August 3, 2018

Does Anyone Really Use Makeup Applicators That Come With Their Makeup!?

I’d just like to tell all the Black Sails fans that Billy Bones (aka Dickon Tarly in Game of Thrones) is in I Feel Pretty and he’s looking rather fly. Ahem…! He looks like he lost a little of the bulk he had in Black Sails but he’s still tall AF (six foot five inches to be exact). Ugh tall men are my downfall! Dear Hollywood, cast this man in more movies!

Speaking of I Feel Pretty has anyone watched it? There’s a fictional makeup company in the film called Lily LeClaire which is a high-end, prestigious company along the lines of Estee Lauder. The brand is facing some challenges marketing a new line of budget friendly products to the “regular” every day girl or boy next door consumer.

In one scene the heroine drops one of the highlighters on the floor which leads to a discussion about the lack of a brush and how having a brush in the highlighter compact is essential as most girl or boy next door types are rushing through the day and doing their makeup in the car or on the subway.

Ummm yeah, not really! But this actually got me thinking does anyone really use the makeup applicators that come with their makeup? Most higher-end or mid-range brands don’t really include eyeshadow applicators or brushes with their individual products. From time to time you’ll get a nice brush with an eyeshadow palette from brands like Urban Decay or Anastasia Beverley Hills but most brands aren’t packaging their main line with brushes.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t use the brushes that come with makeup. Most of the time they are rather cheap with bristles that shed and harder, stiffer bristles. Physicians Formula always includes a brush with many of their items but for years I bitched about how bad the brushes were.

I typically use my own brushes and honestly, feel like the inclusion of brushes isn’t necessary at all. There are some exceptions of course. Like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina Eyeshadow Palette came with a gorgeous dual-ended brush that was very helpful! But if Maybelline gives me a small little brush with their newest blush that’ll typically end up tossed aside. I think the rule that stands for most drugstore applicators is they get tossed aside by me. I completely disagree that having a brush in a budget line is essential because the “regular” girl or guy is applying their makeup on the go.

What do you think?

Do you use the makeup applicators that come with your makeup?

Or do you have your own brushes?

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Kish

    PF brushes are perfect for basting chicken breasts. I find no need for most brushes that come with stuff because they are much lower quality than the lines’ regular brushes. But UD and Tarte used to use good quality brushes in the older eye palettes but really that’s not something I needed to carry around daily. Make compacts smaller and more streamlined and leave out the applicators.

  • kjh

    That is no Aidan, however. The mid to HE come-with brushes are good in a pinch, but seldom as good as one’s brush set. What really needs to happen,and would benefit all: If you launch a formula that is different from expectations, and requires adjustment to standard app (side eying ABH here, Subculture) include a brush that best fits the new formula. I don’t mean a Wayne level brush, just something of the general shape, soft vs. stiffness, size, etc that would facilitate app of the new formula. (And Not call out users for being inept.) Then you could GET brushes that fit the formula, based on the brand’s example brush. If a palette is heavy on hybrid glitter shades, put in a flat synthetic that can pick ‘em up and pack it on. Advise the use of glitter glue. Most peeps could put on the rest, anyway. Consumers would benefit from more use suggestions and less marketing hyperbole as well. Revolutionary, loaded with melting metal glitter festivity and zero environmental impact !! WTF good does the description do, if the product will not go/stay on with any tools provided?

  • Carol G

    With the exception of UD palettes, I toss all the applicators straight into the garbage as I feel they are useless. (The quality is typically horrible!) Yes, I just use my own brushes. I used to work at a Clinique counter and I would practically fall over after seeing some people’s gross blush brush in their 5 year old compact of blush! I would ask people, Do you ever wash this brush? They would always say no. They had no clue they were supposed to wash them! I would say, Well, this brush is not a very good brush to begin with, you really should just toss it and purchase an actual blush brush and if you wash it once a week, it’ll last you forever.

  • Ginger

    I bought a very nice but simple brush set from Estee Lauder when I was a teen (over 3 decades ago – still have them) and they made most of the provided applicators seem ridiculous. If the applicator can be stored in the product and not get in the way or fall out every time I open the compactI will keep them in there, but otherwise they get tossed.

  • Jane

    I don’t. If they were decent, yeah, I might, but they never are. And when I used to use them, I always got oil transfer to the mirror. Blorch!

