Buying make-up brushes was never all that high up on my list of priorities; until I became really enthusiastic about make-up, the idea of spending money on the tools to apply it with seemed a little frivolous. But I’ve come a long way since then, and in turn have learned the error of my ways! Until pretty recently I’d been exclusively using a set of bareMinerals brushes that I received for Christmas two years ago. While the eye brushes from that kit are still in regular use and are of very high quality (virtually no shedding), the face brushes are best suited to bareMinerals foundations rather than traditional liquid foundations. An overhaul was badly needed, for me to get the most from my products.
A few months ago I finally invested in my first Real Techniques brush, the Expert Face Brush. Having been suitably impressed with that, once I got to grips with it, I decided to explore the Real Techniques line further. A proper blush brush was high on my wishlist, and while making a recent Escentual order, I spied the RT Blush Brush on offer for £8.40. Bargain.
This, in short, is a really nice brush. The synthetic bristles are really soft, and the tapered head allows for precise blush application. It doesn’t pick up too much powder, which means you can build up your blush rather than accidentally slapping on too much, and trying frantically to blend it out so you don’t end up looking like something from the circus (not that that’s ever happened to me). There has been no shedding from the blush brush so far, and the sturdy body reassures me that it’s going to last me a long, long time.
Two weeks ago I finally convinced myself to place an e.l.f. order, to test out the products and see if they really are as excellent value as I’d heard. While I’ll keep my thoughts on their cosmetics for another day, three e.l.f. brushes made their way into my basket:
I’ll start out by saying that, considering their prices, I wasn’t expecting miracles from the e.l.f. brushes, but I figured that they’d be a decent stopgap measure until I could buy better quality alternatives. But so far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. The Bronzing Brush has a tapered head, which really assists the contouring step. I’m able to sculpt out some cheekbones without ending up with bronzer all over my jawline too, and any accidental overloading of product is very easily blended away. The bristles are a little prickly, but for less than £2 I’d be a fool to expect to feel like my bronzer was being applied with a kitten’s paw.
Essentials Powder Brush, £1.95
This brush is, unfortunately, the dud of the bunch. Despite appearances, it’s actually pretty tiny, and prickly too. I much prefer a large, fluffy brush that dispenses my powder in a matter of milliseconds and without the the ‘owwy’ sensation. The only use I can really think of for it is to apply setting powder to my undereyes, which is a pretty inconsequential step in the overall routine. Oh well, I can cope with a poor investment of £1.95.
Studio Small Angled Brush, £3.95
This brush cost as much as the previous two put together, and the step up in price is reflected in the quality. The synthetic bristles are very soft, making it ideal to use around sensitive eyes. The small angled brush is great for precision application for gel eyeliner, eyeshadow and brow powders – in other words, it’s a great little multi-tasker to have in your stash. Also, I prefer the look of the matte black handle to the white shimmery offering of the Essentials brush range.
Have you tried any of the brushes above? Can you recommend any brushes that you just can’t live without? (exaggeration intended)