in all honesty, i really did not know what to look for when buying makeup brushes. i could not tell the difference between a high-end makeup brush and a cheap(er) one. what is the major advantage of forking over US$78 for a Hakuhodo Highlighting Brush? which by the way, was a brand that popped up when i was doing a little research on stippling brushes. quick company lesson because this company is very interesting!!
Hakuhodo is a high quality Japanese makeup brush company (also sells brushes for painting and calligraphy) that manufactured brushes for M.A.C. and then decided to sell brushes under their own name. so you know what you get for US$78? the ferrules of the brush are brass-rolled 24-karat gold while the hairs are from a blue squirrel. oh you don't like blue squirrels? what about a Canadian squirrel or a pine squirrel? perhaps, goat or weasel hair? take your pick.
it was my first time looking into brush hair types (aside from synthetic) so it was a very uhm, intriguing read. and blue squirrels?? wow. but i did pick an example that was really out there. Hakuhodo do sell different series of brushes that are more affordable like the 200 Series, which ranges from US$18 - $53.
so anyway!! i already own a few makeup brushes - mostly e.l.f., Bare Escentuals and ModelCo. i have not had any previous experience with stippling brushes so i figured why not take baby steps?
i put it on my birthday wishlist and suggested my sister check Walmart out. it was the cheapest one i've seen in stores that also looked like it was pretty good quality. i wanted to actually touch the bristles before settling on a brush so i did not want to order one online. (and yes! that is Disney Princesses wrapping paper! i may be 25 but i still love them!)
i now use SPAresource Pro-Series Stipple Brush ($6.97 at Walmart) everyday. its' bristles are both synthetic and natural. the top is flat which allows you to create the "satiny airbrushed effect". i was actually sold on getting a stippling brush in the first place because i wanted to achieve an airbrushed look - who doesn't? the word i wanted to explain how it leaves your skin looking is "dewy" but checking thesaurus.com, i want to clarify "dewy" as in "fresh and bright" and not "damp and clammy". i use it to apply foundation by dabbing the foundation on first using my fingers and then using the stipple brush in a circular motion to blend it all out.
bottom left pic is after i have used it...
there are certain features that i discovered that i should be looking for in a makeup brush. so in regards to the SPAresource stipple brush, there was hardly any shedding. a few bristles came off when i first started using it but that's it. the bristles are soft but firm enough for its purpose. the handle looks like it is made of wood and has a clear coating over it. i can get a good grip on it and it's comfortable to use. it doesn't seem like it will break anytime soon so put another check mark for durability.
i picked up 3 brushes from London Drugs in the last week. why? because they were on clearance for $0.99 each. yes only 99 cents!! down from original price of $10. theBalm seems to be a reputable company so i just swooped right in. they came in clear plastic bags (no boxes). all 3 seem to be a mini version, probably travel-sized. the handles are super thin.
theBalm brushes measure up to be about the same length as the handle of my stippling brush. the stipple brush is the biggest brush i own. i think the handle of it could've been an inch or two shorter and it would not have affected its performance.
two of the theBalm brushes are to be used for eyeshadows, or more specifically, theBalm's line of eyeshadows, "shadyLady".
i love theBalm shadow brush! the bristles are very soft and dense. the curved angle works just perfectly to get the inner corner of your top lid or for accentuating with a crease color.
i have only used theBalm liner brush for rimming my lower eyelid and it works well for that purpose. i think it may be possible to use it for gel eyeliner as well. the bristles are flat, dense and slanted.
theBalm concealer brush is to help with the application of timeBalm (foundation). i already own two other concealer brushes so i didn't need another one. oh well, this is for travelling! the bristles are flat and rounded.
so my top two additions to my brush collection is the theBalm shadow brush and the SPAresource stipple brush. i've been reaching for the shadow brush everyday since then and i do not understand why i have waited so long to get a stippling brush! seriously, i recommend everyone go out and get it! i love how even my foundation looks afterwards. it may take a little bit more time than just rubbing foundation in with your fingers but the results are amazing.
what do you think? have you tried a stipple brush before? what brush can you not live without?