One of the areas that I feel South African beauty-lovers are lacking in is choice of brushes. MAC supplies high-end brushes the majority of us cannot afford (with a clean conscience), and while I love the CALA brushes I own, Dischem does not really fill the gap. In recent years, Real Techniques has become available in Truworths and some Clicks stores, but I have yet to try anything but their beauty sponge.
One of the first things I learned from watching beauty Youtubers was that the tool you use to apply your makeup is as important if not more important than what you actually apply. I didn’t really buy into this until I splurged on a nice set of brushes. A few years ago I was visiting family in Germany, and after reading a review on Zoeva brushes, I decided to take the plunge and purchase their ‘Makeup Artist’ brush kit for an exorbitant amount of money. Considering that the kit contains 25 brushes, it worked out to be just over R100 (at the time), which is a flippin’ steal.
The quality of the brushes is amazing, they feel heavy and expensive, and look sleek and professional. They have lasted fantastically, with no shedding of the bristles whatsoever. While I am happy I acquired a good variety of brushes, the danger of purchasing a kit is that it will include items you probably wouldn’t have specifically purchased alone. Of the brushes I do use, which is most of them, these are my absolute favourites.
Zoeva 125 Stippling
This was one of the brushes I didn’t often reach for since I prefer to apply my foundation with a sponge, so this brush sat in the Came-With-the-Kit jar. Recently, I saw a Youtuber apply blush using a similar brush, and upon giving it a go, found it to give a much more dispersed, natural finish than my traditional, tapered blush brush. It also makes it considerably easier to spread product up the cheekbones if you tend to have a heavy hand (…like me). While I wouldn’t say it’s a must-have, it’s certainly much-loved in my collection.
Zoeva 103 Defined Buffer
On the rare occasions I do apply cream or liquid products to my face with a brush, this is the one I’m using to do it. I like applying a liquid highlighter like the Born to Glow liquid illuminator from NYX, or a shimmery base-type product like Lush’s Feeling Young skin tint, prior to using my foundation, and this brush is a perfect size and stiffness for the job. It’s smaller than a traditional kabuki brush, but is still nice to buff product in. If you find that large buffing brushes are a bit overwhelming for your application or suck up too much of your product, this is a great alternative.
Zoeva 105 Luxe Highlight
This brush is like the all-purpose army knife of the brush world. Highlighter, under-eye powder, contour, you name it. This small, slightly tapered, fluffy brush is super soft, and picks up product almost as well as it applies it. I find it the perfect size to do more precise actions like contouring along my cheekbones, as well as applying powder in specific areas only, as opposed to when I powder my whole face. I really don’t struggle to find a use for this brush, so it’s one I reach for often.
Zoeva 222 Luxe All Over Shader
Similarly, the All Over Shader is an all-round winner in my books. It’s luxuriously soft, so I use it a lot for eye-related work. It’s dense enough to apply powder to my under-eye area to set concealer, or to set an eyeshadow base with a transparent shadow. The brush is fairly broad for its size, and has a tapered tip, making it perfect to apply brow bone highlight too. While it isn’t a common brush style, I think it can easily do the job of a lot of other brushes, so if you’re starting out your makeup collection or need a travel-friendly brush option in order to pack light, this is a must-have.
Zoeva 228 Luxe Crease
This is my favourite fluffy blending brush… ever. Its slightly tapered tip is perfect for blending shadows in the crease, and it disperses product remarkably. It’s a complete game changer to your eyeshadow application. This brush is really testament to the fact that great tools make great makeup looks. Whether you use it to apply crease shades or clean, to blend shadows already on your lid, it helps to create a seamless transition. If there is any brush type I would recommend splurging on, its one like this.
Zoeva 231 Petite Crease
I find that the tapered brushes are better at picking up shadow than their non-tapered counterparts. This brush, while not necessarily a staple, makes adding darker shadows to the outer corner of your lid a breeze. It’s rigid enough for a precise application, while still being soft enough to blend out what you applied. I reach for this brush often, and think it’s another one that can really improve the overall outcome of your look.
237 Detail Shader
I love this tiny brush… for more reasons than just being tiny and adorable, I promise. My favourite way to use it is to apply inner corner and brow bone highlight. It picks up INTENSE amounts of product for its size, and does especially well with glittery shadows. It’s small and soft enough to be used very close to your eye, so think blending liners or under-eye shadows. It’s a nifty addition to the collection of anyone who does a little more than merely swirl a single shade over their lid. If you’re looking to broaden your application techniques or try a more intricate eye look, this is the perfect brush.
Recently I’ve been looking to expand my collection of brushes. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Morphe’s brushes and was wondering if any of you owned any? I know Muse Beauty stocks them here in South Africa, and have been deciding which ones to order. What brands of brushes do you own? Would you recommend a specific one that you always find yourself reaching for?