Have your go-to brush styles/types changed over time?

Yes, for sure! I have adapted and tweaked my technique over time, so the brushes have done so as well. Some more memorable changes are things like using smaller crease brushes for applying color directly into the crease while using more rounded (and less pointed) crease brushes in general (easier for blending for me). I also switched to all synthetic brushes for my foundation brushes a few years ago, as I can use harsher cleansers with them (without damaging them).

— Christine
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I’ve developed better deposit/diffuse skills so I can use a smaller number of brushes to complete an eye look and tend towards those that run larger than I used to use.

yes for sure! i recently had hormonal inbalance that caused lots of breakout. i like to use a flat top soft brush like wayne goss 13. i use it to pat loose powder on the blemishes so that the concealer is not smeared. i also prefer using a small firm brush like the kevyn aucoin concealer brush to pack on the concealer then use a buffing brush to lightly buff it in.

I’d say I’m in a phase of softer brushes overall.
For my eyes: I’m leaning more into washes of colour rather than precise application. So, larger and less dense brushes, especially for eyeshadows.

Face: I’m playing with smaller, yet still very soft brushes on my face.
Especially when I use the Natasha Denona Bloom & Glow palette. With the creamy texture I can move small amounts of the product (especially that deep cream) blush and spread it slowly and gently without disturbing the foundation under it.

I recently spent $100 on three great Scott Barnes brushes, only one I use every day though. The Real Techniques brushes I’ve gathered in the past, still make up a large portion of my daily use.

When I first read the question my immediate response was a resounding “no” as I am still using brushes that I purchased back in the late 70’s and one in particular is my go to brush for my eye makeup. However, the more I thought about it the more I realized that I have changed overall to smaller eye brushes which work better for product placement on my very hooded eyes. I also use smaller brushes for more specific product placement on both my eyes and my face. I am that weird and gross person who doesn’t clean her makeup brushes so I don’t know if that is why they have lasted so long or what. Anyway, about a year ago I purchased several Wayne Goss brushes because he offered some really nice smaller brushes. I have also purchased some Sonia G brushes and I really enjoy both brands brushes. I have a few Hakuhodo brushes that I purchased quite a while ago but frankly, both Hakuhodo and Chikuhodo brush lines are so huge and confusing that whenever I go to the US site for Hakuhodo, I usually end up just looking and don’t purchase anything. Overall, I think I am pretty happy with my brushes and since I am not a brush collector, I feel like I won’t buy any more brushes in my lifetime. I will say that now and wake up to an amazing brush line release tomorrow, LOL!

I recently purchased the Wayne Goss eye brushes too. You are 100% correct about smaller brushes being great for hooded eyes! I finally feel like I can get the eye looks that work best for my eye shape!

It is kind of amazing isn’t it? I mean before I picked up the Wayne Goss set I sort of thought that they would be nice and soft but would perform pretty much like any other brush. I was really wrong and feel like if you have small or hooded eyes, you really need specific brushes to bring out the best look. I also use to think that a brush, was a brush, etc. I thought it was more skill of the user than quality of the brush but that is really not true either. I know some of it is skill but I am 65 and have been doing my own makeup since I was 13 so the skill I have is what it is. It isn’t going to get better now nor has it over the past couple of years. However, I get much better eye looks and blends because of better quality brushes.

The style plus the sheer amount of brushes have both undergone some rapid changes! I now have too many brushes for someone who isn’t a professional working MUA. Espescially eyeshadow brushes!
The type of fibers had to change due to a bizarre allergy to goats. So, I now use primarily synthetic bristle brushes, as well as some old animal bristle brushes that have undergone so many washings that they do not affect me. Some probably are goat hair. IDK? I just keep them away from my inner tearducts and so far so good.

From someone who use to use those little eyeshadow brushes in the cheapo Revlon eye quads, I have really moved on! After reading this blog, I decided to invest in some good brushes – Real Techniques, Eco tools and others. I have a variety of eyeshadow brushes that have made applying eyeshadows so much easier and a couple of blending brushes too. One of the best brushes I use is my angled blush brush. I really don’t know how I managed beforehand.

Nope, I think I’m still using the same brushes that I started out with lol

Also, I use my fingers a lot for blending, so the incentive for better brushes isn’t really there

Yes! I find that as my disabilities get more and more debilitating, it’s easier to just forgo brushes altogether. That way, I don’t have to worry TOO much about cleaning them either!

I generally only use products that I can apply with my fingertips nowadays (cream blush, cream highlighter, and generally only one shade of cream eyeshadow).

As for foundation, if I can be bothered to wear one, I’d either apply with my fingertips or use a flat air puff that could be cleaned easily and doesn’t really take any space to store.

If I do use powder products, I definitely veer towards softer Kumano brushes nowadays. But my “no white brushes” rule still stands — I don’t always have the energy to clean them right away, but any color on white brushes is an OCPD trigger so…

Christine, you mention harsher cleansers. What do you use?
I was using Cinema Secrets and it was ruining some of my brushes so I completely quit using it.
I’ve been using Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap since.

Anything alcohol-based would be harsher, IMO. I find they are a bit faster/better at breaking down a lot of makeup (like full coverage foundation) and take less water.

Cinema Secrets works, if I remember correctly, due to a mixture of a volatile isoparaffin and something-similar-to-naphtha. Naphtha is kind of like white spirits. All I know for sure is that Cinema Secrets is really effective, but really harsh on brushes. I mean, it will even take the dye off. My local Sephora uses Cinema Secrets with their store brand brushes. I had a conversation with an SA about this. She said the brushes end up trashed.

If you’re concerned, namely about natural hair, I suggest cleansing with a bit of oil first. Breaks down everything, then you just need soap to wash it. I admittedly go a little harsh with 1/4 dish soap and 3/4 liquid Castile soap in a foam dispenser. The dish soap helps with foam creation and … I’m rambling haha but this is what I do for acne prone skin and it seems to work great without damaging bristles.

Definitely. I upped my eyeshadow game with a set of smaller, natural bristle crease and blending brushes. A natural bristle flat eyeliner brush makes it so much easier to use a brightly colored shadow as eyeliner. Natural bristle brushes can’t be compared for eyeshadow, I’ve bought high-end synthetic (Eye) brushes but they’re just not as good. Synthetics are better for cream products, and I still enjoy my Sigma F80 foundation brush. Last week I purchased a natural bristle bronzer brush and am loving that with my various Bare Minerals powders; it’s amazing at perfectly diffusing powder products (I also use a natural bristle blush brush)

My game changer was natural hair eyeshadow brushes. I’m fortunate in that I was able to get off the struggle bus pretty early. I started with makeup around 2014 and got the WG Anniversary set a couple years ago. Completely changed my eyeshadow – I didn’t even look for other brushes for maybe a year because I was so happy with the set.

For the moment no, I’m still really learning my brushes. That said, there’s a brush I use a lot less of than I did a number of years ago when I first started into makeup, it’s the larger letdown (flat) brushes for placing eyeshadow on the lids. I tend to use slightly thicker and smaller ones to have more precision.

I used the standard applicators in the drugstore compacts up until a few years ago. I used to think the expensive makeup brushes were for makeup artists, didn’t feel like I deserved something so luxe since I thought it was a tool for a job. Then youtube happened and I decided to get a few from wal-mart and avon, they reeked of dead animals 🙁 SInce then i discovered eco tools and many other brands. My makeup brushes have evolved over time. Now I use a combination of synthetic and natural hairs. I use synthetic for cream and liquid makeup that is hard to clean but used daily like foundations and concealers and natural hairs for most everything else. Love Sonia G and Wayne Goss brushes!

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