Makeup » 13 Best Lip Brushes for a Smoother Lipstick Application

13 Best Lip Brushes for a Smoother Lipstick Application

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  • There are rounded and tapered, flat and square, retractable, and disposable lip brush types to choose from.
  • Lip brushes with shorter bristles give better control over the application, and while softer ones are great for lip gloss application, the ones with firm bristles work well with matte lipsticks.
  • Lipstick brushes are perfect for lining precisely, getting the right saturation, and blending different colors for an ombre look.
Best Lip Brushes for a Smoother Lipstick Application

If you’re a lipstick aficionado, you are probably familiar with the concept of a lipstick brush. But if you aren’t, or if you’ve never used one before, you might not realize just what a difference they can make in your lipstick application!

Lipstick brushes offer controlled application and precision, the ability to create a custom look or color, and are also incredibly easy to use! We’ve collected some of the best lipstick brushes on the market, as well as some makeup tips for the best ways to put them to use.

Lip Brush Guide: Contents

13 Best Lip Makeup Brushes to Get

Keep reading to find your perfect lip brush. You may just find yourself a convert by the end of this article!

1. Best Overall: Make Up For Ever 304 Lip Brush

This sleek lipstick brush from Make Up For Ever is a stylish addition to your primary makeup brush collection or go-bag. Densely packed with straight fiber bristles that mimic real hair, it offers a precise, rounded tip that is perfect for applying on the go. The bottom of the retractable lip brush also provides a removable cap to keep your brush clean and safe. Pick it up today at Sephora!

Best Lip Brushes: Make Up For Ever 304 Lip Brush

2. Best Runner-Up: MAC Cosmetics 316 Lip Brush

Shaky hands got your lipstick application down? For a controlled application, look to the MAC 316 Lip Brush. This firm, tapered lipstick brush is hand-sculpted and assembled to give you the most precise application. The small brush head is perfect for getting into the corners of your lips. Give it a try today at Nordstrom

Best Lip Brushes: MAC Cosmetics 316 Lip Brush

3. Best for Travel: Bobbi Brown Lip Brush

This retractable lip brush from Bobbi Brown is another travel-friendly option. With a rounded top and fully packed with synthetic bristles, this is the best lipstick brush for a person who loves to try various styles. Use it for lipstick, lip gloss, or even a lip stain! Whichever you choose, the Bobbi Brown Lip Brush will have your back. Pick it up at Nordstrom!

Best Lip Brushes: Bobbi Brown Lip Brush

4. Best Tapered: Patrick TA Lip Brush

This tapered lip brush from Patrick Ta offers the extra benefit of being cruelty-free! Its synthetic fibers are crimped, mimicking the product pick-up of natural hair! The pointed tip allows for perfectly blended liner and product. Get it today at Sephora!

Best Lip Brushes: Patrick TA Lip Brush

5. Best for Liner Application: Kevyn Aucoin Beauty The Lip Brush

With a flat, tapered head, the Kevyn Aucoin Lip Brush is another excellent choice for a variety of product applications. You can use the brush tip for controlled liner application, while the flat side beautifully deposits product to highlight and contour the natural shape of your lips. Get it at Nordstrom

Best Lip Brushes: Kevyn Aucoin Beauty The Lip Brush

6. Best for Sensitive Skin: IT Brushes For Ulta Love Beauty Fully Essential Retractable Lip Brush #228

If you’re looking for a well-priced, mid-range lipstick brush, this lip brush is the perfect option. The brush features their “heavenly luxe” hair and a small, tapered tip to expertly hug and fill the contours and lines of your mouth. When not in use, the ends slide together to form a protective cap to keep the brush and your makeup bag clean. The hairs of this brush are also cruelty-free and recommended for sensitive skin. Get it at Ulta!

Best Lip Brushes: IT Brushes For Ulta Love Beauty Fully Essential Retractable Lip Brush #228

7. Best for Medium-to-Full Coverage: Laura Mercier Lip Color Brush

This lip brush from Laura Mercier is perfect for medium-to-full coverage for product application. If you like a variety in your lip products from day to day, this brush will easily take you from gloss to matte lipstick. The rounded tip and tapered sides are made of firm, synthetic bristles for a “sculpted and precise application.” Grab it online at Nordstrom!

