From a young age I've had a close connection with art and in my early years I played with mediums from oils to charcoal, pastels to watercolour, the brushes or techniques used were at times traditional or experimental and I found my strength grew with watercolour and ink. I loved the fluidity of the wash of colour and the intense outlines from the inks. The bonus was that I could work quickly, whether I was rambling through forests or along coastlines or even sat in a tropical hideaway, I would have time to create a loose impression of anything that captured my eye.
Roll on quite a hefty handful of years as a Make Up Artist, my brushes feel like an extension of my hand which help to create line, washes of colour, intensity and depth, angles and most of all create or enhance beauty. I have wanted to write a post about brushes for some time though I've felt a little stuck as to how to explain how to use brushes; how can one define the touch or pressure of another. Impossible for me, therefore, I am showing you tools I like, that are recent additions to my kit and why I like them. Happy reading!
Left to Right with click throughs: Shisedo Eyelash Curler, Revlon Blush Brush (I use as Powder Brush mainly), Make Up For Ever 55N Powder/Foundation Brush, Cozzette P300 Angled Foundation Brush, Mii Precise Concealer Brush (often used as Lip Brush), Chanel Brow/Lash Brush, Smashbox Angle Brow Brush No.12, Guru No. 5 Blending Brush, Suqqu Eyeshadow Brush F (Flat), Suqqu Eyeshadow Brush M (Rounded), Suqqu Cheek Brush, Suqqu Lip Brush L
The Eyelash Curlers: I know that everyone recommends Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers, which are indeed award winning, however, I've found I love the grip and pressure of the Shisedo ones which I've used for over ten years and gather there might not be much difference in it. I've recently tried the Suqqu ones which I find too tight, though maybe in time they will feel right.
The Powder/Blush Brush: Revlon have revamped their brush range with the help of backstage genius, Gucci Westman, with all the will in the world to make a pro-like brush kit as possible. They are not far off, though it is a shame the handles are so short, nevertheless, these synthetic brushes hold up well. The Blush Brush is a superb size for a flush of blush or light dusting of powder to finish.
The Powder/Foundation Brush: I'm pleased to say Make Up For Ever have once again hit my radar, particularly this popular flat top style brush for an airbrushed effect. I like the size and firmness from the mix of Goat and Nylon hair, plus the fact it doesn't moult like other brands (I shan't mention) that are on the market. I can lightly buff on a liquid or cream foundation, even mineral powders to achieve a soft veil of coverage.
The Angled Foundation Brush: Not only is this Cruelty/Vegan Free and a good looking brush to say the least, the Cozzette has been a welcome addition to my brush roll. I have always been a fan of the Cover FX synthetic and natural foundation brushes, No.170 Precision Foundation Brush and No.160 Cream Foundation Brush and continue to use these, though what with the ever changing face of foundations I feel I can cover more ground with speed, around contours of the face, with the Cozzette P300 with the help of its angled design.
The Concealer Brush (or is it?): I rarely use this as a concealer brush but when I do the precision is there and most definitely works for clever concealing around the eyes, however I think the Mii brush works as a decent lip brush! The gentle tip assists with ease around the lip line so too the firmness of the brush for extreme colour application.
The Brow/Lash Brush: These types of brushes really haven't moved on and when I get the chance I'd like to redesign them. However, over the years I have destroyed many of these brow/lash brushes as they cannot withstand pressure or bend too easily and fail to retain their stiffness. I find Chanel have a good enough design to take the pressure plus the sturdy handle means its unlikely to get chucked in the bin any time soon.
The Angled Brow Brush: I cannot tell you how much I am a brow person. The thought of plucking someone's brows into shape excites me (yes, I must get out more) but brows really do frame the face and can make or break a look. This brush is such a winner, as well as being able to fill in brows whilst retaining softness, I can steady the brush to draw in an immediate arch effortlessly. This is most certainly a gem and worth every penny!
The Blending Brush: As much as I am technical, I don't always like a brush to be labelled as 'blending', 'socket' brush. Obviously, you choose a brush to achieve results and being experimental about it helps to create individual style! This Guru Blending Brush blends well into the eye area and sockets in a heart beat and at times I find I use it for pressing in eye colour, even glitters, quickly onto eye lids and sometimes for highlighting the brow bone.
The Flat Eyeshadow Brush: This is a supersoft brush, as all Suqqu brushes are, with quite a few uses one being cream eyeshadow, second being pressed eyeshadow to achieve a smooth, even finish and with its flat design glides along the lower lash line very well. I have used this as a concealer brush too!
The Rounded Eyeshadow Brush: A rounded brush such as this is superb for sockets and softening eyeshadow as well as cream eyeshadow around the eye shape. I find Suqqu brushes exceptionally soft, easy to clean and although they are not cheap, I can bet they will be in my kit for at least ten years.
The Blusher Brush: The Suqqu Cheek brush has become a talking point. I use this on almost every make up job and without fail once it is touching someone's cheeks they declare the softness is second to none. I think the brush itself is so small it most likely just tickles cheeks but saying that I do get a lovely natural, contoured colour to cheeks.
The Lip Brush: In recent years lip brushes all seemed to be much of a much, quite rounded or have ridiculous points which never held up after once wash making me reach for eye liner or concealer brushes, so when I acquired my Suqqu Lip Brush, I felt a sigh of relief, it looks, feels and is a lip brush. I like the flat top which I can work around a lip line for a perfect line, especially for the ever popular 'red lip'. The price I do not know but I imagine it to be at the higher end, though I must insist the natural hair is exquisite and has not lost it's shape.