My Favourite Makeup Brushes

When it comes to makeup brushes there are so many out there it can be overwhelming looking at all the brands trying to decide which brushes are right for you and trying to find what you want. I have around 30 makeup brushes which isn’t many in the grand scheme of things but I do notice myself reaching for certain brushes more frequently because I like the way they perform. I have selected the best brushes I own to talk about in this post.

Note: Many brands do similar styles to the brushes mentioned here and at the end of the day it comes down to personal preference and what you want to use the brush for as to whether or not it works for you.

Real Techniques

Real Techniques are known for their quality and affordable prices. Their brushes are made with synthetic taklon bristles which are super soft and wash up well. Real Techniques is fronted by beauty gurus Sam and Nic Chapman who also run a YouTube channel and share loads of makeup tips. The brand has themed brush collections but the original core collection can be broken down into categories based on what they are intended for and the colour of their handle:

  • Orange – base brushes
  • Pink – finishing brushes
  • Purple – eye brushes

I have never experienced any shedding from Real Techniques brushes and these are among the oldest brushes in my collection but still perform exceptionally well.

1. Expert Face Brush

I prefer to apply foundation with a brush and I like this brush in particular because it isn’t too big for my face and it doesn’t leave streaks. I have a small face and the size of this brush is perfect for spreading product, buffing it in and being able to get in around the nose and under the eyes. The bristles are quite dense but the brush works with all liquid foundation consistencies and layers product up nicely if I’m after fuller coverage.

2. Blush Brush

I very rarely use this for blush but the big, fluffy bristles mean this brush is a great multi-tasker. I love using this for powder as it’s soft enough to sweep powder over the face and I use this brush almost every time I apply bronzer. The tapered bristles help to concentrate application and keep product to certain areas of the face.

3. Shading Brush

Not only do I have a small face but I also have small eyes. This shading brush allows me to do a complete eye look with just one brush, it’s dense enough to apply base shadows, small enough to blend through the crease and also picks up good pigmentation from sparkly and shimmery shadows. I have considered picking up another one of these at some point because of how versatile it is.

4. Setting Brush

This is like a mini version of the blush brush and again this is a great multi-tasker. I like to use this brush to apply my Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder or to focus blush on top of my cheekbones. This smaller sized brush is perfect for more pigmented blushes to ensure product doesn’t go everywhere. This brush is commonly used for blending and buffing concealer into the skin and setting concealer with powder underneath the eyes.

xoBeauty

xoBeauty is the makeup brand and brush line from New Zealand YouTuber Shannon Harris. Shannon’s brushes are manufactured in Italy and like the Real Techniques brushes are made from synthetic fibres. I will say with some of my xoBeauty brushes the bristles stain but this doesn’t have any affect on the overall performance.

1. Tulip Crease Brush

When people refer to a fluffy blending brush this is what they mean. This brush packs on pigmentation and blends everything out in the crease beautifully to create a seamless eye look. I also like to use this brush if I am going for a super simple eye look to apply bronzer all over the lids and buff it in quickly.

2. Firm Blender Brush

This is another brush I like to use for my crease shades, particularly to blend the base shade and crease shade together in the socket. This is thinner than the Tulip Crease Brush and is even more precise. The flat shape of this brush allows you to blend eyeshadows on the lids together too.

3. Shimmer Tulip Brush

This reminds me of the blush brush from Real Techniques as it is another multi-tasker. Recently I have loved reaching for it to apply one of my single powder blushes and sweeping the colour over my cheeks. The brush is big and fluffy and disperses the product nicely, providing a lovely flush of colour. This brush is also beautiful to apply subtle highlighters all over the cheeks.

4. Detail Face Brush

For more concentrated highlight application this brush is perfect. The bristles are a cross between fluffy and dense and allow me to really buff highlighter into the skin. The brush moves over the skin so easily, little effort is required to blend as the brush really does do all the work. This is a relatively new brush from xoBeauty and is one of Shannon’s personal favourites.

Zoeva

As far as quality and price go Zoeva brushes are on par with the other brands mentioned here. I hadn’t tried any Zoeva makeup brushes until earlier in 2019 and I am super impressed. Each brush either comes individually boxed or in a clear plastic pouch depending on whether you purchase brushes from the rose gold line or the original black and silver line.

1. 102 Silk Finish Brush

The brush lives up to it’s name! My skin and foundation look lovely when I use it and in terms of size and performance it’s comparable to the Expert Face Brush by Real Techniques which is probably why I like it so much. The bristles on this brush aren’t as dense as the Expert Face Brush but they are longer which I think gives the silk finish effect. Both brushes are made with Taklon bristles.

