These “Friend brush posts” are the living proof that our passion for brushes is not only contagious but also, and specially, extremely helpful.
I thought it would be very interesting to take a deep plunge into my friends’ own beauty life, see how their “brush adventure” evolved, sometimes influenced or triggered by the SMuT community.
Funny and very interesting to see how inspiration goes both ways, always.
Today I introduce you to Jeanette, she has been commenting here since the beginning of 2013 but following me and reading us for even longer, I love it when silent readers suddenly start to interact and become great helpers, it’s what makes this blog so special! A very big thank you to Jeanette for being such a SMuT Guardian Angel and for sharing her favorite brushes with us 🙂
I am Jeanette. I am 50 years old. I became a brush lover by accident.
My beauty profile
I have dry skin, always had. The upside of this is that I hardly ever had a blemish much envied by my friends when I was in my teens. The downside is – as most people with dry skin probably recognize – an itching feeling that the skin is too tight, which is really uncomfortable and can only be relieved by very few face creams. I do not have dry flaky skin, so it doesn’t show, it just feels deeply uncomfortable.
My preferred daily makeup is mostly a no-makeup makeup look. That is because:
- At work I want to look polished and professional
- I am quite fair, so everything shows up on me as were it neon lights
- It is easy in the morning to stick to what you know works
But I’d like to practice different looks, which I have decided to do more in the future J
A no-makeup makeup look does require the whole palette of products, it is just subtle. I will describe my routine in more detail below.
First my skin care routine
From the age of 15 I used face creams, because of my dry skin. We used to use foundation at that time to get a healthier bronzy glow, and the foundation would dry in patches if I didn’t use a face cream first. So already then, my face cream was like a primer to me, I guess.
At 22 I had a skin routine changing experience. I had tried a hyped new on the market-face cream that gave everybody rashes and was taken of the market again. For a couple of weeks I had one big, red, itching and sore patch all over my face, and none of my high-end expensive face creams could penetrate it and give me relief. Then I tried Biotherm’s rich face cream, and it penetrated as no other cream had done, and put my hurting skin to peace. Biotherm has had a rich cream with different names over the years, but it still works.
After that experience, I have become very much aware of how effectively face creams penetrate and relieve – or don’t – deep down in the skin. And I must say that a lot of creams like La Mer, Shiseido, Clarins, Chanel, Lancome, Laura Mercier with SPF, Institute Esthederm – I have tried them, but none of them work on me. I can use many of them in the summer, though they are still not sufficient. But in the winter I just cannot use them, if I don’t want an uncomfortable dry feel all day. The skin feels moist from the outside, but dry and tight underneath. I still try other face creams to find other rich creams that work for dry skin, but there is a definite hole in the market here. It is almost impossible to find.
On another note while I am at it, I just hate creams in a jar. I have long finger nails, so I hate to have to get the cream out from under my nails after application. Sometimes I am given a spatula with the cream, but who wants to spend time on using and cleaning a spatula in the morning? I don’t. I much prefer creams in a tube.
A couple of years ago, I started to use a functional night cream. Meaning not just giving moisture, but boosting with vitamin A that reduces fine lines and provides a more youthful glow. It has given visible results which have been remarked by people who hadn’t seen me for a couple of months, since I started. It is from the brand Beauté Pacifique. I am sure there are other brands with the same effect, too, but this truly works, so I haven’t tried other brands.
My foundation routine
My foundation routine is kind of tricky. On one hand I have dry skin, and on the other hand I use a greasy rich moisturizer underneath, so it is difficult to choose the right foundation that looks good and is long lasting.
I primarily use Chanel Vitalumiere which is for dry skin. I apply my moisturizer long before I have to apply foundation, so that my skin is not too greasy. When the winter is very cold, I have to reapply moisturizer after it has sunk in after the first application, so then it is more difficult.
I apply the foundation with my fingers and loosely massage it in. As I generally don’t have skin problems, I mainly use foundation to get a uniform colour, so I apply it in areas where I am red, which is around the nose, the chin and in the middle of my forehead. Because of Sonia I have the most wonderful foundation brush that I use to buff it in with and get a nice invisible finish. That is the Koyudo FuPa-13. Another wonderful brush is the Houkodou foundation brush. It is so beautiful and soft and perfectly crafted, and I love it. I do prefer the angled FuPa-13 though, as it is also extremely soft and just so easy to use, because it is angled. And I love these chubby, short handles that make the brushes so easy to control.
