I don’t think I’ve used my fingers to apply makeup for many years. For my day to day makeup I’m a sponge or brush girl because I don’t believe that my fingers do the job anywhere near as well. I understand that some people find that the warmth of your fingertips helps blend product into the skin but I just find that it makes a mess and I don’t have time to clear that up in the mornings. Anyway, recently I have been trying some EcoTools brushes as I received them in my LoveMeBeauty subscription and thought I should write about them.
EcoTools is a relatively well known brand but I thought I’d do some research to learn a bit more. It’s great to know that their products are cruelty free which means synthetic bristles if you were worrying. They’re also made from recycled bamboo, the handles anyway, apparently it’s one of the fastest growing plants on the planet, so those pandas won’t lose out because of our makeup brush purchasing!
I have a few different sets and also some of the individual brushes. All the sets come packaged in cute little pouches perfect for carrying them around with you or in your handbag if you’re going out straight from work. As brushes go, they’re also on the more affordable scale; the five piece Starter Kit is £14.99 at Superdrug and the six piece Day to Night kit is £16.99, both of which are more affordable than RealTechniques. The individual brushes themselves retail from £3.99 to £12.99 but they do also come in double ended duos for £6.99.
I always take an interest in face brushes as I always worry about my base. I’m quite subconscious about my skin and to me in the mirror it looks anything but smooth so finding my perfect base will take a while, (any suggestions will be greatly received!) I’ll start with the individual face brushes, and one of my favourites is the Blending and Bronzing brush (£9.99) it’s a very large duo fibre brush. It seems to want you to use it for cream contour and highlight blending, but I think it is much better for buffing in foundation. The duo fibre bristles allow you to really work the foundation into the skin via light stippling, as the brush is large it bounces off the skin making sure you don’t end up with patchy coverage. The round brush head also allows you to get in and around all the difficult areas of the face, under the eyes and around the nose. The second brush I have is the Precision Blush Brush (£7.99) and I wanted this as I really don’t have many brushes with which to apply blush. I used to use my RealTechniques Stippling Brush until that started shedding so I really did need a new one. The brush is so fluffy and has a rounded top which means you can precisely apply your blush to your cheeks. It also allows you to blend out the blush too in case, like me, you’re slightly heavy handed in the mornings.
Now from the Starter Set are two face brushes: the Concealer brush and Blush brush. The Concealer brush is quite a standard design. It’s flat and tapered so you can get up close under the eyes, my only problem is that I don’t find these types of brushes great at blending in the concealer, you usually have to pat the product in which does take a long time. Next is the Blush brush. Incredibly fluffy and much more suited to powder in my mind, especially as I also own the Precision Blush Brush. It tapers outwards with a rounded top and perhaps may also be a good substitute foundation brush for when all my others are dirty. (Believe me it happens.)
From the Day to Night set comes three face brushes: Pointed Concealer Brush, Angled Face Brush and the Highlighting Fan Brush. Now the Pointed Concealer Brush is good for the days I have problem skin. When spots decide to pop up this lets me cover them instantly and easily. As it tapers into a point it is also good as a crease brush and it’s not half bad for blending it out as well. The Angled Face Brush is right on trend for contouring, it’s not overly big and fits into the hollows of my cheeks nicely. It doesn’t pick up too much product and doesn’t create a particularly harsh line when I contour (badly.) The final face brush is the Highlighting Fan Brush, as highlighting is ‘in’ this is a staple in any makeup collection. It’s design is quite thin making sure you’re not on full brightness, unless you want to be of course, and also it can double up as a nose contouring brush because desperate times call for all in contouring!
The range of eye brushes is extensive. First off is the Brow Shaping Set (£6.99) it has two brushes and some really scary brow stencils which I’ll come onto later. The set comes with a Lash&Brow Groomer which is much like most others you’ll find and there’s not much more to say about it. The double ended Brow Filler and Brow Definer on the other hand is pretty special. On the one hand is the Brow Definer, a stiff angled brush ready to outline even the unruliest of brows, so definitely mine. I like to use it with a pomade, my current go to is the NYX Tame &Frame, it’s a lot cheaper than the ABH version. The other end is a Brow Filler which I think is a great idea, I always find that the stiffer brushes fill the brow too perfectly and I’m more of a messy plait and yesterday’s mascara kind of girl. The shape of the brush is the important factor: it’s quite a flat brush but is very fluffy, I feel it’s better suited to powder than creams or pomades as it’s very easy to pick up too much product.
From the Starter Set comes the Eyeshadow Brush and Angled Eyeliner Brush. Now the Eyeshadow Brush is very, almost too similar to the Concealer Brush in the set just shorter, so there’s not much to say there. The Angled Eyeliner Brush is similar to the Brow Definer Brush however, it is longer and less stiff so it allows for movement whilst applying gel liner. I for one prefer a felt tip eyeliner or liquid as I am not skilled enough with gel.
Finally from the Day to Night kit are the Detailed Lip/Liner Brush and the Eye Shadow Brush. The Detailed Lip/Liner Brush is much better as a lip brush in my opinion as it is not stiff enough for liner. Nor is it tapered enough. For lips though it is perfect, the flexibility allows you to cover the and still get a sharp edge without much hassle. The Eyeshadow Brush is a lot fluffier than the one from the Starter Set which makes it a great blending brush. It’s rounded which lets it fit into the crease and also under the eye to smoke it all out if you want a more dramatic look.
Now unknown to me until a month ago, was the fact that EcoTools do brush related accessories too. I have the Makeup Brush Cleansing Cloths (£6.99,) now I think these are ingenious for if you’re on the go. They’re like a makeup wipe except solely for your brushes, after you use a brush you swirl it on the cloth and the makeup disappears. The other accessory came with the Brow Shaping Set: brow stencils. Now these terrify me as if done badly they will look like sharpied on brows, but each to their own. They came with three styles: glamour, defined for when you want a big night out, delicate, for a more natural look, or classic, think Instagram brows.
Overall I can’t deny the fact that EcoTools do some gorgeous brushes at extraordinary low prices. While the stencils scare me the brush cloths and sets are quite impressive. If you were looking for the best set to try I would definitely say to go for the Day to Night kit with six brushes in.