Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Favourite Face Brushes

Last time I did a mass brush laundry day, the gorgeous Hollie of Eating Lipstick (a fantastic blog which I thoroughly recommend) asked whether I had a post about my favourite makeup brushes. While I have written individually about the Real Techniques, Ecotools and Sigma brushes I've purchased in the past, I haven't rounded up my most reached for and adored brushes in one post before. I've decided to limit my selections to face brushes only for now, since my eye brush collection, in line with my very amateur eyeshadow application/technique, needs some work. I purchased most of my Ecotools brushes from Priceline and Real Techniques brushes from S.A. Hair, Nail & Beauty Supplies in the Dymocks Building (we're talking way back when they were first released to the Australian market). If you're looking to buy online, iHerb stocks both brands and Ecotools can also be purchased from Luxola.


l-r: Real Techniques Buffing Brush, Ecotools by Alicia Silverstone Blush Brush, Real Techniques Multi Task Brush, Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Models Prefer Mystique Blush Brush, Real Techniques Contour Brush, Ecotools Tapered Blush Brush

Real Techniques Buffing Brush
I've harped on about this brush endlessly, including in my 10 Products I Would Repurchase and Best of 2013 posts. There really isn't anything further to say. It's the best foundation brush I've used and I rely on it most days I wear makeup.

Ecotools by Alicia Silverstone Blush Brush
It's lamentable this brush from a limited edition Ecotools by Alicia Silverstone 5 Piece Brush Set can't be purchased alone and isn't being produced anymore. It's ultra soft and fluffy, with a beautiful shape just made for the cheeks, it picks up product well, blends it seamlessly, and there's zero shedding when washed. I've flirted with many blush brushes in the last couple of years that I thought I liked (namely the Real Techniques one), but simply put, this one's the best.

Real Techniques Multi Task Brush
This brush from the Real Techniques Travel Essentials Set is the closest to the Ecotools by Alicia Silverstone Blush Brush I've found. It's actually a great substitute, though the Ecotools has a more tapered shape and this Real Techniques one is a bit larger. Along with blush, I normally use the Multi Task Brush for bronzer in an attempt to contour the cheekbones. It's a good size for my plump face and the shape strikes an ideal balance between control and softly blended edges.


l-r: Ecotools by Alicia Silverstone Blush Brush, Ecotools Tapered Blush Brush

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Some would argue this is basically interchangeable with the Buffing Brush, possibly even the superior offering given its more rounded rectangle shape allows you to navigate the contours of the face better. I do appreciate how it performs as a Buffing Brush alternative, but my preferred use for the Expert Face Brush is to apply cream blush. It is the absolutely perfect shape for it, especially blending from the top of the cheekbones down. The thick, slightly firm bristles but relatively narrow shape diffuses product beautifully and doesn't turn your cheeks into a patchy, ruddy mess. It's excellent for cream bronzer/contouring as well.

Models Prefer Mystique Blush Brush
I was on the hunt for an angled blush brush from the likes of Sigma or MAC for quite a while, but managed to satiate my curiosity with this more affordable version from an Australian brand stocked at Priceline. Unlike all the other brushes featured here which are synthetic, this is the only one made with natural bristles. I like it for more pigmented blushes as the brush doesn't pick up too much product and it softens and tones down the colour when applied to the cheeks. Its primary function however, ever since I purchased NARS Laguna, has been in my attempts to contour my face. I'm not entirely convinced whether the angled shape really makes that much of a difference compared with something like the Real Techniques Multi Task Brush, but it seems to make the placement and blending just that little bit easier.

Real Techniques Contour Brush
One of the more versatile and underrated brushes in my collection. I mainly use it as my go-to highlighter brush (I much prefer it to the flatter and smaller Real Techniques Setting Brush for that purpose), but I imagine it'd work equally well for a broad range of uses, including contouring with both powder and cream products, more precise blush application, blending undereye concealer and spot powdering.

Ecotools Tapered Blush Brush
I initially bought this thinking it would be identical to the Ecotools by Alicia Silverstone Blush Brush, only to be sorely disappointed when I realised it was significantly flatter, more tapered, not as thick and fluffy, and larger in shape. I would have dismissed it as mostly a failed purchase, except I found it performs one function better than any other brushes in my collection: applying a light layer of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder over my foundation. My other powder brushes are these dense, rounded domes (like the Real Techniques Powder Brush or Too Faced Powder Pouf) which would be too heavy-handed and pack on too much product, but the relative flatness and floppiness of the Ecotools Tapered Blush Brush works to its advantage in gently dusting all over a fine finishing powder for that final, skin-perfecting touch.

52 comments:

  1. We have a lot of the same brushes; EcoTools and Real Techniques are two of my SUPER favourite brush brands. I really love the EcoTools brushes because they are SUPER fluffy, although I do find a lot of them are MASSIVE for my small face. The blush brush I had to "squish" with my fingers so I don't get powder all over my face.. and the Real Techniques Buffing Brush is wicked for applying mineral foundation.

