Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Epic Brush Post, Part I: Face Brushes


I remarked on Twitter some time ago that I've reached Brush Nirvana. I have not pined for a new makeup brush since my last acquisition months ago, so I suppose my collection is more or less perfect (for now). Many have tweeted and emailed me asking about the brushes I use and I have stalled my replies, explaining that a brush post is in the works – well, it took about half a year, but here it is. I decided to do it in installments because of the sheer amount of brushes I own (the picture below isn't even half of it). 

I am not showing you every single brush I have. The brushes you'll see are part of my "dream team," if you will. I love every single one of them, and even though I have six just under the cheek brush category, I promise none of them are true duplicates of each other. My brushes vary in shape, bristle length, softness, material, all of which influences how they perform and the effect they produce. That said, most people really only need one. I do realize I have a lot of brushes, but what can I say? They're actually the best part of makeup for me. 

I store the main bulk of my brushes in a Shu Uemura leather brush roll. I also own a couple of asoftblackstar's rolls in sizes small and large for traveling. When at home, I place some in various cups or pen holders for ease of access.

Lastly, before we begin, I should let you know that most of my opinions come from reading beauty blogs, talking to makeup artists, and experience with my own brushes (this includes acquisition of a lot of brushes I ended up hating). I am certainly not an expert when it comes to brushes, and I might be wrong about some things, but I hope this brush guide will save you a few mistakes as you navigate the treacherous path of amassing your own perfect kit. 

On to the brushes:

Top-bottom: RMK Face Brush, Suqqu Face Brush, LMdB Face Brush, LMdB Kabuki Brush

L-R: RMK Face Powder Brush, Suqqu Face Brush, LMdB Powder Brush, LMdB Kabuki Brush

The most popular misconception I've come across about brushes is soft = good. I find that a lot of people get carried away with how good the brush feels versus how it actually performs. What you need to remember is while soft is nice, not all of your brushes should be that way. 

My favorite face brushes are from RMK, Suqqu, and Le Métier de Beauté. The Suqqu one is pure indulgence as it is unbelievably soft. According to the listing on ichibankao.com, the brush is made of 100 percent superior gray squirrel hair. It is the most expensive brush I own, at a little under $200 (this is with no tax/shipping charges and 10 percent discount). 

Is it functional? Yes, but because it's so soft and pliable you won't be able to manage anything more than a light application. I use it for a light dusting of powder or when I want to apply a thin veil of bronzer on my face. Is it worth the money? Probably not. But this brush makes me feel so happy when I use it – in fact, sometimes I rub it against my face. Just because. 

The LMdB Powder Brush is a typical round powder brush made of 100 percent natural goat hair, while RMK's version is flatter and wider and made of a blend of gray squirrel and goat hair. Both are soft but firmer (it sounds like an oxymoron, but it really isn't) compared to the Suqqu, thus allowing for heavier application of powder.

The LMdB Kabuki Brush is a versatile creature. I put it under the "face brush" category due to its size, but I actually use if more often to apply cream blushes (it does so surprisingly well, and is so much easier to clean than a synthetic brush). The LMdB kabuki contains the firmest bristles out of the four and can be used for powder and blush alike. If I need to save space when traveling, I bring just this one brush. I've been told that it is virtually indestructible, and while I never want to test that claim, I've thrown it into various makeup bags and the shape always bounces back after a wash. 

RMK Face Powder Brush ($69.99) can be found at bonboncosmetics.com (though currently it's not listed). I purchased mine from a counter when I was in Malaysia. The Suqqu Face Brush ($200+) is only available to the US through ichibankao.com at a high markup, whereas the LMdB Powder ($65) and Kabuki Brush ($85) are available at neimanmarcus.com, nordstrom.com, or any Le Métier de Beauté counter nationwide. 

44 comments:

  1. cant wait to see the rest of the series! i love reading brush reviews!
    have u used lunasol face brush before? i love it! i know what u mean by just brushing it against your face! i do that too! haha..
    never seen suqqu in m'sia... am very curious how is it like!! where i can find suqqu? appart frm online stores?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yay brush posts! So excited to see everything you love!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Xiao that is one sexy brush roll! and beautiful brushes btw. I'd love to get the Suqqu but it's far too luxurious I think. The RMK looks like a good alternative though! :) I do enjoy my RMK cheek brush. Not as much as Suqqu's but close!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice brushes!! Some day I'd love to have a Suqqu brush! Which one do you use to contour with btw?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Can't wait to see the rest of this series! <3

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice brush collection! By the way you can LMB also at http://www.zuneta.com/shop-by-brand/lemetierdebeaute.html/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Interesting that the Suqqu face brush was only $200, as it's 31,000 yen on their website, which is at least a $350 equivalent O_O You got a bargain!

    What do you think of Hakuhodo brushes, if you have any (I think I recall seeing you use one on here...)? Are they worth the price tag?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have been thinking of buying the LMdB Powder brush.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Unknown- Yay! Thanks for the interest. I've never used Lunasol, but I heard it's similar to the RMK brush. Suqqu is only available in Japan, Thailand, and Selfridges in London :(

    Emi- \o/!

    stephanie- I'm so glad a friend of mine pushed me to get it. Just adds such a touch of class to my brushes! I gave my RMK cheek brush to my sister, which I kind of regret because I loved the tinier shape :x

    Tracy- I use a Hakuhodo 200-series. I'll show it in the cheek brush post :)

    dani- <3

    The Beauty Codes - yes, zuneta.com stocks LMdB too!

    Emily- I know. Quite astounding o.o though I've heard that Suqqu is actually cheaper outside of Japan because of the exorbitant local taxes. Since I didn't have to pay tax/shipping and I had an additional discount... I'd say I was a very lucky girl.

    I have a few Hakuhodo brushes, but none of them (except the contour brush) made it into my "dream team." The ones I used didn't leave a lasting impression, and I remember being very angry that they were so expensive/hard to get for something so "meh." It might just be that the brushes didn't suit my skin type, though. As you probably know, Gaia of The Non-Blonde loves Hakuhodo and has extensive reviews of the brushes she owns and they've worked well for her.

    Jyoan- It's a good idea :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you for mentioning our store on your website! and for spreading words about these nice makeup brushes. We have just come across here, and surprised to see that you say the RMK Face Powder Brush is currently not listed. Though this was posted in June, we are sure that the RMK Face Powder Brush has never ran out of stock. What really concerns us is that could there be any access problem to our website? If there is any problem, please do not hesitate to let us know and we'll fix it.

    Btw, the RMK Face Powder Brush mentioned is just $66.99 only. :)

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