Sunday, 14 September 2014

Current Makeup Brush Collection

After my temporary break from blogging, I thought I would start back up with a make up brush collection post. I, like every other beauty junkie, like nothing better than opening and using a new brush and there have been some recent additions to my set.
Firstly, I just want to apologise for my extended blogging break. I have now taken my final law exam and after a stressful few weeks I needed a bit of me time to spend with family and friends (code for being lazy). I’ll be honest and say that after spending weeks writing and rewriting out revision notes, the last thing I wanted to do was see words on a page for a while. But, I’m back and I have some pretty exciting ideas in the pipeline.

After that little intro, lets get back to the business of brushes. I used to be a sceptic about the need for decent brushes having only ever used a £10 set someone brought me for Christmas, a time so far in the past that I don’t like to think how old they actually were. It was only about a year ago that I made the splash and purchased the Real Techniques core collection and starter set and my god what a difference it has made. The only problem is, now I’ve started it’s becoming a little bit of an obsession and it keeps expanding a few brushes at a time.


Face brushes are probably one of those things I was the least fazed about and I pretty much had a sponge for powder and a brush for blush/bronzer. I can imagine some of you are recoiling in horror at this point, but rest assured I now have a brush for every possible purpose…although I still want to add more!

I have to say that the Real Techniques brushes have been a godsend to both my make up routine and my bank balance. Starting a quality brush collection used to be ridiculously expensive, but these brushes are quality, fool proof and excellent value. I don’t know how I lived without them before, well actually I do, I breathed and ate….all that stuff you need to stay alive, but my makeup has never looked as good!

Detailer Brush
I generally use this when I have some precision concealing to do, such as covering blemishes, as applying concealer with my finger would sometimes just result in too much product being applied over too big an area.

Powder Brush
I use the powder brush for a light wash of setting powder or having a final light buff over my entire face to make sure everything looks seamless.

Buffing Brush
This brush can be used to apply liquid, powder or cream foundation with excellent results. It’s also pretty handy for buffing out contouring if you use a light hand, otherwise it can take too much of the product off as it’s dense.

Stippling Brush
I use this for applying foundation sometimes, or I use it to apply cream blusher. It’s fantastic at both! Gives good coverage using foundation and with cream blushers it picks up and distributes just the right amount of product so you don’t leave the house with clown cheeks. 

The Contour Brush
In the name really but it’s fantastic for contouring cheeks, as it really gets underneath the cheekbone and applies product exactly where you want it.

Setting Brush
Again there are two uses for this brush, it can either be used to set under eye concealer or, I personally prefer to use this as a highlight brush because it’s so fluffy it just gives a nice subtle highlight to cheekbones etc.

The Expert Face Brush
Excellent for applying liquid foundation as it gives an airbrushed finish. Keep in mind that the results of this brush will depend on having a decent foundation that matches your skin tone. No brush is a miracle worker…unfortunately.

Pointed Foundation Brush
I’ll make an admission here and say that I don’t use this brush. All my other Real Techniques brushes are really soft and gentle but I find this one just a bit painful to use as it feels spikey on my skin. When I did give it a go, I just didn’t think the finish was that great as the brush didn’t move the product round well.

Blush Brush
I love, love, love this brush! It’s so soft and picks up just the right amount of product and evenly distributes it so that I have a natural flush of colour. It makes applying blush so fool proof that it’s very difficult to apply too much, allowing me to gradually build up colour if I want more of a pop of colour.

Tarina Tarantino Blush Brush
Talking of a pop of colour, this is where this brush comes in handy. I don’t know if you have seen the Charlotte Tilbury blushes (click here if not), but they have a two toned colour with a deeper shade to pop on the apples of the cheeks. Well I like to copy that idea using two blushes I have; this brush can be used to apply the colour directly to the apples of the cheek as theres more control over where the product goes.


Make up brushes for the eyes are one of those things you can never have enough of, because you always need one to pack on colour, one for the crease and another for blending. I’ve got quite a selection of brands in the picture above so I’ll go through them left to right.

Urban Decay Naked 1 Palette Brush
For a brush that comes in a palette it’s pretty good, no crappy sponge applicators here. It picks and distributes product well and what more do you need from a brush like this? I tend to use this just for adding a darker colour in the outer v, as the brush is quite small it covers the area pretty well.

Teeez Cosmetics Flat Stiff Brush
I just use this to pack the base eyeshadow on. Again it’s a standard brush that lives up to its purpose. This is a natural haired product though, so it can’t be used with cream eyeshadows. You can read my thoughts on this brush in a previous post.

Real Techniques Accent Brush
Another good brush by Real Techniques that I tend to use for adding eyeshadow underneath the eye and smudging out eyeliner. Nice small brush that makes precision work easy.

Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush
Real Techniques have marketed this as a crease brush, but I’m not sure if my eyes are just really small or this brush is just really big because there’s no way I could use this for crease work. This brush literally covers the majority of my eye so I'd end up with the crease shade everywhere. Rather I just use this brush to do a quick final blend to make sure the transition between colours is smooth.

Zoeva 318 – Soft Paint Liner Brush
In the name really but I used this brush for gel liner, with it being synthetic it works perfectly. I’ve yet to try a winged liner look with this but I bet it will work well.

Zoeva – 221 – Luxe Soft Crease Brush
I love this brush; it makes crease work simple and is the perfect size for the job. It’s so soft and luxurious feeling (I guess that’s in the name). If you want a separate crease brush that’s affordable buy this, you won’t be disappointed.

Mac 217
Everyone hypes about Mac brushes and this one in particular has a pretty impressive reputation. I can see why! I use this as my clean blending brush for the most part, but it’s also great for adding a wash of colour over the eyes or crease work. If you were to buy a one does everything eyeshadow brush….this would be it. It may be £20 but it’s worth it. Good quality tools = professional looking make up!

Zoeva 230 – Pencil Brush
I didn’t have a pencil brush but I’m a big fan of smoking out my eyeliner and I knew this would be the perfect tool. I don’t need to say anything more than this brush does what I want it to!

Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush
Good brush that I tend to use with cream shadows at the moment. It can be used for blending, crease work or a wash of colour. Pretty universal brush so use it how you like.

Real Techniques Brow Brush
I use this with my brow powder because the brushes in the kits are usually worse than useless, or at least I think so. Works well, precise application of powder and allows me to shape my brows neatly. I still prefer a pencil and spoolie though.

Real Techniques Aixel Point Eyeliner Brush
I don’t use this brush currently, because I can’t really think of a use for it. I don’t know I guess it could be used for some detailing work or lining the lips. I personally don’t really like to use this for eyeliner though as it creates too wide a line.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Double Ended Brush
Similar to the other brush I received but with a blending brush as well. You can never have too many brushes like this! Does what it says on the tin…or the cardboard packaging holding the tin.

My Brush Wishlist
After using the three Zoeva brushes I recently brought, what can I say other than I’m hooked. These are such a dream to work with and make me look like I’ve been doing seamless eye makeup for years (I haven’t). They're really soft, affordable and the design compares to brushes 3 times the price. After trialling the brand, the 25 brush set and bag has been added to my list of must haves!

I also want to add the new Real Techniques Nic's Picks set which can be seen here

What are some of your favourite brushes and are there any that you recommend?

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