Thursday, 9 April 2015

Finds from the Emerald Isle | Nima Brush.

You can never have too many makeup brushes, right? If you're as lazy as my when cleaning them then that is 100% the case. When Nima Brushes asked me if I'd like to try some of their collection I jumped at the chance - with my buy Irish based series, and so many of my favourite beauty bloggers talking about Nima brushes, I knew it was something I'd want to test out and tell ye all about. Also, when a good friend of mine (who is working for MAC and owns about 234235643 makeup brushes... yano, roughly) said she loves them too I knew I needed some! This is gonna be a photo and word heavy blog post, but if you're interested in buying some great quality (and Irish!) brushes then stay with meeeee.

Before I get stuck into the actual brushes themselves, Nima Brush was founded by Niamh Martin, an Irish makeup artist. With her job in mind, I think these brushes are equally fantastic for the professional, the makeup fanatic or just a beginner. The brush range is impressively extensive and are both functional and beautiful (blue and gold handles for the Artistic Collection, white and dark Rose Gold for the Elite) - when my mother saw the brushes on my vanity her exact words were "OHMYGOD THEY ARE SO PRETTY WHERE DID YOU GET THEM I NEED ONE THEY LOOK SO NICE" and she is not a makeup-y person at all.
Nima brushes have all grounds covered with an Artistic Collection, the Elite Collection, Starter Collection, custom bundles and travel tubes for your makeup brushes. The Artistic Collection alone has over 20 individual brushes ranging from €10-22 which is insaaaane given the price of MAC brushes (which Nima has some great dupes for!) and even Real Techniques Bold Metals found in Boots. They also do a brush of the month where one brush from the range is half price which is absolutely fantastic if you were looking to try one out! They're also constantly having discounts (with makeup students getting 10% off all year round) so be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with their deals! 
On top of the reasonable prices and beautiful handles, they have such a unique quality whereby Niamh has actually named each brush after someone in her life who has helped her throughout her career. Such a small but beautiful touch, and if you can find your name among the group (which I did!) then its even more lovely. If the names aren't your thing, though, they do have them without tooooo. 

I thought it would be useful to give a little review of each brush/what I use it for, and then give my top recommendations at the end. I should probably get onto the individual brushes, right? Let's goooooo.

Round Headed Kabuki (Elite Collection, €18)
Super fluffy synthetic brush which I would use for foundation, powder or cream contour/blush. This brush is lovely and so soft. I have to be honest, I was worried it would be very similar to some of the less expensive kabuki brushes I had bought on eBay last year, but I'm happy to report that the shape of this one is so unique. I know its called round headed but it is slightly flatter on the edges which would make it great for contouring. The shape is actually very similar to the Real Techniques Real Expert brush but I find the Nima one much softer and easier to clean! If you don't have a brush like this already in your collection its worth picking up!

Round Headed Kabuki, €18
5 Piece Detail Set (Elite Collection, €30)
The first brush (left) is a large shader that is such a handy brush to have! You could do an entire look with this brush because it has quite a bit of fluff to it so you can easier apply shade to the lid (with the paddle shape) and blend/apply colours into the crease because the tip is so fluffy.
Next is my favourite brush in the set - I would pay €30 alone for this... okay, maybe not really but its a very unique brush and one that I've used in every eye look I've done since I got this set. It's a small and stubby (but fluffy and soft) small detailed crease brush that comes to a point. In MAC terms, it is small than a 217 but bigger than a 219 so I suppose it would be the result if a crease brush and a pencil brush had a baby. I love this little guy (let's call him Jeremy) because the tip makes it so precise and great for serious crease work or even applying an inner corner highlight, but the fluffy aspect also makes it fantastic for the lower lashline. Me laaaaaaaaavs Jeremy.
The smudge brush that I received in my kit is synthetic and not my favourite but I believe it has since been changed to a smaller shader brush à la brush number one. I checked the website and the photo is different so if you're getting this set now, you'll receive the small shader/smudge brush which are always useful!
I love this angled brush for precise cut crease work and stamping product on the lower lashline. I didn't find it great for brows but amazing for cut creases and lining the lower or upper lashline. You could also use this for your brows too. Angled brushes are the way forward, lads.
The bent liner brush (right) is baaaae. Another one of my favourites from this collection. Bent liner brushes are so hard to find from affordable brands so I was happy to see this one included. It is really fine, easy to use (and clean thank the eyeliner gods). 
This set works out at €6 per brush which I think is amazing given the quality. I have a few Crown Brushes and the like which were the same price but the quality just isn't there, so if you're looking for some great detailer brushes this is the one, or maybe something to ask for as a birthday present!

