Makeup Graveyard: Brushes I Don’t Love

In the last Makeup Graveyard post, I talked about Blushes I Don’t Love. To be extra-confusing, today I’ve decided to change just one letter and turn it into Brushes I Don’t Love.

I don’t have a big collection of brushes (yet). I have some (cruelty-free) Real Techniques and Hakuhodo x Sephora brushes, and that makes up about 95% of what I use on a daily basis.

Brushes were one of the last things I came around to. I’ve always loved lipstick, and it doesn’t take me much convincing to splurge on a new one (as is evidenced by my large lipstick graveyard post). Brushes just don’t seem like a “fun” purchase the way lippies do.

But finally, a couple of years ago I threw away my ancient and unwashed blush brush (oh, the shame of how old and filthy that thing was), and replaced it with something nicer.

Well, in theory, anyway. The first graveyard brush we will talk about is the blush brush I picked up after throwing away my ancient one.

Quo Blush Brush

brush quo blush brush

I don’t even know if this is called a blush brush, but that’s what I tried to use if for. For months. I had spent $20 or so on it, and dammit, I was going to like it.

For those of you who don’t know, Quo is a Canadian brand sold at Shopper’s Drug Mart. I’ve heard some of their brushes are good, but after two bad experiences with their brushes (next one to follow), I won’t try another.

The reason I hate this brush is for one very simple reason – it’s scratchy. I want my blush application experience to be light and feathery, not painful. This one stabbed my face every day, and for that I will never forgive it.

Quo Big Fluffy Brush

brush quo face brush

Another brush, another name I made up. I don’t even know why I bought this brush back when I did. I think perhaps I needed a new powder brush, but the design of this is definitely not right for powder. I assume it’s some sort of liquid foundation buffing brush, only it’s huge (the Real Techniques one is half the size, and I much prefer it).

Not only is this too huge for foundation application, the bristles are very loose and sparse, so I feel like there’s a lot of wasted product.

At least it wasn’t scratchy.

Miscellaneous Tarte Brush

brush tarte eyeshadow brush

Anytime a free brush is given, it should be treated with suspicion (I’ll talk more about that below). This brush by Tarte came with one of their cream eyeshadows in a set, but I don’t really get it. I’ve tried applying cream eyeshadow with it – I find it’s not quite the right shape to pack on color, and it’s too thin and edged to be able to blend anything out.

It’s too large and rounded to be used as a liner or detail brush. I even tried it on my lips (I was desperate). I just couldn’t figure out a way to use this brush – I couldn’t find anything it excelled at.

Miscellaneous Brushes

brush eyeshadow palette brushes

I have a couple Smashbox brushes from eyeshadow palettes – you know the ones, the double-sided kind that are stumpy and sub-par. In Smashbox’s defense, the only halfway decent eyeshadow brush I’ve ever found in a palette is Urban Decay’s Naked palettes. Drugstore palette brushes are even worse – how do you blend with those little foam-tipped things?

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, instead of struggling with stumpy sub-par brushes from sets, it’s going to be worth your while to just get a couple of decent eyeshadow brushes.

These Smashbox ones aren’t actually all that bad – they’re here to illustrate a point more than anything else.

ELF Blending Brush

brush elf blending brush

When I first started upgrading away from my drugstore palette brushes, I decided to try an ELF blending brush for eyeshadow. It was well-liked by others and I figured, it’s hard to go wrong for $3.

Don’t even bother with this thing. It breaks the first brush commandment, “Thou Shalt Not Be Scratchy.” Nothing else matters beyond that.

The Real Techniques blending brush is infinitely better, and not expensive.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this short and sweet brush graveyard. Since I don’t have a giant brush collection, I don’t have a giant amount to dispose of – which is great, it means I’ve wasted less money.

The biggest downside is that I won’t be giving any of these away, because they’re just not good enough. It saddens me to say, but these are bound for the trash.

Thanks for reading along this post about makeup brushes I don’t love! Do you have any of your own hated brushes to add? Or perhaps a defense of one I’m throwing away?


  • Kiss & Make-up

    Myeah, brushes that come in palettes are usually kinda blegh. I’m surprised the e.l.f. brush was a miss though. I usually quite like e.l.f. Studio brushes.

    • Allysia K

      I was surprised too, considering the raves they get. Maybe it’s just that particular brush?

  • Summer

    Sorry about your bad experience with those brushes. Thanks for sharing your thoughts though♥