Monday, December 21, 2015

Powder Brush Party

I have a thing for makeup brushes. They're my babies. While I have more than enough brushes, I always tell myself they're an investment to justify buying another one (or two, or three). After all, makeup products can expire, but good quality, well cared for brushes last forever. I can't see how one can be a makeup lover without being a makeup brush lover in turn. It's simply the basics, like the importance of skin care and good skin to any makeup, or a rudimentary understanding of how colours work on different skin tones. The tools one uses are equally as important as the actual products, if not more.

With the latest brush purchase of the Wayne Goss Brush 00 (yes, an absolute splurge ... I guess I'll call it my early Christmas present to myself, or part of it at least), I was inspired to round up all the powder brushes in my collection. No, one absolutely does not need 5 powder brushes, but if it counts for anything, they were accrued over the past four years. The funny part is I don't even use powder that often, and I'm not the hugest fan of face powders in general. I guess I just like big, fluffy brushes.


My powder brushes include:
  • Too Faced Powder Pouf Brush (synthetic)
  • Zoeva Powder Brush #106, from the Rose Golden Luxury Set (synthetic)
  • Wayne Goss Brush 00 (goat hair)
  • Real Techniques Powder Brush (synthetic)
  • IT Cosmetics Live Beauty Fully Complexion Powder Brush #225 (synthetic)

l-r: Too Faced Powder Pouf Brush, Zoeva Powder Brush, Wayne Goss Brush 00, Real Techniques Powder Brush, IT Cosmetics Live Beauty Fully Complexion Powder Brush

l-r: Too Faced Powder Pouf Brush, Zoeva Powder Brush, Wayne Goss Brush 00, Real Techniques Powder Brush, IT Cosmetics Live Beauty Fully Complexion Powder Brush

Too Faced Powder Pouf Brush

Too Faced Powder Pouf Brush
Probably the most aesthetically pleasing of the bunch, the Too Faced Powder Pouf Brush was something I purchased 75% because of the way it looked. The remaining percentage was because it was pleasantly soft. I'm bummed that parts of the handle near the base of the ferrule have cracked, especially since I've barely used this brush. I tried to remedy the problem by applying some clear nail polish over the areas, which at least seems to have prevented further damage. The Powder Pouf is unique in that it's the only brush I have with white bristles but dark brown tips (be prepared to see a lot of dust and fluff nestled on the tips each time you use it). It's a fairly dense brush with a rounded top that's more kabuki style. The bristles are more tightly packed and the brush head is on the smaller side than what would be ideal for a light application of powder all over. It's more suitable for buffing mineral foundation or even liquid foundation (though I've never tried it with liquids).

Zoeva Powder Brush (#106)

Zoeva Powder Brush (#106)
This one is a bit larger than the Too Faced, with longer bristles that are considerably looser, meaning it could be used for a light dusting of powder (pressed or loose) all over. It's also the exact inverse in terms of colouring — dark bristles with white tips. It's roughly the same length as the Powder Pouf, which is to say on the short side (which I prefer, being short-sighted). I'd say the Zoeva is slightly scratchier than the Too Faced, but still feels generally lovely and soft. Since I bought it in a set, it's excellent value for money and the most economical purchase of the lot. By itself, it's about $20 from Beauty Bay or $15.50 USD ($21.63) direct from the Zoeva website. (Speaking of Zoeva, how utterly stunning is the Rose Golden Luxury Set Vol 2? Ugh.)

Wayne Goss Brush 00

Wayne Goss Brush 00
I'd put this brush firmly out of my price range back when it was called the Holiday Brush, but two things tipped me over. One, I had a $20 gift card from Beautylish that I had to spend. Two, I'd just bought the Wayne Goss Brush 14 and fell head over heels, so I was operating on a very positive first impression of the brush line. I thought to myself ... if Brush 00 is as amazing as Brush 14 but a large tapered powder version, it'd be worth the hefty price tag. I placed my order on Beautylish then waited in excitement for its arrival.

