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    makeup brushes

    Yes, here I am with yet another question related to makeup and this time it's about makeup brushes.

    First things first, I neither have the knowledge nor the experience about which brand is better than what brand.

    I'm looking to get some few basic brushes. I've looked up Sephora website, makeupalley, and mac websites to see reviews but they seem pretty dispersed and I came out being even more clueless than ever. I'm not going to do any contouring nor will I be smoking eyeshadows or using a lip lining brush. So, I'm thinking of having a good foundation brush, a powder brush, a blush brush, and a basic eye shadow brush. Does it sound good enough to be in a basic brush collection? Am I missing something that may be important or is there something I could do without?

    Price is not highly important but I am not looking to break the wallet either. I'd rather spend a few $ more on something that lasts long, performs well, and is durable than keep spending $$ on the same stuff every few months.

    oh, by the way, Mac has this brush set for about $60 CDN. Price is not bad, IMO(or is it?), but I've read that Mac brushes are infamous to shed hair. Is this true?
    So verily, with the hardship, there is relief. Verily, with the hardship, there is relief. (Surat Insyirah 5-6)

    #2
    Re: makeup brushes

    Mac brush set for 60$? Are you sure its a legit website? because Mac brushes are usually 30-40$ each. If you want to invest in good brushes that last forever than yes Mac is the best . If you want to save a little and get almost as good quality as Mac, but get more brushes, then go for Sigma brushes. I've notice Elizabeth Arden has some amazing face brushes as well.
    Oh and amazing eye shadow brush I've nuts over is by ELF brand, Yup, their 1$ eye shadow brush is amazing, it picks up color amazing, doesnt drop or anything. So yea, good luck!
    Love is like a booger, you keep picking on it till you get, and then when you get it, you dont know what to do with it.

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      #3
      Re: makeup brushes

      Don't worry, I went through that as well, asp. in the beginning when I was just starting out. I recommend MAC, Shu Uemura, Hakuhodo and Sigma for brushes. Sigma is the least inexpensive but the quality is pretty fantastic, esp. for their price. I got their Face Kit and it helped me tremendously. It has a foundation and a concealer brush. Then a large powder brush, a large angled contour brush (which is my favorite blush brush) and a stippling brush which I use for pigmented blushes but a lot of people use this to stipple on foundation. There a ton of youtube videos on it.

      - Foundation brush: depends on your preference. If you have a very thick foundation (think Revlon Colorstay) or prefer a very natural-finish with light to medium coverage, you should look into the Sigma F80 brush.
      If you have a light foundation and dont want to buff it in and like the coverage/finish it has, then use a flat synthetic brush similar to the MAC 190 or a cheaper alternative would be Sigma's F60:

      Powder brush: it all depends on which powder you use. If you use loose powder, then using something a bit fluffy helps. In my opinion, if you were to get the MAC 109 brush, you could not only apply your foundation with it, you can use it for blush and even powder. It's an amazing multitasking brush and my first MAC face brush. Alternatively, the big brush in the Sigma Face Kit I linked above has a great powder brush, it may be too big for some people but for those that like fluffy brushes for setting, they'd love that. If you use a compact setting powder (think MAC Mineralized Skinfinish), a brush I love for that is the ELF Powder Brush (it's flat on top and really buffs and blends the powder into the skin and gives an amazing finish).

      Blush: I love blush, it's my favorite thing in makeup so brushes are important to me. I like the goat-hair white brushes like the MAC #168 or the F40 (in the Sigma Face Kit as well) since they are great for really controlling how your blush goes on. For super-pigmented blushes (like NARS ones for example) I like using a stippling brush like the one in the Sigma Face Kit (F50), it gives the color but because of the brush style, it doesn't pack it on.

      Eye brushes: since you are just starting out, I would highly recommend you get a brush like the MAC 217. It's an amazing blending brush (what it's intended for) BUT if you use it flat, it also becomes a great shader brush to pack on color onto the eyelid. Eventually, you should get the #239 brush OR the #242 brush (just pick one: #239 is smaller and made of goat hair and #242 is synthetic but bigger). I know a makeup artist who swears by the 242 and HATES the 239. I dont have the 242 but I have the 239 and love it. Their purpose is the same so if you want to save money, you can get the #242 for $14.99 from eBay It also has great reviews on makeupalley.com. So basically, if you have a shader and a blending brush, you dont need anything else.