For pinpoint concealing I like Kevyn Aucoin’s concealer brush.
My eye makeup routine
In the following I will go through my eye makeup routine and explain my favourite brushes as I do so.
I prime my eyes with Estée Lauders Double Wear Stay in Place eyeshadow base. I have long nails, so I prefer a brush to apply it with. I absolutely love the Hakuhodo J125R duofibre brush for this. Also thanks to Sonia for introducing me to this one. I had a Mac 187 duofibre brush for foundation, which I really didn’t like, and I never wanted to try another duofibre brush. But Sonia’s warm recommendation of these made me try them. I have two J125R, and they are always dirty because they are in constant use. For cream base, cream shadow, and under eye concealing. Big love!
On my eyes I use gel eyeliner close to my lashes to define my eyes.
When picking ones favourite brushes, we can often name more than one for the same purpose. Often these can be used interchangeably, or we prefer them for slightly different purposes. And sometimes we even change our opinion from time to time about which brush we prefer.
For my eyeliner brush this is not the case. I have one single brush that I think performs better than any other eyeliner brush I have tried. That is the SUQQU eyeliner brush C. It provides me with the utmost of control, so I can make a perfect line in no time. Another option is the tight lining brush from Hakuhodo G521-D1. That brush can make a very tight line close to the lashes and can also be used to make a winged eyeliner. It takes me a little longer to use, but is highly recommendable too.
Next up is my crease. As I have hooded eyes, it is important to me to define my crease and the surplus skin with a subtle, dark, matte colour. I need control for this, so a good crease brush is important to me. One of the best there is in my opinion is Tom Fords no. 13 eyeblender. It has the perfect balance between controlled application and blending. Runner up is Paula Dorf’s Sheer Crease brush. But I’d like to be able to direct the line more with a slightly smaller brush. That is a challenge, as many smaller brushes are too directional and tend to draw a very definite line instead of a diffused line. Many use pencil brushes for a very defined crease line. For that the SUQQU M and the Paula Dorf Smoke Lid brushes are excellent, but that is not what I am after.
I recently bought the LE Chikuhodo Kiwami eyeshadow brush M, which is a crease brush. It is made of Canadian Squirrel which is soft, but much more resistant than other very soft squirrel brushes. Almost like a goat brush, just not so rough. It is like an elongated pencil brush, with more or less the bristle length of a crease brush, but shaped differently. Soft as a squirrel brush and with the blending power of a goat brush. I love it to pieces. But the Hakuhodo J146 can do more or less the same job. Notice the width and shape of the crease brushes in the picture, where the crease brushes are pressed down.
The working area of the brushes can be seen in the next picture where they are being pressed down like when in use:
With the same crease colour I soften my eyeliner underneath the eyes. I don’t want a wide lined smoky eye, so I want the narrowest line possible. The best brush for me is Paula Dorf’s Smoke Lid brush (old pointed version), which is very soft but still firm enough due to its unique shape, Laura Mercier smoky eyeliner brush, or Koyudo BP039 used sideways. Tom Fords eyeliner and definer brush no. 15 is also very effective. It is very thin, firm and directional. If you put pressure on it, it may feel too hard, so it is not for everyone.
The working area of the brushes can be seen in the next picture where they are being pressed down like when in use:
Now I apply colour on my mobile lid. Mac 239 is a classic and an all time favorite. Another favorite is Tanseido’s YWQ9, which is slightly smaller and softer. Other nice laydown brushes are Hakuhodo S133 (Canadian squirrel. Mine is with a black handle so S133Bk), and SUQQU F.
For more detailed work I use a smaller eye brush to place colour above the pupillary, or the inner or outer corner. For this I love Chikuhodo Kiwami eye shadow brush S, Koyudo BP039, Tanseido WQ7, SUQQU S, and mainly for the outer V also Tom Ford no 12 eye shadow contour brush.
My favourite eye blender to blend everything seamlessly together after application is Koyudo BP033. I also love Paula Dorf’s eyeblender, which is 2 cm wide, lush and soft, but I can use several of my crease brushes for blending. F. The Tom Ford no. 11 eye shadow brush is an efficient big brush for an allover wash of colour, so not for small directional placement, and it is also an effective blending brush.
For eyebrows I have two different ways of application: to shape or to just fill in colour. In order to shape I love the SUQQU eyebrow brush S. I have tried different brow brushes, and I honestly didn’t realize how different they could be. This one works. If I just want to add colour to my brows and not to shape them, I use Paula Dorf’s smudge brush. It is small and firm enough to be perfect for that purpose. Near the eyes it feels as if there were bristles of steel in it, so I cannot use it as an eye brush.
