When you’re a beauty blogger people make a lot of assumptions about you including the idea that you’d own a zillion make-up brushes. Thing is, I might have been given loads of them but, as a minimalist, what I actually hang on to is almost embarrassing.
Are you ready for it? My ride or die make-up tools are as follows:
- A weathered-looking Revlon blush brush. It’s been a faithful friend for a couple of years and, while I’ve been given several much more luxurious and expensive replacement options along the way, I keep going back to it.
- A large Elizabeth Arden face powder brush (sold as part of a duo to be used with their mineral foundation) that applies powder or powder foundation like a boss. Again, I’m given alternatives but nothing beats it.
- A severely-battered Essence kabuki that resides in my handbag. It’s been living such a #thuglife its handle is covered in nail polish!
- A very nice Real Techniques eye shadow brush that recently replaced a much-loved bullet-shaped MAC 217 that I lost on a photoshoot.
- An oval-shaped foundation brush* that I bought for next to nothing in Bangkok. I tend to use it mostly for events and TV when I’m wanting a heavier application as opposed to the usual sheer one I create with a sponge.
And that’s it! Those four guys, along with a motley crew of sponges, are the only things I really use. It’s pretty rare that a new brush makes it into my make-up bag and then manages to stay there but a whole whack of beauty tools arrived the other day and some of them have become new favourites.
First up, I’ve got to give major props to Urban Beauty United (UBU) for their Kitty Saint Fluff #23 Smoothing brush (price TBC, Clicks).
While UBU sell another brush that’s literally labelled ‘concealer brush’ THIS is the dude that does The Best Job Ever of applying my HG concealer – Catrice Camouflage Cream. Usually I just tap it on with my fingers and then blend it out with a sponge, but this brush allows me to create a very even yet heavier finish. In a way, it’s a lot like a mini version of my oval-shaped foundation brush.
Moving on, let’s talk contouring. I was given a Real Techniques mini contour brush (price TBA) and an Ecotools Contour Perfecting Applicator (price TBC) and thought I’d pit them against each other in a death match which really just means I used them both and can now tell you which I liked best.
Ecotools’ option didn’t work out for me. The sponge extends into the wand giving it a literal rubber neck that felt reminded me of a balloon on a stick. Despite its precision tip, its ultra bendy nature made it difficult to land product exactly where I wanted it.
Real Techniques mini contour brush, however, is fabulous! It’s kind of like an oversized super soft, bullet-shaped shadow brush and does a great job of applying and blending both contour and highlight products. I’ve found it very easy to use and it’s found a new home in my make-up bag.
Lastly, two Real Techniques sponges arrived – a Bold Metals Collection Miracle Diamond sponge (price TBC) and a Miracle Complexion sponge (R129,95).
If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I really enjoyed using (and still use) Real Technique’s Miracle Scuplting sponge. The only negative, I’ve come to realise, is that its largest surface area is a little small. This means you get your precision but you sacrifice a bit of speed. Miracle Diamond and Miracle Complexion, however, gives you the best of both world’s. I love that their ‘flat bottoms’ makes it easy to swipe foundation across your face in a flash. In this regard, Miracle Complexion beats out Diamond as it’s easier to hold.
When you flip either over, you get a more ‘targeted’ point. As the Diamond’s tip is ultra sharp it can get right up into the inner corner of your eye which is usually to sweep out the darker shadow I sometimes mess in that area. Miracle Complexion’s ‘tip’ is more comparable to a finger so it doesn’t get in as ‘close’ and its large body blocks your view as to what you’re doing. It’s not-as-precise nature, however, works to its advantage when you’re using it to blend shadow at the outer corner of your eyes – it create a natural ‘blur/smudge’ while an upwards and outwards sweep of the Diamond’s tip can result it a more severe-looking line. (I hope this makes sense. If you use it you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.)
So, what does this mean for my make-up bag? For one – Miracle Sculpting has been beaten out by my need for speed. I now reach over it for ergonomic easy-to-hold Complexion for a fast all-over sweep then switch to Diamond to blend right up into my eyes. (When it comes to those shadow corners I chatted about, I reach for the sponge relating to the effect I’m after at the time but it’s usually natural so Complexion gets more airtime.)
If there’s ever a way Real Techniques could morph the best of both sponges into one I’ll toss them both in favour of the newbies, but until, I’m happy to double dip.
<I hope to update this post with prices later today. Sit tight!>