Sunday, 7 December 2014

Brush With Greatness

One of the things that bothers me most in the world (I mean, after all the important sociopolitical issues and all that) is the sponge-tipped applicators that come with some eyeshadows.

I think they are criminal, and awful, and that they do a disservice to makeup everywhere. Brushes, proper, bristled brushes, will change your life and the way you do eyeshadow FOREVER. I'm pretty sure I'm not being hyperbolic here.

If I've convinced you and not made you feel afraid for my sanity, these are the six brush styles I think you should have in your life.
They're nearly all Real Techniques, for me, because I am a hopeless addict, but I'm talking about shape and design rather than brand. From left to right:

A mid-sided brush, with soft bristles and a tapered shape. Use this, as you might guess from the name, for base colours. I also like it for applying powder highlighters to the browbone.

Looks like the baby brother of the base brush - it's the same sort of shape, only thinner and more tapered. These are great for building up colour in the crease (do you see what they've done here, with the names..?), as they fit easily into the socket line, and also for highlighting the inner corners.

This is the holy grail of eyeshadow brushes. Your life will be changed. I promise. Big, round-ended, and firmer than most eyeshadow brushes, you can bugger up your makeup in innumerable ways and a few sweeps of this will still make it look stunning. BLENDING IS SO IMPORTANT.

Bit of a curveball, I know, as stippling brushes are generally much bigger and used for face products, but what I mean is a flattish brush with short, firm bristles (and, SHOCK HORROR, this one isn't Real Techniques but a brand called Beautiful that I discovered via Glossybox). These aren't absolutely essential, but they're great for adding little hints of extra colour after you've finished a look, because they won't take other product with them. I also really like them with cream eyeshadow, because you can really buff the product in for an even finish.

Very thin, very tapered brush - quite smooth, and I don't like mine to be too firm because I feel like they pull on the skin, but that's a personal preference. I use this to smudge pencil eyeliner right down into my lashline, and also dip it in makeup remover to fix liquid eyeliner that I've ruined. Much more precise than cotton buds.

Flat-tipped, quite thin, angled tip and firm-ish bristles. I use this for two things: applying powder shadows as eyeliner, because you can just press it in along the lashline and it does all the hard work for you, and applying powder to eyebrows - again, because the shape of it does it all for you and it's easy to avoid getting product in places you don't want it. It's also great for brushing through eyebrows after the product's in, to give a more natural finish.

I could (and, you know, do) waffle about brushes all day, but if you have trouble with eyeshadow or there's a technique you just can't get, I really do recommend getting your hands on some extra brushes and seeing what a difference it can make. A few years ago I barely used brushes, and now look at me: I'm a bit of a nutter.


  1. These look amazing xox

    1. they're so useful! can't have too many =) N x