The problem with makeup brushes
Makeup brushes can be insanely expensive. To get you to buy them, people will tell you they're an investment. And they're right. Makeup brushes aren't like makeup. They don't go bad, and you never use them up.
Need proof? I have brushes that are 20 years old.
That's the good and bad news about makeup brushes. You buy them, and sooner or later, they're not getting any love. They're still perfectly good, but maybe they're too scratchy. Maybe they shed. Maybe the handles are too short or too long. Maybe the little hairs go awry (this seems to happen all the time with my lip and eyeliner brushes, where precision is key).
Eventually, if you're like me and have a tendency to accumulate stuff, you end up with a ridiculous number of more-or-less expensive, excellent-quality makeup brushes. And it might be time to declutter. So join me, Internet, as I run through my inventory of brushes, and decide which to pitch and which to keep.
Where to start
I decided to start with my face brushes, i.e., blush, foundation, and powder. No need to start fooling around with eye makeup brushes--not yet. I need to husband my resources for that. Baby steps, people.
I took my brushes and laid them out on top of
These are the blush brushes.
|From the top: MAC 168SE contour brush, Chanel blush brush (similar is $55), Shiseido blush brush ($38), MAC 187 duofiber "skunk" brush|
Of these, I would keep the Chanel for blushes that need a bit of persuasion, and the Shiseido, which is insanely soft, for blushes that don't need as much help traveling from the blush pan to my face. The MAC brushes are from one of those Nordstrom Anniversary Sale brush sets, and the quality is sub-par. They can go.
These are my face powder, blush, and specialty brushes
|Japonesque powder brush ($38); Japonesque blush brush ($35) Guerlain powder brush (similar $45), Lancome duofiber "skunk" brush (similar $27.50), Real Techniques face brush ($9.00), Nars bronzer brush (similar $52)|
These are mostly keepers. The only one I'd get rid of is the Nars bronzer brush. It was one of those legendary brushes ... but it picks up and deposits a LOT of product—more than I need. I really don't do bronzer, or contour, for that matter. Nars doesn't sell this brush any more. They've moved on, and so should I.
Other than that, I'm OK with keeping the rest of the brushes.
I like the Japonesque brushes. They shed a little, but they're wonderfully soft.
The Guerlain ... I don't know. I have no idea where I got that brush, and it's scratchy, as most Guerlain brushes can be. On the other hand, when you're dealing with Guerlain's Les Meteorites, you need a brush that will put a little English on the ballz.
The Lancôme is handy when I want to apply the tiniest amount of a scarily vivid shade.
The Real Techniques face brush is fabulous, all-purpose brush. You can use it for blush or powder, and I suppose, liquid foundation, since it has synthetic bristles. I love that you can just stand it up. And it's inexpensive!
Three to pitch
These are my foundation brushes. They all have those Taklon bristles which are supposedly good for blending liquid and cream products. I'm pitching them because I never liked applying liquid foundation with a brush.
|cheap no-name, Chanel (similar is $46), Paula Dorf ($35)|
Finally, these are my workhorse brushes--the ones you'd have to pry out of my cold, dead hands.
|Beauty Blender ($20), Bobbi Brown powder brush, Chantecaille powder brush, Rouge Bunny Rouge highlight brush|
I love the Bobbi Brown powder blush for applying blusher; the Chantecaille can't be beat for loose powder, and the Rouge Bunny Rouge highlight brush is great, too, and will really come in handy if I ever decide to get into this strobing thing that all the cool kids are doing.