I really want to try Illamasqua's brushes, mostly because they are all synthetic so can be used with cream products easily. I'm also curious about Ecotools.
There are a couple of brushes which are on my wishlist, a smaller blush brush, probably the 116 from MAC and also the upcoming 226 which is released in the MAC Me Over collection, due for release in September for the UK. I will probably get two of those as it is a limited edition and people rave about it, I do like a nice crease brush so I'm looking forward to trying it.
This is how I store my brushes, in two mugs. The one on the left has my name on it, which was a present from someone. The other is a Tim Minchin (one of my favourite comedians - check him out here) mug which I got from one of his gigs, it says 'Rock n Roll Nerd' which is one of his songs. I have my face brushes in my Tim mug and my eye brushes in my pink mug.
I will start with my face brushes and go by brand. First up, my Real Techniques brushes. These are all synthetic so perfect for cream and liquid products as well as powder. Also great for anyone who wants non animal hair brushes. All are very well made, sturdy and I love the ferrules because they are incorporated into the handle so there will be no loosening around them. They were all well cut and do not shed at all. Each brush has good density and 'give' in the bristles. They are all lightweight and the handles feel comfortable in the hand both is shape and length so they feel balanced in use. They are well designed and you can tell that Sam has had a lot of input into these and is very proud of them, so she should be!
In order of appearance:
1. Real Techniques Pointed Foundation Brush. Available in the Core Collection set. £18.99 love-makeup.co.uk
What they say: 'Use with liquid foundation to build custom coverage'
What I say: I find this brush a bit small to use for my whole face but to do smaller areas, especially around the nose it works well. It is also good for quick application of concealer.
2. Real Techniques Buffing Brush. Available in the Core Collection set. £18.99 love-makeup.co.uk
What they say: 'ideal for full coverage application of powder and mineral foundation'
What I say: I use this for liquid foundation application. It is one of my favourite brushes in my whole collection! It applies my foundation effortlessly, gives buildable coverage and no lines! I've not tried it with powder so can't vouch for how they apply those and the coverage given.
3. Real Techniques Contour Brush. Available in the Core Collection set. £18.99 love-makeup.co.uk
What they say: 'delicately applies highlighter to contour or create sheer, soft-focus finish'
What I say: Does exactly what it says above. I also use it to apply bronzer in the hollows of my cheeks when I want more shaping in my face. I love the shape as it fits nicely into my cheeks and makes the task easier.
4. Real Techniques Powder Brush. Available alone. £10.99 love-makeup.co.uk
What they say: 'Evenly apply powders and mineral foundations for smooth, high-definition results'
What I say: Good for quick application of finishing powders. It is quite a large brush so doesn't get into the nooks and crannies around the nose and under the eyes as easily but you can use the very edge to push into them. Picks up enough powder to do my whole face in one. It can be stood up as the base of the handle is flat (I never bother because I have my mugs). It would be brilliant if you wanted to apply body shimmer or foundation over areas of your body with light coverage.
5. Real Techniques Blush Brush. Available alone. £9.99 love-makeup.co.uk
What they say: 'Contour and define cheeks for flawlessly blended, high-definition results'
What I say: Really nice size brush and I like how it is tapered. It gives flawless application of blush and can be used for subtle contouring due to it being tapered if you wish. The tip can be used to apply blush or bronzer and then blend out with the side. It works well to pat the product on too if you like to do that.
Next my MAC brushes. Most are full size but the two blue brushes are from one of the Wonder Woman brush kits. They are made of a variety of bristle materials, some are natural, some are synthetic.
1. MAC 109 Small Contour Brush £26
What they say: 'Use on the face to apply, blend or contour powder products. Softly rounded dome tip delivers just enough colour; smoothly blends colour into the face. Of natural fibres.'
What I say: I like this for application of powder bronzers
2. MAC 129 Powder/Blush Brush £26
What they say: 'All-purpose for blush or face powder. This brush is particularly good for blush application. The fibres are soft and form a full, rounded shape.'
What I say: I use this as a blush brush but also a powder brush, just like it is aimed to be. I is a little scratchy after washing and can shed quite a bit which is a pain. I do like it though because it gives a nice diffused effect when applying blush. It also applies powder nicely although heavier than my Real Techniques Powder Brush but it can get into the small areas easily.
3. MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush £26
What they say: For expert application of cheek contour. This brush is a large angled contour - the fibres form a buffed edge and are soft and firmly bundled.'
What I say: This brush is beautifully soft. It works well to apply blush in a sweeping shape. I don't use it to contour as I prefer a smaller brush. I like the angle of this as you can use it one way to apply but also blend out with the fluffier longer side. A novelty thing is that because it is white, you can see how much product is on the brush.
4. MAC 187 Duo Fibre Brush £32.50 (I swear this was cheaper when I bought this!)
What they say: 'A large full circular brush used for lightweight application and blending of face powder or pigments. Use to create soft layers or add textures. Made from a soft blend of goat and synthetic fibres.'
What I say: This brush is a big favourite amongst MAC fans. I originally bought it for foundation application but I now use it to apply MSFs. It is fantastic for that, you can stipple them on or sweep them across your cheeks and they make them look great.
5. MAC 188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush £26
What they say: 'A flat-topped, full circular brush used for lightweight application and blending of any formula colour – fluid, cream, powder or pigment. Ideal for creating soft layers or adding textures. Made from a soft blend of goat and synthetic fibres.'
What I say: This is just a smaller version of the 187. I like to use it to apply highlighters softly onto my cheek bones. It could work well for contouring although I've not tried it. It is a bit small for blush in my opinion but some people may like it for that. It could be used for artsy makeup application of pigments too.
6. MAC 129 SE Limited Edition - part of the Wonder Woman Face brush kit.
This is no longer available but it is available with different handles occasionally when MAC release their brush kits. Cinematics has brush kits at the moment, as well as Packed to Go which are available on the MAC website. Both collections have a set with this brush in so if you are looking for it, it is available but just with a different colour handle, the Cinematics version also has dark purple bristles.
This is the machine made version of the regular 129 brush, it is a lower quality to the full sized hand made version. The brush is not as full or dense, a bit floppier. I still like it though, I use it for blush and travel purposes.
7. MAC 190 SE Limited Edition - part of the Wonder Woman Face brush kit.
This is no longer available but it is available with different handles occasionally when MAC release their brush kits. Cinematics has brush kits at the moment, as well as Packed to Go which are available on the MAC website. Both collections have a set with this brush in so if you are looking for it, it is available but just with a different colour handle, the Cinematics version also has bright purple bristles.
This is a machine made version of the regular 190 brush. I have not tried the full size version but from what I have seen, this one seems rounder than it should be. If you like regular flat foundation brushes, this is the kind to choose. I sometimes use this for travel but since getting my Real Techniques Buffing Brush, this one has become a bit redundant. I did like it with my previous foundation so it might just be to do with my current foundation that I don't like the application with it.
Lastly my other brushes.
1. Bobbi Brown Face Blender Brush £33
What they say: 'A great multi-purpose brush, ideal for dusting Shimmer Brick Compact on cheekbones for a natural-looking, shimmery glow. The Face Blender Brush can also be used with Sheer Finish Powder, Blush, or Bronzing Powder.'
What I say: I got this from QVC in a kit so didn't have to pay for it! It is so soft, full and gorgeous. It is a lovely brush for blush or Shimmer bricks (as it was supplied to accompany in the kit). It blends effortlessly. I definitely want to check out more Bobbi Brown brushes now.
2. E.L.F Angled Foundation Brush £3.50
What they say: 'Creates flawless coverage. The angled shape allows you to apply product with precision in hard-to-reach places. The brush applies foundation and other liquid products evenly across the face and within the creases of your features'
What I say: Save up for something better. Honestly, you get what you pay for here. Mine has become wobbly in the ferrule and it doesn't apply brilliantly anyway. It might be okay for someone who is just getting into makeup or a teenager but I wouldn't bother if you are looking for a good foundation brush. Go to Real Techniques instead.
3. Unnamed blush brush (think it was from Tesco in a kit years ago)
This was my original blush brush, it is crap. It is flat and doesn't apply well at all. I don't even know why I still have it... lol!
Stay tuned for my second post with my eye brushes. I didn't realise this post would become so long so I am splitting them into two... might end up in three as I have quite a few eye brushes but I shall see how it goes, I don't want to bog you all down trying to read through!