Sunday, May 4, 2008

My Holy Grail brushes Pt. 1: Eye Shadow Brushes

I have a LOT of eye shadow brushes in different shapes, size and quality. I want to show you guys my can't-live-without brushes that I use every day. I like to experiment with high and low end brands and no-name brands as well. I've found that some of the BEST brushes are the inexpensive ones that are sold in the local drugstore. When shopping for makeup brushes, it's important that you find one that's of good quality. You don't want one that sheds after a couple uses or after a single cleaning. You definitely don't want one that hurts when brushed against your skin.

I know this sounds ghetto, but I always take the brushes out of it's packaging if there's no tester. I need to make sure the handle fits in my hand. I like to feel the bristles. For soft colors, I use fluffy brushes with soft hairs. I opt for nylon or synthetic hairs, but these brushes are usually made of sable. High-end brands use all kinds of wild forest animal hairs, which I'm not to keen on...sorta creeps me out, and makes me feel guilty for some reason. For mid-tone to darker colors, I look for brushes that have soft hairs, but are densely packed. I need something that will pick u a lot of color, and keep it on the brush. For this, I also try to look for synthetic brushes. If I can't find a vegan brush (which are REALLY hard to come by in Japan), I will go for sable. Again, no raccoon/monkey/chipmunk/squirrel/weasel hair for me. (BUT the sable is from the weasel family...*barf*...but it sure 'aint no weasel!)

I'm always on the prowl for small to medium sized brushes in the standard Maxine's Mop shape. My double-eyelids are small, so I need a brush that can get in there, without putting color where it needn't be.

For blending, I always use a small or medium pointed detail brush. Since my eyes are on the small side, I find that a fluffy tapered blending brush ends up ERASING more color that blending it. I think Asians with smaller eyes would benefit from using a smaller tapered/pointed brush for smoking out the corner of the eyes or blending overall color.

My Holy Grail brushes from L to R:
  • Elle small brush: I use this to apply mid tone, bright and dark colors. It's the perfect size for my eyes!
  • Costco angled brush: This is for applying highlight color(s) under the brow.
  • NYPM medium pointed detail brush: Dense, and not too soft! Perfect for applying darker colors to the outer corner and outer V. Also great for blending!
  • Costco fluffy blending brush: If my look calls for applying a light shade all over first, this is the brush I use.

Here's for a comparison of the different size brushes I own. I don't really like the width of M.A.C's 239 (right), although it's the standard. I prefer the smaller ones, like the one on the left that I just bought yesterday. It's an original Takeda brush. They're a famous Japanese company that makes professional makeup and stage makeup brushes. Unfortunately, the hairs are made from...sable. But NOT chipmunk, thank gawd. o__O

Here are two synthetic brushes I've had for a few years. They still work great...and get this, I got both of these at the 100 yen store near my mom's! I can't seem to find any like these now. I should have stocked up! These brushes are very smooth, yet firm. I use these babies for applying loose eye shadow and pigment shadows. They're good for foiling (applying wet) as well. They'd probably work great for applying cream shadows too. When applying a wet substance like cream or a foiled pigment, you want to use a brush that won't absorb the product. Natural hair bristles absorb more product and color.

And last but not least, my two HG concealer brushes:
  • Tina's Dresser wide brush (L): I found this randomly at Don Quijote (a discount chain). Their entire line of brushes were soooo cheap! This brush was 300 yen. I love the width. It's densely packed, so it makes applying mineral concealer a cinch, especially for someone like me who's always rushing. You save time by not having to pick up color so many times, since a brush like this will grab more powder.
  • Coastal Scents synthetic oval concealer brush (R): Nothing special, it gets the job done! I like the fluffy bristles and the pink handle, of course!

I'll be posting my favorite face brushes sometime...hope you enjoyed this!


ilurvemakeup said...

Lol I do the same thing and take them out too :)

Nic Nic said...

i only bought one brush from Japan from a drugstore... its not mastumoto, another company.. it was face brush, you couldn't find that kind of price for the quality i got! im planning on hauling when im there :P also, im gonna check out that 100yen shop, now that you've shown me some decent brushes you can get there!

L said...

girl! i need a few brushes, esp. a kabuki one! i am so excited that you're comin' this week for my move in! movie night and some tax free purchases at the NEX - be sure to bring cash! LOL

cara said...

I also bought some of those DAISO (100yen) brushes ... I love them! Haven't been able to find them again tho either ... Zan nen da ne.

Aya said...

Lurve: Do people stare at you funny when you do this? Sometimes I'll take all of them out to compare them and then decide which one I want...nyahaha.

Nic Nic: The 100 yen store is a goldmine, but you really have to look around. Not all 100 yen stores carry quality brushes. BTW, when are you coming to Japan next? We def. have to shop together :)

L: You don't have a Kabuki? You can have one of mine if you want...would that be gross? Haha. See ya soon.

Cara: Yeah, I can't seem to find them anymore...nande~? I think they only have em at the smaller 100 yen stores, the mom and pop kind.

Nic Nic said...

I will def come in summer, whether i have a job or NOT hahahaha... yeah, lets shop!!! :D

jie-jie said...

Yay! Brush pron. I like seeing brush and blush stashes more than eyeshadows. Actually I have to open unsealed m/u products. You can't believe how disgusting some people are. I don't mind with brushes because you can wash it off. But some people will swipe a lippie and put it back into the shelf. I used to like Rimmel, but all of their l/s don't have seal. Thank goodness Revlon lippies are safely sealed.