Many of the other brushes that I own, I still like, but I can probably live without them. I guess the fact is, you really don't need that many brushes. Doesn't stop me from searching for more favorites though!
I've also put together a long overdue tutorial on how I wash my brushes.
Face (left to right):
Etude House Duo Fiber Cheek Brush
(RM39.90 -- up to 40% off during sale)
- Who needs to fork out over a hundred Ringgit for a MAC 188 or 187 when you have this awesome brush? It's firm, dense enough and doesn't shed or bleed excessively. The size is in between a 188 and a 187 so it'll work great to stipple on liquid foundation, apply powder, blush, bronzer and everything else a duo fiber stippling brush can do. I mainly use this brush for blush and glow powders (eg. MAC Mineralize Skin Finish, Benefit Sugarbomb).
(RM125? I don't know. Someone please help!)
- I hate this brush for CONSTANTLY shedding. Come on, it's been a year! Stop shedding already! And it's not the softest brush in the world or my table. If I can chuck this appalling brush out, I would but it would mean giving up on a perfectly shaped and sized brush. You can apply practically any type of foundation with this brush. Liquid, cream, loose powder, pressed powder, mousse, cream-to-powder -- you name it. If you can ignore the mustache left behind by the brush, you'll get a streak-free finish. It's also great for contouring and buffing. *sighs* Damn this brush. Review here.
(RM39.90 -- bought from Blink on the first floor of Sungei Wang Plaza at 50% off but I don't think it's available anymore)
- One of my most unexpected and yet best purchases ever. This is a synthetic kabuki brush and there's nothing I don't like about it except for the fact that I can't buy it anymore. Not that I need to because it's still in pristine condition but it also means that you can't, which is not good. It's soft, dense, doesn't shed, doesn't bleed and I love the handle. It's much easier to grip than regular kabuki brushes. I use this for loose powder, pressed powder and powder foundation (light coverage) as well as glow powder. Also awesome for buffing out over-applied blush.
Eyes (top to bottom):
Italian Badger Round Contour Brush
(I got this in the travel set. The long handled (~USD$3) one can be purchased from Coastal Scents or Crown Brushes)
- One of the first brushes I've ever owned and still a favorite to this day. This is great for applying dark color into the outer corner and crease. It's soft and dense, doesn't shed and doesn't bleed.
(~USD$3. Can be purchased from Coastal Scents or Crown Brushes)
- I use this strictly for applying highlight on the brow bone. This dense and slightly tapered brush blends as it applies the highlight color. I bought this because it was supposedly a dupe for MAC 227 brush but when I compared both brushes, I actually like this one better because it's a lot softer and I like that it's tapered. Review here.
(Bought this during the Stila close out sale. No longer available in Malaysia. USD$32 from StilaCosmetics.com)
- If I had discovered this brush earlier I wouldn't have to buy so many other eyeshadow brushes. The flat side is a medium sized eyeshadow brush that packs on color very well onto the lid and because the tip is slightly tapered, I can use this to apply color into the crease. The other side is a slim fluffy crease blending brush to blend eyeshadow on the outer corner and also the crease. It's a great fit for my Asian eyes. I'd probably go insane if I ever lose this brush. It's the perfect eyeshadow brush for me and I can create a complete look with eyeshadow using this brush and this brush alone. Review here.
(USD$1.71. Can be purchased from Crown Brushes)
- I love applying eyeshadow along my lower lash line because it really makes my eyes pop. This firm brush gets the job done. The size is perfect but it's quite scratchy. Still, a brush that I use very often. Review here.
(USD$3 from elf)
- Gel eyeliner brushes need not be expensive because they fray in no time. After years of making do with "on-pack" brushes, I finally found an inexpensive brush that I like for gel eyeliners. It's small and tapered so I can either apply my liner thinly or thickly. It also doesn't fray as easily as other brushes that I've used.
- For my eyebrows I use both pencil and eyebrow powder frequently. If I'm using a pencil, this brush will be used to blend so that my brows won't look harsh. When using powder, I'll create the shape as well as fill in and blend with this brush. It's stiff without being hard and it has a pointed tip to help shape my brows precisely.
There are many types of washing agents that you can use to wash brushes but after experimenting with several types, I find that I prefer using a facial bar soap because it lets me control the amount of soap that I use and a soap lasts a lot longer.
I wet the brush then swipe it over the bar soap, lather, rinse and squeeze out the excess water.
Natural Hair Brushes
I pretty much do the same thing as with synthetic brushes except I lather more to really get the soap between the bristles and if I remember to, I will apply hair conditioner prior to rinsing.
Same thing, really. I'd draw on the soap until it doesn't produce any colored suds.
I massage in and soak my sponges with a tiny bit of dish washing detergent and some shampoo for about 15 to 20 minutes. After that, I lather the sponges up then rinse and squeeze dry.
To remove the eyeliner residue, I squirt some cleansing oil onto a paper towel then draw on it until there's no more eyeliner on the brush. Then, I double cleanse with soap to remove any traces of oil. If you don't do this, the oil may affect the performance of your eyeliner.
I lay all of brushes on plain paper (printed on one side) to allow them to bleed (for some) and dry.