When I don’t use eyebrow powder, I use SUQQU eyebrow liquid pen to draw very fine hairs in the hair growth direction between and next to my real eyebrows, both to shape and to fill in.
I don’t often use a lip brush, but my SUQQU portable lip brush is very nice.
My routine for blusher and contour
I add blusher last to be able to see how much is necessary. I prefer cream blush, which I apply with my fingers. It is difficult to get out of the little jar, because I have long finger nails. So I have just bought a new Hakuhodo duofibre brush, G5552, to use with it. I have yet to play with it though, but I put it in the picture for you, none the less.
I like to contour my face and sometimes to add powder blusher. So to get a smooth base for powder products on my dewy face, I add a bit of loose face powder in select places first. If I have used pin point consealing, I may set it with a bit of powder, and I slightly dust a bit of powder on and under my cheeks, on my chin and forehead. I.e. the places that don’t need to be dewy, or where I want to place powder products on top.
I don’t use a big powder brush for this. For powdering small select places I love my Paula Dorf eye blender. It is soft and firm, so perfect for flicking off powder in small places. The SUQQU eyeshadow L is also nice for this, though it is has less resistance to flick it off with, and so are many other big eyeshadow brushes. To apply powder around my cheeks, chin and forehead I use my SUQQU cheek. It is very soft and airy and doesn’t apply too much. I aim just to apply enough for the next powder products to apply nicely, not to powder heavily.
For powder blush I love my SUQQU cheek, which was my first true brush love, and the Chikuhodo R-C2.
For cream contour I use Koyudo BP023. For contouring with a powder product, I use a mat greyish brown powder product or bronzer for contouring. I can use my SUQQU cheek brush for that, but I like something a bit smaller. I do like the Chikuhodo Z-2, which is candle shaped and very easy to control. The ideal brush for me though, would be a smaller SUQQU cheek brush. I can use the Chikuhodo Kiwami eyeshadow L, but it is really not as lush as I’d like it to be. The Chikuhodo Z-3 with its flat surface is perfect for applying contour on the jaw line and top of the forehead, and for blending the cheekbones, but for applying under the cheekbones I find it less easy to control. So my search for the perfect contour brush hasn’t ended.
Sometimes I use an earth toned blusher to shape my cheeks instead of contour. For that I like to use a slanted brush. I have just got the BIFUDEDO slanted goat brush which is just as small and soft as I wanted for this use. It is equally soft as my Koyudo FuPa13, so I am very happy to have found this little gem. Thanks to the ever exploring and enabling Melissa!
Why makeup brushes?
So how did I become interested in makeup brushes? By accident. I had been to a beauty salon in Egypt where I had had my eyebrows shaped by thread. I thought that I did a pretty good job myself, but this method created the most perfect line that I was not aware of was even possible. At home I searched for youtube videos showing how to use thread yourself. I stumbled upon a lot of other beauty tutorials and blogs, and my interest for makeup application increased. I realized how much a good brush affected the makeup application. And searching for makeup and brushes, I found Sonia’s blog and got infected … The rest is history 🙂
I can’t take it, the contour brushes in the row are my dream come true set. *drools* ♥ I enjoyed to hear about your eyeliner preferences and now I officially need to get my hands on Paula Dorf brushes too!
Beautiful post Jeanette! *hugs*
Oh thank you so much, Laura 🙂
Fantabulous post Jeanette! Now I really have the Kiwami brushes on the brain because of you. We either must hunt another set down or bribe, threaten, coerce Chikuhodo into releasing it again lol!
Bea, thank you! And I am in for the hunt 🙂
Wow! Lovely post, and lady!
Thanks Cristina 🙂
Wohooo Jeanette so cool and detailed loved to read !
It’s so funny to see how the focus on the brushes is for everyone .It seems you have more a focus on eye brushes do I see it right ? For me blushes brushes are the most important becauee I also very often use only mascara and blush.
because i’m fair my mum also asked me sometimes if I’m ill when I had no blush on…
Thank you, Kiki 🙂 And that is just so spot on! My focus is on eye brushes, and I have several different needs for those. Actually, when I first thought about splitting a Kiwami set, I thought that maybe there would not be an interest in the bigger brushes, because they were the ones I was least interested in. But it actually seems that there is quite a big interest also in big powder brushes. I guess we always think that everybody else must find the same things attractive as we do.
