The Best Makeup Brushes
As some of you must have already recognized, I was very busy the last weeks. So I was working on this second holy grails post little by litte. Today I finally finished it by taking the last pictures (the ligt is very bad here actually, raining and snowing for weeks) and I hope you Ladies like it & it will be helpful for all of you looking for good brushes.
There are several companies offering different kinds of brushes and it would make no sense to recommend one of them to all of you. This tools have to fit very individual needs; there are beauties prefering synthetic fibres and beauties prefering natural bristle brushes. One other important thing is the fact that not every beauty can afford expensive brushes. You have to find out what kind of brushes will work best for you. When I am asked about brushes in general I recommend to start with a basic eyebrush-kit and add more brushes little by little. In my opinion it is better to have only a few but good tools than having a lot of stuff delivering no good results. A good tool will do half of the job, you get the best results with good brushes. But you have to find out for yourself what kind of brushes you like and love to work with. There are many brushes which will work very good for casual work but not for professional work and so on. I think make-up is a good opportunity to add some art to every single day and every painter would agree about better expression or even more fun working with good tools. Or just ask your housband or boyfriend what kind of tools they like if there is there is something to be repaired in the house or car. It´s quite the same with makeup tools.
This post shows you my personal holy grails among brushes. When I started writing it I was not expecting that there would be so many of them I consider holy grails. All of the brushes you see in this post are in regular use for years now, and are still in excellent condition, there is no new one among them. I clean my brushes after every single use by washing them with a soft natural cosmetics shampoo and I am no fan of the regular brush cleansers due to the fact they are more aggressive than soft shampoos. They do not take care of natural bristles the way I expect from a good cleansing product. They work quite good for synthetic bristles but some beauties with sensitive skin cannot use them at all because of irritations caused by the more aggressive formula. Personally I use brush cleansers only for duofibre brushes, means: Dipping the top of the duofibre brush into the cleanser, giving it about a minute to do the job and then go ahead by washing the brush with a soft, organic shampoo. This cleans the synthetic fibers deeply without affecting the natural bristles and makes the duofibre brush look nice black-white again. I can´t stand lumpy (looking) duofibres (this happens to them if you only use brush cleanser) :-(( ; for me a brush does not only have to be clean, it also has to look clean, especially when you are not using it only for your own makeup.
:-)) So let´s go:
One of MAC´s most popular eyebrushes. Beauties prefering synthetic fibers would say the 242 is a better basic eyeshadow brush but I prefer this one and use it for almost every eye make up. The 239 delivers good and flewless application of regular eyeshadows and pigments as well. Bristles: Goat hair.
The most versatile among the MAC eyebrushes. It´s primary purpose is: Blending brush but you can do a whole eye make up with the 217. It´s very good for application of almost every formula and finish and one of the best for apllying cream eyeshadows like Paintpots etc (I use the short handle for this). Excellent blends out dry, creamy and fluid eyeshadow textures. Often used for application of fluid concealers as well. Bristles: Goat hair.
(Info: I used the long handle 217 today, it shows the bristles better than the clean short handle beneath).
A so-called pencil brush; the fibres are gathered in a tippy pencil shape. This allows precision shading and smudging. Ideal for controled smudging eyepencils and khols into eyeshadows. I often use it for the outer part of the lower lashline, too – works better for me than angled brushes. Bristles: Goat hair.
You will find different oppinions out there about the MAC 210 eyeliner brush and the MAC 209 eyeliner brush. I definitely prefer the MAC 210 because it allowes controled and ultra-fine application of the products. Bristles: Synthetic fibre.
If you are looking for a basic eyeshadow kit from MAC I personally would recommend the four brushes mentioned above. All of them are versatile in their own way and will do every job at eye make up while delivering very good results :-)
MAC 226 LE
The 226 was part of two limited editions and got very popular. It is a pointed blending brush and this tippy shape allows easy crease blending even for those beauties who do not have much make-up practice. It is not available actually but was/is supposed to get permanent. I have to mention it because I really like it :-)) Bristles: Pony hair.
A classic blending brush, very fluffy; you can use it for soft outblending of eyeshadows or highlighting the under-eyebrow area. Often used as basic highlighting brush for controled face-highlighting and concealer brush for face area, too. Bristles: Pony hair.
Mini shader brush; excellent for refining and tiny-area blending. I do not use it very often because I prefer the 231 for acribic work but I decided to show it because it´s helpful for everybody who starts practicing and wants to get more detailed results. Good for applying emollient-based products. Natural bristles.
