Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Essentials; Brushes

I reach for the same tools over and over again. And over again. I tend to have that kind of repetitive nature in general; if I'm accustomed to using something, I almost never stray no matter how great the replacement would be. Call it being stubborn, but this behaviour is no more evident than with brushes, and with good reason.

The synthetic bristles in FACE Stockholm's #33 Blush Brush are recommended for the cheeks, but I usually use it to apply eye cream and moisturizer and then immediately after, I use it to apply foundation. Since the bristles will hold the tiniest bit of moisture, foundation won't dry out as easily and blends more fluidly around the face. Unlike traditional foundation brushes, it's slightly domed so you can use it around the cheek and jawline in a circular buffing-like motion. If it's called for, I'll also use it to sweep on cream blushes, highlighters or anything else with a cream base. $34.00

If by chance, total and complete blending hasn't been accomplished, MAC offers another powder brush I use against recommendation. The synthetic fibers in the #187 Duo Fibre Brush are held upright by the goat hair bristles at the base creating an optimal tool for swirling around skin and neck to remove any and all traces of seams. While created with blending pigments and powders in mind, no additional product is necessary for this task. Just the bare brush and constant motion will do. $42.00

When powders are finally called for, my preference for synthetic bristles continues. All of Roque Cozzette's brushes are synthetic which means no shedding. At all. For all over powder, the S125 Powder/Blush Brush picks up the most ideal amount of product and places it on skin softly, sparsely and all over without any blobs of color. Surprisingly soft, you can use it under eyes, on top of cheeks or over T-zone after initial application to continue blending. $30.00

For more specific powder placement I reach for another brush in the Cozzette line; the S165 Cylinder Eye Contour Brush. This large (very large) fluffy eye brush is the perfect size to brush on powder highlights or touch up under the eye area with a light foundation powder to ensure proper coverage. Often, I will swipe it over browbones or along cheeks with a slightly warm tone just to perk up skin before placement of richer colors. It's also great for placing contour powders along the bridge of the nose or under cheekbones to create shape and structure. I think the only thing I don't use it for is for over eyes. $18.00

When the time does come for eyes, I actually do use an eye brush. Go figure. The #239 Eye Shader brush from MAC Cosmetics is a short domed brush with fluffy white bristles that is perfect on it's side for placing color on eyelids or turned straight for tracing along lash lines. It's soft enough to create diffused placement and buffing out edges or uneven patches for a smooth finish or for layering product and creating depth in the crease. $24.50

If you like a more defined crease, my preferred shadow brush is the Contour Shadow Brush from Revlon. Not only is this brush inexpensive but it boasts soft rounded bristles and a slightly slanted tip for creating definition. And while that should have been enough for Revlon, they had to discontinue it anyway. But no worries, it didn't stay gone for too long, they just made it pink now. $6.99

The effectiveness of these few brushes are exactly what I need to do any application but should I be without them (that will never happen) I'll gladly use substitutes. Given the opportunity to try out others, I'm always open to experimentation, but only if they somehow perform better than these few I am accustomed...I doubt it.

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