Once you convert to using eye make-up brushes, you can never revert back to using eyeshadow applicators or your fingers! Here are some of my fave brushes, at the lower end and higher end price range. You can decide whether to go for the splurge or the steal (I went for both!):

Crown C138 Round Countour Brush ($3) vs. Inglot Crease Brush ($18)
The crease brush is one of those products that changed my life. Seriously. Particularly for my Asian eyes, the crease brush is perfect for adding dimension and building depth into the crease. Other eyeshadow brushes just don't do the same justice as this pencil tip does. I love Inglot's crease brush for the tapered and stiff brush tip, and the Crown brush C138, even though shorter handled, is a suitable replacement. Imagine though - for the price of one Inglot brush, you can get 6 of the Crown brushes! Yes, this one's a no-brainer.
The verdict: Steal!

Crown BK16 Mini Smudger Brush ($3) vs. Dior Backstage Eyeliner Brush ($25 US)
Dior's Eyeliner Brush is a personal fave for lining the eyes for a sultry, smoky look. The Crown brush achieves the effect just as well, but the bristles aren't as tapered so you have to use a lighter hand in application. Both brushes are perfect for smudging, and work great at lining the eyes when used wet with eyeshadow. I still prefer the Dior brush in this case as the tapered edge makes it easier to draw fine lines...and I'm a sucker for the nice packaging too!
The verdict: Splurge!

Elegant Faces Blender Brush ($13) vs MAC #224 Tapered Blending Brush ($33.50)The tapered blending brush is another brush that made eyeshadow applications easier. I'm a huge fan of blending and prefer a non-powdery look to the eyeshadow. Before the blender brush I was using my finger or a small dome eyeshadow brush to do all the softening of the applied colours. The tapered blending brush is perfect for achieving that diffused look so you can't see any harsh distinctions between where one eyeshadow begins and ends. I love both of these blending brushes: I use the Elegant Faces one for smaller-eyed beauties, and the MAC one for larger-eyed beauties. The blender brush is also great for lightly dusting on powder and setting undereye concealer without making it look too cakey.
The verdict: Splurge and steal!

Crown Mascara Fan Brush ($3) vs. MAC #205 Mascara Fan Brush ($20)
The mascara fan brush - such a simple idea that works! Use it when you're applying mascara to evenly distribute the mascara and immediately get rid of any visible clumps. I believe the MAC mascara fan brush is only available through the Pro stores. At only $3 a brush, the Crown version is definitely the better deal - and you can stock up instead of paying the price of one higher end equivalent!
The verdict: Steal!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist www.artistrhi.com | 11:30 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

Ok so we all know and love the benefit of quality brushes for our make-up application, but that doesn't mean we have the same fuzzy feeling about the prices usually associated with them. I had been anticipating the Canadian Make-up Show in order to stock up on Crown brushes (among other highly coveted make-up goods) . A grand total of 45 minutes at the Crown booth, a swipe of the card and a bag of goodies later - I was a happy camper!

I've spent a lot on brushes throughout the years - some worth the cost, some not so much. Crown Brushes and Elegant Faces are two great places to check out for affordable and good quality brushes. At the Crown booth, I didn't see a brush more expensive than $15! I know - I was in awe. I walked away with absolute steals for the prices I paid (I felt like I was the woman in the IKEA commercial! "Start the car! Start the car!") For the aspiring artist, it's always great to have multiple back-up sets of brushes, especially when you do weddings and group appointments. Here are some recent additions to my kit from from Crown and Elegant Faces and their comparable higher end counterpart:

Elegant Faces Foundation Brush ($24) vs. MAC #190 Foundation Brush ($38.50)
Both brushes have a concentrated amount of synthetic bristles that taper towards the tip and make them perfect for blending. I equally like the way foundation glides on with both of these brushes, but with the price difference the obvious favourite is the Elegant Faces Foundation brush (top brush above).
The verdict: Steal!

Crown C309 Studio Professional Jumbo Chisel Powder Brush ($10) vs. MAC #150 Large Powder Brush ($50.50)
The Crown Brush (top brush in picture above) is shorter handled, but has a concentrated amount of soft natural hair bristles just like the MAC Large Powder Brush (bottom brush). To build up powder coverage or apply a light dusting of powder, the Crown Brush is just as effective and definitely a better deal! Go for the steal!
The verdict: Steal!

Crown B2K Luna Series Unique Pointed Dome Brush ($9) vs. MAC #129 Blush Brush ($41)
I love MAC's Blush Brush for the soft-rounded dome that allows for smooth blush application when both contouring or dusting the apples of the cheeks. Crown's Pointed Dome Brush is a comparable equivalent and blends just as well, but I'll admit that although the bristles are soft, they're not as soft as the bristles of the MAC brush. For the $40 difference in price, you can decide if it's a worthy trade-off!
The verdict: Steal!

Crown Badger Kabuki Brush ($8) vs. MAC #182 Buffer Brush ($55)
In this case, the MAC Buffer Brush is a clear winner. Yes, the difference in price should ensure there is a definite difference in quality, but you just need to rub your fingers across it to feel how soft it is and see how it has the most concentration of hairs. I also like how the MAC Buffer Brush has a taller handle and shorter bristles, which makes it perfect for buffing. The bristles of the Crown Kabuki are quite soft as well, but much too long for buffing the face. Either way you choose, this brush is a great addition to the kit for any make-up artist - just smooth the brush over your client's face after the application for a mini-massage treat!
The verdict: Splurge!

Check back as I'll also do a comparison post for eye make-up brushes!

Posted by Rhia Amio, Make-up Artist www.artistrhi.com | 9:00 AM | , , , , | 0 comments »
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