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A continuation of Purge Pile #1 and my ongoing attempts to declutter my stash because the situation is totally out of hand! Today, these things have to go…

Purge Pile #2 – Brushes, Laura Mercier, Shiseido

Let’s start with some brushes, listed left to right.

Makeup Geek – Angled Contour Brush*, Foundation Stippling Brush*, Face Buffer Brush*

I adore Makeup Geek cosmetics (brand overview here) but the brushes are a miss for me: the Angled Contour is a bit scratchy, the Foundation Stippling is a flat top (I’ve never met a flat top buffing brush that I like) and the Face Buffer brush is so dense that it almost wipes foundation off my face.

They’re inexpensive but the market is now saturated with fabulous and affordable synthetic brushes (It Cosmetics are amazing, Zoeva are brilliant), the Makeup Geek synthetic fibre falls short for me – they’re not particularly soft and my skin is too darn delicate.

Manicare – Artiste Highlighter Brush 53*

Manicare is an affordable Australian grooming brand and the Highlighter Brush is actually a wonderful shape but the fibres are wiry and I never reach for it. I think one of my less-than-makeup-obsessed friends would get good use out of it.

Real Techniques – Stippling Brush

Real Techniques makes some of my favourite workhorse brushes (the contour and buffing brushes are always in high rotation) but the Stippling Brush feels almost stabby on my face. Again, probably testament to fragility of my skin.

Tarte – Bamboo Contour Brush*

If you like a super-duper dense face brush, you may very well like the Bamboo Contour Brush, the fibres are relatively soft. Dense face brushes have never been my thing, they wear away at my foundation and my rosiness peaks through (IRKSOME).

Zoeva – 107 Powder Polish Brush

Lawl yet again, too large and dense for my preferences. For the record, I adore many of Zoeva’s synthetic options (the natural hair offerings are hit and miss).

Onto some makeups…

Purge Pile #2 – Brushes, Laura Mercier, Shiseido

Shiseido – Sheer and Perfect Foundation in O20

Along the lines of those ‘new age’ volatile oil foundation formulas: super thin in consistency and settles to a matte finish. If you’re seeking a sheer coverage base with a matte finish, this fits the bill.

The shade O20 is a relatively cool yellow that matches me well when I’m a little lighter than NC20… during the winter…when my skin is dry. You catch my drift? I’ve selected a winter shade in a summer formula. Dumbass move.

Laura Mercier – Radiance Primer*

This stuff is packed with warm golden shimmer, which is problematic on two accounts: a) it makes my face look warmer than my olive-ish body and b) shimmer all over the face is a no-no for me, even in primer, I prefer to keep placement confined.

If you often mix shimmery luminisers into your foundation and you’re seeking extra warmth, this might tickle your pickle – I did find that it enhanced foundation longevity!


So… this is a spinoff of the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge. An array of silicone cups (every size and shape…seriously) that you suction over the lips. Aside from the fact that I felt like an idiot and it kinda hurt, it did make my lips look bigger for a few hours.

But I felt like an idiot and it kinda hurt. I think I’ll stick with the lipliner.

Have you tried any of these products? Did they work for you?


* Denotes products sent for consideration. I’m always honest, clearly.

Complete list of products mentioned

Powder Polish Brush
Powder Polish Brush
Bamboo Contour Brush
Bamboo Contour Brush
Stippling Brush
Stippling Brush
Sheer and Perfect Foundation
Sheer and Perfect Foundation
Radiance Foundation Primer
Radiance Foundation Primer
* Denotes products sent for consideration. I’m always honest with my reviews :)

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  1. I haven’t tried those particular brushes, so can’t really comment, but my skin sounds like yours as I get redness and I can’t use really dense foundation brushes. I don’t mind the the LM Radiance primer, but I can’t use it all over cause I’d look like a disco ball. A little on my cheeks underneath foundation is ok but reality is there’s other luminizing primers I like more that are a bit more subtle like the Burberry one and Le Blanc de Chanel xx

  2. I’ve only tried the RT stippling brush out of all of this purge pile. I found that it left my foundation streaky & it shed like nothing else!! I’ve never had problems with any other RT brushes shedding, but the stippling brush was terrible. Already in my bin! Haha

  3. Not sure if you’ve done a review on the It Cosmetics brushes (I’ve tried looking for it), but which brushes do you recommend?

    Also, I’ve been trying to declutter as well! It feels great! 🙂

  4. Agree with the RT Stippling brush, I just recently threw mine out too. I kept trying it because bloggers rave about it but I just don’t know why. I also find it really stabby with uneven application.

  5. the real techniques stippling brush is one of my least favourite of their brushes as well. no matter how long i buff away it always gives me a streaky finish.

  6. This morning I mistakenly used the Laura Mercier Radiance Primer as a foundation (thought I was using my Laura Mercier Silk Creme), and for me it really worked to even my skin tone like a tinted moisturizer. I am extremely pale with yellow undertone and my face is also overrun with pink pigmentation. What threw me off is that the primer counteracted the pinkness, yay! Must be due to the gold shine in it. Others with pink skin might like to give it a go.
    (I like that it also gave me the satin finish I always pack on with highlighters. I just used the Hourglass finishing powders to set.)

  7. Hey Karima,
    Great review! I prefer using the beauty blender on most occasions, but when I do use brushes ( I only have a few), I use the full coverage face brush from bobbi brown, a bronzer/powder brush from xoBeauty created by shaaanxo (really soft!) and a few of the Sephora brushes, like #56. There are so many that are great and it can get overwhelming for me haha, so I stick with my bb sponge, can’t go wrong with that 🙂 xo

  8. I’m not a fan of the RT Stippling brush either! It definitely feels stabby to me too. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a stippling brush or the fibres that they use 🙁

  9. The Real Techniques one was a let-down for me as well. I tried applying my foundation and it came on patchy. Now it’s waiting for me to buy a cream blush I suppose, but I might just toss it. The expert face brush is awesome supposedly, but I don’t have the option to check how hard / fluffy it is.

  10. Hi Karima, I’m a new follower from Italy, I love the way you talk and you write. I’m a 40ish working mom and make up is my guilty pleasure… Try the stippling brush with cream blush, it works for me! Luv from the hottest italian summer..