Hello gorgeous people. Happy Monday! I hope you guys have a fantastic week ahead of you and don’t let the Monday blues get you down!
Today I’m going to be talking about something I don’t know a huge deal about: makeup brushes. My brush collection is relatively small. I have a Real Techniques Core Collection, a few Eco Tools brushes (here & here) and a buffer brush recently received in a Glossy Box. I’m sure this is enough for a makeup novice, but as I’ve been experimenting with makeup more, I find I’m needing more tools. For example, out of the ones listed above, there’s only one eyeshadow blending brush. I didn’t have a blending brush before, and I definitely feel like the Eco Tools one helped my makeup sooo much, but I need more to be able to do the kind of looks I’d like to experiment with.
Spectrum Collections are a company I heard about a while back via Danielle Vanier, when she attended the launch of the gorgeous Glam Clam (sidenote: if you’re not following Danielle, go do it now: she’s awesome). I was immediately taken in by the pretty colours and design (I’m visual, okay??), as you usually see brushes in just black, or block colours in plain brush wraps. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to afford them at the time, and I also just wasn’t as into makeup back then. So when I realised recently that I should own more brushes, they were the company I immediately thought of.
I did a bit of research, though. I knew I wanted vegan brushes as I am vegetarian and try to look into cruelty-free options wherever possible. I was looking at the vegan collection Morphe brushes have, but they have very mixed reviews and there were probably a bit more brushes in there than I needed at this time. After looking at several options I knew that Spectrum were just going to be the best option for me. The next problem was what to get.
I just know that if you’re pretty new to utilising makeup in specific ways and having numerous tools, you’ll understand what I mean. I don’t know what half of the makeup brushes on the site do, so would I be able to find a set to get that I would be able to utilise frequently and get my money’s worth?
If you’re a complete makeup novice and have the money, I definitely think that investing in their bigger collections is worth it: the Ultimate 30 Piece set, 10 Piece Essential Set and Marbelous 12 Piece Set are all beautiful and useful core options. I felt that I already had enough face brushes and sponges, so I wanted to focus on eyes, as – like I said above – that was the thing I felt I was lacking. I ended up going with the Siren Smoke collection, which looks like this:
The collection has classic black brush handles, teal blue and black bristles, and a really cool petrol-like iridescent metal partition. It comes packaged in a plastic pink wallet, which I love so much as it seems to be made of the same material as those toy writing things I used as a kid in the 90s (anyone else remember these things?!). Don’t ask me why I’m so excited by that.
The collection comprises of 7 brushes:
B03 – a small buffer brush
A06 – a large shader brush
B06 – a tapered blending brush
B04 – an angled shading brush
A12 – a detailing brush
A17 – an angled liner brush
A15 – a lip brush
All of these brushes can also be bought individually in the standard pink, blue & purple colour, which I think is a fantastic option for people who don’t need a full set.
I’ll try to go through each of these brushes individually and let you know what I’ve been using them for (if anything) and how I feel about them (I’ll also link the individual brush, bearing in mind it’s a different colour).
According to Spectrum’s website, this brush is for buffing concealer around the eye area. I will be completely honest and admit that I haven’t used this one yet, but I’m thinking that this one could be particularly helpful when buffing out my colour correction using my Nyx palette. The brush is basically exactly as stated; it’s like a buffer brush in miniature. The bristles of all of these brushes are very soft, however they also keep their shape very well, which obviously is particularly good when using a buffer.
As you can see from the photo, this brush has seen a bit of use!
This is a flat shader brush, which is good for wide colour application of eyeshadow. I would use a brush like this for my base shadow which sets my primer. You can probably tell from the pigment on my brush, though, that that isn’t what I use this one for. I do use a flat shader brush for my base eyeshadow colour, but I use the shader brush from this Eco Tools set. What I actually use this Spectrum brush for is precise highlighter application, for example on my nose, upper lip and brow bone… and it works really well!
The name of this brush is incredibly apt, as it has become my best friend for applying makeup and is my favourite makeup brush of my whole collection.
As I said above, my eyeshadow game stepped up when I discovered blending brushes, but this one takes it to a new level. My Eco Tools blender is great, but smaller than this and more suited for detailed crease work, whereas this works great as a transition colour blender. Now when doing my eye makeup, I will prime, use a flat shader for base, this one for light transition colours, my Eco Tools one for darker crease colours, and a smaller flat brush for lid colour. I then use this one again to blend everything out. It’s incredibly soft and I find it so easy to use for blending, even for a blending newb like myself.
This is another brush I haven’t used yet. I don’t think I’ve ever used an angled blending brush, so I’ll probably have to look up some tutorials on it and how to contour the eye with shadow. I’ll get back to you!
This is a smaller detail brush, which I actually use for two different things. Firstly, it’s great for adding depth to crease shadow, so when using neutral shadows on smoky eyes I will use this one to gently apply a tiny amount of Urban Decay’s Blackout to deepen my crease. Secondly, I will clean this brush out thoroughly and use it on my brows to blend out my Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade so I don’t have too much application of product on the first third of my brows. This has really helped me to practice my gradient brow… I’m still not completely there, but blending out colour is something I didn’t think to do before and this brush really helps with that.
As you can see from its name, this brush was actually created for lining and applying brow product. It’s a precise angled liner, and I’m actually really impressed with how well packed the bristles are and how precise the application is.
I don’t use this on my brows as I have this brush which I use with my Dip Brow, however I needed another angled liner for eyeliner application, and this one is honestly fantastic.
The top line you can see in this photo of lipstick on my hand is the eyeliner brush. It creates a very good sharp line, and I have yet to find any problem with fallout of bristles. I was using my Eco Tools angled liner previously, and it’s just too big for precise application, and I have also encountered problems with the bristles falling out of line, so this one has been a fantastic replacement for that.
This brush kinda breaks the mould of the collection, as it’s a lip brush and not an eye brush. It is very well packed and flat, allowing for precise application. One of the problems I find with lip brushes is that they are just too small and it takes forever to actually get the product onto your lips! This one is not like that. It’s a small brush, but larger than some lip brushes I’ve encountered, and certainly doesn’t take an age to use. It is flat and tapered, which means it’s particularly useful for both lining and filling out the lips. Turn it on its side and you get a sharp, precise line; turn it flat and you have a wider application for filling out the lips.
In this photo the lip brush has been used on the bottom two applications of lipstick: the middle line is using the brush flat, and the bottom line is using it on its side. It’s a super useful brush and is now the best lip brush I own.
Overall, I’m incredibly impressed with this collection. The brushes are also so, so soft, which you don’t often find from vegan brushes, but those which are well packed for precise application also perform incredibly well.
Out of the set, these are the three brushes which I use the most (B06, A06, A12), however I will get use out of every single brush in this collection, so it has definitely been good value for money.
I had concerns about Spectrum before. The brushes look amazingly pretty, they’re vegan… I mean, what’s the catch? I’m yet to find one.
Obviously I will point out – as I do often – that I am not an expert, nor a professional. All of the reviews I do on products like these come from the view of someone who applies makeup solely to herself, and experiments. I’ve never had such a big brush collection (even now that only comprises of just over a dozen brushes) and I write as someone who hasn’t tried every brush on the market. However whether you are just starting your makeup brush collection, or are expanding, I am sure Spectrum brushes will make a welcome addition.
Have any of you tried the brand? What are your experiences with it?
Until next time chaps 😉