I've relied on Real Techniques brushes for the longest time now. I think I've purchased just about every set going, as well as a few one-off additions to the collection along the way. Recently though I've been getting a little bored of them. The Bold Metals collection did nothing to excite me and, although I'd always been fairly happy with the quality of my hoard, I couldn't help but start to wonder just how much of a difference other brands could make to the whole application process. I still think Real Techniques are a great starting place and offer some wicked brushes for the price, but I've been itching to invest a little more and build a collection of high quality brushes and tools.
For my base I like something big and chunky and the Crown C333 Chubby Foundation Brush* has well and truly taken the place of my once-beloved Buffing Brush. It reminds me a lot of the Louise Young LY34 Super Foundation Brush both in texture and shape, making application of liquid formulas as easy as can be. I also like to have something a little smaller on hand for blending concealer, although I haven't found an alternative that quite matches the RT Contour Brush yet.
I couldn't be without a thin angled brush for my brows, so I finally took the plunge and splurged a little on the MAC 266. I'm actually keen to get my hands on another of the same as I've found it works brilliantly for applying gel liner too - the small, tightly packed fibres allow you to create really precise lines and have meant that even I can occasionally crack a sharp cat eye. For my eyes I've mainly been reaching for the Crown C433 Pro Blending Fluff Brush*; one that looks suspiciously like the MAC 217 and initially gives pretty similar results at a snip of the price. My only gripe? After a few washes the hairs on this one have begun to fray and shed, a problem that I never had with any of the Real Techniques offerings. Having heard rave reviews on the Bobbi Brown and Zoeva brushes I'm keen to get my hands on a few of those over the coming months, as well as something from the Sigma range. Oh, and Sephora. And bareMinerals and Kevin Auction. NARS, too. Send help.