Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Brush Essentials

Here they are ladies! Most of them quite freshly cleaned, but a list of my favorite and most loved/used brushes

Washing these guys always hurts my back ( anyone else?) but after a fresh wash, they are so soft and the distribute pigment noticeably better, I like to use Dr. Bronners baby shampoo for the scrub in the tub.


The MAC 182: Soft, dense, washes easily, does not shed ( I have never had mine shed, but have heard some stories), and in my opinion worth the money. One of the few MAC brushes I would repurchase. Distributes mineral foundation in a very sheer and quick layer. Love it.

Ecotools mini Kabuki: Quite soft, prefect shape for travel, and I carry this in my everyday make up bag. I use it for powder, blush, or bronzer. It works well for any powder product, and like the MAC 1282, washes easily and has never shed on me. A great drugstore buy. I actually love Eco tools brushes!

Blush brushes

Trish McEvoyBlush brush: My 1st Trish blush! The short lucite handle, the soft bristles, the sheer application of blush. Very very satisfied. 
Laura Mercier blending brush: Domed shaped brush, I believe meant to be used to blend out mineral powder but I love this for applying blush to a larger surface area. Feels a bit scratchy sometimes, but that just means it needs a wash.

I love short handled brushes for blush! 

Powder and Bronzer

Sephora Airbrush 55: I think they discontinued this version of the brush and came out with a new one (Why??) this brush is fantastic! I believe it was aimed to be used for liquid foundation which it does work for, but I think for loose powder, bronzer, blush, just about everything! this brush can do. Had I known these were being phased out, I would have stocked up!

Bobbi Brown bronzer brush: I won't say this is a must have. It's just quite nice to have. I like the handle, and the loose big head. It apples bronzer to a large area, and it is not too dense, so you are not packing it on. Also back to that handle, long and thick enough to really just go around the face with ease. I like this. I also use this for sheer blushes when I want a larger surface area covered with a very subtle amount of color.

Sephora Bronzing brush: A more traditional bronzer brush. Kabuki like top with a fat stubby handle. This is nice for medium to sheer bronzers because you can really get that color on and all over quickly.
I will admit, I do prefer Bobbi's version.

The Eyes

Bottom to top
MAC 224: Another MAC brush (quite possibly the only other) that I would re purchase. I love this to apply very sheer layers of shadows or for setting powder under the eyes. Love love love. If i could own ten I would. 

MAC 217: Also quite nice, not as fluffy as the 224 but also can distribute a nice sheer ish wash of color on the eyes. not a must have but something I do reach for.

Sonia Kashuk eye shadow brush: I love this brush and use it every day. It had replaced my MAC 239! Honestly I think I also love it not because it distributes powders in an even layer which I prefer with minimal fall out, but I like that the brush hairs are brown....the MAC 239 has white brush hairs and after 1 use looks terrible and deserves a clean. The Sonia one keeps me feeling less dirty everyday lol. 

Left to right
Sigma E30 Pencil brush: I think  most people think this is a fantastic crease brush, and I think it is! except I don't really have a crease so I can't really judge it for that....I actually use this to apply shadow on my lower lash line. The pointed tip helps apply a thinner line so I don't apply too much. Since my eyes are small, too much shadow on the lower lash line can really close my eyes up.

MAC 263: If you are debating on an angled brush from MAC, more specifically the 266 and the 263, if you have thinner lids go for the 263, if you want a thicker line and the have the lid space, the 266. I use this brush to apply powder shadows as a liner daily. I never tried it for gel to be honest, but I love how super thin and sharp this is.

