I Love Brushes!

This Friday night I spent the evening at home relaxing, watching makeover shows like “10 Years Younger” and “What Not To Wear.” I suddenly got the inspiration to clean my makeup brushes. All 20 of them. As I stood in front of the sink for about an hour, gently cleaning each and every brush, I couldn’t help but think, “Wow all that was hiding in there? Gross!” I also became well aware of how long I’ve actually held on to many of these tools and how essential they have become in my routine. I thought I would share my top 5 favorites:

MAC Cosmetics 187 Brush 1) MAC Cosmetics #187 Duo Fibre Brush (a.k.a. “skunk brush”) – I’m sure you’ve heard about this beloved face brush and its odd dual texture of dense black goat hair and lighter, fluffier white synthetic hair. This tool is a must with airbrush foundation. I usually spray foundation onto a jar lid or the back of my hand, stipple the white part into the foundation, then “buff” onto my face with light, circular motions. The structure is really unique, as it allows color to be picked up by the softer hairs but supported at the denser base.

Bare Escentuals Full Flawless Face Brush 2) Bare Escentuals Flawless Face Brush – Having acquired a few of these from various BE “Get Started Kits,” I tend to use them a lot. I really love the soft, light, fluffy texture. I have used this brush for mineral makeup but find myself using it for regular applications of face powder more frequently. I use it daily with my Napoleon Pardis Camera Finish Powder Foundation, lightly sweeping across the T zone to eliminate shine. I also use this as a back up blush brush. I find that the shape is perfect for dabbing color onto the apples of the cheeks.

Sephora Rounded Smudge Brush 12 3) Sephora Rounded Smudge Brush – I got this one years ago, when I was much younger and none the wiser. I thought it would be a good crease brush, given the round shape. Every time used it, the bristles were too dense and it almost drew color on, making for a streaky application. Well, duh that’s because its made for smudging liner! I’m not sure of when I actually came to my senses, but I started using it to blend creamy liners. I love that I don’t have to worry about the application because it will smudge out evenly. Sometimes I simply dip it in a brown shadow, then black and use as a liner. It has helped me create various looks from a natural looking almost-not-there liner to smoldering smoky dark eyes.

Stila 30 Double Ended Shadow Brush 4) Stila Double Ended Shadow Brush #30 – After my realization that I still needed a crease brush, I found this this double-ended wonder. It really saves time and space in my makeup bag. After using a flat shadow brush to apply color to the lids, I follow up with a darker one in the crease using the fluffier tapered end of this tool. I then dip the denser, shorter end into a pearly white and use as a highlighter on top of brow bones and in the inner corners of the eyes.

elf Eyelash and Brow Wand 5) Eyelash and Brow Wand by Eyes Lips Face – I am a true believer in the philosophy of “you get what you pay for” especially when it comes to skincare and makeup. Several items from e.l.f. have proven to be the exception. This brush is perfect for brushing brows into place or separating lashes after you apply mascara. I actually lost this, and on a whim ended up replacing it with MAC’s #204 Lash Brush for 10 times the price, figuring it would be worth the extra expense because it would be a better brush. Not so. I have found that it performs just the same as M.A.C.’s and holds up to frequent cleaning and “defuzzing.”

What are your favorite brushes?