Monday, January 2, 2012

Makeup Brush Collection

My current collection comprises:
  • Real Techniques Stippling Brush
  • Real Techniques Core Collection (Detailer Brush, Pointed Foundation Brush, Buffing Brush, Contour Brush)
  • Real Techniques Powder Blush
  • Real Techniques Blush Brush
  • Ecotools by Alicia Silverstone Brush Set (Finishing Brush, Blush Brush, Angled Eyeshadow Brush, Lash and Brow Groomer)
  • Rimmel Foundation Brush (gift with purchase of Match Perfection Cream Gel Foundation)
  • Australis Mineral Eyeshadow Contouring Brush 
  • Models Prefer Small Eyeshadow Brush
  • Sportsgirl 'Brush with Fame' Eyeshadow Brush
  • Manicare Angled Brush

The Real Techniques brushes were purchased recently at S A Hair Nail & Beauty Supplies in the Dymocks Building on George Street, while the Ecotools set was bought at Priceline many months ago.

I use the soft and dense Real Techniques Buffing Brush to apply liquid foundation to my face by moving the brush in a circular motion. I tried the Rimmel Foundation Brush once and that was such a streaky mess I had to abort the process midway and ended up just blending with my fingers. I primarily use the Real Techniques Contour Brush to apply powder highlighter to the top of my cheekbones and the Detailer Brush to apply shimmery light eyeshadow to the inner corners of my eyes (though it could also be used as a lip brush). I haven't found the need to use the Pointed Foundation Brush yet, but I think it would be handy for applying concealer under the eyes. The Blush Brush is gorgeous to look at and super soft, but I find it a little difficult to evenly blend powder blush with it, perhaps due to the shape of the brush. I prefer the Ecotools Blush Brush as I get better results.

The Real Techniques Stippling Brush I originally thought I'd use in the same way as the Buffing Brush, but I find that it applies liquid foundation quite streakily if used in a circular, buffing motion. I need to lightly dapple it over my face to minimise streakiness which I don't particularly like, as I find the tips of the bristles harden when damp due to the liquid foundation, so it feels prickly on my skin. In that sense the Stippling Brush has been a relative disappointment for me, given the rave reviews I've read about it. It is ideal however, for applying and blending blush and highlighter. I prefer the Ecotools Finishing Brush to apply bronzer and powder (and occasionally blush), as it is a much softer, larger brush that doesn't pick up as much product but disperses it beautifully. The large and fairly dense Real Techniques Powder Brush feels soft on the skin and applies loose and pressed powder well, especially to mattify the dewiness of freshly applied liquid foundation and give a more polished finish.

I use a cheap Sportsgirl Eyeshadow Brush to apply my eyeshadow. They can be purchased for $2.95 and I own several brushes. The synthetic bristles aren't the softest ever but they do the job and I like how the brush is double ended, with a smaller brush on one end and a larger one on the other. The larger brush can be used to blend eyeshadows, apply a sheer wash of colour to the lid and highlight the brow bone. I use the Manicare Angled Brush with gel eyeliner to define my lower lashline, and to line and wing out my top lid on days when I don't feel like using liquid eyeliner pen.


  1. Could you do a brush collection with more/detailed photos? I'm comparing Real Techniques and Ecotools online to try and get my brush combination right based on reviews, and photos of the brushes you use would be helpful. x

    1. Do you have any particular recs? I don't have many Ecotools brushes, namely the 5 brush set, the eye brush set, and some Alicia Silverstone set that I mention here (okay, so that's pretty substantial :p). I guess getting the combo right is a lot about your makeup needs. I rely on RT basically for my face (i.e. foundation base and blush/highlighter). Eye brushes I have are pretty random, I'm still sticking with the Sportsgirl for the most part, but there's this blending brush (known bizarrely as the highlight brush) in one of the Ecotools sets which is amazing :)