The first thing that struck me when it came, after I'd washed and dried it, was the shape was odd. I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture, but I swear it's not evenly cut? No matter how much I try to shape it, it simply doesn't seem symmetrical. One side is rounder, the other side is flatter, as if it's missing hairs or the hairs aren't the right length. It also doesn't come to a precise point in the middle, but is kind of wonky and slanted to one side.

Having said that, I'm not sure if that's just an inevitable characteristic of a natural hair brush that's handcrafted, or whether any of my dissatisfaction with the shape impacts performance. Probably not. It's by a large margin the softest powder brush I own. I don't see myself reaching for any of my others, simply because why would I use anything inferior? The softness means I can apply powder all over without disturbing too much of the foundation underneath. The tapered shape is great for getting around the curves of the face, like around the nose and underneath the eyes. Brush 00 could also be used for a diffused application of bronzer, highlighter or blush, though I've solely been using it for powder.

Real Techniques Powder Brush

Real Techniques Powder Brush
The first powder brush I purchased many years ago. I go through periods when I think to myself, "Why don't I use this more often?", then promptly forget about it again. This is by far the largest brush of the five. I don't reach for it much at all, but if I did, I'd imagine it'd be even larger and fluffier with repeated washes and use. I like the fact it's humongous, because that's it's defining characteristic. That's what it has going for it. It covers a wider area in a shorter period of time and the larger size ensures product isn't concentrated in one spot. In terms of the feel of the bristles, the closest match is the Zoeva. The Real Techniques version is denser, though not as dense as the Too Faced Powder Pouf.

IT Cosmetics Live Beauty Fully Complexion Powder Brush (#225)

IT Cosmetics Live Beauty Fully Complexion Powder Brush (#225)
Featured in my April 2015 Favourites, this brush is like the synthetic cousin of the Wayne Goss Brush 00, except not as tapered. In terms of the general shape, it is the most similar, though it's larger in size and doesn't come to as sharp a point as Brush 00. I can't deny I'm upset that for whatever reason, the shape isn't what it used to be when it first arrived. I'm not sure if it's in the way I've washed and dried it, or whether it just happens with time, but there's gaps and fissures in the hairs that prevent it from being one evenly smooth domed surface. (Clearly, I'm overly concerned about how my brushes look and derive satisfaction/pleasure from how much they resemble their pristine state.) Come to think of it, the wonky shape is another thing this brush shares with the Wayne Goss. Imperfect shape aside, this is probably the softest synthetic brush I've encountered. While incredibly dense (it takes like, 2 full days to dry), the brush doesn't feel hard and stiff against the skin, but still luxuriously plush, fitting snugly to the contours of the face. If I didn't have the Wayne Goss brush, the IT Cosmetics Live Beauty Fully Complexion Powder Brush would be my favourite.

l-r: Too Faced Powder Pouf Brush, Zoeva Powder Brush, Wayne Goss Brush 00, Real Techniques Powder Brush, IT Cosmetics Live Beauty Fully Complexion Powder Brush


l-r: Too Faced Powder Pouf Brush, Zoeva Powder Brush, Wayne Goss Brush 00, Real Techniques Powder Brush, IT Cosmetics Live Beauty Fully Complexion Powder Brush



So there we have it. Five powder brushes. One is more a dense, somewhat stiff kabuki style brush for buffing in mineral powders (Too Faced), the other is your standard medium-sized rounded powder brush with longer, looser bristles (Zoeva), one is a denser, much larger version (Real Techniques), one is a premium goat-haired, tapered brush that's supremely soft and ideal for an all-over, light application of powder without disturbing the underlying foundation (Wayne Goss), and the final is a larger, more rounded synthetic variation of the Wayne Goss (IT Cosmetics). Let's hope I stop there.

32 comments:

  1. I own two brushes for my powder and I am still considering getting another one...
    I own the exact same brush from Zoeva - for some reason I am not 100% fan of its shape... - and the blush brush from Real Techniques, which in my opinion works really nicely with powder as well.
    I've been considering getting another one from the Sephora Collection and another one from Real Techniques - probably the multi-tasking brush.

