Monday, 8 September 2014

The capsule brush collection

I spent the majority of this summer moving and traveling, which together meant that I was making-do with a small, very well curated set of products for a good two months straight. While a small makeup bag does beg for some variety, I was surprised to find that the handful of brushes I packed really did cover all bases. 3 weeks after landing in my new apartment, and I still haven't made any effort to restore my full brush collection.


  • Real Techniques contour brush: My powder brush of choice. This is not one of those massive sweep and go brushes but it's great for patting powder into the skin, and I find this is the best way to mattify skin and set makeup so it lasts in the warmer months. It's also the perfect size for contouring (as the name suggests), and highlighting too.
  • Real Tecnhiques blush brush: On the large side for a blush brush, I find this great for bronzer and for blending out very pigmented powder blushers.
  • MAC 168 large angled contour brush: My long-time favourite for blush application, this is great for placing colour in a flattering way. It applies colour more precisely and densely than the RT blush brush, so I choose between the two depending on which blush I'm sporting.
  • Real Techniques stippling brush: The absolute best for cream blushes. 'Nuff said.
  • I've been applying foundation with my fingers as of late, but if I had to retrieve one foundation brush it would be my Real Techniques buffing brush - easy and flawless. It's sold as part of the Core Collection, alongside the contour brush.


  • MAC 239 eye shader brush: The standard (and in my opinion, best) eyeshadow brush for packing colour onto the lid.
  • MAC 217 buffing brush: Fluffy but with enough structure to stay precise, this is the only brush I need for blending colour through my crease.
  • An older large shader brush by Sephora (has since been reformulated): a broad shader brush perfect for applying brow bone highlight. 
  • MAC 219 pencil brush (not pictured): My favourite brush I've found for smudging out eyeliner or applying shadow along the lashline. I sadly lost mine on a night out but it is the one brush missing from the lot above that I miss and will repurchase.

I should add that I have many more (and in most cases more expensive) brushes, and these are still my top picks (they also don't shed, unlike some of their more pricey counterparts). I don't wear overly complicated makeup on a daily basis, but I've found this bunch to be totally sufficient for any look I've worn over the past couple months. With that in mind, I'd also recommend it as a starter set of sorts for those who are just getting into makeup.

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