      So it comes down to:

      Foundation: Sigma Face Kit (F60) or Sigma F80 (read the reviews of this brush on makeupalley to see how much people love it for buffing in foundation)

      Powder: Sigma Face Kit for loose powder (the brush is called F30) or the ELF Powder Brush ($3) for compact setting powder. The ELF brush is also loved by many for buffing in foundation, so it's basically like a cheaper version of the Sigma F80. I personally dont like it for that so I stick to using the ELF brush for setting my MAC Mineralized Skinfinish powder. But it's a very inexpensive and useful brush to have, IMO.

      Blush: Sigma Face Kit (has the F40 or F50; both which will work great for blush but I prefer the F40).

      Eyeshadow: MAC 239 or 243 (again, no big difference but many people love both. to save money, I'd get the #242 from eBay and yes it's a legit seller. I bought my MAC 109 from here and got it checked at the MAC store for whether it was authentic and indeed it was) and a #217 for blending. If you think you dont need a packing on brush (the sponge tips can pack on great color as well) you can just get the #217, and if you use it flat, it can double as a shader brush since it's the same material as the 239 brush I mentioned (both are made of goat hair).


      Also, never get the MAC kits. They are not the same quality as regular brushes because the sets are machine made and lack quality big time! You're better off getting a Sigma Kit in that amount and you'll get better quality as well.
      Last edited by M_was_here; Nov 19, 2011, 05:42 PM.
      "Creativity and originality lie not in the avoidance of established forms, but in the imaginative use of them"— Some smart wiz.

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        #4
        Re: makeup brushes

        Very informative post! I found it very helpful!
        Eat. Pray. Love.

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          #5
          Re: makeup brushes

          Thanks!
          Last edited by M_was_here; Nov 19, 2011, 05:44 PM.
          "Creativity and originality lie not in the avoidance of established forms, but in the imaginative use of them"— Some smart wiz.

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            #6
            Re: makeup brushes

            For a basic makeup brush set you've pretty much covered the essentials. I'd recommend you add a blending eye brush and an eyeliner brush though. Check out sigma, they do some pretty good brush sets and the price is pretty reasonable too. Quality is brilliant and they're long lasting.
            “Respect is love in plain clothes.” - Frankie Byrne

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              #7
              Re: makeup brushes

              Sigma eye brushes are not as good as MAC ones. I tried the E35 (similar to MAC's 217 and it was so scratchy, even after washing). And a liner brush only makes sense if the OP uses gel liner. If you only use liquid or pencil, a liner brush isn't necessary.

              Since eye brushes are less expensive, it's better to just pay for good ones right up front. Face brushes are not that complicated so a good foundation brush, powder brush and blush brush are all you need. Concealing under the eyes you can use your ring finger to pat in and to dab over blemishes. Or even a Q-tip.

              I'd just focus on getting 2 good eye brushes (shader + blending) and the basic face brushes (foundation, powder, and blush). You don't need a lip brush nor do you need a liner brush unless you use a gel liner.
              "Creativity and originality lie not in the avoidance of established forms, but in the imaginative use of them"— Some smart wiz.

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                #8
                Re: makeup brushes

                I have the E40 and reach for it every time over my 216, I haven't used the E35 so can't really comment on it. An eyeliner brush is great for applying eyeshadow to the upper and lower lashes as well as gel liner but I guess it's a matter of preference really. Its definitely a handy brush to have though, I sometimes use into fill my brows too if I don't have anything else nearby.
                “Respect is love in plain clothes.” - Frankie Byrne

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                  #9
                  Re: makeup brushes

                  IMO, the MAC #216 brush isn't fluffy enough to be a good blending brush. The main blending brush at MAC is the 217 or the 224 (I use both since they both serve different purposes). I think they don't even make the 216 one anymore. And I agree, a good eyeliner brush is great to have, but since the OP asked for a basic eye brushes, I thought an angled brush would be "extra". That being said, I LOVE my #266, I use it for powder liner or Laura Mericer's Cake liner and I dont really fill in my brows but if I need to, I would reach for it for sure. It's great for a cut-crease look as well, it's def. one of my favorites.


                  And OP, if you dont use gel liner and maaaaybe want a brush for eyebrows or to use eyeshadow as liner, I recommend the #263 instead of the #266 since the #263 is synthetic and will hold up better with gel liner.
                  "Creativity and originality lie not in the avoidance of established forms, but in the imaginative use of them"— Some smart wiz.

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                    #10
                    Re: makeup brushes

                    i have used a brand called "Nugold" in the UK - do not remember where I got it from but it is excellent.

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                      #11
                      Re: makeup brushes

                      I have been using MAC makeup brush. for me , i think the brand brush is the best brush. besides, i also found the price is very reasonable , most people can afford to buy it.

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