Hi everyone,

Happy New Year! While I don't make new year resolutions anymore, I do have plans and intentions to make 2011 a much better year. Lately, I've come to realize that I am a makeup brush aficionado. Although I don't actively collect them, I do own quite a lot of brushes (evident here.) This has a lot to do with me being a painter in my earlier life but in my defense, what not to love about makeup brushes? They are beautiful and they make you look marvelous.

Then, one day it dawned on me that my life was a lot simpler when I only had like, 3 brushes. I know, I couldn't believe it either but it did exist. While I don't want to get rid of all my brushes (come on, am I insane?!), I do want to simplify my life to a few that I use everyday. If you haven't noticed already. The number of brushes I used in the recent tutorials/FOTDs are a lot less. Needless to say, it is very refreshing and I hope those of you who are brush aficionados will give it a try.

Here are the ones I use the most and can't part without. To put it in a different way: if you want me to get rid of them, you would have to walk over my dead body!

Face Brushes
1. ELF studio duo fiber brush (yes!), 2. StudioTools Dual-Finish brush, 3. MAC 168, 4. Sonia Kashuk synthetic blusher brush, 5. ELF studio powder brush
 The ELF Studio duo fiber brush is a new discovery and I haven't done a write up yet (I promise I will. Soon.) I still can't believe it only costs 3 bucks. This brush is really soft and applies highly pigmented blushes very well. It is definitely a good dual fiber blush brush while the StudioTools one is a much better stippling brush for foundation. MAC 168 is love and there's no way on Earth for you to take that brush off my hands. The Sonia Kashuk brush is more for creme blushes. It blends them like a dream. It also works well as an under-eye concealer brush with mineral concealer. The ELF Studio Powder brush is a must-have. I would not buff my mineral foundation without this brush.

6. Sephora retractable lip brush, 7. No name dual-ended powder/concealer brush, 8. EDM long handled kabuki, 9. Crown Brush giant fan brush
 The retractable lip brush is about 10 years old and I am not kidding. That stuff is just very durable and if you use dark lipstick, a lip brush is a must-have. I prefer this one over MAC lip brush as it is a lot thicker and blends my lipstick better. The dual-ended powder/concealer brush is the only brush I use to apply concealer. I bought it for a dollar and it is really good and compact. I also use it to contour my nose :)

The EDM LHK is in the stash because it is crazy soft and blends my blush, contouring powder, and highlighting powder together well. The big fluffy fan brush is LOVE. If you use highlighting powder, you need it. It makes everything look dewier and more airbrushed but with lack of precision. The dual-fiber brushes will allow you to place highlighter with more precision but sometimes, I realize they make it look too obvious. Also, the big fluffy fan brush is good to apply finishing powder as well.

More brushes after the jump. Jump!

Eye Brushes
10. ELF angled eyeshadow brush, 11. ELF blending brush, 12. ELF eyeshadow brush, 13. MAC 266, 14. Coastal Scents synthetic eyeliner brush, 15. ELF contour brush, 16. MAC 217
I don't use brushes #10 and 11 as often as they are my back ups to MAC 217. Also, #11 and #15 almost do the same thing, despite the contour brush is a little bit smaller and shorter. I should go ahead and do another review post of my ELF brushes already, now that I realize I have the good stuff. ELF eyeshadow brush is the only basic eyeshadow brush I use for now. I don't even use MAC 234 or its dupe (the Loew-Cornell brush) anymore. It is a lot better and softer than the others. #13 and 14 are redundant and I prefer to have them both just in case one is drying. Last but not least, MAC 217 is a must-have. I would probably get a dupe from Coastal Scents since I've been using this brush a lot and waiting for it to dry is not fun.

Honestly, I don't use all my brushes in this post at the same time. I would probably use a combination of 5 brushes at a time but just in case some of them are hanging out to dry, I need the other ones to work for me. Life is a lot simpler this way. At least I don't have to wash 30+ brushes at a time anymore. For the other brushes I don't use, I store them properly and if/when I have a special occasion, I would use them.

How about you? What are your most commonly used brushes? Please let me know in the comment section, I'd love to hear all about them.


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