This is a subject close to my heart as I am a total brush freak. At last count I’m at the 70+ mark which is just flipping ridiculous but I just can’t help myself! My husband has even given up casting withering glances at the dresser where most of them live so I think I’ve finally broken him..excellent..no more justifying any needless purchases moving forward then?!
So today I thought I’d set myself a task and whittle down my collection to my 10 absolute faves that I couldn’t live without so that I can recommend some ‘must haves’ if you’re looking to start or add to your collection. I love reading about other peoples’ collections so reckoned it was about time that I threw my hat in the ring and had my say!
So, read on if you just fancy having a nose through my faves to compare with yours or if you’re new to the brush world, want to build a capsule collection and fancy a few ideas.
Real Techniques – Buffing Brush
This is an oldie but a goodie and one that should be in everybody’s brush collection. Synthetic brushes are the best for liquid and cream products and as that’s the only type of base product that I reach for these days, it’s synthetic for me every step of the way when it comes to my complexion. Mine – as you can see in my pic – is from the limited edition Your Picks Berlin collection (which you can still pick up on the Real Techniques Australian website by the way) but it’s also available in a couple of their complexion sets. I have many comparable brushes e.g. the Sigma F80 and the Zoeva 102 Silk Finish but will always reach for this over them. My only quibble with this one is that it’s not sold separately which is a bit cheeky but hey ho!
Beautyblender – $30
A naughty addition here as it’s technically a sponge not a brush, but I couldn’t not include this when it came to my essentials for applying foundation or tinted moisturisers as I’m a bit in love with it at the moment. Many have tried to emulate this egg shaped little beauty – that hit the beauty scene in 2003 and has revolutionised how women apply their makeup – but none have come close in my humble opinion. Well one..nearly..but I’ll come on to that one in a minute. The shape is just genius and whilst a complete sceptic at the beginning – because as a brush freak, why on earth did I want to mess around with a damp sponge – I’m a total convert now and it’s my ‘go to’ in the morning when time isn’t on my side and I need to do quick mum make up Base, concealer, cream blush and cream bronzer..bop away to your heart’s content..it’s just too easy!
Real Techniques Complexion Sponge – $16.99
As I said there is one that comes close to the legend that is the beautyblender and it’s this little smasher from Real Techniques. And whilst I alluded to the fact that this is my second favourite sponge, to be honest I go through phases of preferring the Real Techniques offering. And do you know why? Again, it’s all about the shape. I love love love the flat edge that you get on this one so when I’m going through a lazy phase and just whopping on a bit of tinted moisturiser/BB cream to set me up for the day, I’ll opt for fingers or this bad boy as you can just swipe it around your face and be done in less than a minute..if that. The only downside with this one is that when I’m using it like that I tend to go through more product so just be mindful of that. But at almost half the price of the beautyblender what’s not to love?!
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush – $22.99
And my final pick in the face category is the Expert Face Brush from Real Techniques. No I’m not sponsored by them …I wish…but I just think that for the price point, the quality is fab and they’re a great place to start for makeup fans and newbies alike. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m a total fan of the Pixiwoo sisters (Co-Founders of the brand) so that’s always a nice benefit.
This was my first entry into the Real Techniques world (as Sam from Pixiwoo always used to use it) and I was a smitten kitten. I typically use it with something like M.A.C Face & Body when I really want to work a product into my skin, and the bonus with this one is that you can buy it separately (as opposed to it being part of a set) and it’s got an accompanying (similarly shaped) concealer brush which is equally fab and cute.
Wayne Goss Air Brush – c$45
Mr Goss. I’m such a fan of him and his channel and was intrigued when he created his own collection of brushes, particularly as they were self-financed and made in Japan to ensure the highest quality and craftsmanship. I’ve not stumped up the cash for a full collection yet – I have been tempted and had them in my basket on beautylish.com many times – but at c. US $250 for a collection, I’ve resisted. But I couldn’t resist this one, particularly after hearing all the rave reviews online and I love it; it’s US $35 so not the cheapest but it is beautifully soft, multifunctional and buffs powder products seamlessly into your skin. I use it for targeted powdering – think T zone action, highlighter and even bronzer.
Zoeva 127 Luxe Sheer Cheek – $28
I have a love hate relationship with blush. As a red head who flushes at the drop of the hat (excited, angry, nervous, one sip of wine..) I rarely need the helpful addition of any colour in the cheek area. But blush does balance any look and is pretty so I of course have a ridiculously large collection just in case I fancy wearing it every now and again and when I do I always use this bad boy. It’s super soft and l really like the angled shape as it swipes just the amount that you need in the right placement. You can even use it for soft contouring…result!
Real Techniques Multitech Point XL – $19.99
And the final Real Techniques offering is from their relatively new Multitech range. My friend brought it back from the U.K for me last year but you can get the range in store at Priceline now and on the Real Techniques website. I love this one for its funky, pointed shape. It’s not the prettiest to look at (I prefer my Rose Gold Zoeva jobbies) but it’s so soft and so handy. It’s perfect for an all over sweep of bronzer but due to the unique point it can even be handy for a bit of subtle contouring.
Zoeva 227 Soft Definer – $17
I never thought that I’d say it – as a former M.A.C 217 hoarder and daily user – but this really is my favourite eye blending brush; I have several of them and use them every day. They’re softer than the iconic 217 (in my humble opinion) and cheaper so what’s not to love?
Bobbi Brown Eye Blender Brush – $52
This is an oldie but a goodie and one that has been in my collection for a decade I reckon as Bobbi Brown was my first make up love affair back in the late 90s. It’s technically a large fluffy eye blender brush but whilst I do sometimes use it to blend my eye out, I also use it to set my under eye with Laura Mercier’s Secret Brightening Powder as it sweeps on just the right amount. I love a good multipurpose product!
Zoeva 228 Soft Crease – $17
And my final recommendation to set you up for makeup success is this offering from Zoeva. As with their entire range, they’re a great price point, you can get most – if not all – brushes individually and in really reasonable sets (have a look in Sephora) and there’s something for every purpose. I use this little fella to soften the edges of my eye looks and it’s perfect for that.
So that’s my top 10 picks and my everyday make up brushes and tools; I wouldn’t be without them.
So, what do you think? Do you have any of these? Have I missed any or is there something that I should add to the list?