Apr 10, 2012

My Stash: Makeup Brushes

On Ask Phivy, I was recently asked to do a blog post about my favorite brushes, but I don't really have FAVORITES...because I like all the ones I have!  I have a mixture of more expensive brushes (like Bobbi Brown and MAC) and lower end brushes (ELF) because I just gravitate with what works well.  Since I try to play with a lot of eye colors, I don't spend too much money on those eye makeup brushes since it's just easier to switch them out.  So here's a haul of my go-to everyday makeup brushes:

I keep all of my makeup brushes in a cup standing up.  It allows me to keep them organized and know which brushes I'm reaching out for.  This awesome Alcatraz cup is from my sister.  Of course if my brushes were visible to people (e.g. on a vanity or in my bathroom), I think I would "class up" my container, but since it's just hidden in my closet shelf, I think this cup is perfect.

Face Brushes:
Sephora Professional Powder Brush (similar one here)  - I use the smaller brush for my final Make Up Forever HD Finishing powder.  This brush is a little denser than the Victoria's Secret brush so I do a lot of "tap tap tapping" to remove excess powder before applying.
Victoria's Secret Powder Brush (similar Clinique one found here) - This is what I use with my everyday loose powder.  The wide brush allows for even distribution without picking up too much powder.

Blush/Bronzer Brushes:
MAC 129SE (similar one here) - This brush is great for traveling but the bristles are pretty soft so if you don't have an accurate application, blush can get everywhere.  I typically use this brush from the apples of my cheek (versus creating definition).
Sephora Professional Angled Blush Brush (found here) - This brush is a little sturdier (especially compared to the MAC 129SE) so I use this a lot for my blush.  It's great for both creating definition and color.
Bobbi Brown Face Blender Brush (found here) - I was recommended this brush by the lady at the counter when I purchased cream blush...and you know what?  It totally works better than a sponge or any other brush could.  It's great at picking up color and applying it without smearing it everywhere.  If you're a fan of cream blush, I recommend this brush to go with it.
NARS Blush Brush (found here) - I recently purchased this brush and because the bristles are so soft (like the MAC 129SE), I usually save this for pink colors on the apples of my cheeks. 
Essence of Beauty Contour Brush (similar Sigma Beauty one found here) -  I use this blush brush the most.  Particularly with my loose bronzer.  Because my bronzer is so pigmented, I often just use the remnants on the "mirror" part of the compact, but this brush is stiff enough for contouring without depositing too much color.

Eyeshadow Brushes
Essence of Beauty Eyeshadow Brush (similar Sonia Kashuk one here) - I use this brush a lot for colors outside of black/brown.  The brush is the perfect width to apply color (e.g. purples, mauves, even yellows) to the crease of my eye without overwhelming it.
E.L.F. Defining Eye Brush (found here) - I solely use this angled brush for black shadow, especially for my outer corners.  It's pretty thin (without being a flat brush) for getting those angled corners.  I usually blend the black shadow out, but this is a good brush for application.
E.L.F. Blending Eye Brush (2) (found here) - I use these two brushes for dark browns/mauves.  I apply the base level of my shadow with these two brushes because they're thicker but also have a slight angle to them so it's easier to get my inner corners of my eyes.

Blending Eyeshadow Brushes
Victoria's Secret Blending Brush (similar Sephora one here) - I typically use this brush to "fan out" the color towards the outer temples to create an elongated eye.  It's not thick enough to do a lot of my heavy blending, but does a great job of pull color outwards.
Bare Escentuals Eye Defining Brush (found here) - I accidentally stole this from my friend, Jane, when I was doing her makeup and keep forgetting to bring it back to her.  This is a great brush, though very soft, for adding light color around the edges of my eyes.  I obviously don't use it often (or ever) because it's not mine, lol.
Sephora Blending Brush (similar one found here) - Unlike a "blending" brush which is more stout and stiffer, this is a little bit longer, which allows more movement (and more blending).  I find that the traditional blender brushes are more "smudgers" than "blenders."  This is brush is in my top 3 best brushes.

Iridescent Eyeshadow Brushes:
Garden Botanika Oval Blending Brush (similar Sephora found one here): Do you guys remember Garden Botanika?  They used to have one at the Brea Mall where I grew up!  That is how old these brushes are, but look at how great they still look.  This brush I use to apply a white shimmer on my inner corners when I need a light dusting.  The brush is incredibly fluffy so it doesn't pick up too much pigment.
Garden Botanika Crease Brush (similar Stila one found here): This one is smaller so it picks up a lot more pigment and is perfect when I want a lighter shade in the center of my eyes, like in this picture.

Flat / Angeled Brushes
MAC 266SE (found here) - The crazy thing about the first brush and the second brush, which has the exact same name is that they're completely different textures and bristles.  The first (green) one is very stiff and I use it to fill in my eyebrows.  
MAC 266SE (found here) - This one is a lot softer than the first one and is what I use to line my lower lashline.
Laura Mercier Flat Brush (found here) - This brush was given to me by Ryan's sister and I like it a lot, especially for lining my lashlines or applying a very precise amount of color.

So that's a glimpse of my tools to make me who I am on a normal basis.  What?  Did you think I woke up this way?  It takes a whole TEAM.

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