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A car, a house, a dress, a watch, or even a simple a make up brush, how do you make your final decision ? Budget aside, is it rational or emotional ? When the choice is overwhelming how do you handle it ?
Some already know exactly what they want and others can afford pretty much everything they want, in those circumstances there is no obvious difficulty or frustration to deal with, but the majority just want to narrow it down to the minimum, whenever possible to the best and it’s totally understandable that brushes are not everybody’s budget top priority.
Personally I love “the decision making process” in general, I live with it, I work with it, it fascinates me and I get bored if I cannot experience it. When it comes to brushes, specially the hunting is the most exciting part for me, that’s how I got here, a lot of hunting with just a pinch of self-control. I remember the very black comedy series “Psychoville“, it’s awful I warn you, funny but very uncomfortable, the old man in the series loves Beanie babies to the death, his purpose in life is the hunt for the most unique of them all, it takes him a while and an insane quantity of effort but finally when he finds “the one” he throws it in the ocean… why ??? because the hunt is what makes him even happier. Will I ever get THE brush that blows out my brains (or whatever is left) ? It already happened, many times. Did I stop ? nope. I am like an insatiable vampire, but don’t be afraid, I am just here to help …. 😉
That’s why I started this little blog in the first place, at least to give a useful purpose to my collection and maybe put you in the right direction when you are facing some decision making difficulties.
I receive many emails asking for recommendations, I try to reply to you the best I can but there are many things that always remain unwritten and that I need to say so I’ll say it here and now. When I am asked “What is the best bronzer brush? What foundation brush do you recommend ?” How could I possible shortly reply to these questions if I don’t know you. I don’t know what products you use, what type of skin you have, what finish you are expecting, what material you prefer, what type of handles you prefer or what technique you use. Even if I try, there are chances that I don’t aim right. Also, I need to point out here that there is no BEST brush of all, there could be a better one for you depending on your needs but in general there are many amazing ones, each one adapted to a type of product, a type of skin and your personal preferences. Once you understand these prerequisites, you’ll see how difficult it is for someone to decide on your behalf.
I met many categories of brush lovers, there is :
- The Collector – will be interested by the most extreme brushes ever made and will gather the most amazing artistic creations.
- The Brushpeologist – I think I am part of that category 😀 always hunting for new treasures, but curiosity hasn’t yet killed anything, neither the cat, nor my passion.
- The Newcomer – a make up artist -or any other skilled person- who just found out that soft and beautiful brushes exist and wants to replace his old ones.
- The Beginner – who is just starting to experiment with make up and needs adapted tools.
- The Faithful and Devoted – who will stick to a brand, no matter what.
- The Purist – sticks to the same color.
- The Proficient – doesn’t care about the tool, just cares about the functionality and wants the best results.
- The Planner – who is slowly preparing and building his essential tools kit over the time, prioritization in mind.
- The Infected – wasn’t looking for brushes, got here, got infected.
- The Voyager – the one who came, built his collection, had a good time and is now exploring other fields of beauty.
- The Scientist – driven by research and result oriented with high a curiosity to experiment with products and acquire mathematical knowledge.
- The Mystified – doesn’t know what this fuss is all about, has no clue if he needs a brush, or what for.
- The Straightforward”er” – brush acquisition has to be a simple, fast and direct process.
- The Uncontrollable Enthusiast– is driven by a fierce passion and admiration and wants to get all of them ! (yep, I am here too…)
You may belong to one of these categories or not, or to several altogether, it’s just a funny way to present it 😉 but the message I want to communicate is that we all have different needs, preferences, priorities, values and objectives, you have to follow your own. The complexity of our personalities has also an importance.
I love beautiful brushes but my priority is quality and results, if a brush is beautiful and can deliver, even better !
This is just a short introduction and preparation lecture if you are interested in brushes and have trouble deciding, because in the near future I am going to publish a series of posts where I’ll give you an overview and my recommendations by category, starting with foundation brushes, if these series are helpful, I will carry on. The idea behind those posts is not only to give you my personal recommendations but if you are willing to, share yours in the comments. It’s probably going to be amazingly helpful for all of us if you’ll share what your profile is and what foundation brush and product you use.
There is people looking for light coverage, heavy, or just targeting a younger and healthier appearance, going for runway make up looks or for long days at work, whatever your profile is you may be lost in selection and I am not going to lie to you, it’s fun but the selection or decision process can be painful so we’ll try to reduce it to an acceptable level.
How to reduce the confusion and how to make the right decision ? Well there is no secret formula, there are some helpful rules but there is also a more dark psychological side that we don’t necessarily control.
This is a summary of official strategic thinking advice mixed with my own rules, that could also apply to many fields of your life, but here we are just talking about make up brushes :
- Analyse your needs. Identify what the problem is with your current brushes. You may have brushes that don’t work with your new acquired products anymore, that now deliver too much coverage for your age or that don’t deliver enough, that don’t apply the product nicely or that are too rough. For me the “one brush fits all” concept does not work. Once you know what the problem is at least you know what to look for.
- Do your own research. Either in Youtube, blogs, forums, there is a lot of information out there and the most useful for me was Youtube videos. BUT, don’t necessarily buy anything that they (or I) say it’s good because it may not be for you. Beware of “Information Overload”, this is when a person doesn’t have yet the necessary topic knowledge or experience to process a huge load of information thrown at her. It takes time and effort but relax, the world hasn’t been created in a day.
- Limit the choice. Unfortunately too many choices are the cause of our decision making problem today. If you already know something will not work for you, just eliminate it, don’t get influenced by other’s needs, think about yours and your own preferences, always.
- Accept your choice. “Best” is what is “good enough for you”. If it meets your requirements, it means it’s meant for you. It’s how you feel about your choice that matters, if you are happy, it’s good enough!
- Don’t be too scared of the outcome. We all make mistakes and we all change and evolve. If it’s a good brush it may be good for you in the future, our technique changes, the products we own change, who knows, either way, the consequences are not that long lasting, and even if it’s a perfect brush today, it may not be anymore tomorrow.
- Go with your instinct and your guts, always !!! I can’t stress it enough. This is the most important rule. You may think you are making a rational or an emotional choice but in my humble opinion, all decisions are driven by emotions without us even noticing it and you are more likely to regret something you purchased rationally, than emotionally. “We forgive our heart more than our head”.
- Have someone else choose for you. It’s also a rule if you want, and then you can thank or blame someone else 🙂
- Take your time. If you are still not sure, give it a night or two…
- Don’t question your choice anymore. Once you went for it, stop the agony. You can go for more in the future but that choice has been done now so look at the future, not the past. “All our final decisions are made in a state of mind that is not going to last” (Marcel Proust by the way… ).
There is another little creepy way of deciding, spend a few days imagining that you made that decision, then pause, if you are not happy, spend a few days imagining you made the other decision…. 😀 it’s difficult to imagine because without the product it’s not something that appears feasible but it can work.
Today I have regrets but we all learn from our mistakes, usually I don’t make the same mistake twice, other mistakes for sure but not the same 😛 When I buy brushes I don’t like to use, if the brushes are of good quality I wait. One day when I have time I take a product I don’t use or don’t like, a brush I don’t use, and I see if there is a possibility I can get any use at all if they are combined… You’ll see in my posts that I have a few brushes that are still in the waiting room. You also need a bit of creativity and imagination, thinking outside the box will help reduce any regret you may have.
The upcoming post about “How to choose your foundation brush” will feature 40 completely different foundation brushes, that’s why I wanted to warn you, if you are looking for the one for you, some decision making process may be involved 😉
I wish you a wonderful weekend !