I have a love/hate relationship with brushes. I LOVE to find new brushes and I love the ones that I use all of the time. I HATE that I *always* seem to find MORE brushes that I'm convinced that I need to try--even though I'm fairly certain that I don't actually need any more brushes (or at least not that many more). I also hate that I have some brushes that I'm fairly sure I will never use--wasting money makes me sad (as I'm sure it makes you sad too!). So, for this month's "tips" blog, I wanted to share with you all my brush successes and failures!
The brushes that I have that I use all of the time are specifically the ones that work well with my plethora of Madd Style Cosmetics pigments. All of the brushes I will be highlighting are also vegan brushes--as I only use vegan brushes (because...you know, I'm vegan and all. :)). If you know of any awesome synthetic bristled brushes that you think I'm missing from my collection, please let me know! At the end of the blog I'll post some links to some pages that I am stalking in preparation for a brush buying frenzy--but otherwise, I'd love to hear your suggestions!
To start out.
Back in the 8th grade (a long long time ago)--my Mom took me to The Body Shop for a make-over. I am fairly certain that I have had three of these four brushes since then! The first (Slanted Brush), third (Eyeshadow Brush) and fourth (Eyeshadow Blender) brush are all ones that I've had for a lonnnnng time. The second brush (Mineral Brush) is one that I recently acquired because I realized that it was one that I didn't have, and I liked my other three so much that I figured I'd pick it up!
When I started really getting into mineral makeup in this last year, I started going to Sephora to check out their brushes. I now have all three of their double-ended brushes (they now have some crazy pink one, but it's a face brush and I have no use for that!) and I like all three, but mostly I only use one of the ends of each! Actually--that's not really true. I suppose that I use both ends of the purple and orange ones. But I never use the thin side of the yellow one.
Once I realized how fun brushes were, I figured I should buy a set to get everything that I would need! I bought this set from Orglamix--I believe that it is like a generic ecotools set (the handles of the brushes aren't labeled as ecotools). I wish I hadn't purchased this set!! I don't use the face brushes (because I never wear blush or foundation or any of that "face" stuff). The tapered blending brush is MUCH too stiff. The eyeshadow brush is okay, in a pinch. The angled liner brush I could use, but I wouldn't for liner because it's too thick at the end. The only brush I use ALL of the time from this set is the pencil brush. In hindsight, I should have just found a pencil brush on its own and purchased that!
At Christmas time, Alima had a sale one an a four piece "eye" set. I love love love these brushes. They are SOOOOOOO soooooooft. The brushes below are the #36 Pointed Crease Brush, #33 Angled Liner/Brow Brush, #37 Eye Blending Brush and #39 Large Shadow Brush. I use all of these, except for #33, pretty much all of the time. I highly recommend these brushes!
For eyeliner brushes, I ventured out to art supply stores. The great things about these is that they work great and are waaaaaaaaay cheaper than brushes you'll buy at makeup/department stores.
Then, one day I was in a drug store and almost lost my mind when I stumbled upon the mini Ecotools set! I didn't realize we sold them in Canada--but now that I have these ones, I see Ecotool brushes in A LOT more places! I use all of these brushes pretty frequently--the only one I rarely use is the largest one on the far left.
My most recent brush purchase was for these Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics ones. I had been lusting after these ones for a while and recently found out about a 40% off sale and was able to jump on it!! The ones that I picked up: #006 Short Shader Brush, #005 Angled Blending Brush, and #008 Small Shader Brush. Like the Alima brushes, these are extremely soft. Sooo sooo soft. The 006 is MUCH bigger than I thought it was going to be. And the 005 is much more "blunt"--the angle is completely flat and round--not fluffy and tapered, like I thought the picture on the site looked. The 008 is the one I have been using the most and I like it very very much!
I also have some random assorted brushes. From left to right: ELF mineral blending brush, Sonia Kashuk domed crease brush, Sephora angled eyeliner brush, generic small eyeshadow brush (which I use to apply my NYX base, sometimes), Ecotools large eyeshadow brush and...I guess the last one is for brows and things? (Can you tell I never use it?!!)
