Category: Makeup Tools

5 Awesomely Affordable Makeup Brushes for the Face

Published in: Guest Post, Makeup Tools

powder and face brushes

I love having LOTS of brushes at my disposal, so for me, affordable makeup brushes are the way to go! But all makeup brushes are not created — or priced — equally.

For face makeup brushes, here are a few that have earned my gold star sticker of approval.

5 affordable face brushes

Some of the affordable — and still awesome — makeup brushes in my collection

1. Sonia Kashuk Star Struck Large Powder Brush (Disc.)

sonia kashuk brush

The Sonia Kashuk Star Struck Large Powder Brush is one of the softest natural hair brushes I own. In fact, none of my higher-end brushes can apply bronzer as well as this one.

I like this full rounded brush because I can really work powder into my skin with it. Unfortunately, the set I got it with has been discontinued…and I also didn’t love any of the other brushes in the set. Still, I would re-buy the set just for this one brush.

2. Sonia Kashuk No. 29 Domed Blusher Brush ($17.99)

sonia kashuk no.29 brush

Another Sonia Kashuk brush, except that this one IS still available (it’s permanent). My nickname for the No. 29 brush is “the bunny butt” brush because it’s so round and soft! It’s the perfect medium size to fit into the cheek contour or right on top of the cheek as well.

This one is a little bit pricier than my other brush recommendations, but I think the plastic handles hold up very well over time.

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Brush Up on Bright With the New Sonia Kashuk Brush Couture Brush Set

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Guest Post, Makeup Tools, Sonia Kashuk

sonia kashuk brush couture brush set

The brushes + the makeup bag = perfection!

Now, I thought the Zoeva Complete Brush Set brushes were/are gorgeous, but I was floored by the brushes in the Sonia Kashuk Brush Couture Brush Set ($21.99)!

The brushes in this four-piece set all have colorful floral-print handles and coordinating bristles, and they’re a sight to behold, but looks are nothing when it comes to brushes. What I want to know is how do they work? Do they make it easier to apply my makeup? Does my makeup look better when I use them? Let’s see…

sonia kashuk brush couture brush set

The view from above…

The Sonia Kashuk Brush Couture Brush Set comes with a domed powder/blush brush (purple), synthetic contour/buffing brush (orange), tapered powder/highlight brush (pink) and a duo fiber foundation/concealer brush (yellow), and I think we can all agree that these are some super cute brushes.

Are they as good as they look?

Well, the domed powder/blush brush works nicely as a blush brush. It’s a little smaller and more dense than what I typically reach for, but it picks up pigment nicely and is very, very smooth.

Here’s a comparison of it to other blush brushes in my collection:

sonia kashuk brush couture brush set

The Sonia Kashuk domed powder/blush brush compared to the Zoeva Luxe Cheek Finish Brush and the Zoeva Luxe Highlight Brush

sonia kashuk brush couture brush set

The Sonia Kashuk domed powder/blush brush compared to the Zoeva Luxe Cheek Finish Brush and the Zoeva Luxe Highlight Brush.

The Sonia Kashuk domed powder/blush brush is larger than the Zoeva Luxe Highlight Brush but smaller than the Zoeva Luxe Cheek Finish Brush, so it’s on the small size for a blush brush. That being said, it does a fine job of applying my blush.

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I Hung Out With James Vincent and All I Got Was This Brush Set*

Published in: Guest Post, London Brush Company, Makeup Tools

James Vincent x LBC

James Vincent x London Brush Company

I was oohing and ahhing over pots of glitter when I felt someone tap my shoulder. I turned around to see James Vincent smiling at me saying, “Hi, Nicole.”

A mutual friend introduced us. I have long since admired James Vincent, but meeting him in person, artist to artist, was so wonderful. I met him at The Makeup Show in San Francisco last year. If you aren’t familiar with The Makeup Show, it’s a pro-focused beauty convention that travels the US every year. Bigger brands and smaller local brands attend, and you can find tons of goodies at a pro rate. They also have classes! I could listen to James Vincent teach for hooooours. And I did.

When I met him, he told me about this brush collection from the London Brush Company (it looks like they’re sold out as of right now), and I obviously needed it. The brushes are vegan Mongoose hair, and very simple in design with only James Vincent and London Brush Company on the ferrule. They’re very soft, and very versatile.

Let’s break it down: there are 3 pyramid brushes and two bent ones.