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  2. I love all these brands! Ecotools were the first brushes I ever bought and I'm still so impressed with them even though I'm tried other brands. Real Techniques is another brand from the drugstore which is a stand out! Love favourite posts like these xxx

    Verity | Life of Verity

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  3. Some of these have definitely gone onto my wishlist! That Ecotools Tapered Blending Brush! <3_<3 T xx

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  4. I adore my eco tools brushes, i've had them for about a year and a half and they are still just as good as new! xx

    Coleoftheballl33.blogspot.co.uk

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  5. I love the Real Technique brushes! They are amazing!

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  6. The models prefer blush brush looks great! I'm a real techniques girl but I'm not happy with their blush brush, so might have to look elsewhere x

    lamourjosie.com

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  7. Some of my faves in here! :) Love RT brushes


    Sheri
    Behind The Frames

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  8. How does the new Ecotools Tapered Blush Brush compare to the Mineral Powder Brush from the 5 Piece set? I know the old standalone Blush Brush is significantly thicker, fluffier and more substantial than the Mineral Powder Brush and that's what I'm imagining the new remodeled Blush Brush to be like.
    I considered purchasing the Mystique brush in a sale last year but sighed in resignation when I thought of the numerous choices for blush brushes that I already have at my fingertips. I'll definitely try the Expert Face brush for cream blush- I believe it's Kate from ghostparties who was a strong advocate for using that brush for that purpose but I haven't given it a go yet.

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    1. Yeah, absolutely. Kate in her Stila Convertible Colour post (I think it was for Gerbera) was the one that wrote about her method in applying them which was excellent advice.

      I just went and compared the two, they're actually really similar. Ecotools one is more sloped so has a flatter edge but similar density, thickness and general shape. The head of Ecotools is a bit larger as well, obviously the handle is much longer since the Ecotools is a travel size brush.

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    2. Lol I just realised both of them are from Ecotools, so what am I even saying. Let me rephrase.

      Ecotools TAPERED BLUSH BRUSH is more sloped so has a flatter edge but similar density, thickness and general shape. The head of Ecotools TAPERED BLUSH BRUSH is a bit larger as well, obviously the handle is much longer since the Ecotools MINERAL POWDER BRUSH is a travel size brush.

      :p

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  9. The Real Techniques Expert Face Brush is my favourite brush for applying foundation :) I really want to try the Multi Task Brush but I don't want to buy the whole set :/ I wish they would sell them separately.

    Ana xo anacelinelabod.com

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  10. We have identic brush taste! ;) Loved this post! I love how you've managed to take beautiful photos of brushes, it is not that easy! <3

    Let it be Cosy - Food, Photography, Beauty

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  11. Many of these are my faves too. RT and Ecotools are just the best affordable brands!

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  12. My most used blush brush is my Ecotools one. They are just great

    ameliaholly.blogspot.co.uk

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  13. Those Ecotools look fantastic for blush *.*

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  14. Those Real Technique brushes ( except the multi task brush which I don't have ) are also my favorites. They are by far the best for the price level. I also like Ecotools brushes esp the flat top kabuki brush, perfect to apply powder :)

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  15. i adore the real techniques brushes, especially the expert face brush. the contour brush looks perfect! xxx
    mollyox.blogspot.co.uk

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  16. I totally am in love and also share some of your picks. I've always loved ecotools face brushes. Dense, soft and affordable. Those RT ones are also such winners, I totally need that multitask brush in my life! Thanks for sharing dear!

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  17. We have the same Real Techniques favorites! I think I have to go get me some of those Ecotools, especially the Tapered Blush one as I'm on the hunt for one to use for my Ambient Lighting powders.

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  18. I do love Real Techniques brushes but the last few times I have been to Boots I have been eyeing up the Ecotools sets. I think I may just have to get some!

    Tiny Alis

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  19. I really want to get the Multi Task brush from Real Techniques (I'm thinking about purchasing the the Sam's picks kit with their new blending brush) and I'm curious about those Eco Tools brushes. (I might order them from iHerb as well).

    Could you do a eye brush favourites ? I have a few from Zoeva and I'm thinking about getting a few from Real Techniques and Crown Brush (Sadly their face brushes are quite expensive...but their eye brushes are really affordable)
    Thank you for the amazing review :3 Take care*

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    1. I wanted to get that Sam's Picks set as well, because it has two of my favourites in there (Buffing Brush and Multi Task Brush), but I decided against it since I have too many brushes already. Still, it's excellent if you don't already have those two brushes.