    I probably need more cups to place my brushes...

    Take care*

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    1. Yeah, the blush brush from Real Techniques is pretty popular for powder. I was thinking of including it in this post, but it is marketed as a blush brush and I personally never use it for powder, so I decided against it. I love the Multi Task brush from RT – one of my absolute favourites! It really lives up to its name.

      Haha, I was so excited to burn through my lone diptyque candle just so I could use it as a brush holder.

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  2. I love your brush posts.

    I'm in the market for a blush brush and am thinking of the Zoeva 127 Luxe Sheer Cheek brush based on your previous reviews. Has it held up well? And would you recommend any others?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope they’re helpful – I try to make them informative with lots of comparisons of alternatives because that’s information I’d hope to encounter when I’m looking to buy a particular brush myself.

      To be honest, I’ve not used the Luxe Sheer Cheek for a while. The main blush brushes I’m reaching for are the Wayne Goss Brush 14 (for pigmented powders) or my Ecotools by Alicia Silverstone Blush Brush from yonks ago (basically a fatter, firmer, quite thick synthetic brush which I use for less pigmented powder blushes in a patting motion).

      In terms of recommendations, a lot would depend on your budget and preferences. I think something like the Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt is great for blush (especially with my round face shape), but I understand if people would be unwilling to make the splurge, especially since it’s a natural hair brush that’s restricted to powders (I wouldn’t dare use it with creams). If you want something with an angled shape that’s on the affordable side, I don’t think you could go wrong with the Zoeva option. Otherwise, for a fluffier, larger option that could work well for both powders and creams, the Real Techniques Multi Task brush is a good pick. If you’re looking for a brush that would work brilliantly with cream blushes, I’d go for the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush or e.l.f. mini stippling blush (amazing for super pigmented cream blushes).

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  3. I have always wanted to try Zoeva brushes, they look amazing! I asked for some Morphe brushes for Christmas! I love the Real Techniques ones as well

    Kendal // Life With Kendal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm super curious about Morphe brushes especially since they're very popular on YouTube. The shipping cost is so expensive from their website though :( However, I may or may not have made a sneaky order :p (Which I have to say, has yet to even ship though it's been days...)

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  4. I thought I only had one powder brush but thinking about it I actually might have four. I use the Real Techniques blush brush for setting powder, the Zoeva Luxe Face definer for my Hourglass powder and a Tarte kabuki brush for mineral foundation. I also have a random one from the drugstore that lives in my travel bags. I'd love to try a Wayne Goss brush though.

    beauty visions

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those brushes really do accumulate, but at least you have a specific purpose for yours! The Zoeva one that you have sounds lovely :) Wayne Goss brushes have generally impressed me - I'm definitely not closed to the idea of getting some more in the future.

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  5. I think I have only got 2 or 3 powder brushes but seem like I only use one all the time. Real Techniques blush brush looks so soft and dense. I just love their brushes and don't shed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, Real Techniques brushes are incredible. My buffing brush is what, 4 years old, and still going strong. It's such a GOOD brush! Enough said. I don't really use the blush brush much though. I find it a bit too long and floppy for blush, though it's good at diffusing and blending product.

      Delete
  6. These all look lovely and I want to get new brushes for myself for Christmas. I'm thinking real techniques at the moment but need to look into some new brands.

    Jackie | fashionxfairytale |

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    Replies
    1. You can't go wrong with Real Techniques! Though I'd stick to their normal range - the Bold Metals stuff hasn't impressed me enough to justify the much steeper price.

