Best Brushes for Smudgy Liner

Hey everyone!
Hope you had a great weekend. I wanted to share some great smudge brushes with you! I love using these small, precise (but not too precise) brushes to get a soft or smokey liner look. While they're all rather small, they won't give you the precision of an angled liner brush. Most often I use them to smudge a deep-colored shadow on the lower lashline (I love how this technique makes the eyes look defined, but not overdone) but they could also be used for soft liner all around the eye, or to smudge out a creamy liner. 

Here are my favorites from left to right: Sigma E21 Smudge Brush (part of the Performance Eyes kit), Real Techniques Accent Brush (part of the eyes Starter Set), Sonia Kashuk Smudge brush ($4.99 at Target), and Sigma E30 Pencil Brush ($10.00,

 Here I swatched the Cover Girl eyeshadow in Brown Smolder with each of the brushes, in the same order that they're shown above. Here are some notes & observations...
  • The Sigma E21 is what I've been using the most lately. It's the most stiff out of all of the brushes, and while it gives me a smudgy line, it's great about picking up a lot of color as well. The bristles never loose their tight shape, even after multiple cleanings. 
  • The Real Techniques Accent Brush is very similar in similar in size to the Sigma E21, but the bristles aren't as tightly or densely packed, resulting in a softer line. The synthetic taklon bristles are extremely soft, as with all brushes from this brand.
  • The Sonia Kashuk Smudge brush gives a similar amount of intensity to the Sigma E21, but not quite as clean of a line. This is partially because the bristles on this brush started to fray slightly from their original shape, but I still don't see it as problematic, and if I continue to use my Brush Guards in the cleaning process, it should help the brush keep its shape.  
  • The Sigma E30 pencil brush gives the most diffused line of all. Sometimes if I want a nice amount of depth right at the base of the lashes, I'll first use an angled brush, and then soften the line with this pencil brush. Used alone, this brush gives the eyes wonderfully soft liner. This is another brush that can start to fray out a bit, but after its next cleaning with the Brush Guard, it should get back to its original shape. 
While I mentioned how nicely these brushes can line, you can definitely be creative with these and use them in any way you can imagine! They're also great for precise highlighting around the tear duct. I hope you get a chance to check out one (or several) of these brushes! :)

Daily Nuggets...
  • Thanks to my new Wallflowers, my bedroom smells like pear and the attached bathroom smells like peaches. It's a fruit salad up in here!!
  • Was told to check out an app called "Tiny Tower". My life will never be the same!
  • My Saturday evening involved the couch, pizza, and basketball. After basketball we transitioned to Aziz Ansari stand-up comedy. And yes, I was referred to as "couch glam" more than once. (This is Tyler's term for when I'm chillin' on the couch not actually looking glam at all.)
  •  In case you missed my tweet or facebook post, here are our Easter eggs! Looks like I'll be making some of my self-proclaimed "award winning" egg salad soon!


  1. Super info on the brushes and very timely for me as I don't feel like I have a great smudgy liner brush and I find myself using powder shadow on my lower lash line more and more... the Sonya Kashuk looks like a great buy for me!

  2. Emily- when will you be reviewing the Sally Hansen products!? I need to know weather or not you approve of the lip plumper! Haha, love you so much Emily and your videos/posts always always always cheer me up when I'm down

  3. Thanks for the brush review, Emily! It seems like every time I try to use shadow as an eyeliner it ends up transferring to my upper eyelid after just a few hours. Any thoughts on how to counteract this? Using a primer doesn't seem to help! Guess I might just have to always be a liquid eyeliner girl. ;)

  4. Smudging shadow on my lower lashline is probably my favorite thing lol. Thanks for the review on these brushes! :)

  5. Great post! I love the Sigma brush for smudging!

    My online beauty store: One Stop Beauty Shop

  6. I like the little Urban Decay smudger brush. I forgot what it is called but it is the little pencil shaped ( but shorter) brush they sell to smudge out the 24/7 pencils. I LOVE this!

  7. I have the RT accent brush and I love it. But I really want the sigma one and now they are selling it individually and not only as a set :-) love you Emily and I love your YT channel. I have bought a lot of drugstore makeup after you reviewing them and I know that if you say "this is a good product", that I will like it as well :-) please never stop doing video, blogs :) you really do help!! Hugs from Norway

  8. Choosing the best brush for the make up is a very important things. Lots of people are not shows much more interest in that thing. But your suggestion is really useful to several people.
    Thanks & Regards
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