Friday, July 13, 2012

obsessed with: make-up brushes

01.E.L.F. blending eye brush (£1.50) - 02.No7 blend and contour brush (£7.25) - 03.Real Techniques stippling brush ($10) - 04.E.L.F. Studio stipple brush (£3.75) - 05.Real Techniques expert face brush ($9) - 06.E.L.F. Powder brush (£3.75) -     07.Real Techniques buffing brush (from the core collection $18) - 08.Ecotools bamboo buffing brush (£9.90) - 09.Real Techniques blush brush ($9) - 10.Real Techniques deluxe crease brush (from the starter set $18)

My interest in reading blogs has slowly shifted from mainly fashion blogs to mostly beauty blogs between this year and last. I thought about the reason and came to the conclusion that it is a mixture of me gaining weight and acquiring a wardrobe that satisfies me (the only items I feel like buying are back-ups for what I own already so maybe I reached the perfect sartorial balance? Or maybe I'm frustrated with my current figure? As I said probably both).
Anyways, I'm fascinated by all these make-up tutorials that swarm the web and I seem to have transferred my once clothing-colour obsession to my current make-up one. Beauty is a subject I'd like to talk about more here but I don't think I will. The reason is I get so obsessive I tend to impulsively buy in total disregard with my beliefs in non animal testing, chemical-free organic products, minimal recyclable packaging and fair trade. Not unlike my behaviour towards clothes, I am weak. I try to counter act my weakness with education and by reading a lot.
In terms of skincare, I am slowly but surely getting to a regime that I find both natural and suitable, with some trials and loads of errors. One day, maybe I'll post about it, hoping that by the time I do it my skin needs wont evolve too much because I am not getting younger obviously.
In terms of make-up, it is way harder and I am currently ashamed of my beauty bag and how much of a hypocrite I'm making of myself. Add to that, companies change their policies as quick as socks (see recently the Revlon case).
It's weird how my relationship with make-up has evolved since I was first old enough to wear some. I already mentioned it here, but make up was pretty minimal when I was a teenager. We were mostly wearing kohl in the waterline, me and my friends.  A few girls were wearing horrendous cakey orange foundation (staining the top of their white pashminas)but those were generally the ones who  weren't confident about their skin. Later, end of the nineties, came the gloss (there was a bit of Buffy Summers/Joey Potter/Liz Parker influence in there I think for us). 
Of course, we tried eye-shadows but it usually ended up with a baby blue cloud homogeneously applied over the lids. And I am not surprised in retrospect as we had to use those mini sponge sticks. For nail polish, I remember owning a pearly purple in the nineties but wasnt that much into wearing it, I just liked the pretty bottle. I became addicted when garage rock came in fashion and chipped red polish, long pearl necklaces and fringes were staples back then. The blush was the last to come, I fell in love with Carrie Bradshaw's pink doll cheeks and nicked my Mum's blush - bourjois lilas d'or and I have always had one on the go since then (see the hypocrite!). Oh and lipstick, well you know the story.
Things have changed so much indeed and I am probably still crap at applying make-up but all those beauty blogs I love reading at the moment made me a (sheepish) believer of the motto 'your make-up is only as good as your tools' (yes! I finally got to the point... phew that was some introduction).
I am not willing to pay as much as 40 quid for a brush but I still want brushes that do a good job. You can see the edit list above for the ones I am lusting after.

(1-2)I started obsessing over blending brushes and especially dupes for the infamous mac 217. The n07 brush and the elf one seem to attract positive reviews. I don't even know why I am so adamant to get this type of brush because I don't even have a crease! If you have hooded lids like me, you might want to check this tutorial that teaches how to give the impression of a crease. Pretty awesome.
(3-4) There is something happening with cream-like products: cream eye-shadows, cream blushes, etc... Both formulas I love and I can't wait to try a stippling brush for cream blushes!
(5-8) Hearing all those beauty gurus describing their foundation as 'dewy' makes me think that I'm definitely doing something wrong with mine. I always look cakey and it marks my expression wrinkles in a scary way. Apparently a brush can make so much difference and I want to believe. I never was a foundation girl but age coupled with bad habits makes it that I have more bad skin days than good skin days now.
(9) I have always wanted a powder puff, something I can throw at my face and in one gesture, everything is evenly powdered. This brush seems like a good compromise.
(10) I really want to use the deluxe crease brush for concealer. For pretty much the same reason as (5-8), I need more coverage with age and the very thought of pressings/tugging/massaging with my finger the fragile skin under my eyes makes me shudder.
I am not sure yet I'll surrender to the gods of consumerism but I need to highlight that those brushes are synthetic and thus all cruelty-free!
P.S.: You might be interested to know that E.L.F. UK is having a 50% sale at the moment with the code INDEMAND50.

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