Real Techniques Brush Set

Real Techniques Brush Set

Believe it or not, but I finally bought my first brushes by Real Techniques. They didn’t use to be easily available here in Austria, but for a couple weeks a big drugstore chain had them. They were limited, but the chain said on instagram they would bring the brushes back if they sold well.

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I chose a set that had a face brush, a cheek brush and an eye brush so I could get a feel of the range. To my surprise the single brushes don’t really have any names or numbers to them? They are simply called duo fiber face brush, duo fiber contour brush and duo fiber eye brush. Okay.

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Pic of the packaging.

Well, you probably already know this, but these brushes are so soft! Wheeee! The face brush is bigger than what I’d normally use, but it works out for me. I use it for all sorts of face powders, mattifying, finishing, what have you, and the brush works with them all.

The contour brush I gotta admit I use for regular brush and not so much for contouring. I tried, and it worked in creating a very loose contour (aka well blended and not too dark) but this has just the right shape for a blush brush to me, so that’s what I prefer to use it for. Works with powder and cream products.

The eye brush is really long and thin. At first I was scared, but it’s really good in the crease to create a defined crease. It can also be used for shaping or highlighting small areas of the face.

Overall, I get the hype now. If I didn’t have enough brushes I would have bought some more. Maybe later. 🙂

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My Zoeva Brushes

My Zoeva Brushes

My Zoeva collection of brushes has slowly grown. I was happy with both the quality and the price, so I picked up one here and one there and now I have quite a few:

Zoeva Brushes

(click pic for full size) To my knowledge the bristles that are white are non vegan, and those that are black with white tips are vegan.

From left to right:

The big one is the 106 Powder brush, a big fluffy one. I don’t use it that often as I find it a bit too fluffy. The bristles are long and loose.

The next one is the 102 Silk Finish. This one is very universal. You can use it to apply liquid makeup or powder textures. The bristles are denser than in a normal powder brush, which makes it apply more. I really like using it for compact makeup, it gives a much better finish than a sponge. I also like that the head is rounded instead of flat.

The 126 Luxe Cheek Finish has become my favorite blush brush. It is constantly in use, which is why I didn’t manage to snap a pic of it in washed state. Sorry guys. The bristles should of course be white and not pink. This brush is so soft while having exactly the right amount of bounce. You can’t see it in the pic, but the brush is not completely round, it has a thin and a wide side.

The next one is my contouring wonder: 110 Face Shape. I honestly didn’t get the whole contouring craze until I had this brush. It slots underneath the cheek bone just right and with small circular motions I blend the contour. Done. I use it for all my facial contouring. Highly recommended!

The 105 Luxe Highlight lives up to its name. I never quite got the hang of fan brushes, so I applied highlights with my fingers or eye brushes. The 105 is not too tightly bound, but not too loose either, so it can both apply and then blend the highlight.

Then we get to the eye brushes: the 227 Soft definer (vegan, also available non-vegan) has a similar shape to MAC’s 217. The bristles are longer, though. I like this for blending.

The 232 Luxe Classic Shader is great for packing product on. It is mostly flat and dense.

The 226 Smudger is not unexpectedly used for eyeliner.

The last one is the 330 Lip Contour brush. It comes encased in metal, which is useful when the brush has been used. It is not my smallest lip brush and also not the most precise, but I still bought two. I guess I liked it well enough.

And that is my collection for now. In the future I want to get more eye brushes and another Luxe Cheek brush. I have stopped buying more expensive brushes, because Zoeva give me the same results for less money. The brushes shed a little when washed, but my more expensive ones do that, too.

Do you have Zoeva products? Any recommendations?

 

Sunday Brush Cleansing

Sunday Brush Cleansing

Lazy sundays are good days to clean brushes. They can dry overnight and are ready to use on monday morning.

Currently I am using the Bobbi Brown Conditioning Brush Cleanser, which yes, it’s very expensive, but I need so little it’ll last for years.