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  7. Looking at the tops of fluffy brushes makes me happy. They're just so adorable and fluffy like a puppy's paw??!? The Wayne Goss brush looks sooo luxurious though. Though the shape is wonky, I definitely see it being amazing for powder and bronzer. The IT cosmetics brush looks amazing too. I want to check out their brushes when I'm in the US but I need to do a bit of research! Or wing it when I'm there :P

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The IT Cosmetics brush is exclusive to ULTA - so not sure if you're planning on visiting one. I personally have never gone into an Ulta shop in 2 separate trips to the US, lol. I had to get my friend to buy it for me when she was in the US - and she actually went to an Ulta shop to find it, but couldn't. So in the end, she ordered it online and had it delivered to her home address in the US. Suffice it to say, it was a bit of an effort to acquire.

      And yes, though brushes are inanimate objects, just as I'm a sucker for soft toys, I'm a sucker for fluffy brushes. *strokes*

      Delete
  8. I have the Real Techniques Powder Brush and I love how soft and big it is. Perfect for applying bronzer on the décolletage etc x

    Evelyn @ We Were Raised By Wolves

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    Replies
    1. Never thought to use it for that purpose but it does sound like it would be ideal for that! Another bonus to having a huge brush :)

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  9. The Wayne Goss powder brush looks like the softest thing ever! I'm sure it looking slightly like its unevenly cut won't have any impact on how beautiful it performs!

    Jodie, xo // Jodie Loue

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    Replies
    1. I guess the slightly wonky shape may not bother some but I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to brushes, especially when they're priced at $85 USD ($118 converted to my currency, sob). Still, it is the softest brush I own and definitely one that I expect to get a lot of use out of!

      Delete
  10. I have the Zoeva and Reat Techniques one but definitely use the Zoeva one way more! The others look great too!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

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    1. The Zoeva is smaller and floppier, so probably easier to use. I can understand why you'd reach for it more. The RT one is just so huge, lol!

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  11. I definitely have a thing for makeup brushes too - what is it about them?! Love the Real Techniques and Zoeva ones especially though and the Too Faced brush looks so cute!
    Laura x FloraLooTwo

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    1. They're just irresistible sometimes! I think it's the promise of what they could do in terms of upping our makeup game or making products work to their maximum potential.

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  12. I'd love to get my hands on the Wayne Goss and IT Cosmetics brushes you have! I really like the Zoeva powder brush at the moment :) xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

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    1. Those 2 would be my picks of the bunch! I really like the tapered/domed shape of them and they're so soft :)

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  13. I don't really use powder brushes much either but they are the softest things ever. Most of my brushes are from Sigma and RT, and they're pretty comparable in terms of softness. The uneven cut Wayne Goss brush from the side, and even the flat bit at the bottom is kinda annoying considering you'd think that each brush is made to perfection with the price you're paying and all..*o*

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  14. The IT cosmetic brush looks so fancy and luxurious *heart eyes*. Too Faced sure produce the cutest packagings and products!

    Amanda // Pale & Rosy

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  15. The IT cosmetic brush looks so fancy and luxurious *heart eyes*. Too Faced sure produce the cutest packagings and products!

    Amanda // Pale & Rosy

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  16. Your photography is amazing! I have the RT powder brush!
    Charlotte // charlottespicks.blogspot.com

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  17. Your photos are incredible, loved this post. I have the Real Techniques brush, but personally find it a bit too big because I try and avoid getting powder all over my face because I have dry skin. I really love the look of the Wayne Goss brush and the IT Cosmetic Brush.
    Black Kats Design

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  18. Ahh! I regret not picking up any of the brushes from IT Cosmetics, I was so overwhelmed when I actually got myself to a stand in Ulta by all the IT Cosmetics makeup though haha.
    I have to say, my skin has changed so much over the years. I used to be combination and powder was a must (same with powdering throughout the day) but now I would say I'm normal and rarely need to powder at all!
    I do have the RT one and the Zoeva one but I don't really reach for either of them!

    chloé⎪ status.chlo

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    1. My skin has changed over the years too. Used to be really oily, now it's dry. Maybe it's all the makeup I wear, haha. Must have something to do with skin care as well.

      The RT and Zoeva ones aren't my favourites for sure - I prefer something tapered when it comes to powdering.

      Delete
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    Best Long Lasting Lipstick

    ReplyDelete

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