B-R-U-S-H-E-S... the unrivaled category.
since my affection to these products is that gigantic - it doesn't allow any competitors. with the right brushes, a mediocre product can appear as if it had amazing texture. good tools will apply an elaborated makeup look effortlessly and lets you enjoy the process of creating it, not only the result.
i love my eye brushes to be effective to save time and product, but face brushes should be as soft as possible to pet and pamper my skin and allow me to appreciate the fine texture of my blushes and powders.
this year i have discovered SO many incredible brushes, first of all were the ultimately sohoft blue squirrel hair brushes as overall theme for the year, secondly the amazing japanese brush brands (such as RMK, Lunasol and of course i ventured even more into Hakuhodo) but also the great less commercial western brands (such as Paula Dorf, Trish McEvoy, Le Métier de Beauté and my so much loved Edward Bess) and last but not least the super luxurious brushes by SUQQU.
my little collection of SUQQU brushes stays outside the competition but gets separately honoured for extravagance and unbelievable softness. i don't expect any non-brush-aficionado to understand or even pay for these ridiculous amounts, though. i will review them soon, i know many are very curious but i still have some installments running on here that i have to finish first for the sake of organization.
for FOUNDATION i've been loving the fluffy brushes to apply in swirling, circular motions. the Sephora Collection Pro Foundation Airbrush #55 and the Essence Blush Brush (old version) are amazing synthetic ones, but over the last months i especially enjoyed my goat hair Le Métier de Beauté Blush Brush to apply my liquid foundation.
the Lunasol Powder Brush N is fantastic for POWDER. it feels heavenly soft and dense and fluffy and luxe. the best for the price!
for BRONZER i adore the Paula Dorf Powder Brush and the Trish McEvoy Bronzer Brush #37 for even and effortlessly blended application. both these brushes are soft, but well structured and with great resilience.
in terms of CREAM BRONZER (like the Chanel Bronze Universel or the NARS Bronzer Multiple) which i newly discovered and much enjoyed this year, i found the MAC 181 mini kabuki to be the best. it's the perfect size and of impeccable quality. very soft (even softer than its big brother the 182) and dense and doesn't shed.
for application of a CONTOUR powder, i've been using my trusty big tapered brushes like MAC 138 or the more luxurious version, S103 by Hakuhodo, all the time with much enthusiasm. it's just the easiest way with this shape.
for my HIGHLIGHTER i have discovered the Hakuhodo G5537BkSL. lovely fluffy white goat hair for a sheer result.
in the past year, the most outstanding brushes for BLUSH to me were the Cheek Brush by RMK (great price!) and the G5519BkSL by Hakuhodo. both are exceptionally soft while the RMK is fluffier and the Hakuhodo denser.
for CREAM BLUSH i have found an amazing duo fibre brush, the Hakuhodo G5552.
over the last year, i have figured out my key brushes for EYE MAKEUP application. these are the best of the best:
for CONCEALER, nothing beats the Hakuhodo 212. effortless application, smooth and even result. handles all kinds of textures.
my favourite BLENDING BRUSH of all time is the Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush. it just works better than any other and can blend the most complicated shadows beautifully.
the best one for quick and even application of CREAM EYESHADOW with an instantly blended result is the MAC 217 (and other 217-type brushes like the Sigma ones, Estée Lauder #25 or Paula Dorf Eyeshadow Brush).
my favourite brush for a defined CREASE/OUTER CORNER colour was the Hakuhodo Kokutan Brush T. it has the perfect size and is very smooth and soft but still defined.
hands down the best LAY-DOWN BRUSH for intense eyeshadow colour still is the MAC 242. it's easy to work with, not too stiff like some weasel-only-brushes may be since it has a nice hair-length-to-width-ratio. it doesn't absorb too much product but transfers it all onto your lids.
my favourite LINER BRUSH is the MAC 231. it's not only very good for gel or powder liner along your lashline but also amazing to push the liner/dark shadow right between your lashes and smooth it onto the upper or lower inner rim. i actually find the rounded edges much easier to work with than an angled liner brush. this is also a fabulous lip brush.
my best TOOLS of the year.
by far the most appreciated is the BeautyBlender. despite the dupes i tried, i still prefer the original version. it's the best for a quick and effortless, flawless application of liquid foundation and i have used it for that purpose most days of the year.
secondly the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers. still my favourite, but i need to replace mine very soon.
another amazing but not often mentioned tool is the Tweezerman Lash Comb. it's made of sharp metal needles, so you must be careful when using it, but the round edges of the close needles create the most natural feathered lashes effect without clumps because they smooth the mascara onto your lashes instead of ripping clotted lashes apart like plastic combs do.
a last much enjoyed makeup gimmick which i didn't know where to sort are false eyelashes, very outstanding because they have been something i absolutely disliked...
now i truly appreciate them, but only when applied underneath the natural lash line with this method.
well, these were my makeup-highlights of 2011. it was a good year, and i'm looking forward to the next, may it be at least as fun.
i hope you enjoyed this favourites parade! do you want another favourites-post particularly for the month of december or are you saturated?