Sunday, November 24, 2013

Essential Brushes - For Me

I've come a long way with brushes.  I remember relying on enclosed sponge applicators to apply eye shadows and also the small brushes in blush compacts and calling it a day.  Blending?  Never heard of it.  At some point, I had had a brush or two that came as gift with purchases.  That was a big leap forward.  One step forward, two steps back?  What?  You're supposed to wash brushes?  I ended up throwing away germ-laden, crusty disgusting brushes because if you never wash it, it eventually gives up the ghost.  HA HA HA!  Look, I have a blog.  If you ever consider my makeup-related opinions anything worth taking seriously, please remember that I never used to wash makeup brushes.
King of the Brush Forest
Fast forward some time, I now have an incredible assortment of really beautiful brushes.  I have many brushes that perform similar functions and there are brands I dabbled in for blog comparison purposes.  (I wash brushes regularly now)  I was thinking though, at the end of the day, regardless of brand, what brushes do I consider my essentials?

I took a look at all my brushes and first breathed a sigh of relief.  They were mostly clean.
First I took out my new Chikuhodo brushes.  Though I really like them so far, they are really far too new to consider firmly as essentials.  On a typical face painting day, what are the brushes I use most and prefer.  Even if I have other alternatives, if clean, I turn to these.  Here they are:
Hello, ladies....er, hairy ladies.
The Powder big gun:
Tom Ford Bronzer Brush.  This ridiculously large brush I use for powder majority of the time.  I mentioned in my detailed post (here) its many virtues, but its over the top density and softness makes it excellent for pressing on loose powder as well as brushing away excess to ensure beautiful skin-like finish.  It's almost like using a cotton powder puff.  Of course, it's a great big ol' bronzer brush, so points for that.  This beats Suqqu Face Brush and several others for multi-purpose and big-lug adorableness.

The Blush Baby:
Suqqu Cheek Brush (here). I've been questioned (interrogated if you ask me!) several times which brush do I prefer, the Suqqu or the Tom Ford Cheek Brush (here)?  If I had to choose just one, it would be the Suqqu.  For my preference in very pigmented blushes and for it's absolute gorgeous craftsmanship, I can not lie, Suqqu all the way.  It feels like heaven in the morning.  Good thing is, no one is asking me to choose just one, so I'm also happy to have the Tom Ford Cheek, as it makes a great alternative when using blushes that require some muscle in picking up the lighter level of pigmentation as well as some good ol' buffing.

Concealer Blending:
This is the RMK M brush, which is an eye shadow brush.  It might be L, I'm not sure.  It's big and much to rough and clunky to use on my eye lids, but performs a very specialized function.  It blends concealer under my eyes and nose into a seamless look.  That's it.  That's all it's good for.  This plus my Ellis Faas concealer (here) make a great pair.

Taming the Bushy Brow:
I think I bought this from a Missha shop.  It was super inexpensive and you can buy this type of inexpensive spoolies anywhere.  Or maybe you hoard them from Sephora.  (I won't tell anyone!)  Whatever I use to define my brows, whether pencil, brow pen or powder, I always brush through with this brush.  I think this is one of the most important things I can do to get a more natural look with defined brows.

Defining That Brow:
I've been using this a lot since I've gotten the Suqqu Nuancing Brow palette.  This is the Suqqu Eye Brow Brush G (here).  Soft but firm bristle that pick up the perfect amount of powder with a shape that's easy to add shape and definition to my brows.  Great at filling in sparse spots in the front of my brows, and firm enough to help draw on the tails of my brows.

Brushes that Make My Eye Shadows Play Nice:
The Tom Ford Eye Shadow brush is a fluffy paddle and really great for general lay down and a fluffy enough tip for good enough blending.

Suqqu Eye Shadow Brush L for washes of color and very gentle diffused blending.

I have many brushes that blend.  But this one blends so well.  Not so good at washes or anything even remotely precise, but a good blender none the less.  Paula Dorf Sheer Crease Brush.  Cuddles.

Suqqu Eye Shadow Brush M for all around excellent brush.  It's precise when I need it to be, great to place overall lid color, can do crease and lower lash line.

Tom Ford Smokey Eye Brush (here).  I adore this brush to pieces.  Look how white it is despite many abuses with smoking out eye liners and dark eye shadows.

Precision Maker:
Hakuhodo K005 I use regular for use with cream based eye things like the THREE cream shades.  Usueful for lining and also for shaping cream things with its firm hairs.

