Monday, 30 June 2014

Favourite Face Brushes.

I realised that I talk day and night about amazing makeup products but never touched base on what I use to apply them with - I knew that had to change! Makeup brushes can sometimes be an investment in your personal or professional makeup kit but I honestly believe that if you have some good makeup brushes, then they can make the world of difference as to how your makeup applies, high or low end. Note that I said good makeup brushes - not necessarily expensive! While I own quite a lot of MAC brushes, I haven't bought any new ones in ages because I've found some really amazing brushes elsewhere and for a much reasonable price.

I think that makeup brushes can be a tough one to crack - so I thought I'd do a post on some of my favourite ones that I think are worth having. I remember working at Urban Decay and a lot of people would ask if brushes were absolutely necessary, or even admitted to just neglecting brushes altogether because they were too expensive. I've found that you don't always have to spend an arm and a leg on a nice brush! I'm not saying all of these are must haves for everyone, but there was some brushes here that do several different jobs and it just depends on what you're looking for! You'll notice that I don't have a traditional, flat paddle foundation brush included in this post - purely because I don't like to use them for foundation but that doesn't mean you won't prefer that to a buffing style brush! I have found them to be useful for cream contour and highlight, though.

When picking out makeup brushes for personal use, try and stick to having one for foundation, powder, contour (if you do contour), blush and highlight (again, if applicable). Once you have those key, basic brushes then the rest are merely extras. Look at the shapes of brushes and how you think they would work best on you - just because a brush is sold as a foundation brush doesn't mean it can't be used as something else so keep that in mind! I really do hope this is helpful to some of you, because brushes can be pricey! If an eye brushes follow up post is something you'd be interested in seeing then please let me know :)

Alrighty, first up are stippling brushes. For years, they were my favourite method of applying foundation. I've since moved on to a more dense 'buffing' style brush but if you want a more natural, but still 'airbrushed' finish then a duo-fibre 'skunk' brush is your man. Typically, and in the case of the 187 by MAC, the bottom hairs (black) are natural and the white tips are synthetic. The mix of natural  and synthetic hair gives a flawless finish and means it works well with both powder and cream. The 187 is far more dense than the ELF Stipple Brush, so I favour the MAC one for foundation. I also like to use stippling brushes for applying light dustings of setting powder, bronzer or very pigmented blushes. The ELF one is quite flimsy, but works well for applying these cheek products - especially if you often find you overdo it with blush. So, depending on the use of your stippling brush: I would highly recommend the 187 for liquid foundation and the ELF one for blush and other cheek products.

Next is the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. I hear so much about Real Techniques but this is actually the only makeup brush I own from them. I definitely want to try more, and you can often find these on special offer in Boots. All Real Techniques brushes are synthetic and I find that the Expert Face Brush makes a fantastic buffing brush for liquid/cream foundations. Its very dense and gives a very fully coverage. I often use this with my Bourjois cream bronzer, too. This brush is quite small and works well getting into the contours of the face.

You'll probably be able to tell, but I try most of my face brushes as foundation brushes first and if I don't like them, I generally find another use for them. The ELF Powder Brush makes an amazing foundation brush for both powder and liquid. It's very similar to a brush by Sephora and works the same as all the flat top kabuki style brushes. Like the RT Expert Face Brush, this gives a flawless finish and covers a larger area since it's bigger. I have one of these for liquid foundation and another for mineral/powder foundation. This works amazingly with a MAC MSF or the Studio Fix Powder. The ELF Studio line make some amazing brushes and they are so inexpensive. From the few that I've tried, I love all of the ELF brushes - I've only placed one order with them and many of their best selling brushes were sold out so hopefully in the future I can do a whole post on their brushes when I add to my collection.

I know it is terribly boring, but the 129 by MAC is honestly the best blush brush I have ever owned. I won't lie, it sheds quite a bit and is pretty pricey but oh lawwwwd is it soft. It just applies blush like no other blush brush does. I know it sounds dramatic, but this is honestly just a great standard blush brush which I think everyone should have in their collection. It's not too big or too small and is a good shape so it can be used for powder or bronzer, too. MAC also offer the 168 brush, an angled blush/contour brush which I considered including but I think the 129 is overall a nicer brush. However, it might be worth going into MAC and comparing the 2 together to see which one you personally like best.

Inglot's brushes don't get enough love online and I can't understand why. I've only tried a handful of their brushes but I think they're excellent and can't wait to invest in more. The Inglot 4SS is technically marketed as an eyeshadow brush, but I would never use it on the lid unless I was sweeping one neutral shadow from lash line to brow bone. However, as a face brush this works amazingly! This can be used this for a multitude of things - contouring the cheeks for a dramatic look, nose contouring, highlighting, setting small areas of the face (chin, nose) and finally, setting concealer under the eyes. It is very small, but you could even use it as a blush brush if you were in a pinch. Although it's unusual looking and you'd probably take one look at this brush in the store and go "sure what would you use that for at all?!" but it is probably the most multi-functional brush I own!

Lastly, is a round top kabuki style brush. This brush is the Mineral Powder Brush by Sephora and is incredibly soft. Just as it says on the tin, I use this for setting my foundation and getting more coverage out of my powders. In the summertime, I bring this with my MAC Studio Fix powder and I'm good to go foundation wise. It's very soft and dense but I also use this for dramatic cream and powder contouring some times. This is really just a rounded version of the ELF Powder Brush, so I don't necessarily think you need both for powder but I think either/or is great to have!

I would love to know some of your favourite face brushes - especially if you have any ELF or Real Techniques recommendations. You can also follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Blog Lovin' to keep up to date with new blog posts and such :)