For some time now I have been decluttering my stash of lower quality products, those that did not work for me or simply those that for any reason I did not reach for.
In the case of the ones featured in this post, we could consider them my training wheels, as I am putting aside to give away or throw away some brushes that I bought when I first started and a cheap basic palette that has allowed me to play with different colours without breaking the bank.
Kiko has some decent brushes and at affordable prices. They have both permanent and limited edition brushes, which are worth a look if you are in the market for basic brushes (specially if you take advantage of the frequent sales).
Above are pictured the face 102 brush and two limited edition brushes. The powder brush is quite dense, works well to blend powder on the face but is scratchy. I have found nicer substitutes to this one.
The flat top buffer brush is a synthetic brush and has quite a nice feel. However, it is very dense, so as I used it with foundation, it became a nightmare to clean.
I picked up the double ended synthetic brush intending to use it for my cream eyeshadows. However there was something about the firmness and density that did not work well for me. I have since found a very good substitute in the Zoeva Concealer Buffer.
For some time I used these eye brushes to work with pigments and even with regular eyeshadows if other brushes were dirty.
The eyes 200 is a fluffy blending brush that has the misfortune of being both scratchy and having a very pointed taper. So it is not only uncomfortable to use but it also does not blend as well as brushes with a better shape.
The eyes 202 is a flat paddle shaped brush. It wants to be the equivalent of the MAC 239, but it does not manage to be even close. It is scratchy, the bristles are splayed and consequently it has an uneven shape. Due to this and its thickness, it does not really pat eyeshadow as well as other brushes. I have found the Zoeva Smoky Shader to be a much better quality substitute.
The brushes above were launched by a national supermarket chain. They were quite the craze here for a while and I thought that as they had short handles that they would be perfect travel brushes. They have all synthetic bristles and perform decently. I have kept one of the brushes, the one originally intended for blush as I like to use it for foundation (has a shape similar to the Real Techniques buffing brush).
These are the Coastal Scents brushes that survived two previous purges and that I am taking out of my stash now. The black ones came in a big cheap set that at the moment allowed me to increase the number and range of brushes considerably. The pink kabuki was also very coveted by national bloggers at the time and I must say that I never got what all the fuss was about.
This Make Up Store brush has been used quite extensively to apply powder and even blush and bronzer in a pinch. However, I have since then discovered that less is more when it comes to powder and found better brushes to apply a light dusting all over the face.
As with the brushes, when it comes to make up I started with lower quality make up as a way of getting to know what worked for me and what not.
I chose the 28 Neutral Palette that several brands carry.
I learned which colours I reached for and which ones did not suit me that well and I have since built my own palettes with MAC and Make Up Store eyeshadows. I find it more satisfying to choose the colours and textures of your palette, so I am staying far from premade palettes as a norm now.
What about you? What were your beauty training wheels?