      I probably wouldn't be too useful in an eye brush post since how I apply my eye makeup is kind of very personal to my eye shape and preferences (especially since I wear glasses), plus I don't have traditional crease/socket Western eye shape. Also I mainly use this brush from a local brand that isn't even being manufactured anymore :p But I might do a post one day regardless :)

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  20. Love Eco Tools and Real Techniques - got their stippling brush the other day and it's perfect for cream foundation!

    www.madeleineslittleblog.blogspot.co.uk

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  21. Pretty much all of my favourites are by Real Techniques! Haven't felt the need to try much more since I discovered them.

    Katie | and-katie.com

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  22. this makes me want to get Real Techniques brushes even more. hehe
    Random Beauty by Hollie

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  23. I need to get my hands on more Real Techniques brushes it seems! I have the Expert Face Brush and it is so amazing for creme cheek products! I tried using it as a foundation brush, but it wasn't the greatest! Also, Ecotools is such an underrated brand of brushes! They were some of my first and I loved them!

    - Jess
    The Mod Mermaid

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  24. I love my Real Techniques and Eco Tools brushes, I've never tried any Models Prefer but that angled brush looks really great! x

    morerebe.com

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  25. How amazing are Real Techniques brushes and just so affordable too!

    I also need to get my hands on Ecotools brushes because I always walk past it and I do grab it and take a look at it but I always put it down for some reason. This post definitely sold me to it ;)

    x
    Phoebe
    Eat. Live. Love. Repeat.

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  26. I REALLY like the Expert Face and Multitask brushes.

    RIKKI POYNTER
    // RIKKI POYNTER, MAKEUP!

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  27. Definitely have to check out the Eco Tools brushes! I have their eye brushes and I'm so pleasantly surprised by them (: x

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  28. I really enjoy my Real Techniques brushes. They are so soft and washes well. I don't have to worry about losing bristles. I have yet to try some EcoTools brushes.

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  29. Ah, thanks for the note on the RT Expert Face brush! I like it but don't love it for foundation application. I actually prefer the stippling brush which is meant for blush. I will try the expert brush for blush, then! Suddenly the world makes sense again! ;)

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  30. Ecotools and Real Techniques brushes rock!

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  31. I need to try out the real techniques brushes and some more of the eco tools brushes! I've tried a few brushes from eco tools, and I'm always amazed at how soft and nice they feel for the price!

    shadowlinergirl.blogspot.com

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  32. I need to get my hands on other Real Technique face brushes. I have the stippling brush that I adore for my elf bb cream, cream blushes and super pigmented brushes. I haven't tried any of Ecotools line though.

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  33. I adore the Expert Face brush, I also have the stippling brush and i find each works better depending on the foundation. I've been dying to try the Buffing brush too. My brush collection could really use some new additions so thanks for the recommendations!

    Emma x

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  34. I SO need to pick up more Real Tehniques brushes! Definitely adding to my wish list!
    - Andrea Marie xx
    frominsidemycloset.com

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  35. I love the Real Techniques brushes and can't be without them! They're incredible for the price!
    xx
    Celina | The Celution | Bloglovin’

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  36. Nice collection. I love a fluffy brush for the face. I'm loyal to RTs but definitely wnat to try the Ecotools too in the future. :)

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  37. I really want to try some RT brushes, they sound fabulous and I especially like the sound of the contour brush!

    Jennie xo | sailorjennie.com

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  38. Great post I love the RT contour brush too :)

    Kayla
    Sheer Beauty Blog

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  39. Such a great post :) I use the RT Buffing and Contour brush everyday too! xx

    belle-amiebeauty.blogspot.co.uk

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  40. These all look so soft and nice. I'll definitely keep this post in mind when I go out and get a new brush :)

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  41. I own and use most of these on a daily basis too :) the travel essentials set is something I don't own, but I think I will pick it up for the multi task brush!

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  42. I do not own any eco tools, but I do want to check a few of them out. This could be a good list to start from.

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  43. Great post!
    I actually love using the Stippling Brush for cream blush application, and the Buffing Brush for something like Chanel's Bronze Universel. I wasn't overly enthused with the Expert Face Brush, but I haven't yet tried it with cream blush. Thanks for the suggestion :)

    Chloe x | http://resolutionsix.blogspot.com.au

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  44. When I saw the title of this post I freaked out, but then after I read the first line I pretty much screamed. I'm not even joking here, you have made my life. Ok, ok, ok first off thank you for making this post! I am such a noob when it comes to foundation brushes. I love the expert face too, because it's easy enough for even me to use. I'm so mad about missing the boat on those Eco Tools brushes! Thank you again :D

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  45. Lovely pictures, really want to try them all ! :)

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  46. Real Techniques and Eco Tools! It looks like my makeup brush collection. I really love mine too. You just can't beat them for the price. I don't own any sigma brushes yet but I really want to try them!

    www.rosydisposition.com

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  47. All your makeup brushes are all amazing, nice post and great collection of brushes. Thanks for sharing!

    If you have time, you can also visit this website: http://blushies.com/

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