12 Best Makeup Brushes for Sensitive Skin: 2018 Reviews & Guide

Updated 6 years ago

You’re careful when you select foundation and eyeshadow, but do you give as much thought when you purchase makeup brushes? Cheap brushes tend to shed and can be harsh on the skin. On the other hand, well-made brushes, whether they have synthetic or natural bristles, will last longer and be kinder to your face.

To help you protect your complexion, we selected and reviewed the twelve best makeup brushes for sensitive skin. We hope they will make a positive difference in your beauty routine.

Top Makeup Brushes for Sensitive Skin

Lazy Perfection by Jenny Patinkin 12 Brush Complete Collection

If you love soft brushes, you’ll adore the Lazy Perfection collection from Jenny Patinkin.  They are handmade in Japan from synthetic and natural bristles. You’ll find that this set contains the perfect tools for applying creams, powders, and liquids for foundation, contouring, and highlighting.

Fans of Jenny Patinkin’s makeup brushes report that they are comfortable to use and easy to clean. They also enjoy the caddy that keeps them organized for transport.

jane iredale The Handi Brush

The Handi Brush from jane iredale has a flat head with long bristles that are perfect for applying powdered foundation and bronzers. You can choose from either synthetic or natural bristles.

For example, the natural bristles come from goats, boars, oxen, or ponies. But all of jane iredale’s brushes are certified cruelty-free, meaning they were harvested without harming the animal.

On the other hand, if you prefer synthetic fibers, you’ll enjoy the Taklon nylon bristles. The advantage of this style is two-fold. One, the fibers will not harden with age. And two, they work well when used for applying liquids.

jane iredale Blending Brush

The Blending Brush from jane iredale  comes in two versions: goat hair or Taklon nylon. Just like the Handi Brush described above, the Blending Brush is hand-tied and hand-glued so that it won’t shed bristles. It’s ideal for applying both cream and powder-based makeup.

jane iredale Foundation Brush

If you want a photo finish appearance, try blending your liquid or cream foundation with the jane iredale Foundation Brush. Even though the bristles are soft, they are stiff enough to give you superb control.

Sephora Collection Deluxe Antibacterial Brush Set

Instead of purchasing your new makeup brushes one by one, try this Deluxe Antibacterial Brush Set from Sephora. It contains everything you’ll need for applying makeup start to finish. It includes brushes for foundation and powder, concealer, eyeshadow and eyeliner, lip liner, and more.

Each brush has synthetic fibers that are treated with antimicrobial technology to keep them fresh and bacteria-free for as long as possible. Plus, the set comes with a leather pouch to keep things organized.

SHANY Artisan's Easel 18-Piece Elite Cosmetics Brush Collection

SHANY’s 18-Piece Elite Cosmetics Collection contains every brush you could conceivably ever need to apply your makeup. They include Kabuki, foundation, eye, and other face brushes. And the blend of natural and synthetic fibers work well with both powdered and liquid makeup.

The pouch that comes with the set is innovative. Not only does it keep the brushes corralled, but it also serves as an easel or stand. SHANY is a member of PETA, and as such they guarantee that these are cruelty-free products.

e.l.f. Cosmetics 12 Piece Brush Set

If you love full-size sets of makeup brushes, but you don’t want to pay a lot of money, check out this 12-piece collection from e.l.f. Cosmetics. While some owners report that the synthetic bristles tend to shed, they are pleased with how the brushes perform.

Anjou Makeup Brush Set, 16pcs Premium Cosmetic Brushes

Anjou’s 16-piece brush set is another less expensive collection that can save you cash. It contains nine precision brushes for lining lips and eyes, as well as seven larger brushes for foundation and blush. Everything fits into the included roll-up clutch.

The synthetic bristles are soft and easy to clean. Instead of soaking up and retaining liquids, they hold just enough for a smooth application. And the black handles are quite pretty with their rose gold ferrules.

Andre Lorent #1 PRO Makeup Brush Set With Gorgeous Designer Case, Includes 5 Professional Makeup Brushes

Andre Lorent has a 5-piece set for applying foundation, blush, powder, eyeliner, eyeshadow, and lip gloss. These brushes contain LuxeFiber, a trademarked synthetic that’s designed to last longer than natural bristles and remain hygienic. Customers report that the brushes are soft, and don’t shed like some brands.

BS-MALL(TM) Premium 14-Piece Synthetic Makeup Brush Set

If you’re on a budget, take a look at BS-MALL’s 14-piece synthetic brush set. It’s a popular item especially for those just beginning to use brushes with makeup.

The collection contains every type of brush you’ll need to apply everything from foundation to eyeshadow to doing contouring and highlighting. For example, try the round brush for blending mineral powder foundation. Then use the concealer brush to cover up those awkward spots. The main complaint you might have is that the bristles on some of the brushes tend to feel a little stiff.

Organic Family Products New Retractable Kabuki Makeup Brush

Organic Family Products sells this innovative Kabuki makeup brush. It retracts into its handle, but there are two positions to choose from beside fully open or fully closed. The first stage keeps the soft goat hair bristles in a tight formation for precision application. The second stage allows the bristles to fan out for blending.

EcoTools Retractable Kabuki, Made with Recycled and Sustainable Materials

EcoTools also released a retractable Kabuki makeup brush. It contains hand-cut synthetic bristles mounted in a ferrule made from recycled aluminum. This ferrule is resistant to rust and keeps the brush from shedding. Then the handle itself is made of sustainably-grown bamboo. Plus, the package comes with a protective pouch for the brush. The pouch contains no PVC or phthalates and is made from post-consumer recyclables.


Don’t sacrifice your sensitive skin with cheap makeup brushes. Instead, high-quality brushes will help you create a flawless appearance. They can last for years if you take the time to care for them.

If you aren’t certain how your face will react to synthetic or natural bristles, just start small. Experiment with one brush and see how your skin reacts. Then you can invest in a full set. Another smart way to protect yourself against irritation and infection is to clean your brushes at least once a week.