Make up brushes and where to store them

Hey beauties!
So about a month ago I invested in some 'proper' make up brushes. I'd never bothered with them before apart from a few cheap blusher and eyeshadow brushes and a really cheap kabuki I used for powder application. I'd never really thought about spending a lot of money on make up brushes,  until a little while ago when I started getting a lot more in to make up application. I read a lot of reviews and my first purchases were:

Real Techniques Core Collection Kit

Real Techniques Stippling Brush

I also purchased a Models Own brush set which I planned to use for eye and lip work. (

I found the Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman brushes cheaper on Amazon, and after oggling at the for ages, and reading so many fantastic reviews, I had to invest! I can honestly say I will never go back, I'm a Real Techniques convert. I'm probably a very late comer to be jumping on band wagon, but anyone thinking about it but hesitating, do it, it's worth it! I've never had a big budget for make up so I was worried about making the purchases. I've had a few cheap foundation brushes in my time, and I always blamed the foundation I bought for looking rubbish. I also ended up with irritating brush fibres all over my face and would be itching and end up wiping off my make up.

My Stippling Brush genuinely makes most foundations look great, if used correctly (as long as the foundation is right for you, obviously). Personally I use this brush when I have a little more time to spend on my make up, and not in the morning when I'm making a mad dash for the office and trying to shove a tonne of coffee down my neck. This brush, although still a fast and easy application, just requires the little bit extra time and effort to get that air brushed look it is supposed to achieve. The bristles are dense which makes them extra sturdy. Having never used a Stippling brush before, I was unsure on how to even use it, but I found a technique that worked for me. I'll be honest, I have no idea if this is or isn't the correct way, but I get results! I basically press the brush in to my face lightly, no sweeping movements, almost a similar technique to when I used my fingers to pat the foundation. As I'm sure you've read before, this brush is an absolute winner. I'm going to be blogging about using this brush with my Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation shortly, so keep your eyes peeled :).

For anyone unsure about make up application, and unsure of what sort of brushes they would be using, I would highly recommend the Real Techniques Core Collection. I purchased this before anything else, and this is what led me to then buy the Stippling Brush too. The Core Collection is a brilliant base kit for anyone wanting to, like me, start to get in to good make up brushes. I don't actually use the brushes for their recommended purpose, I've found a way to use them which fits in with my make up routine and suits how I like to apply my make up.

I actually use the Buffing Brush as a quick liquid foundation application, for those early work mornings I mentioned earlier. It quickly and evenly buffs the foundation on to my face, giving a nice finish that literally takes mere seconds to do.

I use the Pointed Foundation brush to create a contour using an illuminator such as YSL's Touch Eclat. I use this to create a highlighted look under my eyes and along the top of my cheek bows and brow. It allows for precise shaping of the highlighting liquid, the point is great for getting in under my eyes.

I've found the small Detailer Brush useful for covering over any spots or blemishes with concealer, which is the suggested use for the brush. It's a really good little brush that really helps you have a lot of control over the application. If I had a spot before, when I was just using finger application, using concealer to mask it was a difficult task, and my fingers were definitely not small and precise enough, this brush is perfect for that.

The Contour Brush is a beautifully soft brush, I use it to apply highlighting powder to my cheek bones. Sometimes if I'm wanting a more dramatic look, I use it to contour my cheeks in the opposite way by applying a bronzer underneath my cheek bones, this brush allows for as much buffing as you need, but is also small enough to create a more precise and dramatic look.

So if any one is considering purchasing new make up brushes, and this collection is a bit more than what you would usually spend, I would definitely tell you it's worth it. I use these brushes every day, they're so versatile in their use, they feel gentle on my face and I haven't had any problems with itchy bristles falling out and getting embedded in my make up and stuck to my face! But above all, my cheaper, every day foundation that used to look sort of ok now looks really good thanks to these brushes. I also find buying this kit encourages you to experiment with the base of your make up more. I had never really been one fore highlighting and contouring before, but these brushes make it so easy and quick, a subtle highlight and contour become a part of my every day routine.

Finally, the Models Own brush set.
This brush set literally has all your basic eye lip and blush needs. The brushes are soft, and very versatile to work with. My eye make up routine used to be so bland, I used one of the generic sponge applicators that usually come with an eyeshadow, and sometimes some liquid eyeliner, and then mascara. That was it. Thanks to these brushes I've played around a lot more with eye make and found it's a lot easier to do that I first thought.