Tightliner:
Eeh, dirty. This is the Hakuhodo G521 D1.  It is teeny tiny and replaces the Laura Mercier Flat liner brush which was too wide and unwieldy for tight lining my eyes.  I debated whether to include this brush in this post, because I'm far too lazy to tight line most days, but when I do, I find this to be the most precise and easy instrument.

This wasn't very detailed, but more of a photographic documentation of my daily routine.  And since I was needlessly strict on tools that are brushes, I didn't include my beloved Suqqu Eye lash curler (with new pad in now. -____- ) and my occasional lover, the Beauty Blender.

Clean (ish) brushes ready to tackle on the next work week... AHOY!

Do you also have brushes you turn to time and time again?

35 comments :

  1. Yay, thank you for this! I looove looking at other ppl's brush collections. It became very apparant that I need to try some Tom Ford brushes, they look so fluffy and soft! I have a weak spot for brushes with white hairs somehow, no idea why tho! The Suqqu ones look amazing as well!

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    1. I really LOVE the Tom Fords in general. They are great brushes. My Paula Dorf took top honors in blending brushes, but the Tom Ford blender is fantastic!

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  2. I love this list! Mine is very different, but the brands overlap :D Also, I am lazy washing brushes, so I need many more as "essentials."

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    1. LOL! I only think about buying duplicates because I reallllllly am lazy about brush washing. Lazy brush washer of the world, unite!

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  3. I love brush collection posts! I've actually been pouring over them all weekend, as I just placed a Hokuhodo order today, and I'm *this close* to ordering the Suqqu Cheek brush from Selfridges. (I tell myself that these orders will complete my collection, but let's be real...). Anyway, you're missing a foundation blending brush! :)

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    1. you know how it is with brushes. You think you've achieved perfection, but then you learn about some such brush or brand or another.
      I have a couple of foundation brushes, but my FAVORITE tool for that is fingers! :)

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  4. Thank you for reminding me that I need to wash some of my brushes... I love seeing what other people use and I think that I actually did drool just a little looking at the TF bronzer brush... A friend sent me two of his eye brushes a few years ago and as soon as I used them, I realised why people spent money on brushes. I have a nice little hodgepodge going from various brands and there's ALWAYS room for more, especially when I have great teachers like you to learn from.

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    1. I think excellent brushes really DO make a difference, but I think they definitely make a difference from crappy tools. When you go from good brushes to truly superior brushes, I'm not 100% convinced the difference can be readily noticed. Does NO MATTER! I loveeee the brushes.

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  5. I have a bit of a weakness for brushes & have to be quite firm with myself to restrain my buying habits but, really, my most used brush is the Haku K007 - I probably use it everyday to tidy up liner. It's such a brilliant (& inexpensive!) brush :D.

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    1. K007! So fine and tiny! A lot of the Hakuhodos are so reasonably priced for their excellent function. I was shocked to discover so many reasonable gems!

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  6. V. nice post. I myself was just thinking of doing a brush post. Gummy and I were chatting the other day about brushes (specifically W.Goss Haku-brushes). That TF bronzer looks so LUXE!!

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    1. P.S. Say Hi to Totoro for me!

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    2. TOTORO! So cute.
      That Bronzer is HUUUUUUUGE though. I can see how people would think it's too big, but I love that fuzzy bastard.

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  7. Hello- I was just looking at the hakuhodo site this morning , since I want to do ab order for when I come to the US (I have a $50 voucher to use too) - You use the Tom Ford bronzer for powder - I was think of getting a Hakuhodo angled finishing brush - do you prefer your TF for this? Can I buy the Paula Dork in any store in NY - or only online? I have the Suqqu M - do you own the Kokutan Hakuhodo equivalent? Too many questions...... sorry:)

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    1. I only have a angled face brush from Chanel which is well over 10 years old. I prefer that for blush than face powder stuff. I like the TF specifically because it's good that pressing in powder. Generally, other squirelly things are too airy to press (bc I have oily t zone).
      Paula Dorf is nearly impossible to find on-line (for this particular brush). I was able to score this in the PD counter at Henri Bendel which is on 5th Avenue in Manhattan!
      I only have a handful of Haku's so not M equivalent from them. M is one of my favorite favorite brushes. I would likely get a second M versus another similar from a different brand.
      Let me know if you have any other questions, Jo!! <333

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    2. Hello Bendel's !!!!! think I should get 2 of them I like the TF to- just not the price- best not to look and just hand over the cash$$$$

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  8. TOTOROOOOOO!