2. 231 Luxe Petit Crease Brush

Zoeva are very clever for making two sizes of eye brushes and catering to those of us with smaller eyes. This brush is similar to the Tulip Crease Brush by xoBeauty but this brush is even more precise when colour is applied and the brush head is smaller. The bristles aren’t scratchy and don’t stain as much as the xoBeauty eye brushes. The full sized 228 Luxe Crease Brush by Zoeva is one of the brand’s most popular eye brushes and I can see why.

3. 110 Face Shape Brush

This brush could be used for many things, applying and blending foundation/concealer, applying cream blush to the cheeks and what I tend to use it for, contouring. The shape of the brush fits perfectly into the hollows of the cheeks and blends contour powder like a dream! The bristles are dense so only a small amount of contour is needed. This is one of Lisa Eldridge’s favourite face brushes.


What are your favourite makeup brushes? Have you tried any of these?

signature_59rnt66ifetkuap2w9

Follow me:

Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Black Friday Shopping Haul

Black Friday shopping is becoming more popular in New Zealand and while a lot of brands and stores have good deals I didn’t actively go seeking anything out. The weekend before Black Friday I’d gone shopping and the products I ended up buying during the Black Friday sales were impromptu purchases. Earlier in the day I commented on an Instagram post saying I hadn’t caved and bought anything… I tempted fate. Let’s get on with the haul!

Starting with The Iconic:

1. Alexis Fluffy Knit – I already know jumpers are one of my weaknesses but fluffy jumpers I love even more! This white jumper is super soft, has long blouson sleeves and doesn’t feel heavy. I do think I could have got away with sizing down as it is a relaxed fit, especially around the neck, but having it slightly bigger allows me to tuck it in or wear layers underneath.

2. Missguided Chunky Sole Trainers – The Spice Girls are back and so are chunky trainers! I saw a friend post a picture of trainers similar to these and instantly fell in love. These will look nice with jeans and the metallic silver detailing breaks up the white. I originally ordered a UK size 6 but also ordered a size 5 to see which was the better fit. I kept the 6 as there is more room around the toes. Because these are white I don’t think I’ll wear them all the time, I want to keep them clean.

Onto xoBeauty:

3. Radiant Glow Highlighting Powder – Lucent – I purchased the pink, champagne shade, Aurora, a few months ago and I’ve been loving it; I knew I wanted to pick up Lucent as well. Lucent is a glowing, sandy golden shade and the more pigmented of the two, but both suit any makeup look. The powders are soft, easy to blend and can be built up if you want a more intense highlight. These also double as all over face powders to give your skin a natural radiance.

4. Detail Face Brush – I picked up this brush because it will be perfect to use with the xoBeauty highlighters as well as my others. This brush lets you pinpoint exactly where you want to highlight. The bristles are lovely and soft and I see myself reaching for this brush often. It reminds me of the Setting Brush from Real Techniques, a small, fluffy, multi-purpose brush.

5. Philocaly Lipstick – This lipstick is one of xoBeauty’s best-selling products and I can see why! It is in a similar vein to Brave by MAC – a mauve toned down pink – with less of a satin formula. The lipsticks all have a creme brulee scent which doesn’t linger if you don’t like scented lip products. This shade also looks pretty with a light pink gloss dabbed over the top to make lips look fuller and less matte.

6. Kairos Lipstick – I have eyed this shade up a few times when I have browsed the website and I finally took the plunge and added it to my cart. Kairos is described as a medium, muted peachy-pink but it looks like a bright coral on me. I like the colour and it will be fun for summer, I’m excited to experiment with toning down the boldness and wearing this shade muted. xoBeauty has a similar liquid lipstick shade called Nam Jai which is more pink and one I can see myself picking up in the future. The liquid lipstick formula is creamy, comfortable to wear and doesn’t dry completely matte.

xoBeauty swatches:

Top to bottom: Philocaly, Kairos and Lucent.


