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Updated July 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Buying guide for best Tarte makeup brushes

Tarte is a brand known for its natural, cruelty-free beauty products. While it’s best known for its color cosmetics, Tarte also makes a host of skincare products and makeup tools, including some of the softest, easiest to use makeup brushes around.

Tarte makeup brushes are available in various types, so there are options for foundation, bronzer, eyeshadow, and more. While the brand offers a standard line with simple handles, it often puts out special edition brushes with decorative handles in fun finishes or shapes. All of Tarte’s makeup brushes have vegan, cruelty-free bristles and can seamlessly blend powder, liquid, and cream products for a truly flawless makeup look.

Choosing Tarte makeup brushes isn’t always easy because the brand offers so many options. Our buying guide is loaded with tips to help you find the best Tarte makeup brushes for your needs. Still unsure? Check out our specific product recommendations to help get your shopping started.

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Don’t place your makeup brushes in a cup or jar to dry after washing them. That can cause any moisture still inside the bristles to seep down to the ferrule and loosen the hairs.

Key considerations

Brush components

When you’re shopping for makeup brushes, it’s essential to understand a brush’s components so you know what to look for. Makeup brushes are made up of three main parts: bristles, ferrule, and handle.

Bristles: The bristles are the hairs at the end of the brush that apply and blend the makeup on your skin. They’re shaped in specific ways depending on the type and purpose of the brush. Some bristles are gathered and arranged in a certain shape, while others are gathered and then cut to create the right shape. Bristles that are cut to shape can sometimes be scratchy; makeup brushes with gathered and arranged bristles are usually softer.

Makeup brushes can have either natural hair or synthetic bristles. Natural hair bristles are usually made of sable, goat, squirrel, or a combination of the three. They tend to cost more, and they pose animal cruelty issues for some users.

Tarte uses only vegan, cruelty-free synthetic bristles in its makeup brushes. They are typically made of either polyester or nylon filaments that are colored and heated to make them softer and more absorbent. They’re usually easier to clean than natural hair bristles and work better with liquid and cream products. You may prefer synthetic bristles if you have allergies since they’re less likely to trigger a reaction.

Ferrule: This is the metal part that attaches the bristles to the handle. The bristles are secured in the ferrule with glue. The ferrule should be made of a rustproof metal like aluminum or brass and shouldn’t be easy to bend or dent. Makeup brushes with wooden handles often have a crimped ferrule to secure the bristles in place even more firmly.

Handle: The handle is the part of the makeup brush you hold. A good handle should feel balanced in your hand so you’re able to hold and move it comfortably.

Tarte makeup brushes have wood, plastic, or acrylic handles. The brand’s classic makeup brushes are made of bamboo, a highly sustainable wood and an eco-friendly option.

Tarte’s special edition makeup brushes usually have plastic or acrylic handles and a highly decorative appearance. Some brushes have metallic handles, while others are embellished in some way. You can find brushes with rhinestone studs, flowers encased in acrylic, a metallic finish, or colorful patterns to give the brushes a little more pizzazz when sitting out on your vanity.

Tarte offers a standing makeup brush bag that provides secure storage that keeps the bristles safe and clean at home or while traveling.

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Features

Brush type

Tarte offers a wide array of makeup brushes for various purposes. Consider the makeup application task you intend to perform to find the ideal brush for your needs.

The types of makeup brushes that Tarte offers include foundation, powder, cheek, highlight, concealer, and eyeshadow.

Foundation brushes: These brushes are designed to apply both liquid and cream foundation makeup. Some Tarte foundation brushes are flat, so they work almost like a paintbrush. Others are more densely packed, which enables them to apply and buff the makeup for a flawless finish.

Powder brushes: Tarte powder brushes have a fluffy, oversize head that works well for applying and blending powder. You can also use it to set powder or powder foundation. Some Tarte powder brushes are small with a tapered head to apply powder more precisely.

Cheek brushes: Tarte’s angled cheek brush is ideal for applying blush along the cheekbones. It can also work very well for applying bronzer or contour powder. Tarte’s flat blush brushes have a dense, flat shape ideal for applying cream blush.

Highlighting brushes: Tarte flat highlighting brushes are similar to but smaller than the flat blush brushes. The dense design allows you to apply highlighter to create an intense shine. Tarte’s tapered highlighting brushes are tapered for precision, with a fluffy design that allows you to blend highlighter for a subtler glow.

Concealer brushes: Tarte’s flat concealer brushes have a small, flat head that allows for the precise application of concealer to blemishes and dark circles. It also works well for carving out your brows with concealer. Tarte’s concealer blending brushes have a small, dense, tapered head used to blend the concealer as you apply it for a more seamless look.