I agree with your mom, most people look much healthier and happier with a little blusher *lol*
And I also focus on small face brushes … swoooon … 🙂
Thank you for the amazing work you did! It takes time to write so much info, I am really happy that you took the time to be in front of the scene 🙂 wonderful!!
I get your point with skincare, until you find the correct one you can waste a lot of money and energy… Like you the Laura Mercier with SPF does not work, but the one without works really great, since I use the IT CC with SPF50 it covers me 🙂
Your comment about the crease brushes is spot on! when you are looking for a diffused but controlled application, the TF or PD are fantastic!
Ohhh the Kiwami … I won’t comment on this because I may get someone interested and I don’t think this will be done soon but it is such an amazing set, within my whole collection it’s the brushes I could not get rid of…
Thank you again for sharing, I hope you continue this adventure with us and that was a very happy accident then 😀
Have never tried that eyebrow technique before, does it take long ? I just have no patience and it looks like it can take quite a while… For me it’s wax-wax and wax … and fast!! ^_^
Dear Sonia, you are more than welcome! You have given so much to us all, so this is just a very tiny give back for all the inspiration, knowledge, enablement, and lovely community that you have provided for us all. So thank you!
Regarding the Laura Mercier I bought it in London, because I remembered you recommending it. I don’t find it very moisturizing for dry skin, but then I read your post again and saw that you specifically wrote that the one with SPF doesn’t work for your dry skin. So I will try the one without SPF some day. The cream I like best is Biotherm’s Aquasource Biosensitive Rich, in case somebody wonders.
Actually, I think that a similar crease brush as the Kiwami could be made with goat hair. It shows in the picture where they are being pressed down against the surface which shape they each have. And the shape of the Kiwami could easily be made with goat hair of similar resistance.
Regarding eye brows – I never learned to do threading myself 😉 It takes a while to practice threading. But those who can do it very fast, and it is utterly fantastic.
Jeanette, this post was very educational for me. I had no idea that dry skin could start so early or be so uncomfortable. I’m glad you found products that work for you! Thanks also for your thorough description of brushes used and great photos, I love reading about favorites as it gives me ideas of what next to purchase. 🙂
Thank you Kay! I am glad that I could provide a little entertainment and inspiration 🙂
What a great discussion of your brushes and why they work or don’t work for you!
Also, I hate sticking my fingers into pots too. Why do they still package things this way!!
Thank you Lyanna!
I reckon that the manufacturers of creams think that they can sell more and more expensively, if the creams come in a pretty jar. But I wonder how many of the customers feel that way. I don’t prioritize time for getting cream out from under my nails in the morning, but would chose a different option any day.
Do you both remember once upon a time when (I think) Oil of Olaz were making a TV advert of a porcelain looking woman dipping her finger into the cream pot in such a pure elegant way that all woman wanted to copy her ? I was little and that was the image of beauty I had for years… when I saw my mum had a pot like this it reminded me of that elegant woman on TV commercials… so I guess, some women may still have that image 🙂 that is not anymore the best fitting our real needs…
What an enjoyable, great read – thank you Jeanette!! Loved it!
Thanks Lillian 🙂
Jeanette, this was such a great and entertaining read, not to mention totally drool worthy – you have definitely collected some of the best brushes out there! 😀 Thank you for taking the time to do this. And it was nice to see my Kiwami’s baby siblings having fun with your other brushes *waves to the litter*.
I was laughing with the cream in a pot thing… Totally agree! I also don’t understand why the brands insist! Not only is it a hassle, I don’t want to be sticking my fingers into my face cream. I mean, one jar can easily last me 6 months or more, how gross is it going to be by the end of it?! I do worry because my skin is acne prone, so I want everything to be as sterile as possible. Not to mention that many anti-oxidants (yummy!) are super sensitive to air and totally oxidize when they are constantly exposed… so it’s also a waste of good ingredients. Sorry for my rant, BUT WE WANT PUPMS! PUMPS FOR THE WORLD! Hahaha.
Thank you Cat :-)The Kiwami babies wawe back to their big sis and their womb *lol*
Actually I didn’t think I had that many brushes compared to many others who share pictures, but my small collection has slowly grown below my radar, I think. It is not yet finalized, though 🙂
Great post Jeanette.This Kiwami…….i want them but….
I have the Fu-pa 12 so i can not justify the Fu-pa 13…or maybe i can?