    Ahem, we have so many favourites in common <3
    My recent spoolie-destroying gold brow experiment makes me really appreciate the solid construction of that Missha spoolie... must see if I can track that one down.

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    1. He be so adorable. Gift from a special friend.
      We must have some similar favorites because I must have stalked your blog to get my lemmings! Haw haw!
      I love that spoolie! That takes a beating. I have two of them and each get some thorough regular use.

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  9. Oh Belly, if I end up doing a brush haul or two in the near future, I'm blaming it on you! That TF eyeshadow brush looks like something I'd REALLY enjoy! MAC 217 isn't really what it used to be, and my greatest fear is one day mine will become really scratchy. I neeed to find a replacement before that happens!

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    1. this is the flat paddle. The other blender brush is awesome and holding up really nicely. My old 217 is holding up pretty well, but starting to lose a few hairs and looking a bit run down. :( sad.

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  10. Replies
    1. oh, bonjour Nephele! :) George waves a fluffy hello!

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  11. My reaction was exactly the same as Kate's - TOTOROOOOO! ;)

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    1. Cuddly little spirit king of the forest. Recently watched this for the nth time with the kids. Love love love this movie.

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  12. Ooh fantastic post! I love seeing most-used brushes. Suqqu cheek & both TF eye brushes, some day you will be mine . . .

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    1. Those brushes deserve to be in the hands of Emi! Lovely luxuries!

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  13. Hi Belly :)
    I have quite a few Tom Ford brushes that I love all thanks to your reviews on them, but once you announced that Selfridges was shipping internationally online I couldn't resist splurging on a few of Suqqu brushes & the eyelash curler...Damn you woman! I am in LOVE with these brushes! I ordered the cheek, m & f. Now I want the L & am tempted to get the face brush, but I am hesitant due to your review on it. I recently purchased the Tom Ford bronzer brush, but haven't used it yet & am debating to return it if I get the Suqqu one. Even though I know you love the TF bronzer more than the Suqqu face brush, would you still recommend getting Suqqu's face brush? Do you still use it on occasion?
    x Naomi

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    1. Yes on the Suqqu L! :) Great brush, Naomi. You recently got some super wonderful brushes. I'm so happy that you are enjoying them.

      I think the TF vs. Suqqu Face depends on your preference for function. Suqqu is glorious for light dusting of powder. The effect is very ethereal and soft. It picks up powder very lightly (everything goes on super airy). I prefer TF for really setting powder over my foundation. It's really more about how you want to use it. I do use Suqqu! I like it when I like light dustings of stuff for finishing (not setting).

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  14. So many brushes! I only use eh 2 or 3 brushes daily so it makes me wonder why I keep buying them. I'm still curious about those SUQQU cheek and face brushes but I have Chikuhodo z series already and I hardly ever use those kinds of brushes.

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    1. I know! I have a hoard of them now. Since the recent addition of a MAC 187, and my wee little baby Chikuhodos, I feel like I'm in a good place and don't need any more. (which is what I say about everything before a big buying spree)
      I really want to know what few brushes you are using!!! I need to know! Do you not normally use face brushes?

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    2. I use a rmk spoolie, angled eyebrow brush that doubles as liner brush and lash comb. I skip foundation, concealer and blush most days coz lazy and no time. Out the door with brows, mascara and bit of lip colour. Sometimes I use that real techniques pointed foundation brush from core collection to apply under eye concealer mix with liquid highlighter. The artist curve brush by MULE is handy for creamy products and removing extra sunscreen from brows and hair line.

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    3. MULE! Even when I lived in Korea, I couldn't figure out how to order it. Did you order from G Market? Have you seen the MAC rip off of the JSM brushes lately?

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    4. I got mine from ebay since it's in English and no second guessing translation. The mark up was similar to g market prices. I just looked up the mac brush and it looks huge and I totally get the tooth brush comments about it. Looks like they changed the design just enough to hold up in court.

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  15. Belly--this was so helpful!!! Thank you so much for this. I seriously need to upgrade some of my brushes, and now I have a better idea of where to start. If only I had the money to buy them all at once, lol.

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    1. Hi Jenny! You're very welcome! There are so many awesome brushes out there. It's going to be so fun putting a few nice ones together, right? I'm telling you, my collection took ages to put together! :)

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