5 Piece Eye Detail Set, €30
The Blaithin (Artistic Collection, €16)
Yes. Just YES. This is the brush I have been searching for. This, my friends is the holy grail. It is so soft and I am not joking when I say it is like taking a fluffy kitten and rubbing it across your face. This has a bunch of different uses; setting powder, bronzer, blush, even highlight but I LOVE it for contour. I haven't touched another contour brush since I got this. It is so soft but slightly egg shaped (although it isn't coming across so much in the photo) but it really allows you to place the product under the cheeps with the tip and blend it out with the edges of the brush. Instant cheekbones with zeroooo effort.

Blaithnin, aka KITTEN ON YO' FACE, €16
The Erin (Artistic Collection, €12)
Its not you, its me but I just can't get onto the fan brush thing. I know a lot of people love them and for €12 it is fantastically priced, I just didn't see myself reaching for this one unfortunately. Not my favorite, but by no means a bad brush if you were looking for one or think you would use it yourself. If you wanted to try it and hadn't a scooby doo what to do with it; it works particularly well for lightly setting your makeup and subtly highlighting.

Erin, €12
The Grace (Artistic Collection, €16)
Oh, look! Its MEEEEEE. I had already received my Nima brushes in the post and loved them so much I had to get another 2 weeks later at the Beauty Show in the RDS. Of course, I had to pick up the Grace. (I also got a Rosie brush for my mam, I would say its the bigger sister to the Blaithnin and she loves it for bronzing). Anyway, this is the tapered kabuki brush I've been looking for. The one I ordered online a few months ago, and the ones from Blank Canvas/Sigma/Morphe Brushes were just too big and pointy for my under-eye area and didn't do it for me. This is slightly smaller than those large tapered synthetic brushes and feels more comfortable under my eye, which sounds weird but if you've tried one of those larger tapered brushes before and hated it then you'll know what I mean. The Grace is the perfect shape and fit for under-eye concealer. I love this brush for cream contour and highlighter too.

Grace, €16
The Stephanie (Artistic Collection, €10)
This is marketed as an eyeliner brush but I found it slightly too thick for getting my liner on fleeeeeek. I'd suggest the bent liner brush in the Elite collection set before this one to be honest! If you were more into artsy style makeup or are a professional, I thought I'd mention I've been using this for drawing on freckles and I LOVE it, but I understand not everyone buys liner brushes for that. It also works great for apply glitter if you're doing it on the inner corners or lower lashline.

Stephanie, €10

The Lady (Artistic Collection, €12)
This is another brush that I absolutely love! I think everyone needs a pencil brush in their collection, but again they're not always easy to find good white haired pointy tapered ones. I would say its a dupe for the MAC 219 but I'd be telling you a lie, because the Nima one is better! Sharon Farrell said it before and I 100% agree - the MAC 219 is SO scratchy under the eye if you're buffing back and forth along the lashline. The Lady is so soft and doesn't irritate my eyes at all. Much cheaper than the MAC one and much better in my opinion. I love using this for the lower lashline, but you can also use it for the crease and inner corners too.

Lady, €12
Phew! And that is everything. Sorry it was so long, but I'm so impressed by the majority of these brushes that I had to give my opinion on all of 'em. Again, great quality brushes and for the price? Yaaaaaas hunty yaaaaas! I think everyone can find some great brushes in the range that they'll love, no matter what your level of skill in makeup. Functional, beautiful, great quality and Irish. I will definitely be placing an order with Nima again, so many brushes that I have my eye on! My top recommendations are; the Elite Collection 5 piece eye set, the Grace, the Blaithnin and the Lady pencil brush. Have you tried Nima Brushes before? I'd love to know your thoughts on them below or on Twitter @GraceyOConnell :)