Hi guys, after your recent messages and questions regarding make-up brushes, I decided to write bit more about MY BEST CHOICE of season 2014-2015.
Last Year I changed the way of shopping – from now, main and the biggest stocking of my kit I do every year at IMATS London, so trough entire year I only buy just small bites of make-up and accessories…I decided to go this way because:
1) IMATS gives massive update about best/new products on market
2) All brands provides testers! so I can test even this all brands that we haven’t got stores in UK – so I can pick the best stuff for my clients.
3) Fantastic shows, seminars, inspiring work other artists!
4) Opportunity to see products and tools in action!
5) Wide range of Seminars that provide interesting tricks, knowledge and ideas!
6) Networking with fantastic people
7) Discounted prices!
8) so far it was my 2nd year at IMATS and shopping over there ware my best choices ever!
So for 2014-2015 my best ever brush-choices are: ZOEVA and BDELLIUM tools!
I know that HAKUHODO is beat on the market – But I decided to go for something cheaper (yes, unfortunately my budget it’s also limited). ZOEVA is something AMAZING! – this is Number 1 for me at the moment, and I can highly recommend any brushes from this brand. ZOEVA create both Synthetic and Natural brushes. Bristles are super-soft, tapered well, and absolutely important thing – eye brushes have perfect sizes for typical size of eyes. I have to add that all ZOEVA brushes made of goat bristle (white) are softer then most well known brands I have ever seen! It’s absolute make-up heaven when you will touch & feel it! I was looking for particular small sizes of eye brushes for a long time now- I found that many brands/sellers have slightly too big or too small size of brush for applying or blending specific details/parts… BDELLIUM is also my choice as their synthetic hair are really top quality, fine bristles and are cut, shaped with precision; their eye-liners, angled, liners, and lip brushes are absolutely best so far! Their Eye-brushes are also worth to try. If you looking for best lip and eye brushes – this is brand that you should really try.
Natural vs. Synthetic?? Many make-up artists prefer natural bristles because depend of hair quality they’re can be soft and fluffier and – even more importantly – have a cuticle (like a human hair) that helps to hold the pigments. The best make-up brushes are usually blue squirrel, but pony, goat and sable are all great too. However technology improves all time, so quality of synthetic brushes recently is also much better. Here are just some of the benefits of using a synthetic brush over one made with animal hair:
- Synthetic brushes are easier to clean.
- Synthetic brushes repel bacteria and dirt better than animal hair does.
- Many people have allergies to animal hair!
- Synthetic brushes shed less, if at all!
- Synthetic brushes work with both cream and powder make-up products.
- Buying a synthetic brush is the only way to know that no animal was harmed in creation of the brush.
- If you apply a cream-based or highly pigmented product, with an animal hair brush – the brush will likely absorb the product, staining and/or ruining the brush.
- Many artists boycotting brands that aren’t cruelty free & carry testing on animals/ or makes brushes of natural hair.
But – many of you keep asking also about lower budget brushes and in this point got often question about Ebay. Good brushes are worth to pay as often it presents higher quality…but as many of us – we fight often with low/limited budget…
How to buy affordable brushes? Is it worth to try Ebay/Amazon brushes? What about Ebay – China Stock? Is this big risk?? How to buy best brushes? What to look after? And question that some of you asking – how do I find such an interesting deals on Ebay and in such a good quality? How do not regret your shopping?? 😛
So here are my tips, does and don’ts on Ebay:
- Think what brushes do you really need! (eye, face, lips, liners? flat, precision, blending? – don’t buy because of its cheap, don’t buy impulsively – yes You can find great deals but it’s plenty of good deals at eBay. This will also narrow your searches.
- If top brand (e.g. Sigma/MAC/ Bobbi Brown) is extremely cheap = it’s a fake brush(!) and usually this may have worst quality than e.g. no name product. Bear in mind that original top brand brushes aren’t sold below 50-60% of original price.
- Research! Compare brands, same models of brushes, photos, search for reviews and comparisons. Few sellers often sells the same product, but pictures can be different e.g. better close up to bristles, better light.
- Avoid bidding if says e.g. MAC but unclear photo, blurred photo…even if auction is by private seller – it’soften trick to avoid recognition of fakes. Also private sellers may try re sell bad product (as people often: buys> receiving parcel> disappointment=and try to re sale it in bid to get back money…)
- You should AVOID brushes sold as brands: MAC, BOBBI BROWN, Hello Kitty! Be careful also about SIGMA Brushes, ECOtools, – Unless you done trough researches and comparisons with fakes & reviews – (google for: brand/model/ebay + real vs fake) – so you will know differences. This brands are common to be fake on Ebay. Bid safely if you recognizing on candid photos, details between real or fake brush.
- Less known brands are safer to buy, significant less fakes e.g. Sephora, Inglot, ZOEVA, W7, No7,
- If you looking for specific brand – compare price+postage on their official website/suppliers. It happens that Ebay becomes more expensive…e.g real techniques is often very cheap in ASDA.
- Avoid Limited Edition’s – if you struggle to find reviews and info about it…it’s highly possible that it’s fake.
- I don’t recommend to buy big brush sets/rolls e.g. 10/15/20/27 brushes and over. This sets looks nice on photos, pictures seams showing very nice big full size set….handle is often very short – so this can be better as travel kit not for proper kit. And in fact most this sets have lower quality of bristle or glue. And trust me – more likely you wouldn’t use half of this set. My 20pc brush set comes out to be mini set that I would rather call pocket set ! so to me its useless!
- I would also avoid dyed bristles – as you don’t know what chemicals ware used – so is unknown how your skin will react! Colour pigmentation can get transfer when brush is used for liquids. Buy natural colour bristles = white to dark brown.
- Learn about sellers. Check feedback’s, ratings.
- Ebay China Stock sells much cheaper dupes of some well known brands – although sold as no name & without printed logo/or placed different logo. (e.g. dupes of Real Techniques, Sigma, Nanshy) however I am not sure is that are dupes – or is both stocks have same manufacturer…
- Many Synthetic brushes have very good quality – specially duo-fibre with visible good dentistry of bristle. Natural are quite often in lower quality.
- Best to buy:single brush and sets of 4 , 6 , 8 or 10 brushes. This, smaller sets tends to have best quality and affordable prices.
- If sellers have few option as fallow: buy type: 1/2/3/set of 3>>>check all this prices with few sellers – prices are very, also mistakes happens 😛 – this way I found fantastic set of 5 brushes for £1!!! that time set was about £2-3. When first set arrived – I instantly ordered 5 more LOL. At the moment on Ebay- UK price for this set is ~ £3,69/China ~ £2
- Compare prices if shown Price+postage and Buy-it-now-Price+free postage. Everything is calculated well…so usually comes out nearly same price…so why wait for finish of auction?? buy it now!
- There is no duty fee in orders from China.
- Goat hair brushes in decent quality are hard to find – as bristles are definitely worst…
- Are looking for fine line and angle brushes, artistic sets? worth to try nail decorating brushes.
I am not discrediting good brand like Crown Brushes, Royal and Langnickel, Real Techniques and EcoTools, Elf, are also worth to try, however there is no guarantee that brushes from brands would be better than china stock brushes….some sets and brushes are reviewed as very low quality and disappoint.
Bellow you can see examples of brushes that you may look after, my fav picks, tested and this sets should be in decent quality. Colours of handle, prints on it are very. (all photos source – eBay sellers).
Close up to the bristle