WARNING & SPOILER ALERT: This is a really, really, really long post with lots of pictures!
I'm not that educated when it comes to brushes, but one thing I have learned over the past couple of years is that brushes absolutely do make a difference! They can help your shadow blend more seamlessly, some hairs are better for certain types of products (creams vs. powder for example)...but a lot of it boils down to personal preference - much like most things in the beauty world!
I've had many brushes that I've loved and used, but that seems to change depending on my mood and what products I'm loving at the time. Ok, and in all honesty it probably depends a lot on what new brush I'm gushing on at the moment! And so...I thought I'd show you what brushes I've been loving lately!
***All items purchased by me. Links are to previous posts or are non-affiliate.***
If anyone is interested, I do use brush guards when drying my brushes and I also use the London Brush Company soap. Dermstore has the soap for 20% off this weekend with code MDW20, HERE.
Most Used Brushes: May 2015 (actually I've probably been using these since mid March)
Tom Ford 06 Cheek Brush - $78
Hakuhodo J104 (powder brush) - $83
Surratt Cheek Brush - $115
Tom Ford 02 Foundation Brush (aka Cream Foundation Brush on some sites) - $72
Hakuhodo J5523 (eye brush) - $19
Wayne Goss 03 (I use this as an eye brush, but it could be used for under the eye to set your concealer or probably even as a highlight brush if you are looking for very precise application) - $32
Again, I'm not super educated when it comes to brushes, so please excuse the lack of technical terms and such...I'm just a girl who likes brushes ha ha!
First up are the Tom Fords...the Cream Foundation Brush (or 02 Foundation) and the 06 Cheek Brush. *For an extensive look at the whole lineup of Tom Ford brushes, please refer to Belly's very detailed reviews and overviews, HERE.
These have held up amazingly well since I purchased them about 2 years ago, and I've used them a lot. They still look and feel like they did when they were new...even the engraving of the logo and # of the brushes still are in perfect condition, which I cannot say the same for all my brushes (even ones that aren't as old). They are made of goat hair...very, very soft goat hair.
The Tom Ford Cheek Brush is pretty dense, but it gets a less dense as you get further away from the center. The Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush stays pretty dense throughout.
Hopefully you can see from the picture above that both brushes have sides that slope down versus having say, a flat top. For the Cheek Brush, the shape along with the difference in density (more dense center) makes it pretty versatile. It's dense enough to pick up a harder textured formula such as the Clinique Cheek Pops, but it can also blend out a softer texture like the Burberry Light Glows equally as beautifully. It works very well with a highly pigmented blush such as Tom Ford's Narcissist, as long as you use a light hand to initially pick up pigment.
The Cream Foundation Brush I don't use to actually apply foundation because I feel like it soaks up too much foundation. But I do love it to smooth out foundation after I've applied it with my fingers.
And here's the powder brush I've been using lately. I bought this last year when Bronzer Bunny and I went to the Makeup Show in Chicago. Hakuhodo had a booth, and wow it was so hard to choose! Very overwhelming to say the least ha ha! This is another goat hair brush that's very soft, though I don't think it's quite as soft as the goat hair in the Tom Ford brushes.
I love this brush because it's big and fluffy, so I can cover a large area quickly. It also applies powder more delicately (less heavy) than the Wayne Goss Holiday Brush that I'd previously been loving. I still love the Goss brush, but for the Dior Nude Air Healthy Glow Invisible Powder I prefer the lighter touch and feel of the Hakuhodo.
Here's what I don't like...the engraving has already started wearing off and it's not even been a year yet. The name of the brush I'm afraid one day will be unrecognizable, and in the picture above you can see the Hakuhodo name is starting to show wear as well.
And then check this out. I didn't drop it or anything...one day just noticed a piece of the end was gone. GONE. Weird. Also this brush still sheds random hairs. And this brush wasn't cheap - HERE it is on the Hakuhodo site. From the site pictures it looks like they've changed the handle so maybe the issues have since been resolved. Despite the problems, I would buy this brush again if I ever lost it or it was worn out because I love how it feels and applies.
For size reference, here it is pictured with the Tom Ford Bronzer Brush, which is probably the largest brush I own.
Top view. You can see it's less dense.
Side view. Here you can see that the Hakuhodo has a slightly rounded, flat-ish top. And you can see here as well as the pic above that it's less dense.
Aaaaaaah, and here's my latest conquest thanks to Belly - the Surratt Cheek Brush!! Check out her post HERE for reviews of this Cheek Brush and also the Face Brush. This is just a lovely, lovely brush...from how amazingly soft the hairs are to the gorgeous design...check out what I mean below!
Seeeeeeee that handled?!!!!! Subtle because it has to be turned just so...and in the right light it catches and sparkles and whoa where did that Surratt logo come from?!!
Soooooft, soft, soft. Did I mention it's really soft?!! According to Belly's post, these are made with blue squirrel hair. This brush is also versatile...can be used for blush, highlight and more precise powder application!
For size comparison, here it is compared to the Goss 03 and Tom Ford Cheek. It's more dense than the Suqqu Cheek, and I LOVE that...because sometimes I find the Suqqu Cheek to be a little too...floppy??? I feel like the Surratt Cheek Brush is dense enough to let me pick up the blush pigment I need (except for harder textured blushes as mentioned HERE), but it's not too dense to work with - it lets me really work product into the skin if I need to.
And by really working blush into the skin, here's what I mean - the video should start at 12:20...
She is showing the Suqqu Cheek Brush here, but I think the Surratt is similar...main difference being that the Surratt is more dense. But I still wanted to show this video (there's a better one, unfortunately I couldn't find it) because her technique here is different than the pat, pat, patting and then blending out that I had previously done. Here she presses the top of the hairs down so they are splayed (as in the picture below) a little, and more kind of buffs the blush in vs. patting it in. But I love the Surratt Cheek Brush because I can use both techniques, along with just swishing the brush back and forth. Hopefully I'm making sense?
And if Belly can do it I can do it...here are the hairs all splayed. You can see how fine the hairs are.
As a side note...I am planning on a Suqqu Cheek Brush comparison with the Surratt Cheek and a similarly shaped Goss brush.
Size and shape comparison with the Tom Ford Cheek.
And lastly, we have the 2 eye brushes I've been using the most. The Hakuhodo J5523 and Wayne Goss 03.
The Hakuhodo J5523 I bought on recommendation from Appu @ Makeup, Beauty and More. The Goss 03 I bought as part of the set when his brushes were first released.
Can you see how much the engraving has worn off??? And check the pic below...
Not worn that much, but you can tell it starting to peel away. So annoying. Other than that, I love the brushes :-)
The Hakuhodo I use to lay down color, or I can turn it on its side to get apply a smaller line of color or to blend things out. The Goss I just use to blend shadow, and it is very soft. The Hakuhodo is goat hair, and the Sara says HERE that she thinks the Goss is a mix of blue squirrel and goat. The description on Beautylish just says cruelty free, and not specifically what the brush is made of.
The Goss is a little too floppy for me to actually apply shadow, but I love using it to blend because of its softness - I can blend, blend, blend without it irritating my lids.
WHEW. Finally. That's it!!! Ha ha!! Thanks for hanging in there with me and this post :-)
What brushes have you been using lately??