Brush stash

Some of you expressed amazement at the amount of brushes I own.  Let me refresh your memory, I have:
•  202 eye brushes (of which 163 are eye shadow, 31 liner, 8 brow brushes)
•  126 face brushes (41 blush, 33 foundation, 25 powder, 18 bronzer, 9 concealer brushes)
I don’t think that’s too much, but my perspective may be a little skewed.

Here they are:

Eye shadow brushes

Another angle of the same eye shadow brushes. The acrylic holder came from a stationery store $5


Short-handled eye shadow brushes and concealer brushes

I admit, I’m a bit of a brush junkie. I’m always searching for that next high… the better blending brush, the softer kabuki. But I’m also frugal so I don’t necessarily go for the brand names or crazy Japanese artisan brushes (no Hakuhodo or Suqqu for me).  I’m not loyal to any one particular brand of brushes – there’s a good representation from across various brands including MAC, Coastal Scents, Trish McEvoy, Real Techniques, Smashbox, Ecotools, etc.  My sweet spot for eye makeup brushes is no more than $20 per brush and face brushes I try to keep it to below $40.

Powder and blusher brushes, holder from Container store
Brushes for bronzing, highlighting, contouring
Kabuki brushes – I have duplicates / back-ups of these which I haven’t photographed.
My double-ended or brushes with toppers that can’t stand upright – I keep them horizontal in this stackable acrylic tray. I rarely reach for these because I keep forgetting about them.
Foundation and bronzer brushes. I got this holder from Winners and it worked better in theory – in reality, it’s a little too large for what I need.
My dirty brushes – this is the designated cup to hold all my dirty brushes. Once it gets full, that’s the signal that I need to stop being so lazy and wash my brushes already.

You’ve also probably heard it before – one of the reasons for collecting so many brushes is due to laziness.  I like using clean eye brushes every time I do my eye makeup, but I get lazy about washing my brushes – solution: buy more brushes!  This also applies to foundation brushes – I use a foundation brush no more than 2 times before I wash it. Now with so many, I always have fresh ones on rotation.

A few notable brushes – my most prized brush is from Club Monaco.  Yup, years ago Club Monaco had their own line of cosmetics (anyone remember the Monica Lewinsky lipstick frenzy?) and this brush came in an eye shadow palette:
It’s simply labelled “02”.  It’s the perfect density, softness, size, shape – everything – for applying powder eye shadow on my eye shape.  For years I tried to find a dupe for this from other brands but nothing has been exact (I’ll devote an entry on this in the future).  This is the one brush I would run back into a burning building to save.

Here’s the most expensive single brush in my collection:
Make Up For Ever #122 Blending Brush, cost $55 (Sephora) – subjectively it’s also the softest feeling brush I own.  It’s great for applying bronzers or powders that are either loose or tend to be soft and powdery in texture.
EDIT: after I took all the photos and finished this entry, I realized my most expensive brush is actually the Nars Yachiyo Kabuki Brush at $65. Unfortunately, I hardly ever use that brush because it sheds and is so flimsy delicate that I feel like I’m going to break it. This brush is shown in the photo with the brushes for bronzing, highlighting, contouring – on the most left hand side.

And here’s the cheapest brush I own – it was free:
I got it at a grand opening of an art store – they were handing out free brushes and I believe this was meant for watercolour.  I love this brush for applying eye inner corner highlight – it’s super soft but has good flex and it’s the perfect size for that area.  I use this almost daily. Art brushes typically have longer handles than makeup brushes so I broke off the handle – rather poorly – I may try to mend it with some colourful washi tape.  I’ve had this brush for more than 10 years and would be very sad if I ever misplaced it!

As I acquire brushes that I prefer more, I have started to set aside some brushes that I don’t reach for as often, housed in this Soap & Glory gift set tote:

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with these brushes, I just prefer some others.

Once I do a purge, I do have a few brushes on my wish list to acquire in the future, including: MAC 242 Shader, MUFE 154 Buffer brush, OCC #11 small powder blush brush, and Paula Dorf Sheer Crease brush.  Yes, the quest is never ending!

What about you?  How many brushes do you own?  What are your favourite brushes?  Any brushes on your wish list?

24 thoughts on “Brush stash

  1. I think you’re my spirit animal. I hate washing brushes and I’ve always wanted to just buy new brushes instead and have a constant rotation. I like your style!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG Club Monaco brushes! I am still using my CM powder brush after all these years. I got it when CM were clearing out their makeup (sniff!) and I love it. And I loved that Monica Lewinsky Glaze lipstick. That eye brush looks great. Your brush collection is awe-inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh you share my CM nostalgia then! What I wouldn’t give to go back in time and stock up on more CM cosmetics. I really liked their lipglosses too. The packaging was top notch too. I think they were ahead of their time, really. Joe Fresh doesn’t compare…


    1. I still feel like it’s not too much? But you’ll be pleased to know that I gave away 4 brushes yesterday to a coworker – 3 eye brushes and a blush brush. *pats back*


  3. Your perspective is (hm) a ‘little’ skew. Just 200+ of eye brushes is sooooo few lol 😂 if you only use 7 brushes per day, you don’t need to wash for a month. Wahaha. Just teasing 😜 I’d imagine most professional makeup artist own less than you. 😂 actually will you do a review on all or best/worst sort of post?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I know it’s a lot of brushes… and once per month is just about how often I wash my brushes LOL! I wait until there’s a pile of them and I’m nearly out of fresh ones. 😛
      I haven’t done a best / worst type of post – I’ve probably purged the worst of my brushes by now!

      Liked by 1 person

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