Zoe Says... Brush Strokes
So, Jessie J did her own make-up for The BBC’s The Voice this week - Ouch, that’s not good news for us Make-up artists! I thought she did it beautifully, especially when you consider the demands in an HDTV world for absolutely flawless perfection. But it also says something else, that with the right tools and a little bit of coaching, you can achieve beautiful make-up yourself... yes you.
A celebrity make-up artist once said, “You can do anything with any make-up if you have good brushes”. It doesn’t matter how much you spend on make-up, if you don’t have the right tools to apply it then you will struggle to achieve a finish that justifies that hefty price tag. The good news is you don’t have to spend a fortune to get yourself a good quality set of brushes. Avon Cosmetics has answered the call and opened the door to make good quality equipment available to suit all pockets. Avon Cosmetics has been around for 125 years and for many of us, it provided the means with which we first experimented with make-up. In recent years, they have upped their game with marketing campaigns featuring celebrity “faces” such as Reece Witherspoon, designer fragrance collaborations and innovative products that rival their department store counterparts.
So with that in mind, I decided to review their brushes to see if they really do live up to their rivals. I have chosen four brushes to review, basics that everybody needs in their kit. First of all the foundation brush, full price £8.50. It’s made from synthetic hairs which means you can use it to apply any type of foundation. The first thing you will notice is how baby soft it is, yet it is firm enough to effortlessly apply foundation to all areas of the face without leaving a single streak. It also has a bevelled edge which makes getting into those tricky areas around the eyes and nose childs play, and when you have finished, it has a handy pouch to store it hygienically. If I had one criticism, it’s that, like a sponge, it does rather like to drink foundation so the key is not to overload it.
Avon’s blusher brush, full price £7.00 is also made of synthetic hairs but the first time you brush it would could be forgiven for thinking its real hair, it’s so soft, just like the foundation brush. And like the foundation brush, it picks up a lot of product so be sure to tap off the excess before you apply to your cheeks otherwise you run the risk of looking more flushed than fab. The angled edge helps to contour your cheeks and with a light bronzer, highlight the areas that the sun would usually catch; across the nose and top of the cheek bones.
Next is the two in one eye shadow and smudger brush, good value at £5.00 but it was my least favourite of the brushes I reviewed. It has an eye shadow brush on one end and a pointed foam applicator for smudging shadow under the eye for a smoky look. On first glance, it looks like the perfect brush for creating a smoky eye but I found it a little hard and the smudger just didn’t want to deposit any colour at all. That said, the brush was brilliant for laying down colour on the eyelid, that’s where the density pays dividends, you will just need to invest in a good blending brush to blend out those harsh lines!
I have saved the best until last; the small angled eyeliner brush for creating perfect catflick or winged eyeliner. This brush usually sells for just £4.00. It’s synthetic again so you can use it for both powder eye shadow and gel eyeliner. It deposited colour evenly and neatly and I think it is the perfect brush for creating those flicks. Not only that, you can also use it to fill in any sparse areas of the brow with a matching matt eye shadow for a soft yet defined brow to frame the face. Of all the brushes I looked at, this not only rivalled its expensive counterpart, it exceeded it and at £4, you just can’t go wrong!
So there, I think that’s demonstrated that it is possible to build a collection of quality brushes without spending a fortune and its worth bearing in mind that Avon often have offers on their products. At the time of writing, these brushes have at least 50% off, so if any of these take your fancy, now’s the time to buy!