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I love ALL of my brushes and use each and every one of them,
but if all of my brushes magically disappeared one day,
I will repurchase the following 12 brushes in a heart beat.
These 12 brushes are MUST-HAVES in my collection
and I always bring them with me when I travel.
1. Inglot 4SS Eye Brush $22 (full review): This is truly a must-have brush for me because I haven't found a comparable brush to this. I love using it to apply cheek highlight and setting powder under my eye area & around the small crevices of my nose. The bristles are soft and not too dense or flimsy. However, it's too big for eye application. It measures 7.25 inches in length.
2. Mac 130 Short Duo Fibre Brush $40 (full review): The formula of the Dior Forever foundation dries really quick; therefore, I'm not able to stipple this foundation with my Mac 187 (full review) or Sephora #44 brush (full review), since stippling requires more time. However, the Mac 130 brush applies my Dior Forever foundation flawlessly without any streaking or blotchiness (as long as I work a small section at a time and quickly buff it in). The bristles are firm and dense, but the head is tiny; therefore, it's not practical to stipple liquid foundation with this brush. It makes me cringe to buff in a circular motion with this brush because like I mentioned a dozen times already, if you stipple and SWIRL, the liquid/cream product will come in contact with the black natural fibers, and that will cause the brush to shed. If you don't mind the shedding, the Mac 130 brush is also ideal for contouring when using cream bronzers. I've tried using the Mac 130 brush to apply my L'oreal True Match & Make Up For Ever foundation, but they both ended up looking streaky. Even though my Mac 130 brush sheds, I don't mind because it applies my Dior Forever foundation flawlessly, it's easy to wash and it dries within a few hours. It measures 6.5 inches in length.
3. Sephora Professionnel Platinum Stippling Brush #44 $35 (full review): The bristles are firmer and denser than the Mac 187 brush. The black bristles are made from natural fibers, while the white bristles are made from synthetic material. Therefore, this brush is ideal for stippling liquid foundation and other liquid or cream products, such as blushes and bronzers. (Do not stipple & SWIRL or the liquid/cream product will come in contact with the black natural fibers, and that will cause the brush to shed. If you only stipple, then there will be no shedding whatsoever and it will give you an airbrush finish when used to apply liquid foundation.) This is my favorite foundation brush for applying my L'oreal True Match & Make Up For Ever HD foundation. I prefer it over the Mac 187 because the Sephora #44 brush performs better when stippling liquid foundation since it's denser and firmer. However, it is also important to note that it bled when I washed it the first few times. Also, I wish the handle was black so that it'll look more professional and match my other brushes. It measures 7.5 inches in length.
4. Studio Gear #13 Blush Brush $35: This is very similar to the Japonesque professional blush brush (mini review), but both brushes essentially perform the same. I prefer the Studio Gear brush because it's a little wider & a tiny bit denser. I love using it to apply basically any cheek powder product because the bristles feel teddy bear soft. It's unfortunate that most people haven't even heard of the brand. Their brushes are definitely high quality and are well worth the investment. It measures 7.5 inches in length. My second favorite blush brush is the Sonia Kashuk Blusher brush (full review). The bristles are very soft and very fluffy, but not flimsy. It applies any type of blush or bronzer, including highly pigmented products, flawlessly without any blotchiness. The best thing is, it's cheaper than the Studio Gear brush. The only reason why I prefer the Studio Gear #13 brush is because it's incredibly soft and is the softest brush that I own (besides the Cover FX #160 & Japonesque professional blush brush). I have a soft spot for soft brushes. =)
5. Mac 182 Buffer Brush Couture Limited Edition $55 (full review): The bristles are soft and not too dense or too flimsy. I use it to apply setting powder all over my face. It's also great for buffing in mineral & powder foundation if you don't want heavy coverage. However, the Sephora Professionnel Contour Blush Bronzer Brush #43 is more suitable for applying mineral & powder foundation if you want more coverage since the bristles are more densely packed. The couture version measures 2.75 inches in length.
My eye brush collection is actually very small.
It may look like I have alot of eye brushes,
but they are mostly duplicates and
my Sonia Kashuk blending brushes are taking up most of the space. ^_^
1. Royal & Langnickel Silk Eye Shader SM Brush BC410 $15.99: This brush is a little wider and thinner than the BC411 brush (mini review). The BC410 brush is made from natural hair and I love using it for packing color onto the lids and adding color to the lower lash line because the brush is firm, thin & soft. It's also great for applying highlight under the brows. I prefer the BC410 brush over the Mac 239 because the BC410 can cover more eye area in one swipe and it's easier to clean. The only thing that I'm not too ecstatic about is the color of the BC410 bristles. It just does not look attractive. I much prefer it to be black bristles, but this is just a personal preference. It doesn't affect the performance or the quality of the product. However, it may be slightly too big for people with a small eye area. It measures 6.25 inches in length.
2. Studio Gear #35 Blending Crease Contour Brush $30 (short review): This brush is made from squirrel hair and is super soft. The bristles are firm and dense. It's great for adding color on the crease area, but I love using it for smudging & for applying a highlight color on my inner tear duct. It does a decent job at adding color on the lower lash line too, but I prefer to use my Royal & Langnickel BC410 brush because it's thinner. The Studio Gear #35 brush measures 7.5 inches in length.
3. Sonia Kashuk Large Crease Blending Brush $5.99 (short review): This is the BEST blending brush on the market. It's dense & firm and blends out all harsh lines and dark pigmented eyeshadows with barely any effort. It just makes blending a breeze. It also fits in my crease really well and is great for crease work. I can't believe it's a drugstore product. All the other blending brushes and even the high-end ones don't compare to the Sonia Kashuk one . This is my holy grail blending brush, but the only thing that I hate is the handle. White handles get dirty easily and I just prefer it to be black since it'll look more professional. It measures 6 inches in length.
4. Mac 217 Blending Brush $22.50 (full review): It's not dense or firm enough to blend out HARSH lines and dark pigmented eyeshadows, but I like using it to apply & blend my transition color. This brush is ideal for blending light colors and for applying a sheer wash of color all over the lids. I prefer the Mac 217 over the Coastal Scents Pro Blending Fluff brush (full review) and the Sigma E25 brush (full review) because the Coastal Scents one is thinner & the Sigma E25 is too big. The Mac 217 brush measures 6.5 inches in length
5. Sonia Black Domed Eyeshadow Brush $9.99 (short review): The bristles are soft and super dense. I love using the Black Domed Eyeshadow brush to apply highlight on my browbone and for blending my highlight color to create a smooth transition. However, it's too dense and big for crease work. It measures 6.5 inches in length.
6. Royal & Langnickel Silk Sable Brow Angle Brush BC530 $7.99: It's firm, but too thick for lining my eyes. I like using this to fill in my brows. This brush isn't anything special, but it's a necessity. It measures 6.5 inches in length.
8. Generic Spoolie Lash Brow Brush: I don't remember where I got this from, but all spoolie brushes work the same for me. I use powder eyeshadows to fill in my brows. Therefore, I mainly use a spoolie brush to blend out the brow color and to make it look less harsh.
If I was stuck on an island and could only have 12 things with me, I would choose these brushes.
Food, water and shelter would be secondary.
Let me know your favorite makeup brushes. =)