Thanks Argiro, the FuPa-13 is smaller, so very easy to work with. I consider buying one more, as I use it everyday. So if you do too, maybe you should try the smaller version?
I have my eyes on the big square one, FuPa-07, too.
I loved reading about your skincare and foundation routine especially! Thank you for sharing with us 🙂
And the photos! Love the flowers decorating some of them – beautiful pop of colour.
Thank you Bonnie 🙂
Thank you for taking the time to pull this all together! Seriously, it´s been lots of fun to read everything you post here, so well written and thoughtful! I agree,finding a good skin care products can be as exhausting , sometimes each product just works slightly different on everyone and I end up wasting money trying to find a good product that I can stick with for a while ,or end up using it all over my body 🙂
Thank you Tesla. And you know how much time it really takes 😉 Hats off to Sonia who has done so many posts!!!!!
Yes, I have wasted lots of money on face creams. I try to get a sample now when ever possible. But sometimes I buy online, and then it is hit or miss. (Mostly miss when it comes to face creams sadly).
BRAVO my Kiwami sister!!! How can I ever top yours and Tesla’s review 🙂 🙂
Thank you so much for doing this. Your pics are awesome. Seeing them makes my wish list grows!! But as we all know the lemmings are endless in the magical world of brushes 🙂 🙂 🙂 I am happy to hear u love the BIFUDEDO. I’m still amazed by its excellent quality combined with the price! Unbeatable right!! I hope they will release new brushes in near future (or maybe not…!!).
CHEERS TO MORE DISCOVERIES TOGETHER!
Thank you Melissa 🙂 I really, really look forward to hearing about your eye makeup routine (please!) Your EOTD pictures are so awesome, so I expect to be able to pick up a trick or two from you 😉
Yes, the BIFUDEDO slanted brush is such a hit, big love <3 I would love to have more brushes from them.
CHEERS, CHEERS! I depend on you for leading our adventure towards more brush discoveries, and I am all ears 🙂 🙂 🙂
Love! Love! Love! Thank you for sharing!
Your post inspires me to try and write one myself. :)))
Emphasis on the word TRY.
Im a brush addict by accident too.. Started when I began reading Sonia’s blog. 😉
Thank you Ann. Inspiring you to do a post of your own is really a compliment!
And yes, please, please do a post. Short or long and whatever focus you have on brushes and makeuo 🙂
And I’d love to hear if and how you use your Kiwami brushes 😉
Wonderful post Jeanette, it was well thought out and the pictures are great too. I love seeing your Kiwami brushes. I’m getting the J146 based on your recommendation since we seem to have similar taste in eye brushes and I already love my S146. It’s pointier than the J one so I’ll be happy to have the flatter top J146.
It’s interesting to read how one person’s journey led them here with more brushes than they ever thought they own, lol. Thanks for sharing your story, your routine and your story. I can see why you’ve focused on eye brushes. When you have such dry skin I can see why you wouldn’t want to dry it out more with powder, but then after using rich creams, the skin can look too shiny without strategic powdering. My T zone is so oily that no primer or powder will keep me shine free for more than an hour, maybe a bit longer in winter. I just have to accept it and blot when it becomes too much.
You and Tesla have set the bar very high, but I’m sure the others will be wonderful too. Thanks for setting the standard.
Thank you, Carlyn 🙂 I am so happy witj my Haku J146! I actually use it everyday these days. It is slightly wider in the application than the Kiwami, but not too much for me. As my eye primer is a cream product, the brush can get a bit greasy, so the goat brush handles that better than the Kiwami. And it blends soooo well. I have the S146 too, but it is so soft, so I don’t get enough colour payoff from e.g. my baked Chanel eye shadows. They are so hard that I have to scratch the surface to get any colour on the brush. I think it is better for softer formulas. But I love its size and pointed shape.
You are right, I don’t need much powdering, just in strategic places in order not to be dewy from my face cream all over my face. Having to blot your face during the day does sound annoying too. You seem to have gorgeous skin though, so not troubled by breakouts. That’s a very good thing.
It would be very interesting to read a post from you, too, and to see pictures of your most used brushes. I know that you have now collected many of the best brushes out there, so it would be very interesting to hear how they perform, and which ones you prefer for what 🙂
“Found Sonia’s blog and got infected”… I can hear myself say the same thing. This was a most excellent post. Thank you to both Jeanette and Sonia for your excellent story-telling.
you are amazing Karina, thank you!!! 🙂