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Brushes, Pt 1. They are still wet, so they look a little worse than they are. I have folded my beloved strawberry towel, so that the handles are higher than the brush heads and the water can drop down. The brushes are from left to right: MAC 213, a good one to apply shadow on the lid, Look by Bipa Eye Blender, this one is a favorite of mine! Bipa is an Austrian drug store chain, their own brand Look by Bipa is cheap and comes in the store’s signature colors white and magenta. The other brushes aren’t so great imo but the blender brush is amazing. It has the same shape as the MAC 217, but with synthetic hair. It blends just as well as the 217, you can only tell that it is much cheaper when you use and wash it very often.

The angled brush in the middle is MAC 266, a favorite of mine to apply eyeshadow as liner. The MAC 195, a concealer brush. The black one is an eyeshadow brush by ebelin. I don’t really like it; it’s what I use when I run out of clean brushes.

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Brushes, Pt 2. On the very left the Bobbi Brown face blender, an absolute staple of mine. I use it for all over, blush and bronzer. Then MAC 219, a pencil brush. Next an absolute favorite, MAC 214! I use it to apply eyeshadow on the lower lid. Sadly, it does not seem to be in the regular range, only limited edition??? Next to it, another Look by Bipa eye blender, then my favorite liner brush, the one that comes with the Maybelline gel liner. Then an angled no name brush that I use for brows. MAC 217, I don’t think I need to tell you about it. Then smashbox smudge brush which I use when the 214 is not clean or to smudge liner on the upper lid, although it’s a bit scratchy.

The big white one is a MAC 129, my second favorite blush/bronzer/whatever brush, then another 217, the Shiseido foundation brush, and last brush is the 213 again (idetical to the one in the pic above).

Now, this post is not a list of my favorite brushes ever (on that list you’d find the MAC 188, for example), but simply the brushes that needed cleansing and were drying on the towel when I had the idea to snap pics. But it’s a good show of brushes I use often. I have four eye blender brushes because I use them a lot. I’m tempted to get another one of the Bipa brushes, but it’s often sold out.

Most of my expensive brushes come from Holiday sets, that’s why the colors don’t always match up to the regular ones and the handles are short. I like brush sets, you get more for less money. But I only buy them when I know I can use the majority of them.

I don’t clean my brushes every week, but I do aim for every other week. But still, it’s always good to have some clean spares, right? 😉

Chanel Les Beiges Kabuki Brush

Chanel Les Beiges Kabuki Brush

When the Les Beiges line was first released, there were the powders and the matching Kabuki brush. Except, not in Austria. Here we only got the powder and no brush. 😦

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And then, two weeks ago I found this on a counter! According to the SA they got a shipment in November or so. Since brushes aren’t usually on display I completely missed it. I’m so glad we got it now, back when the powders came out I asked for the brush and they said they wouldn’t get it. I almost bought the new loose powder because it came with a similar brush in mini!

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Chanel‘s Les Beiges Retractable Kabuki Bush comes in a black shell with dense white bristles. I’m a bit sad it doesn’t come in the beige Les Beiges color. But apart from that, it’s perfect! The bristles are so soft. So soft! And they really pick up just the right amount of powder. Before I had this brush I applied my Les Beiges with another retractable brush, but it was a normal powder brush. The powder brush picked up too much product, I think, and sometimes the finish was too heavy. I don’t like looking as if I wear powder. With this kabuki I get the promised invisible glow finish.

A+, would buy again! Did I mention how soft it is? *sigh*

MAC Keepsakes Studio Brush Kit

MAC Keepsakes Studio Brush Kit

The MAC Keepsakes Holiday Collection includes three brush sets, the studio set, a mineralize set (those are the duofibre brushes), and a third set with two-sided brushes. I chose the studio brush kit, since it had brushes I already wanted.