Sephora smokey eye brush: Ok. I know they discontinued the platinum line of brushes but I will still list these, because Sephora did replace them with counter parts. I love this, like my Sigma E30 for the lower lash line, specifically for shadow. Since this is even thinner, I can really get a concentrated thin line of shadow for the lower lids.
Left to right
Sephora angled eye liner brush: Whenever I used to wear gel liner, I used a traditional angled brush and it looked ok. I tried thinner and thinner brushes but it always came out too thick and I was so slow at it. Then I discovered these types of angled brushes and gel liner became an absolute breeze! If you struggle, try this shape of brush! You can actually see what you are doing, without having your hand in the way!

MAC 210: I decided to go thinner. I'm quite satisfied with the MAC 263 for my powder liner needs, but when I want my eyes to really open up, thinner lines are the way to go. I set off to find the smallest, thinnest brush I could find, and the MAC 210 won. I use this with Print shadow as a liner when I want more of my lid area to show and my mascara to pop. A basic color like Brule on the lids adds to the open eyed effect.

Winsor Newton 520 3/0 brush: Yup, a paint brush! I used to use this for drawing thin branches with water color, now I use it to apply the slightest bit of definition to my lower lash line with powder. The sigma and smudger brush I use more for night time when I don't mind wearing more shadow at night, but for the day, I want only the slightest definition and color under my eyes so they don't close but I do want color. I use this brush to apply the thinnest and loosest line of colored shadow on my lower lids. This is fluffier and less stiff than the 210.

Eco tools angled brush: (not pictured) I've used this brush for years for my brows, and see no reason to stop in the near future. Eco tool brushes really are winners.

And that's it!
My list of favorite, most used brushes.
Please do share if you have any must haves! And thanks so much for reading! 


  1. I really like the sephora airbrush 55 too! The new ones they replace it with just don't look quite as appealing.
    How do you dry your kabuki brushes? I don't know if I did something wrong but it had a wet clothes dried wrong scent after a few months so I've completely neglected them :X

  2. i know! i dont think the new brushes look as good either, but i dont own any so i cant really judge them.
    your brushes smell??? after i wash all my brushes i give them a quick squeeze with the towel to get rid of excess water,and to create the shape i want them to stay then place them on a towel to dry. I put a rolled up tower under neath so they all angle down and the water can drip out instead of flat so the water does not get into the farrel and loosen the glue. Hope this helped!

  3. The MAC 182 looks like the exact brush I've been looking for! Super dense, big, and fluffy! I'd prefer a longer handle but it seems amazing x

  4. it's the best kabuki i have tried! i really recommend it!

  5. EcoTools and Sonia Kashuk are such GREAT quality, affordable drugstore options. I have many, many SK brushes a quite a few EcoTools ones. But next on my brush wishlist are Real Techniques brushes--I have never heard a bad thing about those!

  6. great mix of high end and drug store brushes .. and even a paint brush too!! must check out the eco tool brushes .. i've only heard great things .. but i am always so cautious of drug store brushes only bc i've been disappointed before. but hopefully the eco tool brushes will change my mind =)

  7. ahhh i have quite a few real technique brushes, for the money they are quite nice and multi purpose i dont really use them the way they recommend them but they are very utilized by myself!

  8. i still want to try their mini stipling brush, bronzer brush and shadow brush, they release a very sheer amount of pigment but i like that, i also enjoyed for years their blusher brush, i think you will find them softer than expected and beautiful to wash and use for years! :)

  9. haha, I am the opposite. I prefer long handles for blush brushes! I can't stand the short ones. Love that EcoTools kabuki. EcoTools blending blush is a must-have for me, and MAC 217. I can't live without Bdellium Tools 959 Kabuki and MUFE kabuki for loose powder.

  10. ooO~ very nice~ It's interesting to see how others use their brushes ^..^ & I love my MAC 182~ It's perfect for finishing powders<3


  11. oh the MUFE kabuki has always looked so good to me!!! but since i was so happy with the 182 i never got it. I've loved the eco tools blush brush for yrs and want the stipling blending brush!!

  12. MAC 263 is in my kit but i lost 266 and i miss it a lot... must go and pick one up!! Great brush collection there, J!


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