James Vincent x LBC

James Vincent x London Brush Company Pyramid Blender Brush

The biggest pyramid brush works for so many base products. That’s something I LOVE about LBC — the multitude of uses a single brush is made to have. I’ve used this brush for moisturizer, primer, foundation, setting powder, and contour. It’s bloody brilliant. The fine point makes it easy to get in there and contour precisely and the pyramid angle helps blend it out. It applies powder so easily with not too much product (I’ve been using it with the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder and the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder).

James Vincent x LBC

James Vincent x London Brush Company Pyramid Blender Brush (medium)

James Vincent x LBC

James Vincent x London Brush Company Pyramid Blender Brush (small)

The next two pyramid brushes I’ve been using mostly as eye brushes, but also for contouring my nose (which I don’t do often, but it helps in photos and when I’m hanging out with drag queens and feel under…painted). Again, this pyramid thing is bloody brilliant. Apply with the tip, blend with the edges. It also makes crease work so damn easy because the flat part of the triangle sort of blocks pigment from blending down onto your mobile lid. Brilliant I tell you.

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:)

My Foundation Routine (A Collaboration With Adia)

Published in: Clinique, Face, Guest Post, Makeup Tools

Clinique Stay Matte Oil Free Makeup in Linen

My go to: Clinique Stay Matte Oil Free Makeup in Linen ($24 for 1 oz.)

Hey, everyone! Today I’m collaborating with the lovely Adia to show you how I wear my foundation (she’ll be sharing her post later tonight), and also try out a new brush I haven’t gotten a chance to work with yet, the Heavenly Luxe Complexion Master, No. 16, from It Cosmetics ($58).

Now, I don’t often wear foundation (I typically go for a lighter coverage BB cream), but when I do want heavier coverage, these are the products I like to use.

First, I start with a moisturized and primed face, and for primer, I go for e.l.f. Poreless Face Primer. It’s a good dupe for Smashbox in my opinion, although the formula seems to have changed recently, because the smell isn’t quite as pleasant as it once was…

Clinique Stay Matte Oil Free Makeup in Linen

Literally the lightest shade they have. #foreverpale

Heavenly Luxe Complexion Master No. 16 brush

Heavenly Luxe Complexion Master No. 16 brush ($58)

This brush has a lot of plusses, but on my first run through with it doing my normal routine, I noticed that I was really dry and cakey.

Then I remembered something Adia recommends sometimes, which is to wet the brush. So, while doing my look for this post, I made sure to spray some rosewater on the brush before buffing it into my makeup.

I could have used setting spray, but the scent and the whole effect of using rosewater are just so much more appealing to me.

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Bring Out Your Inner Makeup-Loving Mermaid With the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Makeup Brushes

Published in: Face, Guest Post, Makeup Tools, Tarte

Tarte Double-Ended Color Correcting Brush

Color correcting with the Tarte Double-Ended Color Correcting Brush

In addition to a whole boat load of amazing marine inspired products, Tarte also introduced a set of fabulous brushes fit for Ariel herself with their Rainforest of the Sea collection.

I tend to feel like brushes don’t get enough love… I mean, it seems like we generally only talk about them when we’re complaining about washing them (guilty as charged). On top of that, I’m one of those former kids that just loved finger painting and can’t get enough of my (clean) god given applicators when I’m putting on my makeup each morning. BUT, an artist is only as good as their tools, and a good makeup brush can make all the difference.

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Face Brushes

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea face brushes in their boxes…with seashells

Tarte Double-Ended Foundation Brush ($34) — This brush was designed with the brand’s Sea Water Foundation in mind. Each end is composed of duo-fiber bristles with a different intended purpose. The smaller side of the brush is ideal for facial contours and concealer application. I personally prefer working with smaller tools, so I also find this side helpful when applying foundation across my entire face (particularly with Sea Water Foundation, as it requires speedy blending before it sets). The larger end of this brush can be used to buff and blend, and per Tarte creates an “airbrushed effect.”

Tarte Double-Ended Highlighter Brush ($34) — This brush would be ideal for fans of strobing. The precision end allows you to really pack on highlighter wherever you desire — on the tops of your cheekbones, brow bones, the inner corners of your eyes or on your Cupid’s bow. The larger fan-shaped end still deposits a fair amount of product; however, it creates a more diffused effect. I can see the large side of this brush working equally well for blush application as it does for highlighter. (And, if I’m honest, this is my favorite of the bunch!)

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Double-Ended Foundation Brush

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