A Good Foundation: Elf, Sigma or Real Techniques?

The search for the perfect brush whether it be for blending/highlighting/contouring, whatever, can sometimes be a long, laborious and rather expensive one! 

For the past few months all I seem to hear about is foundation brushes. They've moved on since the MAC 190 which, coincidently, I never got on with. I found applying a liquid foundation with what was effectively, a paintbrush, was rubbish! Streaky, smeary and a nightmare to blend in, I got carried away on a trip to MAC, like we all do, and thought right, I've gotta have whatever those sexy MAC gaals have and this brush is gonna complete me! It didn't...I used it about 4 times and switched to sponges, as at that time, there seemed to be no buffing alternative.

Then came the infamous MAC 187 or the more commonly known duo fibre brush, the first wave of these 'buffing' type brushes that I became aware of. Great for cream blushes but again, something was missing when I applied a liquid foundation, density.

Cue the new era of buffing brushes in the form of Elf, Sigma and Real Techniques. There are others out there but these are the three I have tried and all love for very different reasons. So, enough gassing and let's look at these beautiful buffers.

Side Note: I use all these brushes with my MAC Studio Finish Fluid Foundation in NC20. This is my experience of them, I would recommend these would also work well with cream or gel based foundations, not so much with powders, fluffy brushes are better for this. I can do a similar post on powder brushes if you'd like, just let me know in the comments!

From top: Elf Powder Brush, Real Techniques Buffing Brush, Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki Brush.

First up the Elf Powder Brush.

The Vital Statistics
This brush is dense, flat topped and the largest of the three. This was the first buffing brush I bought thanks to Gracie Francesca of Uglyfaceofbeauty fame, she was the first person I saw using a 'buffing' type brush for foundation and the only brush she used and raved about was this one, so I had to have it. It's also the cheapest at a mere £3.50 from the Elf website, which perhaps makes it the best in terms of value for money against how much you'll use it, which will basicaly be everyday - BARGAIN! 

Why I love it.
This brush applies foundation like a dream, it buffs it in leaving a sleek, blended finish & I love the size. I have a huge forehead, so this is great in terms of how much surface area it covers, as well as how effectively it distributes the product. The only con, if you can call it that, is that it could be too big for those of you blessed with petite features. Getting into the contours of your face i.e. around the nose etc, you may need to blend further with your fingers or hold the bristles in place. Either way though it is great brush and for the price you really can't go wrong. It's a great first brush for those of you dabbling in the buffing brush world.

Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki Brush

The Vital Statistics
This brush is another flat top like the Elf Powder Brush. Unlike the Elf Powder Brush is it soooooooo much denser, some might say, well I might say, too dense. It's also a lot smaller than the Elf Powder Powder Brush length and width wise. This was my second venture into the buff!

Why I Love It.
Again, this brush gives a gorgeous, blended, seamless finish to my foundation. Due to the size it's also great for traveling or just keeping in your everyday make up bag. This is however the brush that for me, has the most cons. Firstly it's the most expensive at £13.99 from the Love Makeup website, again not breaking the bank but slightly more of an investment in terms of price verses how much use. I was also quite disappointed at the size. It looked a lot bigger on the website and having been used to the Elf Powder Brush the size difference was hugely noticeable for me, in a bad way. It's also alot denser, so much so that, for me, it makes it harder to work with. Like I say it gives a great finish but this is not without hard work! The density mixed with the size means it's alot more elbow grease as well as time to buff your foundation all over your face, this does have its pros as in the finish is perfect and it gets into the contours effectively but, it is alot more time consuming and effort! Great for nights out when you have time to prep, not so great for an early morning before work.

Real Techniques Buffing Brush - from the Core Collection

The Vital Statistics.
As you can see this is slightly more rounded on the top. It's also noticeable more fluffy than the other two. This means the density feels very different to the other two as in, it's not dense in the 'hard' sense, it's just a well packed brush...if that makes sense!

Why I Love It.
I purposefully saved this for last as it is my favourite of them all. Like I say it's more fluffy that flat in density so it whips foundation on in mere seconds, it definitely feels like it's a lot quicker in application, before you know it, foundation's on and ready to go! Again, the finish is great, smooth, seamless, blended. Due to said fluffiness as well as the more rounded top it's great for those pesky contours. This makes me think that perhaps the Sigma F82 Round Top Kabuki Brush could be worth a go. The ONLY downside, and it may not even be a downside to some of you, is that you can only buy it in the Core Collection and this costs £21.99 from Boots. Like I say for some of you, this could be ideal, four brushes for £21.99 so basically about £5.50 each, I only really like one other brush in the pack but, to be honest, this brush is so good just get the whole set really!

So there you go. I know this was lengthy one but I hope it was helpful!

Until the next post!

Love, love, love

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