Ok, so here goes. I love christmas and I have childhood friends who can attest to the fact that I started the countdown to Santa’s arrival already in November. But since I became more and more invested into the industry of beauty and all that follows with it, I feel I’ve caught what can only be described as a Christmas Fatigue.
That’s right. I’m so incredibly fed up with special Holiday collections (probably because I’ve seen the press pictures since July) but mostly because they represent everything that I don’t:
Holiday collections are limited edition deals, they are not easily available to each and everyone, they varies from different continents and markets and if you actually happen to fall in love with a certain product or shade (God forbid) you pan it, because you’ll never ever get the chance to repurchase it again! In other words: Holiday collections are supposed to be glamorous but I don’t see it that way. I see it mostly as products in extra-trimming that is not sustainable over time and will not make you fall for a new brand. Not the way you would if being given something with more longevity.
I personally like gifts that still feels luxurious, glamorous and extra special long after the christmas tree has been tossed out. Therefore, I thought I’d put up a Gift Idea Series; not only for christmas, but beauty related products that I feel would be lovely to give and to receive with the criteria that they can be repurchased, loved for a very long time and a good way to venture into a special brand or field of beauty!
First up: Brushes! TOM FORD Brushes to be exact.
Some might ask if we really need PRO makeup application tools for home use? Isn’t it just something hysterical, created by Youtubers and celebrity MUAs? To me, there are two reasons why I think it is important to invest in great quality brushes:
- They are kind to your skin. No harsh coarse hair, no unnecessary tugging and pulling at delicate areas such as around your eyes. They do the job with minimal contact to the skin which prevents irritation, inflammation and scratches. That is, if you make sure to wash them properly.
- If investing in very expensive high-technology formulation makeup, there is no point in expecting a “flawless” result if the application technique and the tools are foul. I believe in good synergy between skin, product and tools.
Except for these obvious statements, luxurious brushes is a real treat for the eye, the vanity and the feeling of applying makeup. It is a routine and should be enjoyed even if we are talking about 5 minutes of application before rushing out the door.
I recently watched Lisa Eldridge saying in a video of hers that she simply don’t like brushes with bright coloured handles (or the entire unicorn trend if it was up to me) and I tend to agree here. I love to shop for brushes and I always go for the elegant and classic look. I want my brush collection to last over a very long period of time, demanding that the handle won’t crack or bend, the engraving shall not fade and the hair can’t shed. I think brushes is the perfect gift as they are collectable: you can buy one or two and the follow up with additional brushes over time! They won’t address any specific issues, they suit any skin colour and both male and female benefit from using them for everything from skincare – to base makeup application.
My recommendations when it comes to brushes is TOM FORD, SUQQU, CHANEL, ARTIS, Hakkuhodo and Chikuhodo. On my own personal wish list is also a brush set by fabulous Wayne Goss. These brands are all very high-end, they are expensive and they are handmade to last for ages. My personal opinion is that the best makeup brushes are made in Japan where they have a long tradition of making exquisite tools for the professional beauty industry.
Back in July, I asked you all on Instagram whether I should invest in more brushes by TOM FORD or ARTIS. That was before the annoying poll-plug in emerged but I was surprised to see a 50/50 rate of answers! Being me, I must confess I ended up with them both, merely because they are so fundamentally different. So what is it with TOM FORD brushes that I recommend?
I own four different models and multiple of each. First of all – it’s the eye catching design. Tom Ford himself always creates products that oozes sophistication, integrity, glamour and luxe. The dark brown, wooden lacquered handles are embossed and engraved with the brand and origin in gold. The brushes are, of course, Made in Japan. The gold metal ferrule is top quality and pinched around the roots of the brush head. With their distinctive, snow white brushes, you can easily spot a TF brush from miles away. Almost all of them are made by natural non-dyed white goat hair and I appreciate the non-dyed part as this often leave a funny smell to the bristles.
Many wonder about keeping white brushes clean and fresh looking. All TF brushes comes with a small plastic brush cap to prevent the bristles from bend and products from smudging in your makeup case. I always washes them with a gentle baby-shampoo by Bioderma and think I can restore the white color quite well even though they will never be exactly as new! Personally I don’t like to use any alcohol on my brushes but understand the need for it in a professional kit. For my friends and family, I keep an extra set of travel brushes to use. Always have regards for hygiene when it comes to application tools!
When it comes to performance, I must say that those TF brushes I do own are all a dream to work with:
- #06 Cheek Brush. My largest brush by the brand. The bristles are cut in a rounded, fluffy shape with an almost rectangular base. Even though it is a large brush, I experience it as quite dense and thick, making it very versatile. I can even contour with it if necessary. As I have a small face, the larger brush in the collection, 05 Bronzer Brush is simply too big for me to use. I would much rather recommend this one. mage out of natural goat hair with a weight to it that makes it perfectly balanced. As it picks up quite a large amount of pigment in one go, I must warn you to be careful when using this brush in soft, richly pigmented powder blushers.
- #04 Shade & Illuminate Brush. By far my favourite TF brush(es) and my first love. This brush is made out of synthetic bristles as it is developed to fit the creamy iconic Shade & Illuminate contour and highlighter palette by the brand. With a very flat brush head made of super short and dense bristles, this baby looks modest but is a dream to work with. If you ever get the chance to see Matthew Tyler, Global Educational Director TF Beauty in action with this brush, then you’ll know what I’m talking about! This brush creates magic and sculpt your face in a way that looks chic and flawless. I use it for cream blush as well…
For my eyes I use two different brushes by the brand:
- #12 Eyeshadow Contour Brush. with its tapered and angled brush head it makes it incredibly easy to achieve natural crease- and corner application. I’m not skilled when it comes to applying eyeliner and always have to rely on my eyeshadow to be perfectly balanced and blended for a nice looking outer-V result. With natural white goat hair it feels lush and sweeps over the lid without tugging or pulling at the skin. I especially enjoy the fact that these brushes doesn’t “steal” eyeshadow products from you. Whatever little pigment you pick up lands on your lids without falling down.
- #14 Smokey Eye Brush. Last but not least this pointy, yet fluffy brush. I used to count on MAC217 to do my smokey job for me, but I have found other brushes I rely on more; this one being the best. As it is so precise in its tip, I can even use it to smoke my lower lashline without the risk of looking like a raccoon. As I have some issues with my hands from time to time, I enjoy the fact that all brushes are quite long and very well balanced. They rest beautiful in the hand.
During the years that I’ve purchased my TF brushes I’ve never had to return a single one or seen more than maybe five loose hair. In total. No shedding! These brushes are expensive and a true statement gift but they make the makeup glide on and sit so beautifully on the skin. The only brush in the collection I don’t recommend is the foundation brush but we can’t love everything, can we? 🙂
Gift yourself or someone you like the true luxury of a TF brush. It is a great way of getting to know the brand and the products will feel chic and wonderful for years and years. ♥