Tag Archives: real techniques brushes

My Favorite Brushes – Face Edition

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Favorite Brushes - Face

Hi all! First, a quick note about the blog – I’ve been unusually swamped at work, which means less time for posting. I do apologize for scarcity of posts lately – hopefully everything will be back to normal soon!

Today, I’m going to talk about my favorite face brushes (favorite eyes, brows, and lip brushes are here). I think of my face brushes as being in two separate categories – brushes for powders, and brushes for creams.  For powder products, I generally prefer natural hair, as I feel like it picks up product better and distributes it more easily. For cream products, I prefer synthetic hairs, as they’re easier to clean (yet still soft). Continue reading

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge vs. the BeautyBlender

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beauty blender vs real techniques sponge

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge // beautyblender (both dry). They’re both clean, but stained.

I have been a big fan of the beautyblender for a couple years now.  I don’t use it every day – fingers are just faster and easier – but I always pull it out when I want the best finish possible, especially with thicker foundations. The one big downside of the Beauty Blender is the price – $20 for just one sponge! You can also buy two for $29, that’s still quite pricey for sponge. So, I was intrigued to hear that the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge is as good as the beautyblender – it’s $6, and frequently on sale. In fact, just for today (Thursday), all Real Technique brushes & tools are 25% off at Ulta.com – which makes the Real Techniques sponge a real bargain at $4.50.

So, how do they compare?

Obviously, they’re shaped differently – both are egg-like with a pointed end and a rounded egg, but the RT sponge has a flat section as well. I don’t find that this makes any practical difference – I don’t generally use the flat section, but it doesn’t detract from the sponge either.

beauty blender vs real techniques sponge-2

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge // Beautyblender (both damp)

Both are smallish and relatively dense when dry, and just about double in size when damp. The texture is a bit different when they’re damp – the Real Techniques sponge is denser than the beautyblender. You can see the texture difference in the macro shots below.

Real Techniques sponge vs Beautyblender - macro

Texture differences – RT on the left, BB on the right.

However, practically speaking, I don’t notice any difference when I use the sponges. Both are much softer and “bouncier” than your standard latex wedge sponge. Both soak up a little foundation, but not too much, and both give a flawless, streak-free finish. Given the price difference, I know which one I’ll be repurchasing!

Have you tried either or both of these sponges, or any of the other supposed beautyblender dupes? I’d love to hear what you think of the various sponges available!

*I purchased the product(s) featured in this post. This post contains one or more affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

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My Makeup Brush Collection

Makeup Brush Storage

Makeup Brush Storage

Today, I have brush picture spam for you! Above, is my brush storage – I started off with the two containers on the left, for face and eye brushes. However, I now have too many burhses for just those two containers, and they’re also too tall for some of my brushes – so I’m using a wine glass and a shot glass as well (the shot glass works surprisingly well for travel-length handles).

On to the pictures! This post is going to be mostly pictures with minimal text, but I’d be happy to answer questions in the comments.  I apologize that several brushes are dirty; they’re never all clean at the same time – since most of them are clean right now, I though this was a good time to take photos.

First, Hakuhodo brushes – these have a reputation for being very expensive – and some are! – but most of the eye brushes I love are in the $15 – $25 range.

Hakuhodo J110, K020, G5533 BkSL, G5529 BkSL, J515, G5515 BkSL, K005, K005, K007, 270

Hakuhodo: J110, K020, G5533 BkSL, G5529 BkSL, J515, G5515 BkSL, K005, K005, K007, 270

I would recommend all of these brushes except the G5533, which is too floppy to be useful. My favorites are the K020 blush brush, the J515, G5515, and K005 eye brushes, and the 270 lip brush.

Here’s a close up of the eye brushes & the lip brush:

Hakuhodo G5533 BkSL, G5529 BkSL, J515, G5515 BkSL, K005, K005, K007, 270

Hakuhodo G5533 BkSL, G5529 BkSL, J515, G5515 BkSL, K005, K005, K007, 270

My MAC eye brushes are also staples, and I sometimes use my 188 to contour with eyeshadow.

MAC 188, 239,239, 219, 217

MAC 188, 239,239, 219, 217

Notice anything odd about the two 239s?

I have two Shu Uemura eye brushes – they’re the most expensive eye brushes I own, but they really are fantastic.

Shu Uemura natural 10, 5r

Shu Uemura natural 10, 5r

I recently bought some short-handled Sonia Kashuk brushes, mainly because I was intrigued by the shape of the 3rd brush – I haven’t figured out what to do with it yet though. It’s very small – about an inch across; you can see it in the shot glass in the first picture in this post.  The 4th one is a fantastic pencil brush, though.

Sonia Kashuk set

Sonia Kashuk set

Here are some miscellaneous eye brushes:

Laura Mercier Finishing Eye Brush, Monda Brush , Smashbox brush

Laura Mercier Finishing Eye Brush, Monda Brush (from beauty
supply store), Smashbox brush (from unknown source)

Benefit Get Bent brush, L'oreal brush x2, spoolie

Benefit Get Bent brush (discontinued), L’oreal brush (comes with
gel liner) x2, spoolie

Sephora brow brush, Maybelline cream eyeshadow brush

Sephora brow brush (trimmed a bit), Maybelline cream eyeshadow brush

Moving on to (mostly) face brushes, here are the mixed brands.  I adore the Ecotools Bronzer brush especially, it’s wonderful for buffing in powder.

Ecotools Bronzer brush, Sigma F80, Sonia Kashuk Medium Angled Multipurpose brush, MUFE 24S,  Illamasqua Blending Brush 2

Ecotools Bronzer brush, Sigma F80, Sonia Kashuk Medium Angled Multipurpose brush,
MUFE 24S, Illamasqua Blending Brush 2

I have several Real Techniques brushes; I really like them, but tend to find myself using them for purposes other than what they are intended for. The crease brush (second from right) is a great concealer brush, and the brow brush (right) is terrible as a brow brush, but great for using dry eyeshadow to on the upper lash line.

Real Techniques brushes

Real Techniques brushes – combined from various sets

I also love for ELF Studio brushes.  My favorite is the eye contour brush (third from the right) – it’s just fantastic at laying down a cream base. I actually have a second one, which was hiding for this photoshoot.

ELF Studio Complexion Brush, Blush Brush, Small Tapered Brush, C Brush, Contour Brush, ELF Mineral Blending Eye Brush,  ELF Glitter Eyeshadow Applicator

ELF Studio Complexion Brush, Blush Brush, Small Tapered Brush, C Brush, Contour Brush,
ELF Mineral Blending Eye Brush, ELF Glitter Eyeshadow Applicator

I also have a handful of ELF’s $1 concealer brushes that I use as lip brushes.

And, that’s my brush collection! I think that only ones missing are that hiding ELF contour brush and the retractable Maybelline lip brush I keep in my bag.