Brush P0rn

Friday, April 19, 2013

Brushes are hands down my favorite thing to buy, more than any makeup product. I could honestly talk about brushes for days on end if you didn't stop me. At my worst I had around 80+ brushes but that was about two years ago. Before I moved to MN again, I culled the herd and was down to 40ish. That number is starting to creep up again because I really, really just love buying different kinds of tools. Today is just showing you my brush stash, I also have a few posts written up about brush care that I'll go into detail later this week. 

I'll admit, I wanted to do this post a while ago but the daunting task of making sure every brush was clean and shapely for photographing made me slack off a bit. I briefly considered showing you brushes as is that is a filthy lie. Something about seeing a brush, particular concealer or foundation covered in product makes me cringe. 

Out of embarrassment, I'm showing you my better brushes. I have others that are stained from use with grease paints and wet pigments but they are really not that attractive to look at. These shots are also mostly of the ferrule and the brush head but if you have questions about the length or material of the handles, please feel free to ask. 
Foundation and powder brushes.

Borghese Powder (came in a set), Ecotools Large Powder Brush, Borghese Foundation (came in a set), Sephora Foundation (came in a set), Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush and e.l.f. Powder Brush. 

I love synthetic brushes for applying powders, so the Borghese and Ecotools are really fantastic. I mainly only use the flat foundation brushes damp to apply primer. I adore this Shiseido brush, I would buy it in a heartbeat if I lost it because my foundation looks flawless when I use this. The e.l.f. flat top is also a nice foundation brush, but I use it less now since I have the Shiseido. 

Blush brushes.

Hakuhodo 210, Real Techniques Flawless Face Brush, unknown brush (came in a set), Sephora Blush (came in a set), MAC 188 and Etude House Duo Fibre. 

Hands down my favorites are the Hakuhodo 210 and the cheap, unknown blush brush which has a fantastic shape, which should prove to you that cost is not always an indication of quality. I could live without the Sephora or the Real Techniques, but it is nice to have back ups when my favorites are dirty. The duo fiber brushes are good for cream, liquid or exceptionally pigmented brushes. The MAC 188 is smaller and daintier than the Etude House. 

Contour and Highlight

Hakuhodo J214, HD Angled Blush Brush, MAC 168, Hakuhodo J5521, Sigma F35

The Hakuhodo J214 is multi-use, great for concealer or for areas of small contour like the nose region. I rarely ever use the synthetic HD Angled Blush any more. MAC 168 I use mostly for slight sweeps of bronzer (and rarely at that). I use Hakuhodo J5521 for contouring and the Sigma F35 for highlighting though I don't like it very much because it is rather scratchy (compared to the goat hair of MAC or Hakhuhodo) and not as dense as I would like. 

Concealer Brushes.

Coastal Scents Pro Blending Brush, Smashbox #5, Coastal Scents synthetic concealer, Sephora Concealer, Ecotools Concealer, Bare Minerals Concealer Brush. 

I have so many concealer brushes because I use them daily to apply eye primer and concealer to shape the brows. It's nice to have a few so that I can wash them every week instead of daily. The Coastal Scents Pro Blending Brush is billed as a MAC 217 dupe, it's not. It's rather scratchy, too scratchy for me to want to use it in the eye area. I use it for under eye concealer but it's kinda scratchy for that purpose so as soon as I get a new fluffy brush I am tossing that sucker. I love how flat and thin the Smashbox #5 is and the fatter, soft Ecotools is another favorite. The rest I could really do without.

Rounded Eye Brushes

The first four are artists's brushes- Lowell Cornell Maxine Mops in various sizes, e.l.f. Eye Shadow Brush, Dior GWP Eye Brush, Sephora medium eye brush, unknown brand eye brush, Borghese brush, unknown eye brush, Etude House Eye Contour Brush, Sephora Large eye brush, Stila #5. 

As you can see, I have a TON of brushes that have this rounded shape. I use the four artist's brushes to pack on color that might stain, but they are too scratchy to work extensively on the eye area. I love the Stila #5 and the Etude House (despite the name, is in no way a contour brush) for all over eye application as well as the Sephora medium and Dior GWP brush (surprisingly a fantastic brush!) to pat most shadows on. 

Blending Brushes

MAC 217, Rock & Republic Blending Brush #203, Stila #9, Borghese synthetic brush, Target Studio Tools Crease Brush (old, discontinued version).

This is one area where I wish I had more brushes. Don't get me wrong, the MAC 217 is a fantastic work horse of a blending brush. The others are great too, Stila #9 and the R&R for more diffused blending, while the Borghese is primarily for blending out creme products. The Studio Tools is fantastic for really giving the crease depth due to its taper. 

Pencil and Pointed Eye Brushes

Avon Rounded Shadow Brush, Sephora Pencil Brush (came in a set), Rock & Republic #204, Hakuhodo B533BkSL, Hakuhodo G5515BkSL. 

All are nice in their own way for precision or smudge work. My favorites are the Hakuhodo B533BkSL and the Rock & Republic. The others are nice to have but in no way essential to me. 

 Misc. Shaped Brushes

Unknown sponge smudge brush, Sigma E20, Sephora angled cut brush (set), Make Up For Ever 18S.

I love the shape of the Sigma but the hairs are rather blunt and harsh in the eye area. I like the weird cut brushes to layer colors on the outer brow bone area.
 Eyeliner and Brow Brushes

Artist's brush- Lowell Cornell 1/8" Angled Shader, Smashbox #12, Hakuhodo J168H, Sephora Angled brush (came in a set)

I literally only need this one artist's brush to create any eyeliner look. It's fantastic. The Smashbox #12 is my favorite for defining and filling in brows.
 Flat  Liner Brushes

Unknown brand, Avon Flat Liner Brush, Sephora Flat Liner Brush, Ecotools Angled Brush

Since I only use that artist's brush for liner work, I mostly use these to apply wet products such as Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy or MAC Mixing Medium Gel.

Misc. Tools

Tweezerman Mascara Protector, Sephora Travel Lip Brush, Target Studio Tools Concealer, Panasonic Heated Lash Curler, Sephora Lash & Comb Brush, Sephora Fan brush

The Tweezerman Mascara Protector is self explanatory, but I barely have lashes long enough to warrant its use (great for you beauties with really full lashes). I used the Studio Tools Concealer brush for lipstick. The heated lash curler is fantastic for my sad, curler hating lashes. I'm partial to metal combs for lashes, so the Sephora Lash & Comb is awesome (plus I loved that it came with a protecting snap on case). The fan brush I use to dust off any fallout on my cheeks. 

I'll be doing separate reviews for the big Ecotools brush (pictured in the very first picture) as well as in depth on the Hakuhodo brushes later on as well, so look out for those. 

Do you love brushes as much as I do? What are your favorites? Do you have a particular brand that you favor?

Products featured were purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

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