    Honestly, I am at a place that I would like to get rid of all my brushes – wash and donate somewhere – and just get the best of the best. I think I have one or two Sonia Kashuk brushes from each of her iterations over the years including the old soft blue handles of the late 90s, and a few “better” brushes, but I just want fewer. Better. Sigh.

  • Michelle

    I loved Black Sails! It ended too soon. As far as applicators go, if it’s a brush I may use it, but not the sponge applicators.

    • Isabella Muse

      Me too! agreed! I wish it lasted! I’m the opposite! I will use eyeshadow sponge applicators but not brushes so much!

  • Coral

    No, especially in drugstore brands. It just seems like a depressing waste of space. Although, I do keep the double ended ones from UD or Anastasia as a backup for when I need clean brushes and I’ve been too lazy to wash my own.

  • Allie

    I use the ABH palette brushes all the time! I think they work great for crease blending and patting into the inner part of the lid.

    • Isabella Muse

      So do I. they are great brushes. I wasn’t really saying ABH brushes were an issue 🙂

  • Gypsy6140

    This post is everything! Agreed to all. I feel like save the $0.25 on the drugstore applicator and put in more product OR lower the price. Quit junking up the planet with stuff most women wouldn’t use.

    • Isabella Muse

      preach! It’s just stuff that gets tossed aside for me. I have a huge pile of small blush brushes that I’ll never use!

  • Cil

    I do. I love the brush that comes with ABH MR. For whatever reason, it doesn’t irritate my problematic eyelid.

  • Ari

    For the most part, no! I agree that most of the applicators and brushes that come with products are rarely good quality or even appropriate for the product they come with (like those flat brushes that sometimes come with blushes…. how do I blend with a flat brush?!). I do like the handful of brushes I’ve received from UD palettes over the years, and weirdly my holy grail crease brush came from a Makeup Revolution palette?! I dread the day it falls apart and I have to rebuy the whole palette XD

  • Angie Clementine

    When I saw the title of this post, I immediately thought of how crappy Physicians Formula blush brushes are… and then you proceeded to call out PF for their sucky brushes. That made me lol.

    But the dual ended brush that came with my UD Naked Smoky palette is really nice and I use it regularly! It’s also super convenient for travel.

    • Isabella Muse

      LOL they are awful just awful! I agree! I think most mid-range brands are great it’s just drugstore/budget makeup that needs to stop with the applicators!

  • kimkats

    I give most of the craptacular brushes that come with MU to DH, who uses them to clean/dust off little mechanical parts and whatnot. They work a treat for that!! I have my own brushes, but I have to say that on the (now) rare occasion when something comes with a spongetip applicator, I leave those in the compact – I think they are highly underrated!! They pack on powders way better than brushes, so if you’re using a less pigmented product, spongetips rock for that!!

    • Isabella Muse

      I buy sponge tipped eyeshadow applicators in bulk I totally agree they are underrated. I tend to pack color on with them and blend with other brushes!

  • Molly

    Cheap blush brushes are the reason why I had two lines or hot pink blush striped on the sides of my face during middle school. Those were the days!

    Also, I don’t understand why the brushes that come with drugstore makeup are so bad when ecotools makes okay eye brushes.

  • Megs

    The little brushes that come in Benefit box blushes I actually like quite a lot, but other “blush brushes” that come with the product are awful! Some eyeshadow brushes have been good, but I only keep sponge applicators to sponge on glitter nail polish.

    • Isabella Muse

      likewise! They actually a great for applying plus they seem to capture the color right at the cheekbone for perfect application!

  • Kyra

    I always use sponges that comes with cushion foundation compacts, because that’s the idea right, the cushion sponges will give you the light coverage, dewy finish

    Never understand many ~beauty gurus~ on youtube insists not to use the cushion sponge provided, and use brush or beauty blender instead (and put the thick layer of product on their face). They really miss the idea of cushion compacts, right?

  • Chris

    I do use the sponge applicators, but on some of my older palettes, they crumbled apart! For the most part I use brushes. Had to laugh at the drugstore blush brushes giving you 2 pink lines on your cheeks! I do like the UD included brushes in their Naked palettes. And the cone shaped sponge applicator on the Lancôme ColorDesign Palettes make a nice line below the lash line using eye shadow. And I do wash my brushes with baby shampoo. I lay them on their side to dry.