    2. I've got the Ecotools 5 brush set and the 6 brush set on my list, mostly because the blush brush alone is $6 and if I pay $4 more I can get the concealer brush, and a few others. I don't know if I'm being foolishly Asian or not. I've heard bad things about their eyeshadow brush from that set. The eye brush set isn't really a priority for me right now, as I don't wear enough eyeshadow regularly. I was going to get the RT Powder and Expert Face brushes but am only going to go with the Expert Face brush because the Ecotools 5 brush set includes a Mineral Powder brush and I'm only going to use the powder brush to set BB cream/concealer with loose powder. Am I doing the right thing? If I really need the eye brush set and the RT powder brush I could always order again, I guess. Shipping's only $6. :)

    3. Is it the same blush brush in the set as it is on its own? I guess it would be, or at least very similar. I guess when you buy a brush set, there's a high chance you won't love or use at least 1-2 of the included brushes. The 5 brush set (the one with the mini kabuki) consists of pretty tiny brushes, so not sure if you'd be disappointed. You can check out the 5 brush set at Priceline physically to get an idea of their size. The Mineral Powder brush in the 5 set is incomparable to the RT Powder brush - the RT is about 4x larger, more bristles, more rounded (the Mineral Powder brush is somewhat flat and angled rather than fluffy and spherical at the top, possibly from the way it's been packaged). But if you're only going to set BB cream and concealer with loose powder, the Ecotools should be fine. I don't really use the RT Powder brush as I find it too large and I don't regularly set my face with powder (basically its only purpose, along with overall face/body bronzing). My favourite RT brushes are the Blush Brush (so soft, amazing tapered shape, can be used for powder and blush), Multi Task (looooveeee this one, I find it to be the ideal shape for blush/soft contouring, it is beautifully soft and feels lovely on the skin) and the Buffing Brush (similar to Expert Face, but better in my opinion). I guess go with what you've planned for the moment and if anything's lacking or you have lemmings for other brushes, you can always order again like you say :)

    4. I'm placing an order for the RT Core Collection, the RT Stippling brush?, the Ecotools Bronzing brush and the Ecotools 6 piece eye brush set! I love my Ecotools blush brush to bits, it's amazing. And since I'm happy with it, I think I'll pass on the RT Blush brush, despite the rave reviews. If it doesn't blend as well as the Ecotools, I don't see the point of buying it. :S I'm curious about the RT Stippling brush- Essiebutton seems to adore it. Post reviewing my new Ecotools forthcoming! x

    5. If you're only going to be using the RT Blush Brush for blush, I think the Ecotools one would more than do the job, especially since you also have the Mineral Powder brush from the 5 piece set which I use mainly for blush (as well as the baby kabuki, which I use to blend out my blush or to apply cream blush). I would think the Ecotools bronzing brush is probably similar to the RT powder brush - both are fairly large and fluffy, but Ecotools is more affordable. I do like the stippling brush, it's just not something I use for liquid foundation, which I thought would be the primary use for it. It's pretty good for applying powder blush, but it's not the brush that I reach for because I have others that I think are softer and easier to work with. The only use I have for the stippling brush is wiping away eyeshadow fallout. I know that sounds fairly useless, but it's actually really effective because the top bristles are quite firm and sparse. It's like a broom across the face, lol. I was primarily disappointed because it's not as soft as say, the Blush, Multi Task, or Buffing brushes, it's quite small, it feels prickly on my skin when wet, it left a streaky finish when I used it with liquid foundation. But having said that, I believe it is a versatile brush and I do use it almost every day, but for a tangential purpose. If I didn't have more RT brushes that I loved more than the stippling, I'd probably be happier with it. Looking forward to your Ecotools review :)

  2. This might be a little random but I just wanted to ask where did you buy your brush holder. It's really pretty. TIA.

    1. Thanks! I got it from this Australian shop called Typo, it's supposed to be a pencil holder :)

  3. Thanks for this blogpost i'm obsessed with makeup brushes xx


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