This or That?: ABH A23 or Milani Highlighter Blending Brush


Hey there, Beauties!! I hope you’re having a great day or night. You guys know that I am a serious lover of makeup brushes. It doesn’t matter to me if the brush is high end or drugstore, as long as it works well. For today’s post, I’m going to compare two brushes I recently acquired, the ABH A23 and the Milani Highlighter Blending Brush, and let you know which is worth your coins. If you’ve been on the fence about purchasing either and want some info on their performance and such, just keep on reading. 

As I said in the opening to this post, I LOVE makeup brushes. I have so many in my collection that I adore, but am always looking to add a new member to the family. If I can find a great brush AND got it at a good price, that makes me love the brush even more. When I picked up the Milani brush we’re going to talk about today, I knew that I wanted to compare it to the cult classic ABH A23 since they’re shaped exactly the same. I’m going to let you guys know which brush I think is better, or if the more affordable brush is a comparable equal to the coveted A23.

Enough chatting, let’s get into it!


The first brush we’re going to talk about is the Milani Highlighter Blending Brush, $13.00. The brush itself is labeled as the ‘All Over Blending’ Brush, which is weird to me because it’s called something totally different on the website. It’s not a huge deal, but definitely something to note if you choose to purchase it. I picked mine up from Walmart, but you can find it at any retailer that sells Milani, as well as the Milani website.

The Milani website describes this brush as follows: Perfectly sculpt chiseled cheeks or highlight your brows with the unique design of this slim, tapered brush. Brush features ultra soft, high-grade synthetic fibers to seamlessly blend powder formulas for a clump free, flawless application. I definitely agree with the claim that this brush is super soft. Even after washing, the synthetic bristles maintained their softness without losing shape or getting stiff. Another thing about the bristles is that I haven’t experienced any shedding when I’ve washed it.

Now, when it comes to highlighter application, I find that this brush places and blends highlighter like a dream. It doesn’t apply the highlight weird or anything like that, and blends the highlight into the skin seamlessly. It’s dense enough to pick up and hold onto product, but not so dense that it plops your highlight on the cheeks in one spot in a way that makes it difficult to blend, if that makes sense. The shape of the brush makes it ideal for placing your highlight right on the cheekbones. I’m here for it, if you couldn’t tell.

Let’s move on to our second brush now that we’ve gone over the highlights (no pun intended) of the Milani brush.


The Anastasia Beverly Hills A23 Large Tapered Blending Brush, $25, is a YouTube favorite. That’s how I ended up buying it, because so many of my favorite YouTubers raved about how great it is. You can pick this brush up at Sephora, Ulta and the ABH website. While the Milani brush is made with synthetic bristles, the A23 is a natural hair brush. Since it’s a natural bristle brush, it’s soft but just a tad scratchy. Not in a way that’s going to irritate your skin or make it a brush to stay away from or anything like that, but you may feel that when you use it.

Here’s the description of the brush from the Ulta websiteBrush A23 Large Tapered Blending Brush by Anastasia Beverly Hills is a medium, soft tapered, domed-shaped diffuser brush with natural hair.


  • Premium natural hair quality
  • Flat ferrule for seamless product application

The description, in my opinion, is pretty spot on. As you saw in the pics for the post, the A23 has that great dome shape so it lays perfectly on the cheekbones to apply your highlight. The natural bristles blend the highlight into the skin nicely.

While I haven’t experienced any shedding with the Milani brush, the A23 started losing bristles before I had even used it, much less washed it. Every time I wash my ABH brush, I lose a few bristles. I’ve even had bristles fallout onto my face while using the brush. Do I think that makes it a terrible brush? No, but it’s definitely irritating and something to note before you purchase it. This is the first natural bristle brush I’ve ever owned, so I can’t say if this is a common thing with natural hair bristles or not. I still like using the brush and would recommend it if someone asked me if it’s a good brush.

So, what’s the verdict? I’m going to say that, while both brushes are great and work beautifully on the skin, I’m going to say that you should get with the Milani Highlighter Blending Brush because it’s so affordable. Why pay $25 for the ABH brush when you can get basically the exact same brush for $13 or less if you catch Milani on sale at the drugstore? I’m happy to have both in my collection, but I’ll say this. I was able to get TWO Milani brushes for the cost of ONE ABH A23. Just something to think about before you drop your coins on either of these brushes, ya know? I mean, unless you’re solely into using natural hair brushes, of course. Then the A23 is gonna be your BFF.

Do you have either, or both, of these brushes? If so, which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time, Beauties!! xoxo

DISCLAIMER: All product links included in this post are affiliate links via MagicLinks. If you purchase through the links provided, I may make a small commission on your purchase. By purchasing through my affiliate link, you are helping me maintain the blog and purchase products to review for you. I appreciate the support, whether you click the link or not. xoxo

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