Nessa! Yeah I am not really into brushes until I started to use eye makeup everyday. My face brushes are not really that many compared to the eyes. I am also not buying anymore because it is such a pain to wash them now.
If you have that same stand, notice that I made another compartment by attaching the plastic to the front wall as it was originally open.

Tracy- but I don't have much shoes as you do! =D

Nikki-wee! The 187 and 217 are great, classic brushes that you will use again and again. Enjoy them! :-)

shasta- sis should I be happy that I just justified your purchase? :-) Which one was it?

Christal - thank you! I've definitely stopped when it comes to eye brushes. As for the face brushes...I need another slap. lol

lilaznkitty- as I said it wasn't an overnight purchase. I would buy one or two from Target every time I'd go there, and even my face brush collection was built over several months or even years. :)

Plue- thank you for visiting! As long as the paint brushes you get have thin synthetic hairs (they are usually yellow), I think you can use them. And yes if they are cheap then it's not much of a loss if they don't work out.

mhean- hey girl, missing your posts! :)

melvel- those are the short-handled flat tops I got from Lisa of My Minerals Bath and Body. She is such a sweet lady, and she ships fast.

Pia- same here, I hardly use my MAC 138 and 280, except that I use the latter to blend out blushes if I end up having clown cheeks. I'm loving my synthetics/vegan brushes more when it comes to applying mineral makeup.

Eva- as I said, I love my vegan brushes in applying minerals. I hardly use natural hair brushes in anything, except for my eyeshadows and sometimes my powder and brush application. I use a flat top synthetic buffer if I want more coverage. I use a fluffy powder brush or a less dense flat top (like the short-handled ones in pink) for full coverage mineral makeup so that they don't end up cakey on the face. On rare occasions when I use liquid foundation, the stippling/duo fibre brush is the best tool, then I buff it evenly over my face using my Sonia Kashuk blending sponge.

Mrs. Lynne - missed you sis! I should have taken my horrified face after I've counted them all. I certainly wasn't giggling. lol

The Shades Of U said...

Oops, sorry Micah! Yup it's a LONG washing session, I tell ya! Sometimes it's a pain, but sometimes it's therapeutic too- it destresses me when I do something as mundane as that. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is a HUGE brush collection! I love it!

Anonymous said...

That is the best brush collection, I've ever seen!! I'm envious!

Katy said...

Wow that's HUGE collection!!! I'm jealous! Most of my brushes are MAC but I think I need to smarten up and buy cheaper substitutes.

I also prefer to store my brushes in a small plastic drawer like thing so that they're lying on their side even if it's the best for the brushes... don't you find that they get dusty when storing them standing? Maybe it's only me because my room always seems to be dusty since the window is wide open 24/7. =S

Anonymous said...

You know, what led me to buying more brushes is that I wash them daily, and sometimes they'd still be drying when I needed one, so I'd buy more that I could use if that was the case.

I think your collection is pretty.

charlotte marie said...

Wow! That's unbelievable :) We would love to see your makeup collection next time :D

charlotte marie said...

Wow! That's unbelievable :) We would love to see your makeup collection next time :D

Bucca said...

Wow that is a LOT of brushes!
That collection should be kept under locka and key lol that would be over a thousand dollars worth??

Christiana Divine @ Memoirs of A Shopping Addict said...

H O L Y C O W... now THAT'S some brush porn if I EVER saw any. o_0

tokyostargirl said...

OMG!! I always thought I had a lot, but I don't even think I'd pass 100!!!

LOCALGURL808 said...


plue said...

thanks dear!

my brush is those with synthetic hair, I think. :P It's yellow, and feels nylon-y~ Will try out and if it doesn! I shall get Loewe Cornell's then!

Loving your blog!

Crystal Gale said...

whoa! i didn't know you have so many brushes sis..i was like, "240?!" i know that i should stop buying ang buying or else i'll have that many brushes to wash and storing them would be a big problem for me hehe...maybe a pair of each brushes would do? just for back up when washing..coz that's always my problem, those kabukis took too long to dry! :)

by the way sis, is it okay to store brushes standing up? or is it better laying flat? :)

The Shades Of U said...

Decorative Diva- I agree, that's what happened to me too. I realized that synthetics tend to dry slower than natural hair, so I tended to get back-ups. I just didn't realize how many they were. lol

katy and crystal gale- I never had any problems storing the brushes upright. I kinda prefer it that way because it airs them on all sides. I'm kinda wary of moisture accumulating if I store them lying down. :)

charlotte- I've had a few posts here and there showing some of my makeup. :)

Thanks for all your comments! x0x0x0x

Unknown said...

FANTASTIC collection - I say anything goes when it comes to happiness and self adornment - I also apply this rule to shoes! Splurged recently on a Prescriptives brush (think they call it their bronzer brush) that was a mixture of longer synthetic hairs and shorter,more dense natural hair. Gives a really nice finish with MMU foundations.

Stella Bella said...

WOW WOW WOW Amazing collection!!!
My mouth is still opening very big. lol