Now--which ones I love the best and what I use them for!!
My favorite lid brushes. Body Shop Eyeshadow Brush, OCC Small Shader, Alima Pointed Crease Brush (which I use for my crease a lot of the times too!) and the the flat "wide" tiny brush from my mini Ecotools set. The first two are super great at packing on colour. I like the third a lot for blending above the lid towards the crease. And the teeny one is good for inner eye if I'm not wanting that colour on most of my lid.
My favorite crease brushes. The Alima Large Shadow Brush is similar to the orange Sephora brush (the fourth in this picture). It's a little fluffier so it's nice if I'm wanting more of a wash of colour. Next is the Alima Blending Brush (again, I like to use this for a less intense application and it's also great just for blending out the crease) and the Sonia Kashuk domed brush (great for packing on intense colour in the outer lid/crease). And last is the fluffy tapered brush from my mini Ecotools set (similar to the Alima Blender, just teeny tinier!!).
Edit: 9:48pm: Also, it should be mentioned that the fluffy brushes can be made to pick up a lot of product, if I do want them to. I guess that is part of what appeals to me about them--they're very versatile!!
If I'm going for a more "sculpted" outside eye/crease, I like to use these two brushes. The Body Shop Slanted Brush is great because of it's size and I can place it on the outside corner of my eye (at the angle I want) and the colour is magically how I want it to be! The purple brush I use for smaller details on the outer eye, or sometimes for my lower lash line.
I also like to use both of these for my lower lash line. The Sephora Angled one is nice and thin--so I can keep things very close to the lashes. I also use that one to apply gel liner (which I am not too good at yet!). The yellow Sephora one is nice and stiff and it makes it easy to control the colour. I sometimes also use the yellow one for my duct colour.
Edit: 9:46pm: Oh! I also use the yellow brush to carve out a crease if I'm doing a cut-crease look!! I forgot about that!!
Speaking of ducts...these are the two I use for my ducts the most. The first is the tiniest one from my mini Ecotools set. It is nice and soft for that delicate duct area. The second is the ONE brush from that HUGE brush roll (that is otherwise pretty much a HUGE waste) that I actually use.
Then, for my brow highlight. I love to use the fluffy ELF brush the very most. It gives a very sheer coverage, which is great--because I don't usually like my brow bone to be BAM GLAM SPARKLE CITY (you know?!). The middle one is the fluffy angled one from my mini Ecotools set. It's pretty good at the sheer coverage thing too. And lastly, is the Body Shop "Blender" brush. I do not understand how this brush could be used for blending. But the tip of it is very flat (but rounded), so it's good for blending the brow colour down towards the crease.
And for my eyeliner, I love my paint brushes the best! The one on the right is size 000 and the one on the left is just a 00. I bought the 00 one first to experiment with (and because when I first saw the 000s they seemed too flimsy to me) and it was so easy to use that I decided to pick up at 000 to see how that would be different. The 000 one makes such an amazingly thin line. It's wonderful!! I'm planning to do my eyeliner tutorial next month for my "tips" blog--so stay tuned for that!!!
So there you have it. Those are the ones that I use the most. There are a number of ones that I didn't list as my favorites--the two OCC ones (especially) I think will be more used as I get used to them, but I've only had them for about a month!! But as I said in the intro, I always have my eyes peeled for new brushes that I think look awesome! Cozzette brushes, for example, look NEAT. I really want to try the Cylinder Eye Contour and Mini Contour ones! These Nevy ones look ROCKIN'! And recently Inglot's 8OHP/S and 7FS/S have been added to my wish list!
Edit: 9:50pm: I also just remembered that I want two more OCC brushes too! The angled one AND the tapered blending one! Mayhaps I can pick them up when I go to IMATS in July!! Woo!
The moral of the story: brushes are neat. And if you have any synthetic recommendations, let me know!
Otherwise--go put on some makeup, I sure did!