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Some say the Heirloom Mix/Keepsakes Collection has a cheap looking design. Honestly, I think it’s very pretty.

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Brushes included: 190SE Foundation brush, 129SE Powder/Blush brush, 209SE Eye Liner brush, 213SE Fluff brush and 224SE Tapered Blending brush

The SE brushes are shorter than the regular ones, also they don’t always have the same type of bristles as the regular ones. But the bristles in the fluffy eye brushes and the blush brush here are the same as in the regular MAC 217 brush. I haven’t tried these yet, but I was very happy with my eye brush set from last year. I’m sure these are lovely too.

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The bag holds these brushes, and then some. Very useful and I like that the bags are long enough for regular size brushes as well. Last year’s bag holds most of my brushes that aren’t in heavy rotation.

The MAC Holiday collection has a lot of pretties included. Luckily there are quite a few things from the regular lineup (like the eyeliners and many eyeshadows in the kits). I really like the Viva Glam lip palette and also the Keepsakes lip bag with Ruby Woo in it. If only money grew on trees.

Brush Cleaning of Doom

Brush Cleaning of Doom

Wow I didn’t even realize I used this many brushes lately.

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Left to right:

Alicia blush brush: Alicia brushes are pretty cheap brushes available at Müller’s. This one is actually too big for my tastes. I use it for powder blush when there is no other clean brush left…

MAC 130: This is kind of a face allrounder. I don’t even know what they sell it as, imho it can be used for liquid, cream and powder products, for foundation, bronzer, shading, blush, highlight,… it does pretty much everything except for lips and eyes. It also does not cook breakfast. Boo.

MAC 188: The longer and softer version of 130, my most used brush for blusher, be it powder, cream or liquid.

MAC 195: Yeah, this kind of a MAC fest in here. I use this brush to conceal bigger areas.

Smashbox double ended smudger brush: One day I decided that I needed a smudge brush right now and this was the only one available/the first I found that day. It was also on sale so I didn’t look any further.

Ebelin eye shadow brush: Ebelin is a cheap brand available at DM. This is a good if a bit small brush for eye shadow.

Bobbi Brown eye shadow brush: This came in a set, it’s also double ended, the other side is called “liner” but I’m not completely sure if it is for eyes or lips or what. The eye shadow side is meh, mostly usable for the crease. I only use it when there is no other clean brush around.

Alicia eye liner brush: I use it for concealing. It’s perfect for concealing smaller and slightly bigger blemishes. For the longest time I used concealer brushes that were too big; this makes one hell of a difference!

MAC 217: Do I even need to describe it? It’s the perfect eye shadow brush. I also use it for blending (in case I applied the shadow with a different brush) and highlighter. This is the most perfect eye shadow brush and I think I’ll buy some more.

Alicia eye shadow brush: Sorry I don’t know exactly what it’s called like. It’s a flat slanted brush. I use it to apply eye shadow as a line. It’s okay, but not perfect.

And last, but not least: Bobbi Brown face blender: The ultimate face brush for powder products. I use it for all over, bronzer or blusher.

Now this is pretty much my whole brush collection. Not pictured, but also pretty good (and possibly included in my last brush post?) are my no-name foundation brush – I forgot where I bought it, my Shiseido foundation brush (love at first feel) and the Bobbi Brown eye blender. The eye blender is not used for application of eye make up, only to brush over it and beat it into submission. It is magic.

Sunday Brush Cleaning

Sunday Brush Cleaning

Like the title says, sunday is my brush cleaning day. I didn’t use many lately so this pic showing the drying brushes also shows my go-to brushes, those I use the most.

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from top to bottom:
Shiseido Foundation brush

Smashbox smudge brush

MAC 195

no name foundation brush

MAC 217

Bobbi Brown face blender

I clean them by putting a tiny amount of shampoo on my hand, swirling the bristles in it until they come off clean, then I rinse them and put them on a towel with a downward slope so the water drips down and doesn’t damage the brush.