BINGE OR STINGE: Makeup Brushes [guest post]

May 09, 2016

Almost Posh is pleased to welcome back guest blogger Bridie of Little & Plenty for a BoS collabo post today.

Over to Bridie first, with the more spendy picks:


Let me just start by saying this.  If you're still using one of these to do your eye makeup . . . we need to talk.

Now that we have that out the way, let's get started.

I firmly believe if you're going to spend on your makeup at all, you should invest in a few key brushes. Using brushes prevents your products getting contaminated which makes them last longer and you also have the ability to create several looks with the same product, sheering out or packing on the same powders for different finishes.  I also like to think about cost per use economics, where the more you use a certain product, the cheaper it becomes!

That said, none of my 'binge' picks are truly the top end of town. More mini-binge . . . akin to popping a few eggs before THE MAN says it's Easter.

It's easy to spend a lot of money on brushes, but in some cases you're paying for the name on the handle rather than the brush itself.


If you can only buy one face brush, you need something to put your foundation on with. Fingers are ok, but losing a heap of product into dry mitts can be annoying!  Paddle style brushes are good to get the initial product from bottle to face, but for a flawless, airbrushed look, you need to work it in deep! (For the love of all that's holy, please double cleanse if you do this!)

Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki brush - $34.50

This isn't total binge . . . it's actually very well priced for the quality of the brush.  Synthetic fibre helps the brush distribute the product so it sits beautifully and is undetectable on the skin. Virtually no shedding and elegant looking, this brush is worthy of its internet raves and is a must-purchase.

MAC 227 Large Fluff brush - $60

This is actually quite a huge brush for eyes.  If you have small eyes it's possibly a no go.  It is large, fluffy and low on fizz so you can slam it down fast . . . wait . . . what?! It is a one-sweep wonder that will deposit a heap of colour over the whole eyelid, which is great when you're out of time in the mornings.  I usually follow it up with a MAC 217 to contour the lid and I'm done. This brush is a multi-tasker and can be used on other areas of the face if you're into faffing about with contouring your nose or highlighting.

MAC 187 Duo Fibre brush - $85

What hasn't been said about this brush? The MAC 187 is a must have.  It can apply all manner of liquid products; cream blush, powder, mineral makeup etc. This is the one brush you'd want on a desert island, because it's great at multi-tasking. It is a fickle beast though, so if you don't take care of it, it may shed hairs and leave you looking more Conchita Wurst than you'd prefer! Be gentle and the 187 will reward you with untold beauty.*

*not guaranteed.

Inglot 24 SS brush - approx $39AUD

This is a nifty double ended brush that is perfect for highlighting and contouring.  The pointed brush and soft fibres are great for building a subtle contour (helpfully avoiding the 'clapped in the face with two bricks' look that's getting around at the moment) and the smaller flat topped brush on the other end is great for highlighting on the high points of the face.


Now it's back to me with the bargains. Although I do have a collection of MAC tools that I enjoy using, here are my pick of the cheaper brushes:

LE Kabuki Brush from Target US

This is one of the few items I bought in my huge cosmetics haul during my last trip to the States that didn't get left behind in my hotel room in Hawaii. I know. Five years later and the pain is still real. This is an excellent brush, dense and soft (insert ex-boyfriend joke here), and it's perfect for picking up mineral foundation and distributing it evenly and pleasantly over the face.

Real Techniques Face Expert Brush - $22.99 (got it for $14 in a Priceline sale)  
I picked this up recently on the recommendation of Kate from Loveface Beauty and am completely and totally in absolute love with it. I had previously used either fingers or a flat paddle brush to apply my Maybelline Dream Wonder liquid foundation but since acquiring this, I haven't looked back, and I have actually had nice comments on my skin since using it. The firm but fair fibres buff skin to "pixel perfect" quality and in these high definition days, who doesn't need that?

Covergirl Exact Eyelights Eye Shadow Brush (free with palette) 

I know, it's a brush that came with a palette, I should have burnt it with fire, right? But there's something really appealing about this wide, soft brush that is great for colour packing and / or single swiping. I've had it for many years and it has shed nary a hair as far as I can tell. I have a similar one from Eco Tools but find myself preferring this one for the superior coverage and slightly wider shape.

Picked this up on a whim at Kmart when I was looking for a nice face brush for my Hourglass finishing powder and I'm super happy with it. It's fat, fluffy, distributes product nicely and I haven't experienced any shedding, though I do take care when I wash it (all those times, lol). Reviews are conflicting as to the build quality but obviously I scored a decent one as this is a joy to use.

Models Prefer Dual Purpose 103 Highlighter and Contour Brush - $18.99 

This nifty tapered brush from Priceline's Models Prefer home brand is perfect for softly sweeping highlighter over cheeks, down nose and wherever else you like to wear it. It has been compared favourably with similar brushes from Charlotte Tilbury and NARS which has to be a good thing! I bought it to try my hand at contouring but that failed so I settle for some nice highlight instead.

Late Breaking News: After I took this photo, I picked this up which had been on my hitlist for a while, the Real Techniques Blush Brush (for 20% off at Priceline!) I've used it twice and I love it . . . it diffuses the product and blends it out nicely instead of depositing chunks of colour onto your cheeks (see Bridie's "clapped with two bricks" comment above)


Yes, it's worth spending decent money on certain brushes (especially if you have skills and know how to use them) but you can get away with stinge-ing and still be a winner if you pick the right brush and wait for sales. Not every cheap brush is bad and not every pricey brush is good. Read the reviews, google for dupes and do your research. One thing is for sure though, if you're into cosmetics, you will always get a more polished look using brushes. The good news is you don't have to spend a fortune to do it!

No matter what the cost, to make your brushes last, you have to take care of them.  If they are hair, you should treat them like hair (except conditioning!) wash them in warm water, shampoo them (preferably once a fortnight at least, but we all get slack now and then, amiright?!) dry them with the ferrule (the metal bit connecting the brush to the handle) angled slightly downward so water can't loosen the bristles. Special brush cleansers aren't really needed, any shampoo will do (and it's a good way to use up that bottle you abandoned).

Where do you stand on makeup brushes? Is your stash spendy or spartan? How often do you wash them? No, really?

Linking up with the Monday Makeup Madness party.

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