M.A.C Illustrated Face Canvas Brush Kit (above; HK$520)
Claim: four-piece set that comes in a canvas flap bag adorned with vibrant illustrations by artist Julie Verhoeven. The brushes are 100 per cent cotton and work with cream or powder products.
Bobbi Brown Desert Twilight Mini Brush Set (left; HK$620)
Claim: a miniature set of four essential brushes for eyes, lips and cheeks. Each brush is only about 7cm long and its function is written on the handle. The metallic silver case trimmed with turquoise will slip into your purse, gym bag or carry-on.
Chantecaille Chic Travel Brush Set (right; HK$1,500)
Claim: this set of five includes brushes for eyeliner, eye shadow, blush and concealer, all nestled in a navy case with magnetic closure. The brushes' wooden handles are hand-turned with a pale ivory finish.
Verdict: the white tips on the M.A.C brushes are a big help as they make it easy to see how much product you have on the brush. Their main drawback is that the fibre hairs are not as soft as natural ones and shed easily. The size of the Bobbi Brown kit is perfect for when you are on the go. The sturdy case protects your brushes and comes with extra room for make-up. It can comfortably fit a powder and a lipstick, doubling as a make-up bag. The Chantecaille is a more comprehensive kit that comes with an angled brush, though the price is a little steep. Although it's not tiny, the pouch is very slim, so it won't take up too much space in your luggage.