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A Few of My Favorite Things 2014: Brushes and a Few Extras!

By 4:52 PM

If you've watched YouTube even a hand full of times for beauty you know that brushes are big business.  I think that this can be a huge money sink.  I took a good look at my small brush collection and picked out the ones I use on the daily and go nuts if I didn't put them away correctly and can't find them.

Ah yes.  The Sigma F80.  This is the reining queen of all things hype, with the NARS Eda brush coming in a close second.  There was a time when you couldn't watch a video without seeing a YouTube Guru GUSH over this brush.  It's winding down with dupes that I don't own yet, but mean to try.  However, I do love this brush.  It's $24.00 on the Sigma site and it is quite the brush.  It gives me an airbrushed look.  I usually dot the foundation on my face, use the brush to stipple, and then buff it in.  I find that if I use it to grab foundation from the back of my hand it absorbs too much foundation and ends up wasting it.  I haven't found my brush to shed, but I have read that some people have had that problem.  It is incredibly soft and I think that for now it is worth the price.  With cheaper dupes out there, this is subject to change.

Next up is the Original Beauty Blender.  This is an oft imitated item.  I have found though, that the original is just the best.  It will last you a long time if you take care of it.  I wash mine every night after use and am careful not to let my nails tear this sponge.  This is quite refreshing in the morning if you use if with cold water and feels great in the eye area.  It is $19.00.  But unlike a cheap sponge that you will replace often, you can have this one for a long time because of the quality if you take care of it.  If you use a water based foundation this sponge will absorb too much.  So use this with silicone or oil based foundation.  It is fantastic for blending out your under-eye makeup.  It will help it blend out evenly and not look cakey.

This is my favorite brush for applying color all over my lid.  I own more expensive brushes, but this one just works the best for me.  The set for the Real Techniques Starter Set is only $14.39 at Target.  Most of the brushes are okay.  The real star of this set is the Base Shadow Brush.  It is made of synthetic hair, very soft, and just applies shadow very nicely.  You can't purchase it as a stand alone yet, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.  It's a great value.

This next brush is over hyped and there are many dupes for this brush that work very well.  You don't need this exact brush, but for now this is the one I use the most.  It's the MAC 217.  It's $24.00 for this brush.  I love it, but I will find you a better dupe for cheaper.  It's hand made and it lasts very well.  It's great for blending or for a light wash of color.

This is the best ever brush cleaner.  If you get a spray bottle that works (I keep getting junk ones that don't work well) and just spritz your brushes, then you just gently work off the cleaner in a towel and your brush is clean, dry, and smells like vanilla.  I use this nightly with my brushes and it's just amazing.  With this, you never have an excuse for dirty brushes!  If you use a spray bottle you won't waste a lot of products.  Then just buy the big bottle and keep refilling your spray bottle.  Cinema Secrets Professional Brush Cleaner used to only be available on their site or Amazon, but it's now available at Sephora!!!  Yay!!!  The small 2 oz bottle is only $8.00.  The largest size is 32 oz and $36.00.  It will last you ages, even with daily brush cleaning.

My last item is my little miracle.  I don't get blemishes too often, but when I start to feel one coming on, I just apply this and it totally helps.  If I catch it early enough, this will fade it before it blows out.  If I don't, Mario Badescu Drying Lotion will make the time the blemish hangs out much shorter.  It is $17.00.  You don't mix this product.  You dip a cotton swab through the clear liquid into the pink.  You then dot on your face.  It smells awful and may tingle when applied but it doesn't burn.  It really is one of those things I don't know how I lived without!

* I bought all of these products with my own money.  No one paid me to like them.

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