I do not consider myself to be a makeup expert but just a make-up aficionado and an average consumer and this experience I’m talking about in the blog. And because for 10 months now I’ve been writing about makeup at least half of the time, I considered to be a logic post a small talk about brushes, because I want this post to be a milestone for me in this evolution as I’m trying to stir my direction to a smart shopper aka buy only quality and essentials.
Like most of you I’ve learned a lot from YouTube and Pinterest as main sources of makeup education. I have never attended a specialty course although it would have been nice, it was never a priority for me. But after a year of dissipate learning, I consider my brushes collection to be almost sufficient for every day use and I will go through every brand and type of brush below:
- Real Techniques – considering these brand’s brushes are make the top 10 must-haves due to Internet hype, I’ve decided to be a norm core and buy a sample ( wink:)).One of my friends (the makeup artist that I told you about) told me that at their makeup school they recommend these brushes for a starter’s kit. Overall, I have not been disappointed and the brushes live up to the expectation as they are very easy to use, do not lose bristles, you can achieve fine results with them. So, my brushes include:
- Core Collection, meaning a detail brush, a foundation brush, a buffing brush and a contour brush; all of them are lovely but the foundation brush I’ve been using for applying powder on the under-eye area as for me it seemed too small for other tasks and the detail brush it’s mostly used for filling brows, if you are looking for a more diffused result.
- Starter Collection which contains a base shadow brush, a crease brush, accent brush, pixel point eyeliner brush and brow brush; out of these, special mentions for: the shadow brush, which can be successfully used for blending and the angled brow brush, which unfortunately I’m not a fan (too large or long for that matter, and the bristles not so stiff for brows or for other purposes, like soft eyelining)
- Stippling brush – this is an absolute love this one, with just the right size and soft bristles; after I’ve bought it, all I could do was stipple all the way and I could not get enough of it. I would have loved if they could make a smaller version of it for other cream products.
- Lash Brow groomer brush – nothing special about this brush, it comes on the functional side.
- Melkior – when I saw their brushes in the store I fell in love, but now after some time of using them I’m not that smitten up anymore – don’t get me wrong, they are not bad brushes but I could probably used the money for other purpose. I have from Melkior:
- medium contoured angled brush – I’ve been using this brush for contouring or powder blush application; it is a nice brush but over the months it’s shape has started to blur
- corrector brush – with it’s long bristles you can achieve miracles in covering all of those spots or dark circles but if you are not handy, you cannot achieve only using this brush that soft blended effect. Due to shape one can probably use it for foundation also.
- No.7 – this is my first brush set (apart from some failures from Avon, that I don’t want to mention or the classic sponge applicators that we all first used for shadows) and I’ve been using it for over 5 years continuously; it is one of those cheap synthetic sets that it is still there part of your memories (a first it’s always a first in terms of makeup) and because it’s still functional. The brushes are:
- powder brush – currently using it for powder pearls for a diffused result
- eyeshadow brush – it is one of the brushes most frequently used by me
- brow groomer brush – this brush will soon depart my collection, as it has started losing it’s bristles
- lip brush – I’ve used it a couple of times but it’s not a precision brush
- E.L.F. – as one of the cheap brands that deliver result, ELF had to be present with makeup brushes and after using (some of them) for almost two years, I consider them (some) to be a good starting point or a decent acquisition if you don’t want to invest that much in makeup brushes:
- Essential foundation brush – a synthetic brush for liquid or cream foundation; I have used it with all kind of brands and it is a decent brush. You can even use it for primers and concealers
- eyeliner brush -can be used for a fine flick but also for obtaining a classic cat eye look; as I sayd, not bad for starting point.
- Essential blending eye brush – it’s a fluffy synthetic brush that you can use for an easy blending of the colors; I would not use this brush for a pretentious composition or for very pigmented colors as it does not have stiffness for a professional result, but for a simple makeup it would do.
- Essential defining eye brush – an angled brush that I’ve used it for eye crease but mainly for highlighting the area under the brow; I’ve noticed that over the time it started losing it’s shape
- Essential Smudge brush – the producer says it can be used for smokey eyes shadow application but the bristles are a little too soft for smudging and can result in lose color on the under eye area so better to use it with simple eye shadows
- eye contour brush – a little bit large for details but it can be used for blending soft lines
- Eco Tools – I started buying these brushes after reading a lot of positive reviews and until now I am pleased with my acquisitions and am considering into buying more of their collection. Until now I have:
- powder brush – a soft brush that mimics natural hair bristles, easy to use and like any other Eco Tools brush is easy to wash and does not lose it’s shape. I’ve had mine for more than 6 months and it looks like new
- Face&Body contour brush – this is a controversial brush with soft bristles that helps you easily an effortless contour; although I have used it only with bronzers, I understand it is also perfect for self tanning lotions
- Kiko – a compact travel set brush that I totally love. I have used them both for weekend getaways and for longer holidays, they are easy to wash, compact for a minimum luggage, adaptable for any kind of usual makeup (day or evening). The set contains 5 brushes, 1 mono and 4 duo, as follows:
- Face 500 – face brush for blush or bronzer
- Face 501 duo – for concealers and other cream products
- Eyes&Lips duo 502 – one tip for eyeliner and crayon blending and the other, a lip brush; the eyeliner tip is one of my favorite brushes so far
- Eyes duo 503 – two eye brushed for powder shadow application and blending
- Eyes duo 504 – a brush with synthetic-bristle tip and the other tip with a sponge, both for applying and blending loose, compact or cream eye-shadows
- Sephora Collection – these brushes are veterans in my makeup set but they look almost new and considering our long history together were worth every penny. Currently I still have:
- retractable powder brush – I’ve been having this brush for almost 10 years (true story!) and has been a faithful makeup partner: apart from losing some of it’s softness, it has lost almost none of it’s synthetic bristles and it’s in a very shape. Since I’ve increased my collection over the years, this brush is in my purse or in the travel set
- concealer brush – looks like new after all these years but apart from cream&liquid concealer I’ve used this brush also for eye shadow application (and it has been a better destination for it)
- Duo ended brush – has a tip for eye shadow application and a tip with a smudge brush; the first one is a decent brush that has successfully seen all kinds of colors and application techniques and the smudge brush is not a revelation, it’s a little bit harsh on the skin and does not buff very well but I generally used it with strong colors and made the most of it.
- Barbara Hofmann – I only found this brand in Douglas stores, it was an impulsive buy, but I never regretted it as I discovered (again) that the Germans do it better (cheaper and a good quality)
- blending brush – it does not look like a classic blending brush but more like an angled crease brush; the handle is made of wood and the bristles are very soft and does a good job at blending shimmering colors; it’s easy to was and has not lost it’s shape (for almost a year now)
- MAC – it is my cherry on top of the cake but this is the direction I intend to extend my collection
- 239 Eye Shading Brush – as most of you know, this is among the top 5 or top 10 MAC brushes must have as it can be used every day for eye-shadow application and color building up; it has the perfect size for the lid, due to white bristles you can see how much product you picked up but this is the same reason it can be more pretentious at cleaning (you never pay to much attention at a brush with black bristles, right?).
This must be the longest post I’ve ever done but I hope it turned pleasant for you. Let me know if you liked this kind of discussion or if you have any suggestions for me with a small comment below.
Until the next time, wear red lipstick and glitter all the way:-)