Eyeshadow brushes: Tarte’s flat shader brushes are used to apply eyeshadow to your eyelids. Tarte’s eyeshadow blending brushes have a fluffy shape that fits well in the crease of the eye to blend the shadow. Tarte’s tapered eyeshadow blending brushes are similar to standard blending brushes but have a more tapered shape to provide greater precision in the crease or outer corner of the eye.

Set vs. individual brushes

Tarte offers both makeup brush sets and individual brushes. If you only need a single brush, you’re usually better off purchasing the specific brush you need. However, if you’re working to build up your makeup brush collection, you might prefer a set of three to five brushes.

Most Tarte makeup brush sets contain a combination of face and eye brushes, but some focus on a specific area, such as a set with only face brushes. A brush set can often be a better value than purchasing individual brushes, but you run the risk of getting some brushes you won’t use.

Double-ended

Tarte offers some double-ended makeup brushes that have a different head on each end of the brush to provide a more versatile tool. For example, you can purchase a brush that has an angled concealer brush on one end for precise application and a concealer blending brush on the other end. A double-ended brush can be a great value and come in very handy for traveling. However, these brushes can be more challenging to store.

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DID YOU KNOW?
Tarte also makes makeup sponges if you prefer to apply your foundation, concealer, or cream products with a sponge.
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Accessories

Makeup brush shampoo: Cinema Secret Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner
Washing your makeup brushes is essential to maintaining their performance and preventing the spread of bacteria, so you need a good makeup brush cleaner to get the job done. This one from Cinema Secret is a favorite because it dries quickly and has antimicrobial properties to get rid of germs.

Makeup brush cleaning mat: Sigma Beauty Express Cleaning Mat
Cleaning your makeup brushes is easier if you have a cleaning mat to help. We love this silicone mat from Sigma Beauty because it has different textures for eye and face brushes and fits in nearly all sinks.

Tarte makeup brush prices

Tarte makeup brushes vary in price based on whether they’re part of a set, the type of brush, and the materials they’re made of. Most brushes cost between $5 and $34 each.

Inexpensive: The most affordable Tarte makeup brushes are those that come as a part of a set. These brushes typically aren’t as soft as those sold individually, so they usually have cut bristles rather than shaped and arranged bristles. Since they come as part of a set, you also might be paying for brushes you don’t need. These makeup brushes cost between $5 and $12 per brush.

Mid-range: These makeup brushes are usually eye brushes sold individually. They are typically very soft because they have shaped and arranged bristles. These brushes generally cost between $17 and $24 each.

Expensive: The most expensive Tarte makeup brushes are typically face brushes sold individually. They’re extremely soft and have shaped and arranged bristles. These brushes cost between $24 and $34 each.

Tarte often creates brushes that correspond to new makeup products it develops. For example, it might provide a foundation brush that performs well with a new foundation formula.

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Tips

  • Use a gentle shampoo to clean brushes. If you don’t have any makeup brush cleaner or brush shampoo, you can use baby shampoo or a shampoo-and-conditioner product to wash your makeup brushes. These are gentle enough that they won’t damage the bristles.
  • Don’t wash your makeup brushes in hot water. It can weaken the glue that holds the bristles in the ferrule. Opt for lukewarm water instead.
  • Try coconut oil. If you’re having trouble getting makeup out of your brushes, use an oil-based cleanser or even straight coconut oil. Oil is effective at dissolving stubborn makeup.
  • Store your brushes in brush protectors. You can ruin the shape of your makeup brushes by tossing them in your makeup or travel bag. To help them keep their shape, use brush protectors. These small mesh tubes fit over the bristles to prevent them from getting bent or squashed.
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Storing your makeup brushes in a drawer can help keep the bristles clean and dust-free.

FAQ

Q. Do makeup brushes really apply and blend makeup better than my fingers?

A. Using your fingers to apply makeup can work pretty well for certain sheer products like tinted moisturizer or cream blush, but other products are nearly impossible to apply and blend seamlessly with your fingers. These include eyeshadow, bronzer, and full-coverage foundation. But applying makeup with your fingers doesn’t just run the risk of streaky makeup. You can spread bacteria and cause breakouts too.

Q. How many makeup brushes do I need?

A. It really depends on the makeup you usually wear and how you wear it. Most makeup wearers need a foundation, concealer, powder, blush, eyeshadow shader, and eyeshadow crease brush. You might also want a bronzer, highlighter, and more precise eyeshadow brushes.

Q. How often do I need to wash my makeup brushes?

A. Washing your makeup brushes regularly is essential not only to help them last longer and apply your makeup more effectively but also to avoid spreading bacteria and germs with dirty brushes. Most makeup artists recommend washing your brushes at least once or twice a week.

 

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