When I first started getting into beauty, I was baffled (and frankly, bored) by how much beauty gurus go on about brushes. I'd see blog posts and YouTube videos called "my favourite brushes," roll my eyes and click away. I was of the opinion that the products you were using were what mattered, the brushes were just... brushes. Maybe the expensive ones were softer than the cheap drug store ones, or the ones that came with the palettes, but really, they were all the same, right?
Somewhere along the line I got bitten by the brush bug. To be perfectly honest, it was when everyone started going gaga for Real Techniques brushes. Finally, recommended brushes that weren't crazy prices, and that I could actually buy without having to go without food for the next week. I love my Real Techniques brushes, I really do. They make applying my face quicker, and nicer, and I can appreciate that different sizes, shapes and styles are best for different products. But I wasn't completely sold on the whole Brush Bonanza until I bought this little smokey eye kit from Sonia Kashuk.
I picked these up in Kentucky, when Katie took me to Target. Oh my god, I could've spent all day (and all my money) in Target, it just has everything. But that's beside the point. I bought this cute little kit, chucked it in the bottom of my suitcase and didn't use it until I was back on home turf.
Now, having played about with it, and used it pretty much every single day, I thought I'd do a little review: these brushes are awesome! Really, they make applying eyeshadow so much easier. It's a minimal effort, maximal impact kind of deal here.
My favourites are #2 Crease brush and #3 Lash line. I swivel the crease brush upside down, so I'm using the tapered tip to blend shadow into the crease. The shape of the brush means you get a much more precise application, with no eyeshadow migrating towards your eyebrow or over towards your ear. Brilliant!
The lash line brush is pretty dense which makes it perfect for really working product into the lash line, and getting quite a strong look without reaching for the eyeliner. I've been using it with the wider end on the outer corners, which makes creating a winged effect super easy, and - miracle - totally even on both sides! I just press the brush along the lash line, and give it a little wiggle up and down, and there we go - perfect cat-eye shadow.
These brushes make eyeshadow application so much easier, and faster, that I've been reaching for more products on an almost daily basis. For my go-to look right now, I'm using Bobbi Brown's Long-wear Cream Shadow in Sand Dollar, which I apply with my fingers as a base. Then, with the #1 Lid brush, I swipe MAC's Satin Taupe all over the lid.
Next, I take out the crease brush and use a Lancôme shadow in Cuban Light (which is really beautiful, and looks lovely just on its own) for a tiny hint of shimmer and just the slightest bit of definition. Then I get out the old favourite #3 lash line brush, press it into MAC's Embark and get going on a subtle, shadow cat-eye effect. For some extra drama, I take the #4 smudge brush, go back to Embark and in teeny, tiny downward strokes, add a bit of definition to the lower lashes. Finish with a swipe of old favourite Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner in Black Ink and I'm done!
From left to right - Bobbi Brown Sand Dollar, Lancôme Cuban Light, MAC Satin Taupe and MAC Embark. Even without these brushes, I can't get enough of these shadows individually. I know they're not exactly the most exciting shades ever, but they're all so wearable and I love them.
If you're a brush sceptic like I was, listen, it's not all bollocks. I have been completely won over by this wonderful little Sonia Kashuk kit, and I'm now excited to try other brushes to see if they can revolutionise other areas of my make-up routine. Not great for my bank balance, but hey, if it makes you happy...
Let me know what you think! And if you have any brush recommendations, go on, spill the beans.