Yesterday’s post was starting to get a little long, but I did want to share with you the eye brushes that I use and love. (And possibly save you a little money.)
Let’s start with concealer. For a long time I used a flat, domed concealer brush (the bristles are synthetic because it’s meant for a cream product) and I worked the brush back and forth to blend. The one you see here is a cheapie from Target called Studio Tools — I think it cost $2-3 — and I liked the shape and the level of brush stiffness.
I’ve changed my technique though: I’ve found that a fluffy blending brush does a better job (light touch goes a long way!). So now I dab on the conealer with my fingers and then buff-buff-buff! with Sonia Kashuk’s Large Crease Brush (~$5-6?).
This Large Crease Brush is my wunderbrush. If (God forbid) I could only have one brush, I would have to choose this one. I use it to blend in concealer, eyeshadow — in a pinch I’d use it to apply highlighter. It’s most like the MAC 217, but the head is slightly smaller. The 217 always seemed too big to me, and when I blended eyeshadow with it, I ended up blending too far out.
Once my concealer is on, I apply eyeshadow primer (like Too Faced Shadow Insurance) with my fingers, if I’m going to use a cream product like a MAC Paint Pot, I use my Studio Tools concealer brush, then it’s time for powder eyeshadow!
The first brush I need is something I’ll call a “laydown” brush — for laying down (or some people say “packing on”) the lid color. There are tons of options out there, but most are similar in shape to the MAC 239. MAC calls this a “shader” — because it adds shadow?
If you want an exact, identical copy of the 239 for cheap, go to an art store, go to their brush section, and find a brush by Loew-Cornell called Maxine’s Mop in the 3/8″ size. Sidebar: part of Trish McEvoy’s brush mythology is how she went to an art store and collected specimens on which to base her brushes.
But I’ll be honest: I find the 239 a little scratchy. I want to enjoy putting on eyeshadow with something that feels nicer, and there are plenty of options. The Shu #10 eyeshadow brush ($60) feels like luxury on your lids; as does the YSL Shade Blender brush ($30) — but my pick is actually the Sonia Kashuk Small Eye Shader ($10). In size, shape, and feel, it’s at home with the Shu and the YSL.
We could stop here. I could wipe my brush off and apply a crease color with the same brush — but a crease brush makes things nicer. It’s the right size and shape to fit perfectly into your crease, so application is pretty foolproof. My favorite is the Studio Gear #35 ($30, found at Ulta). It’s perfectly soft and I love the size and shape.
For blending — you guessed it, the SK Large Crease.
I still have a MAC 219 Pencil Brush, which I could use in my crease — but I prefer it for making a thick smudgy line over my lashes (for example: Blonde’s Gold on the lid, Museum Bronze in the crease, smudgy line of Vintage Gold over the lashes — perfect!).
Okay, eyeliner. Whether I’m using gel, cream, or powder-shadow-as-eyeliner, I like an angled brush (as opposed to a “pen” or a “needlepoint” style). I mentioned yesterday that the 266 is wider than the 263 — I still use the 266 when I want a wider, smoky line of shadow, but I think the 263 is better on the whole. Even better than the 263, though, is a brush called the Angled Liner from a cheap, drugstore brand called Ms. Makeup. This brush is the same width as the 263, but it’s just a BIT shorter, which I find easier to use. (And the Ms. Makeup will cost you less than $5.)
So you could splurge on MAC — or Trish or Shu Uemura — they’re all really nice brushes. But if you’re on a budget, or you don’t want to “worry” about your brushes, you’ve got options.