Sunday, June 1, 2014

No-Fuss Brush Post: Eye Brushes

[Products were purchased by me.]

I kept meaning to write this post, but I was waiting for clean brushes.

So, it took me about eight months. (I'd wash brushes, and lollygag about and not take photos, and then use the clean brushes - d'oh! Vicious cycle.)

Also, I would like to say that if you're expecting fancy pants brushes, this ain't the place to look. Most of my brushes come from the drugstore, and also, if you're looking for a detailed comparison about heffalump hair versus woozle hair, that's not happening here. I prefer synthetic brushes, if I can, but I don't really invest a lot of research into this. I usually buy brushes that are readily available (Sephora, drugstores - online and brick and mortar), and relatively budget friendly. I don't think a brush is realistically going to last a lifetime. If I only spend $8 bucks on it and it lasts me 5 years, bully for me. I can afford to buy a new $8 one when it falls apart.

I'll try to be brief but also informative. Most of my comments are about brush shape and purpose, rather than detailed analysis about handle length, blah blah - I'm only going to comment on things like that if there is something odd worth saying. Also, I'm not artsy. I don't do cool things like other bloggers, so my needs are pretty basic. Ok. Enough disclaimers, you think? Let's do this.

First: base shadow brushes. I use these to deposit color all over the lid - usually this is the first color I lay down. These are my most-used type of brush and if I could have five of them, I would. My personal favorite is actually the Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush; it is tapered and flat and fluffy enough to deposit a base color in a diffuse manner, without packing it on in odd ways or leaving severe lines that I have to blend out later. I hate that I can only buy it in a set, because I don't really need multiples of the other brushes in that set. The Sonia Kashuk No. 103 (Core Tools - white handle) is longer and not as flexible; Sephora's version is fuller and honestly, not as soft. Do you have a favorite brush of this type? Because I need like five. 
Oops. Didn't realize until now that the label got cut off somehow. It's a Pro Shadow Brush #14.
 Next: shading brushes. The Sonia Kashuk No. 112 (Core Tools) is called a "Fluffy Eye Shadow Brush" and the Tokidoki is an old one from Sephora that has no name and is long gone. Sorry. I use these for patting on intense colors and bold shades - products that I want to confine to a smaller space and retain control of, like MAC Blue Brown pigment - I use SK No. 112 for that. These are denser with a rounded top. In terms of softness, RT > SK No. 112 > Tokidoki, but I like the Tokidoki for ultimate control of darker shades, like these bright teal Inglot shades.
This RT brush is available on its own, only - it does not come in the Starter set.
Next: accent brushes. Used for lining the lower/upper lashline with shadow (rarely) or smudging out said lines (even more rare). So I only have two.  I like the RT version because it has a domed shape and is soft - the last thing I need is some pokey brush dragging along sensitive lashlines.
Crease brushes! More workhorses. I have two. I really only need one - the SK No. 8 (black handle). It's dense, not floppy, and soft, and I like it for blending darker shades into the crease. The RT Deluxe Crease brush is way too big for this purpose on my little ole eyes, but I use it for blending things into oblivion when I make a mistake.
Blending brushes! And an angled crease brush, which I use primarily to highlight the brow bone (it's a good shape for that - try it).  I actually didn't even own blending brushes until last year, and I don't know how I ever did anything without them. Both of these are from Sonia Kashuk's Core Tools line; No. 109 is a bona fide blending brush - use it at the end to blend together lines, etc., but I also use it sometimes to deposit just a light dusting of color somewhere (like in the crease). No. 205 is a duo-fibre and not as easy to use, in my opinion, but I have had some success using it to blend a shade over cream shadow over the entire lid. For example, laying down Laura Mercier Amethyst (Caviar Stick) and then using No. 205 to blend a matte brown over the entire lid. I'll have to play around with it some more.
That was a lot longer than I intended - I apologize. I didn't include brow stuff (and I use liquid liners, so no liner brushes, either) because I'm going to do a separate brow post when I get my act together. I'd love to know what kind of (budget-friendly!) brushes you have in your arsenal - please share!