Favorite Things, tools
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Everyday Face Brushes

Not that I wear makeup everyday, but you know what I mean.

I’ve personally amassed a ridiculous amount of brushes, but having dialed back on the makeup obsession, there are just a few brushes that I regularly use now. Here are the face brushes that I’ve been using as of late. I am thinking about making a “Favorite Brushes” or “Most Useful Brushes” post sometime in the near future.

Sigma F86 Tapered Kabuki Brush**
This is the newest addition to my arsenal and I freaking love it for liquid bases that need more than finger action to blend out properly. The tapered end makes it easy for you to reach weird nooks on your face, like the space around your nose and all around under your eyes, and other places that need precision.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
This was my weapon of choice for liquid bases, but now I find I use it a lot for cream products like blush and bronzers. It still works great for your regular face base, but it also works wonderfully when it comes to cream color products.

Face Brushes Detail

NARS Yachiyo Kabuki Brush
This is such a great blush + contour blender, especially if you are working with stubbornly pigmented powder products. The structure of the brush—a disappointing lightweight black wisteria handle—allows for a light, foolproof application. I never really wanted this brush until the sales assistant at NARS applied an intense strawberry red blush on me AND IT LOOKED SO NATURAL! And I then swore never to let an SA touch my face again, lol. The tulip shape makes it a great contour brush, too. 🙂

Hakuhodo H601 Brush
This is my workhorse. This literally does everything powder-related and it does it well. It’s a portable brush, and retracting it changes the size and shape of the brush, so it can work as an all-over face brush, a blush brush, and a contour brush. It’s so freaking soft, too. I bring this pretty much everywhere I go.

Hakuhodo G5519BkSL Powder Brush
This is my most expensive brush, but one that I use everyday. It gives the most lightweight dusting of powder, so my makeup never looks cakey. I mainly use it to set my under-eye area and my T-Zone, though I’ve used it occasionally to apply blush or bronzer. The hair on this brush is the softest ever, too: a mix of blue squirrel and goat. The animal hair harvested by Hakuhodo are also supposedly ethically harvested, but the wording on their statement (found via Temptalia) seems a little vague and makes me feel a little dubious:

As you may know, some Asian counties raise goats for their food, like cattle or poultry. Our suppliers buy only hair from these butchers.

We also import squirrel and weasel (sable) hairs from suppliers in the EU and Asian countries. These suppliers have explained to us that they obtain those hairs from animals that have been exterminated for reasons other than for their hair. We do know that the squirrels and weasels were not harmed, or killed, for only the purpose of obtaining their hair: the hair is a byproduct.

All purchases of materials and supplies strictly adhere to Japan’s Welfare and Management of Animals Act, as well as any related international laws.

A little sketchy, right? It reads as kind of a convoluted way of saying, “Well, we didn’t kill them for the hair… but yeah, they died. And then we took the hairs.” I mean, correct me if I’m wrong. If they are, indeed, not killed and are just harvested from, what are the conditions in which these animals are kept?

Sorry this turned out to be a bummer post, but I think it’s better to be well-informed before purchasing things. I bought these a long, long time ago, and although I love them, I’m not sure if I feel comfortable buying brushes made with natural hair anymore. I mean, I honestly prefer them, but if I’m going to be thinking about squirrels and goats every time I put on my makeup, it’s just not worth it.

Any recommendations for good synthetic brushes are welcome. I like my RT ones, but they don’t really keep well + I haven’t tried many of their eye brushes. I’ve tried a few other synthetic brushes, but I never really found anything that at least applied makeup as well as the ones I’ve come to love. HELP!

** Sample + affiliate link.

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  1. I’m in agreement with you about natural hair brushes. For synthetic, I like (in addition to RT), EcoTools (good quality but hit or miss as to how well they work on my skin), Hourglass, and Advanced Beauty Tools (defunct company but their brushes can be found on Amazon US, like $15 for a set that used to cost $100). –Angela

  2. I know exactly what you mean abut SA’s, i just had one put on the new Guerlain Healthy glow powder on me in the wrong shade and it made me look like an orange, despite the fact that i asked her to put the paler shade on me, she insisted it was too light for me, WRONG! Love the NARS brush though

    • Yeah, I know what you mean, it’s a terrific brush, but I was REALLY not looking for a brush that day. I left with the blush, too. LOL. It’s so annoying when they insist! I welcome suggestions especially if I have no clue what to look for, but if an SA insists on something I’ve said “no” to, especially if it’s a complexion product, I really tend to storm out, very rudely 😦

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