  • CL

    The brushes and other applicators that come with compacts/palettes are holdovers from when the vast majority of women didn’t have any real cosmetic brushes at all. No one advertised cosmetic brushes in the 1970s. I never even saw real cosmetic brushes in stores in the 1970s, and I had to *mail order* a set in the 1980s when I got serious about makeup (after I bought a book on cosmetics and realized I needed decent tools). I think it’s worth keeping the applicators that come with a product IF you intend to carry your products with you and don’t want to carry your good brushes with you, and if the applicator is at least useable. Some are so poorly designed or constructed they aren’t worth keeping at all.

  • Tigerlaf

    The only brushes from a palette which I use are from ABH and Urban Decay Electric palette. The rest gets ignored/ tossed. I don’t even like brushes from Urban Decay Naked palettes, and have nothing flattering to say about any other brushes included in makeup. I prefer no applicators or brushes, but rather lessened price of a makeup piece.

  • Randi MacDonald

    A few months ago, I bought an Elizabeth Arden bronzer at TJ Maxx. Both the bronzer and BRUSH are made in Italy. It was 12.99 and I was pretty impressed.

  • Susan

    No I never use makeup brushes included typically in most items. Like you said from time to time a brand will included a rather usable brush. But that isn’t typical. From the scratchy bristles, to the ridiclously small sizes they should just leave them out and give us more product. Because lets be real, makeup is expensive and its getting more expensive everyday. Twenty dollars for a drugstore eyeshadow palette…. right! Alright cosmetic companies listen up…. just leave them out already. Thanks Muse for posting this, I vented and I feel better, lol.

  • Carmen

    The only brush that comes with palettes that I use is the Urban Decay brushes. Otherwise, I tend to skip using them. I hate the brush that comes with the Anastasia Beverly Hills palette even though most people love it, but it’s because it’s a really rough double ended brush compared to all of my regular brushes. I really only use one side to apply shimmers and duo chromes with fix plus and that’s about it. Honestly, most brands should skip including a brush unless it’s going to be a higher quality brush. I usually keep them but never use them because what if I’m somewhere, forgot all my brushes, and I need a brush but I tossed the one that came in the palette that I’m traveling with?! lol!

  • Dia

    Okay, this sounds strange, but although I never use the tiny brushes, I think it looks strange when there’s an empty slot next to the makeup in the palate, so I super glue the little brushes in there so stay in place, and don’t fall out and annoy me.

  • Ricci

    I loved that show, I feel pretty, it’s hilarious. TIP *Save the mini brushes for applying face mask

  • Kay

    Confession – I used to use a Bourjous little pot blush brush every day. The blusher was a super convenient size to leave in a tiny makeup bag at work because I never did my makeup at home, so even though it wasn’t even a blusher I liked much I wore it on work days so I didn’t have to cram an extra brush in! Then I took it home on weekends to wash and rotated the eye products but the blush and the crummy little brush stayed in there always XD

    I also use the UD double ended brushes with their palettes, but tend to leave them in there and use separate brushes for any other shadows.

  • Iris

    I use them for a while but then they start to get worn out and get placed into the garbage. I’ve never used any face or eye products on the go other than concealer so the included brush isn’t necessary. That film sounds fascinating. Will check it out.

  • Jonny

    Hi there Musey, long time no hear… Hope you’re well x … Keep up the great work x

    • Isabella Muse

      aw Jonny you’re making me feel bad calling me Musey. We aren’t strangers! How are you? How’s your dad? Give him my love! How are you? xo!

    • Isabella Muse

      because I’m approving comments and replying now. older comments are pushed down and newer ones show up first. So I’m seeing this one but not seeing your other one just yet. I’m replying as fast as I can just a bit busy this morning. Sorry for the delay.

  • Saoirse

    I never use the brushes that come in palettes. When I was younger I did, though, and even used those tiny sponge things that came in drugstore eyeshadow. But nowadays I only use my favorite brushes from Sigma, MAC, and IT, Sephora.

  • Melissa Phinn

    Absolutely agree with the movie. The majority of people who just use makeup as maintenance (which is most people) are just going to use the applicators that come with the product, and in most cases, they are the ones that work the best with the formula. Making people believe that multiple overpriced brushes are “must haves” has got to be one of the biggest ripoffs of the past 50 years! (Also – have you noticed that the palettes that don’t come with applicators have increased, not decreased, in price?)