Gasp and DROOL: Claudio Riaz Brush Collection

It’s not my fault.

So, I’m talking to Claire (Chanel) about the company’s new brush line, and she says: “Have you tried Claudio Riaz?”

What?

No.

So we Google it. And OMG I promptly fall out… about as much as I have over Hakuhodo. LOVE the unusual brush head shapes and textures. She’s going on and on about the fabulousness and what not… and then I spy the price.

DEAD.

The brush collection is $1,525

For real?

The Travel Brush set is better… but not much. $650. M’kay dude.

Now, everyone knows I’m a brush enthusiast… and I’ve gone to great lengths to really add the ‘best of the best’ to my collection. But $1,500+? Really dude?

On the up side, it looks like you don’t need the whole collection to get a good feel for the line. Individually, the brushes are expensive as heck too. I mean, they make Tom Ford prices look downright REASONABLE.

Sheesh.

I need to think about this.

I did fall in love with a ‘line blender’ brush that I’ve never seen before:

But THAT sucker is $70.

So the thing is, unless these babies blow me totally and completely out of the water, and are BETTER than Hakuhodo (which, lets face it, is the gold standard), they may have to have an extended vacation at Barneys.

I promised Claire that I’d take a gander and see what she’s raving about. When I do, you know I’ll report back… good, bad or indifferent.

Ciao for now!

Brushing Up with Haughty Cosmetics

Talk about the Little Company that Could…

Haughty Cosmetics has now released a line of brushes! The brushes, like the lipglosses, are cruelty free. They are synthetic… and SO.FREAKIN.SOFT… like, WOW.

What’s extra cool about these brushes is that each one carries an inscription… owner Michelle Coyle says the messages are there to remind you that – quote – “…when you’re putting on your makeup… it’s go time!”

Powder Brush: GO BIG OR GO HOME
Blush Brush: PUT YOUR GAME FACE ON
Crease Brush: INCREASE YOUR ADVANTAGE
Angled Shadow Brush: FIND YOUR ANGLE
Hard Angle Brush: DRAW A HARD LINE
Medium Shadow Brush: FEAR NO EVIL
These brushes are quite a surprise. They are really so soft… I was surprised at how soft they were. My favorite brush, hands down, is ‘Go Big or Go Home.’ It rivals the EcoTools Bronzing Brush in density and softness. It fees so good on the face. 
I also like the crease brush. I didn’t think I’d like it because the head is so long (most crease brushes feature a shorter head), but the firmness of the brush places color right where you need it, and blends it out beautifully. That was a pleasant surprise.
These are good. They’re cruelty free (bonus), and they perform as well as their natural-hair counterparts. You can get these brushes (and some of the best lipglosses I’ve ever worn) at www.haughtycosmetics.com

Brushing up with Giorgio Armani

I’m slowly replenishing my brush supply…

I’ve had some of my brushes literally as long as I’ve been a pro makeup artist, and some of them are in dire need of replacement. Little by little, as I fall in love with new brands and new brush shapes, I’m replacing the old for the new.

My latest acquisition is the collection of brushes from Armani:

There’s one missing from this photo… so I took another picture with just it and the two big brushes…

There are 10 brushes in total. The handles are short and sturdy… with the Giorgio Armani name etched into them. I like the way they handle. I’ve played with a few of them and they seem to be well constructed, and very easy to use.

Face Brush
Blush Brush
Angled Brush
Short Crease Brush
Long Crease Brush
Lip Brush
Small Shadow Brush
Brow Brush
Highlight/Blender Brush

**My picture of the ‘large shadow brush’ appears to have fallen off of my upload. I’ll reload it and put it up this weekend.**

Brushing Up on By Terry

Okay, it took some doing… but I got to see/play with/bring home the By Terry Brushes. Edwin, this is all your fault… and that’s all I’m going to say about that! 😀

There are 7 brushes available at the local Space NK, but I think there are more online. I think that these are the only ones with the silver handles though.

Turns out, those gorgeous silver handles are quite practical; the etching on them makes them easy to grip. They’re also weighted right. Not heavy… but not hollow and cheap feeling either. What’s interesting about these brushes is the size… they are small. I think this may be a European thing; every brush that I’ve gotten from a European brand has been rather short. The foundation brush is about the same size as the Chanel version:

Here’s hoping that it’s a better brush than Chanel. That Chanel brush is likely the worst foundation brush I’ve ever used. Fortunately, it was a gift. To date, my favorite foundation brushes come from Hakuhodo and MAC. I hope that the By Terry one is as good.

Compared to a domestic brush, the By Terry brushes are really short. Maybe we just make brush handles bigger here:

That powder brush is noticeably shorter than the Kevyn Aucoin version, but as you can see… the brush heads are about the same size.

Now, in terms of quality, these are wonderful brushes. But I don’t believe they are covet worthy. For one thing, I don’t know why this company decided to just toss these very expensive brushes in a box and keep it moving. Can I get a velvet pouch, brush roll, something? Even Chanel brushes come in gorgeous velvet pouches. I just feel like they slept on the packaging. If you’re going to charge $130 for a powder brush, you might want to present it in such a way that it actually LOOKS LIKE it cost that much. I’m just saying.

I’m keeping them… for now. We’ll see how that foundation brush performs. If it’s as bad as the Chanel version, I’m going back to Space NK to have a strong domestic discussion with Edwin. Hmph.

Brushes: By Terry

You guys know I’m a sucker for the brand By Terry… the line is so luxurious and I love the idea of makeup doubling as skin care.

Well, By Terry has revamped their brush design and selection, and released the gorgeous new collection. I’ll get to put hands on them tonight:

I like the idea of the silver handles with the quilted design, but I have to tell you, I’m not so sure how that’s going to translate in real life. Metal handles tend to be a pain during practical application. I also want to test the softness and durability of the brush heads. Only two brushes in the line are synthetic: the foundation brush and the eyeliner brush. The rest are all goat hair, I believe. Those of you not interested in animal hair bristles ought to pass this collection by. There are a lot of companies who offer amazing brushes made of synthetic bristles, that perform just as well as their natural counterparts.

I’ll have more on this new brush release after I actually get to play with them a bit. Ciao for now!