*ALERT: These brushes are extremely expensive and the company is not pro friendly (no artist discount program). Some folks dream of expensive cars, houses, jewelry, clothes …makeup artists dream about these brushes, so they have to be included.
Hakuhodo makes quite a few brush collections with varying quality levels and prices...but the S100 Series is the elusive Willy Wonka "Golden Ticket". They are truly the Rolls Royce of professional makeup brushes with brilliant vemillion lacquer handles and 24-karat gold plated brass ferrules. High quality natural hairs and impeccable construction make these the most coveted brushes in the Hakuhodo line.
Royal & Langnickel Brush Company
*Quality, value and an eye for emerging trends makes Royal one of the busiest professional brush manufacturers. They've been producing professional makeup brushes for less than a decade, but the company is known as one the largest and most respected global manufacturers of fine art brushes and art supplies …for almost 70 years. You've probably picked up some of their brushes for your kit at the art supply store without realizing it (I know I have).
"SILK Pro" (shown left) is their professional performance series in the Beauty Collection. They also manufacture a full line of spa and nail tech brushes.
Make sure to check out their new [R]evolution Brush Collection of DuPont™ Natrafil® Synthetic Fiber. They feel and perform just like the highest quality natural hair …but with unbelievable durability.
Crown Brush Company
*A dizzying selections of qualities and styles, plus the option to 'private label' brushes with your name. The prices are so low on some styles (lip brushes and mascara spoolies), I stock up on them to use as high quality disposables ...pretty sweet! But if you're buying brushes for your kit, stick to the Italian Badger Collection (shown left), it's their top of the line and the most durable.
NOTE: Stay away from the makeup palettes ...although pretty to look at and inexpensive, the quality is way below pro.
*aDesign's parent company, Anisa International, manufactures MANY of the most popular consumer brushes on the market.
aDesign was created to offer innovative brush designs to professional artists and test new concepts before they were filtered through to the consumer brands.
The icon brush for this company is the Pointed Synthetic Foundation Brush (pictured left). It was a definite game changer and pro artists made it a best-seller.
*Sigma is a relatively new player in the professional brush business, but they're going at it with a vengeance. They've taken a certain makeup company's entire brush line and reproduced it (pretty much exactly) at a lower price. I'm not sure that knocking off the "three letter" makeup giant's entire line is the best way to market a new brand …but hell, they got our attention, FAST!
We're most impressed with the long handle Synthetic Kabuki Brushes (pictured left). They're well made, extremely soft and perform beautifully.
Be Advised: There's a lot of gimmicky stuff on their website that's targeted to consumers - buyer beware.
Cozzette "Divinity" Brushes
*Makeup artist Roque Cozzette has come up with a set of cruelty-free synthetic brushes so heavenly they had to be called "The Divinity Collection". Made from the finest quality synthetic fibers, in the most thoughtful shapes for professional makeup application. The gorgeous purple laquer handles (sustainable wood) are a perfectly divine final touch.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetic Brushes
*The folks at OCC have always been environmentally and cruelty conscious cosmetic designers. They've taken that mind set and developed a brush set that is the finest professional quality and celebrates the best of conscious design. The crisp white handles and black synthetic fiber brush heads are pretty cool looking too!
The PETA Principle: Cruelty-free, 100% vegan with signature white lacquered handles made of sustainable wood.