A hand­ful of re­li­able brushes are all you need to cover ev­ery­thing from pre­ci­sion ap­pli­ca­tions to touch ups

The Irish Times Magazine - - INSIDE - LAURA KENNEDY

‘ Beauty tools” used to re­fer to your fin­gers and those ter­ri­ble sponge ap­pli­ca­tors that come inside low- grade eye­shadow com­pacts and im­me­di­ately go into the bin. Now, that term refers to ev­ery­thing from brushes and sponges to sil­i­cone ap­pli­ca­tors that would look more at home beef­ing up your bra cups than ap­ply­ing your foun­da­tion.

Over the years, since train­ing as a makeup artist, I have amassed a shame­fully large col­lec­tion of brushes and tools and tried just about ev­ery new beauty fad. Still, I find my­self reach­ing for the same hand­ful of re­li­ables on a daily ba­sis. The beauty in­dus­try turns on the tale that ev­ery new prod­uct re­lease is a rein­ven­tion of the wheel, but they can keep their au­to­mated brushes and home air­brush ma­chines and weird plas­tic sponges. There will al­ways be some­thing new. If you take joy in a vast col­lec­tion of tools, then have at it, but all you re­ally need is a ba­sic cap­sule col­lec­tion of five brushes; five to rule them all.

The 1 No 141 PS . . . Pro Touch- Up Brush (¤ 3 from Pen­neys) is a ridicu­lously af­ford­able re­cent find that I won’t be with­out. It’s ideal for buff­ing con­ceal- er or pow­der un­der eyes. In a pinch, you can use it for pow­der shadow, high­lighter or even foun­da­tion. I re­cently man­aged to do a whole face of makeup in the back of a cab with two of these and a brow brush. The driver prof­fered judg­men­tal glances, but my makeup looked well by the time I got out, though there was one mi­nor in­jury when I took the point of a brow brush to the cornea.

That brow brush ( very ex­cel­lent pro­vided you don’t jam it into your eye­ball on a speed bump) is the

2 Bobbi Brown Brow De­finer Dual End Brush (¤ 35). I have kept the same one faith­fully in my ev­ery­day makeup bag for about six years. The stiff hairs cre­ate clean, pre­cise lines and the lit­tle spoolie on the other end, en­dowed with a spritz of hair­spray, will set brows per­fectly.

The 3 MAC 217 Blend­ing Brush (¤ 26) is renowned for a rea­son – noth­ing blends eye­shadow like it. For the heavy lift­ing of ap­ply­ing a cream or pow­der eye­shadow base, I like the 4 Real Tech­niques Eye Shade Blend Set (¤ 13.99). The two fluffy lit­tle brushes in the set are small enough to use even along the lash line, and dou­ble as nice con­ceal­ing brushes for blem­ish cover. You can make do with one, but the set works out less ex­pen­sive.

While brands like Mac and Bobbi Brown of­fer ex­cel­lent brushes, if your bud­get doesn’t stretch, Zo­eva is an af­ford­able brush brand which is a re­cent ad­di­tion to Arnotts. Their brushes are pro­fes­sional qual­ity, look­ing and feel­ing sig­nif­i­cantly more lux­u­ri­ant than the price tag. For a good multi- tasker, try the 5 Zo­eva 105 Luxe High­light Brush (¤ 16 from Arnotts). The pointed tip makes pre­ci­sion ap­pli­ca­tion of pow­ders easy, while the sur­round­ing, shorter bris­tles blend the prod­uct for soft edges. The shape makes it ideal for blush, con­tour and high­lighter. Just don’t stick it in your eye.

in­dus‘ tr‘ The beauty y turns on the tale that ev­ery new prod­uct re­lease is a rein­ven­tion of the wheel, but they can keep their au­to­mated brushes and weird plas­tic sponges

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