Friday, September 19, 2008

About our brushes

Ingénue Series

When I was first planning this business, I really didn’t think I wanted to add brushes to my line until much later on. However, because loose mineral makeup really needs the best tools for application, I thought that I at least needed to have available some brushes that would help beginners “get their feet wet” to using minerals.

Especially in the case of eye brushes! Up until I started using minerals , I am ashamed to admit I used those awful foam applicators that most drugstore brands come with. Of course, ignorance is bliss, and I didn’t really know what I was missing…until I started experimenting with the eyeshadow brushes that came with my makeup kits. I was amazed at how well it packed on color, how it did not waste as much product, and how I was able to use them again and again with regular washings. I think the most fun thing for me to realize was getting to use different styles of brushes to get the effect I wanted!

So for those of you that have yet to experience this, I hand-picked some very basic brush styles just for you! I made my shopping list using a Poll I did at my test site (T123 Minerals) and looked for those styles that were most popular. I also purposely picked the ones with shorter handles because, if you’re like me, you tend to “hit” the mirror with a longer handled brush and it makes it that much harder to apply colors! (Additional note: I am missing an angle fluff brush since my supplier was “Out of Stock” on these when I initially ordered.)

I can’t tell you that I think these just as good as MAC brushes, as I’ve never owned a MAC brush, but these are better than some of the ones I got at the drugstore and even ones I’ve ordered online. Once you try them out, you may decide to get one with a heftier price tag, but this at least gives you the idea of what styles you like using to get the effect you want.

So far, there was one brush I was worried would sell out this week; luckily I got my second shipment of them in the nick of time! That’s the Petite Dual Fiber Blush Brush. I think that even if you are a MMU expert by now, this brush is still a must-have especially when using the adorned with Grace blushes due to their very high pigmentation. It does shed at first, but is fine after a few washings. I actually threw out my other dual fiber brushes this week because they really just don’t compare to this one in terms of application.

Now one brush that has not gotten quite as much attention is the Ingénue Kabuki. In comparing it with a Long Handled Kabuki from a larger and very popular mineral makeup company, it actually is a bit denser and larger in head, yet every bit as soft! Like the Dual Fiber Blush brush, it does have its initial period of shedding but was no worse than a Bare Escentuals kabuki I got years ago –and I paid over $25 for that one! This one is priced at $9.99 including s/h (so think of it more like $6-7, + s/h) and would probably make a good gift for a teenager or mineral makeup newbie who has only used natural hair bristles. It really is amazing at how soft this economically priced brush is! (Additional note: There is a limited supply of the eye brushes & kabuki but if they go “Out of Stock” we can restock them within 7-10 days.)

But if you are looking for an ULTRA soft and more durable, stylish face brush, keep reading….

Premium series

I still cannot believe I discovered these wonderful brushes! I was really searching for brushes that were super soft, cruelty-free, and would work wonderfully with my medium/heavy-coverage foundation formula. I didn’t want them too dense as it might pack on too many minerals at once during application and make it too thick & cakey, but definitely not too flimsy/floppy that they would seem cheap and not apply the foundation evenly enough. So after looking at brushes from at least five suppliers, I decided on this set for my Premium series.

First of all, I am totally in love with the matte black handles; they go so well with my jars! Second, they have not shed on me at all! And most importantly, they are so velvety and plush, I honestly think I could calm myself down during those stressful moments by buffing this onto my cheek it is that luxurious!

Just a run down on the main differences of the face brushes:

Kabuki: This is perfect if you prefer a smaller size to keep in your purse. This one does have a little, clear plastic (yet durable) pouch it comes in that would keep it from getting “splayed” while in your purse and to prevent makeup from rubbing off of it and onto your purse contents. It is almost as dense as the Jumbo Buffer and about the same in diameter too.

Flat Top: The diameter of the head of this one is not quite as large as the Jumbo Buffer and Kabuki, but the hairs are packed densely also, making it easier to buff without “flopping.” You get more precision with this brush especially if you like to contour as its flat top helps put color right where you want it.

Jumbo Buffer: As mentioned, this is my ultimate favorite due to it’s larger, dense head and the thick, long handles. If you know any ladies that have trouble with grasping, maybe due to arthritis or plain weakness, this would be the ideal brush to get for her! (I’m saying this not just as a makeup person but as an occupational therapist!)

But I do want to reiterate that, at the time of this writing, I am almost sold out of the all the brushes from the Premium line! Once this initial stock is gone and I have to order more, I will increase the price. Just be aware that I may have a period where they will be “Out of Stock” but I do plan on continuing to carry them! ***UPDATED September 26: I am SOLD OUT of the Premium Jumbo Bufffer and I only have two more left of the Premium Flat Top! They should be restocked next Wednesday-Friday (October 1-3).

As far as how much they will go up, I have contacted my supplier to make sure the price I have in mind is okay with them. (I'm just waiting to hear back their response.) FYI, I am actually supposed to price these almost 2x MORE than what they are being sold at now (between $30-50!!!), but I knew that since this was a relatively new set of brushes being sold on the market, I wanted to add a little incentive for you all to try them. From my experience as well as feedback I’ve gotten from others, they are so wonderful, they are worth the suggested price. And this is coming from super-frugal me!

Anyway, I hope that this helped some of you who were in the “valley of decision” on getting one of these brushes! I really am happy with all of them, and of course, you are free to email me at
adorned_with_grace@yahoo.com for any questions or comments regarding them.