Best Lip Brushes: Laura Mercier Lip Color Brush

8. Best Dual-Ended: Chanel Les Pinceaux De Chanel Dual Ended Lip Brush No. 300

This dual-ended lip brush from Chanel gives you the power and control of two lipstick brushes in one. The short, angled tip is firm enough to outline your lips in a variety of formulas, from lipstick to gloss. The flat end of the brush allows for a full-coverage application. Buy yours today directly from Chanel or at Nordstrom!

Best Lip Brushes: Chanel Les Pinceaux De Chanel Dual Ended Lip Brush No. 300

9. Best for Blending: Charlotte Tilbury Lip Brush

This stunning lip brush from Charlotte Tilbury will catch your eye with its rose gold details and expertly crafted head. Handmade by master brush-makers in Europe, it is a synthetic bristle lip brush that features a square-shaped head, perfect for blending your products into all the nooks and crannies of your lips. The ergonomically designed handle even features multiple facets to prevent it from rolling off your vanity! Snag it from Nordstrom!

Best Lip Brushes: Charlotte Tilbury Lip Brush

10. Best Multi-Purpose: Artis Elite Mirror Circle 1 Brush

If you’re looking for something more luxurious than your everyday lipstick brush, take a look at the Artis Elite Mirror Circle 1 Brush. This lip brush is a multi-use tool perfect for various product applications, from applying your favorite lipstick to blending your eyeshadow to skincare application. The densely packed synthetic bristles allow for a lighter hand while applying, picking up more product with less effort than a typical lip brush. Try out this unique Artis brush today from Sephora!   

Best Lip Brushes: Artis Elite Mirror Circle 1 Brush

11. Best Splurge: Tom Ford #21 Lip Brush

While applying your lipstick, for a truly luxurious experience, take a look at the Tom Ford #21 Lip Brush. Tom Ford promises a smooth, finished look with this square-shaped brush made of synthetic fibers. The contoured bristles enable you to modify or enhance the shape of the mouth as you desire. From sheer to full coverage, the Tom Ford brush has you covered. Get yours at Nordstrom!

Best Lip Brushes: Tom Ford #21 Lip Brush

12. Best for Beginners: Sephora Collection Pro Lip Brush #85

Similar to the Kevyn Aucoin brush in shape, this lipstick brush from the Sephora Collection would be an excellent starter lip brush for anyone looking to perfect their lipstick application. Not only does the brush feature a tapered head of vegan, synthetic bristles for even application, but also the Sephora brush features tapered handles for the utmost control over your product application. These brushes and their packaging are made from sustainable materials. Try them out at Sephora!

Best Lip Brushes: Sephora Collection Pro Lip Brush #85

13. Best Budget: e.l.f. Cosmetics Retractable Lip Brush

If you want to give lip brushes a try without breaking the bank, you can’t come by a better option than the e.l.f. Cosmetics retractable lip brush. With a price tag under $5, you can’t go wrong with this retractable, tapered lip brush. Get it at Ulta or Amazon!

Best Lip Brushes: e.l.f. Cosmetics Retractable Lip Brush

Types of Lipstick Brushes

While you may think lipstick brushes are all the same, there are quite a few different types of brush styles and heads on the market and more than a few options when it comes to choosing the best lip brush for your needs. Here are just a few different types and the various benefits that each style has to offer.

Classic or “Regular” Lip Brush

A classic or regular lip brush may feature a rounded, tapered brush head. Tapered, meaning to reduce in thickness at one end, usually means that these brushes are thicker at the base to pick up more product.

They come to a rounded, thinner edge to precisely line the lips and blend colors. An example of a classic or regular shaped lip brush would be number 12 on our list, the Sephora Collection Pro Lip Brush #85.

