Some beauty girls think makeup brushes--the tools with which you apply makeup--are more important than the actual products themselves. Maybe they're right and quality brushes are the way to go, and I'll admit to lusting after a few MAC and Laura Mercier ones, but they're a bit out of my price range so I make do with cheaper options that still perform well. (Story of my life!)
Because I don't often wear eyeshadow, the brushes I use are limited to facial application. I do own more than the small handful here, but these are the ones I love best and use daily.
I still enjoy and use the Real Techniques powder and blush brushes, but won't be talking about them since I did a whole review on them here. They're part of my usual routine, though, so count them as part of this post!
Sigma F80 Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki Brush: Everyone and their mother has raved about Sigma as a brand, but while I'm not nearly well versed enough with their brushes to talk about the line as a whole**, I can tell you how terrific this particular tool is. Normally I'm a fingers girl when it comes to face makeup, mostly because I thought it was quicker and easier because of the whole warmth-from-your-body-melting-the-product-in thing, but this brush has completely proven me wrong. It's fabulously dense and stiff and blends out the foundation quicker than I thought possible. This works particularly well with something a bit thick like my beloved Revlon ColorStay because the thorough blending the brush provides creates a really natural finish. It's also great for blending out blush when I get carried away and veer dangerously near clown territory. Sigma has since come out with a whole line of synthetic foundation brushes like this one, only in different shapes (presumably to better suit the contours of your face) in case you're interested, though I've never tried them.
**I will say that I think Sigma's brushes are really reasonably priced, especially in comparison to most other brands, though I hate paying for shipping.
Sigma E40 Tapered Blending Brush: I've repurposed this eyeshadow brush to function as my under-eye powder applicator, which for my small eye shape, is a much better idea. I actually get smudges under my eyes in a particular place, so my under-eye powder application is a weird combination of patting the product directly onto to smudge-prone area and then sweeping the excess over the rest of the concealer. I'm sure that sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is, but basically, this brush is a really lovely combination of fluffy and dense. There are a lot of very similarly shaped brushes like this on the market, so I'm sure I could get the same type of thing for cheaper, but $9 isn't much to quibble over and it feels nice and sturdy in my hand. I do wish Sigma would include those plastic cover things to help re-shape the brush, though, as I've washed it a few times and it's starting to splay and grow a bit wider.
Bare Escentuals Full Flawless Face Brush: I got this as part of a Bare Minerals kit about two years ago, and have adored it ever since. It's incredibly soft and fluffy--one of those brushes that just feels good to sweep across your face. It's a bit smaller and rounder than your average face brush, but that's actually why I like it. When I'm wearing my BB cream (post) or a tinted moisturizer and need to powder all over, the Real Techniques one is perfect in terms of size and surface area. But usually when I wear ColorStay, I only need powder on my T-zone and this brush is terrific for that. I'm not sure I would recommend this brush for individual purchase because $28 is a bit high considering it sheds a little and the ferrel is starting to loosen (though I'm always careful when I wash it). I think it's only worthwhile if you get it as part of a kit or something, as this brush was actually my favorite part of the entire set!
That might not seem like very many brushes to you, but for me and my general lack of enthusiasm for makeup brushes it feels like a lot!
A review post on either the Maybelline eyeliners or Dream Lumi concealer will be up next!
Have a fabulous week!