The Shading Brush is really thin and slightly rounded, I use it to spread my base eyeshadow across my lid using the flat side. I also find it's great for creating a subtle cut crease look by applying a dark shadow on to the thin edge of the brush. It's the perfect size and thickness to allow for a nice, clear line in the crease of your eye lid.

I then use the Blending Brush to blend the cut crease look a little. If I'm going for a more subtle look I use this brush to apply a lighter shade first in the crease. It's rounded but still small enough to get right in to the crease, which makes it perfect for blending a dark shade, before applying a more precise darker shade right in the crease. I also use this brush to apply a little shadow on the bottom lid under my lash line in the outer corner.

The Angled Brush is one of my favourites, I use this when I don't have time for liquid liner, or am wanting a more subtle look. I used to use eye pencils for this but they just weren't precise enough for my liking. I used the angled brush to create a dark flick above my lashes and then underneath them on the bottom lid in the outer corner. The brush is really precise and the angle makes it easy to create a nice lined look on your lashes without having to work too hard to get a small flick to look perfect. I sometimes then switch back to the Blending brush to blend it out a little if I'm wanting a less defined liner.

The Powder Brush I use mainly for blusher, it's not too rounded, so can create a nice, precise line on to your cheek bone that can then be buffed and blended.

The Lip Liner Brush is great, I've never applied lipstick with a brush before. I generally use this brush to line my lips and then fill them, I've found applying lipstick this way seems to give it more staying power and make it last longer. It's also much more precise and looks way better and neater.

This Models Own brush set I would definitely recommend, once again I've had no issues with bristles coming out. They're not flimsy which allows precision. For some one like me that hadn't really had any practice at creating eye make up looks with different brushes, I think they're really easy to use and each brush has an individual purpose that I soon found myself incorporating each one in to my every day eye make up, no matter what look I was going for. I've now realised there's a lot more to the eye make up world than just mascara and eyeliner!
As I said, the way I use these brushes may not be correct, but they work for me, and I get the desired effect out of them, the best way is too keep playing and practicing with the brushes and find a way that works best for you.

So, with all this brush buying, came the issue of storage I quickly realised I couldn't throw them in my make up bag with every thing else, I didn't want the bristles to get ruined, nor did I want them getting covered in any rebellious powder that may have decided to smash and coat the entire contents of my bag.

At first I bought a little wrap to keep them in, but it didn't work for me, either the holes weren't the perfect size for my brushes, or there were just too many brushes and not enough space. Especially seeing as I plan on trying out some more Real Techniques brushes in the future. So I've struggled for a while with just having my brushes in a separate little make up bag, all bulging out, and I just didn't feel at all satisfied about the welfare of my now beloved brushes.

This afternoon, I've been on a little shopping trip to Ikea with my boyfriend. I didn't go looking for anything in particular, I just enjoy having a browse, and of course you have to have the full Ikea experience with the hot dog at the end. Anyway, I was in my all time favourite candles and plants section, absolutely loving life, wanting to buy all sorts of vases and decorative items that I knew I really didn't have the space for, so I restrained myself. I did however, two tiny but, brilliant purchase. A small, white, metal plant pot for just £2. This was the perfect holder for my make up brushes, I just knew it. (They also have a larger version as a candle holder which I had to begrudgingly leave behind as I already have way too many candles/candleholders). I then grabbed a pot of 'Kulört' which is a whole load of tiny, colourful, crystal looking grains/stones. In idea had formed in my head and I thought it was brilliant. All the time my boyfriend was giving me the weirdest looks and could not for the life of him understand how these things would be perfect for my make up brushes.

When we got home I emptied out the 'Kulört' in to the bottom of the plant pot. I then stuck a make up brush in there. The little purple stones kept the make up brush standing up straight, I added them all, burying them in, and was so pleased, it was exactly what I had been wanting all this time. Even my boyfriend was a little bit impressed. And now they stand on my dressing table, fitting in with my decor and looking just lovely! All for under £4, I know it's just a small little thing but it really has made me quite happy! So girls, I thought I'd share this with you as I think it's a great little idea and a lot of people wouldn't think to look in the plant pot section of Ikea for make up brush storage.

Here's a few terrible quality pictures from my phone. (Also I do apologise, half of my brushes are currently on the sink getting a deep cleanse, while the other half in the picture are next in line for a good washing!)


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