Flat (Square) Lip Brush

Flat or square-shaped lipstick brushes, such as the Charlotte Tilbury one (number 9 on our list), are perfect for getting a sharp finish on your lip look. The flat edge works well to get in the corners of your mouth and makes an impactful finish with any matte lipstick product.

Retractable Lip Brush

One of the most popular types on this list is a retractable lip liner brush, perfect for on-the-go applications. The brush may twist or push up from the handle and typically has a cover that makes it easy to keep things hygienic.

Types of Lipstick Brushes

Disposable Lip Brush

If you’re in a pinch or applying multiple products to multiple faces, then a disposable lip brush may be the right choice. These disposable lip brushes from Amazon use synthetic bristles. You could also go for the doe-foot option, such as these from Amazon

Lipstick Brush Benefits

You may ask yourself, why do I need a lip brush in the first place? Isn’t it just one more makeup brush to add to your collection? Can’t I apply straight from the tube/ bullet? While these are all excellent points, here are three reasons why you should add a lipstick brush to your arsenal.


If you don’t have a lip liner handy, a lipstick brush is your next best option. Using a lip brush will allow you to have more control, resulting in a more precise application of your product. Using a brush will also give you more control if you are applying lipstick to another person!

Custom Color

If you are combining two colors to create a custom look, you should 100% use a lipstick brush. Utilizing a lip brush in this instance, you won’t risk mixing the original colors in their packaging and altering their colors. And, since you are using fewer layers of product, your lipstick may last longer when applied with a brush.


While some choose to skip lip liner entirely, if you want to give your lips that perfect outline, then a separate lip liner is what you need. Using a lip brush in your product application can easily blend your lip color and liner, ensuring that the liner does not look too harsh.

How to Use a Lipstick Brush

Tips for Choosing the Best Lip Brush

When it comes to choosing the best lipstick brush, there are a few different aspects you can consider.

• First, look at the length of the bristles. A lip brush with hairs on the shorter end will give you more control over your application. If the bristles are too long, you may not get the best application from your product.

• Next to consider is if the bristles are firm or soft. A softer brush may be better for lip gloss application, but a lip brush with firm bristles is best for a matte lipstick look.

• Another aspect to consider is the handle design and length. Make sure whatever brush you buy sits comfortably in your hand, or you may not get the best use out of it.

How to Use a Lipstick Brush Effectively

To use your lip brush with a lip liner:

• Line your natural lip line with a pencil close to the shade of the lip product that you’ll be applying.

• Use your lip brush to buff out the edges of the liner, so it will easily blend with your product and not stand out too harshly.

How to Use a Lip Brush

To effectively use your lip brush for applying lipstick, follow these steps:

• Most importantly, make sure your lipstick brush is clean – especially if you used a drastically different color beforehand. We’ll touch on cleaning more in just a moment.

• After choosing your product, pick up a small amount of product on your brush. You can always go back in for more product with a second application.

• Starting from the center of your lips, gently blend your product outward until you meet your lip line, beginning with your top lip and repeating the process on the bottom.

• To finish up with sharp, clean lines, use the brush’s tip to outline your cupid’s bow and the corners of your mouth.

• Repeat these steps as necessary to achieve your desired color saturation. 

Cleaning Your Lipstick Brushes for a Longer Shelf Life

If you want to ensure you get the most mileage out of your lip brush (you can also apply this practice to other brushes in your collection), here are the steps you should take to clean it:

How to Choose the Best Lip Brush

• Gently wash the bristles of your lip brush after each use. You can use hand soap and warm water, or use a makeup brush cleaner, like this one from Sephora. For an effective cleanser that you may already have, Dawn dish soap will give your brushes a deep clean.

• After you’ve rinsed your brush of soap, reshape any bristles that are out of place.

• Let your brush dry completely.

• Be sure to store your lip brush in a clean area. A makeup bag that you can zip closed is the best choice for avoiding germs.

• Replace your lip brush (and any other makeup brush) when you notice the bristles beginning to fray. Fraying is a sign that it’s time for a new one!

Whether you’ve been using a lipstick brush for years or are utterly new to the idea, following these methods will increase the longevity and effectiveness of whatever brush you choose!

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