Another very versatile brush, claims to be a small eyeshadow brush only but it is suitable with every texture and I use it as a under-eye concealer brush and as lip brush as well. In my opinion better for lip products application than the MAC 316 lip brush. Excellent, small allrounder :-)) This is the next brush I would recommend to pick up after you got your basic eyebrushes kit. Best precision at eye make-up. Bristles: Synthetic fibre.
Two amazing brushes from the German mineral cosmetics brand alienor. These brushes are made by Chisel USA, a small fluff brush and a super deluxe fluff. The small fluff brush is better than the MAC 228 but I mentioned the 228 above because I know you can get it in India and I am not sure about these two from alienor. The super deluxe fluff brush is amazing for fluffy application or when you want to speckle the product (soft buffing). Blends excellent as well. It is great fun to work with this brushes. Natural bristles.
A so-called Mascara wand. I use them for applying Mascara and for brow fitting. Mostly the last brush on the mind when someone is going to buy brushes, but an important one. Creates very natural finish when used for brow fitting before and after brow powder/brow pencil application. Great at lash seperation and working lashes into falsies. Primary tool for MML (mining medium lash). Bristles: Natural hair.
A Titan among the Powder brushes. Full and dense quality, great powder application and excellent for finishers, too – you can really dust the product on with this brush. I also love to use it as a blush brush for dramatic looks. Excellent for blendig powder blushes as well, delivers a perfect flawless finish. The pure face-brush basic. Bristles: Pony hair.
Another multi-talent: Blush brush, highlighting and contouring brush in one single product. Gives you more control than the 150, accentuates and highlights with flawless results. Often used for the application of foundation as well. Bristles: Duofibre
Kabukis / Buffer Brushes
Best brushes for the application of mineralized foundation, the dense gathering of the bristles makes it easy to work mineralized foundations into the skin. I am a big fan of asian make up tradition and you can get the best Kabukis in Japan; there are traditional manufacturers offering all handmade Kabukis. The price is very high, the quality outstanding and I will buy one of these in the future … because I know I will get a brush lasting for generations if I take good care of it.
A very good flat-top Kabuki is the dicontinued 185 Body Buffer from MAC. It´s a shame this brush is dicontinued, never saw anything similar in western hemisphere, the most dense arragement of soft natural brushes you could get from MAC. The brush was quite expensive but it is the best Kabuki I have and I love it. You don´t have to have any practice at all, this brush is an artist itself. Excellent application as well as lovely finisher, easy-going work.
The most popular MAC Kabuki is the 182 and it´s worth every cent as well. Very soft brush, good application, long-lasting quality. The third Kabuki is the duofibere Kabuki from alienor. Some beauties do not like natural hair bristle Kabukis. Sometimes the reason is that they never had a good Kabuki/buffer brush. Cheap and low quality kabukis often have very hard natural bristles and don´t feel nice on skin at all. The fact that Kabuki technique works with soft pressure raises the effect you get with low quality products. Good natural hair kabukis are soft and of dense quality. Synthetic fibres also deliver a very soft bristle; they cannot substitute a natural bristle but they work fine for a lot of beauties and are not expensive. If you want to try one of these (first) take care that the fibre arrangement ist as dense as possible.
Next to mineralized foundation application Kabukis are often used for fixing any kind of foundation. I use them before applying finishers or set powders. A little bit MAC Fix+ or rosewater on the kabuki sets down the foundation to a flawless texture. Then wait one or two minutes before going on with blush, powder or setting products. MAC 185 and 182: Natural bristles. alienor Kabuki; Duofibre.
There are a lot more brushes I could have shown you but they are not holy grails for me. All the brushes I have shown you above are part of my travel kit (except of the three Kabukis, I only carry one Kabuki with me when travelling), mans: I consider them as basic brushes and have three or more of each of them – one in every kit.
One thing I would like to mention at the end of this post: I am aware that suggesting MAC or Bobbi Brown Brushes could appear as pointing out an a little bit decadent view regarding this issue. These brushes are quite expensive and it does not matter if they are worth every penny when you cannot afford them. Take it easy, almost everybody started with a single of these brushes. Don´t hurry. Try out cheaper brushes to discover different shapes and bristles/fibres and to find out what brushes work for you – and then buy your first high-end one. Raise your kit step by step and easy going. Also there are so many opportunities to save money on other products – don´t go for tons of different colours and textures, use versatile products to create countless stunning looks. In my next holy grails post I will show you some of these products. :-* :-* :-*