Leave a comment with what you picked up in the Black Friday sales!

signature_59rnt66ifetkuap2w9

Follow me:

Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

September Favourites 2018

September has been a bit of an odd month if I’m honest. After a mostly positive August, my mood slipped again around the middle of the month and I reached a very low point. It’s a reminder that I still have bad days and to be gentle with myself. The feelings became magnified again because it would have been the two year anniversaries for everything for my ex and I: talking to each other, meeting each other, kissing for the first time and I am an incredibly sentimental person. I keep going and try to move on because I hope one day it won’t hurt anymore.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. MAC – Hug Me – I received Hug Me for free as part of MAC’s National Lipstick Day and it is such a beautiful shade. I will admit I hadn’t heard of it before, maybe because it’s not a hyped up shade that’s often talked about. MAC describe Hug Me as a warm pink with pearl finish but on me the colour has hints of brown as well. Hug Me is a lustre finish which is one of my favourites from MAC, it’s very comfortable to wear and lasts on my lips just as well as other formulas to be honest. A fellow blogging friend, Katie bought the lipstick after seeing me wear it and it’s stunning on her too!

2. xoBeauty Tulip Powder Brush – Before I bought this brush I only had one big, fluffy brush – the Real Techniques Blush Brush – and I tend to use that for bronzer. I really wanted to invest in another one that I can use to sweep blush and highlighter over my cheeks when I want a glowy look or set my face with powder, basically a great multitasking brush that has more than one function. The bristles on this brush are so soft and the tapered end helps to disperse a light wash of product. I love this to apply Soft & Gentle by MAC all over the face or even using it just to apply Soft & Gentle to the tops of my cheeks.

3. Sophie Hannah – The Mystery of Three Quarters – I finished this book in two days and I always think you can tell how much you enjoy a book by how quickly you read it. This is the third ‘new’ Hercule Poirot mystery from Sophie Hannah and she captures the character wonderfully and in a way Agatha Christie would be proud of. I really really hope Sophie Hannah writes more of these!

4. Miss Selfridge Check Scarf – I picked up this scarf on a whim when I placed an ASOS order at the beginning of the month. I ended up sending the item I originally wanted back and keeping the scarf. The scarf is black and bright pink and it is so beautifully warm and soft. My other scarves are neutral, plain colours and this one really pops against black clothing. This scarf is quite long so it can be tied in numerous ways or even worn as a wrap/shawl. It’s good scarf weather in New Zealand at the moment with spring upon us.

5. Goodreads – After almost completing my challenge to read 50 books in a year and sharing blog posts of what I finished, I still wanted to document and keep track of what I read. I’ve heard Goodreads talked about in the blogging community and decided to jump on board and join up. It’s relatively easy to use and I like the organisational component and sorting books into categories/shelves. You can also include the dates you start and finish each book and the website gives you stats about your reading habits. If you have a Goodreads account and want to be friends, add me: https://www.goodreads.com/chanellehayley

September’s Spotify Playlist:


What were your favourite things in September?

signature_59rnt66ifetkuap2w9

Follow me:

Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

June Favourites 2018

Not going to lie, June has been up and down for me. On the whole it hasn’t been too bad, I had some time off work and got to sleep in lots and catch up on things I wanted to do but on the other hand I thought I was getting sick again and there are still days I get emotional over the breakup. Makeup has been something I’ve enjoyed spending more time applying this month and trying some new looks and products.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Anti-Flamme – I am sure other countries must have creams similar to this; they provide relief to sore, tense muscles and they contain herbal ingredients. Any bad headaches or tension I’ve felt in my neck and shoulders I have been applying this lately and it works so well. It smells like peppermint but the smell isn’t strong and a little goes a long way. This kind of product helps with injuries, joint aches and strained muscles too.

2. xoBeauty Liquid Lipstick in Carpe Diem – I haven’t had this liquid lipstick very long but already I can tell it is a shade I want to wear a lot! I’m not a fan of liquid lipsticks but the formula of this one by xoBeauty is creamy as opposed to matte and it’s very comfortable to wear. Carpe Diem is described as a muted wearable lilac and on me it looks like a light purple/nude all in one.

3. OPI – The I’s Have It – This nail polish is another product that I have purchased in the last month. I tend to gravitate towards blue nail polish (and blue jumpers) and this is the most beautiful blue polish I have tried. The I’s Have It is a lovely, creme polish from the Alice In Wonderland collection released in 2016. This is more of a baby blue rather than a pastel blue. I can’t wait to wear it again soon!

4. The Body Shop Moringa EDT – I got this eau de toilette last year and I bought it because I really like the convenient travel size of these scents from The Body Shop. I previously had the strawberry eau de toilette and I went for the moringa scent this time round because it’s fresh and floral and at the time of purchase it was spring and summer was coming up. I highly recommend the moringa range at The Body Shop if you haven’t tried it.

5. Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush – I have had this brush for a couple of years now and over the past couple of months I have been loving it for cleaning up around the eye and blending out any harsh lines. I haven’t tried using this brush to apply shadow or used it to apply crease shades – it’s funny how we don’t always use brushes the way they’re intended and how we come up with our own ways we like to use them. This brush isn’t available on it’s own, I bought it as part of a five piece eye set.

June’s Spotify Playlist:


What were your favourite things in June?

signature_59rnt66ifetkuap2w9

Follow me:

Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Beauty Bean + Glassons Haul

Hi everyone!

I have been on an unintentional makeup low buy this year and have barely purchased anything new… until last week. I first heard about Beauty Bean through a work colleague. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular at the time and it wasn’t until I was Googling foundations that the website popped up again.

Long story short, I made an order and purchased three items. The prices are really reasonable and if you buy three or more items shipping is free. Everything is stocked locally in New Zealand and shipping was a breeze, my order arrived within days.

1. L’Oreal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup W1-2 Porcelain Ivory

If you saw my recent post about Rimmel’s Match Perfection foundation you’ll know that I used to adore it until the formula changed and my shade was discontinued. I’m not a fan anymore and I am simply using it up because it’s not bad enough to throw away and I don’t like wastage.

Buying foundation on a whim isn’t something I normally do but I know a lot of people enjoy L’Oreal’s True Match and I’m guessing this is meant to be the more dewy, luminous version. According to the ingredients the foundation is 40% water for all day hydration and contains antioxidants, Vitamin C and Vitamin E for improved clarity. Sounds like a dream for dry skin, right? I was a little worried about the colour match but I looked up swatches online and they don’t look any darker than my Max Factor foundations which I’m a big fan of.

First Impression: The shade doesn’t look dark for me at all. The formula feels light and blends easily. It seems to layer nicely as well. I’m impressed!

2. L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara (Blackest Black)

Ever since this mascara launched I have heard nothing but rave reviews for it! The mascara goes under the name Paradise Extatic if you live in The UK and it has gold packaging. I recieved the American version of the mascara in a gorgeous, metallic light pink tube which I am glad about – I love pink! This is supposedly a dupe for Too Faced’s Better Than Sex and while I haven’t tried that, this L’Oreal mascara is half the price of Better Than Sex (in NZ). The wand isn’t plastic and is big which I like – I am used to working with a similar size wand on my favourite Rimmel mascara. I ordered the washable mascara and opted for blackest black because I love my lashes to be super dark.

First Impression: The formula isn’t wet which I like and the mascara doesn’t smudge or flake as the day goes on. My lashes look similar if not better to how they do when I use Scandaleyes Lycra Flex from Rimmel.

3. Real Techniques Sculpting Brush

This brush was added to my cart because I needed a third item for free shipping. It was a toss up between this brush and the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. Since I prefer to apply foundation with a brush I went for this. The brush has really good reviews and like many of the Real Techniques brushes has multiple uses. This brush can be used to apply foundation and also to highlight and contour. The shape of the bristles means the brush fits perfectly under the cheekbones.

First Impression: The bristles on this brush are so soft! It blends foundation quicker than my Expert Face Brush also from Real Techniques and doesn’t eat up product. I haven’t tried to contour or highlight yet but I will.

Onto the Glassons part of the haul:

Glassons is a popular clothing store across Australia and New Zealand and price wise I’d say it’s mid-range. You get stylish, quality items for a good price, clothing isn’t cheap but isn’t expensive either. I have shopped in Glassons for years and have made numerous online orders and in store purchases in the past year. Shipping was also free as I spent over $40 and the order arrived less than 48 hours after I placed it.

1. Seagrass Sloppy Cardi

This is described as a lightweight, sheer cami for the trans-seasonal weather which is exactly what New Zealand is going through right now. The mornings and evenings are cooler but the days can still be warm. I really like the colour of this, it’s almost a light khaki and I love the way it was styled online.

2. Black Flare Sleeve Knit Jumper

I love my cosy jumpers and this reminded me of one Lily Pebbles wore in THIS VIDEO. Black is a staple colour in my wardrobe but I think I only have one other black jumper. I like the flared sleeves and the material is super soft.

3. Black Cropped Jean

I have a pair of these jeans in white already and they are super comfortable. As I am short these are full length on me and the jeans are stretchy and really nice to wear. I bought these to replace a pair of black jeggings I intend to get rid of. Black pants/jeans go with just about anything!

I shared this Instagram snap of me wearing the cardi and jeans:


Have you tried any of the makeup items?

What did you purchase in your last haul?

signature_59rnt66ifetkuap2w9

Follow me:

Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest