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I am a big fan of Kabuki style brushes as I find they are much easier to apply setting powders because the bristles are so large and spread out that they do not pick a lot of product up and disperse it very naturally and more importantly, lightly over my face. As well as powder, I find these types of brushes work very well for bronzers too as I don't usually contour with my bronzing powder, mainly because I am not good at it and end up looking like a chimney sweep from Dickens time with patches of dirt looking bronzer all over my face! I much prefer to sweep it across my complexion to highlight where the sun would hit, but using smaller brushes can be a task in themselves as they leave streaks and are harder to blend out to get that tantastic glow! If you're having trouble with getting a natural application for bronzer then I would recommend trying a kabuki bronzer and in particular the Benefit Bronzing Brush!
I love the packaging of this brush as most brushes just come in a plastic sleeve with a sticker and a barcode if you're lucky! But Benefit are known for their love of beautifully designed products and this isn't an exception. It comes in a see through plastic wallet type of container that has a bright, canary yellow cardboard piece to hold the shape and also hold the brush. On the front of the cardboard facing out towards the front of the packaging in big and bold lettering are the words Bronzing Brush with 'for the girl from panama look' wrote just underneath it! I don't know why but this made me think of the TV Programme that used to be on called Pan Am about Air Hostesses so I'm not sure if that is what they were hinting at, but whatever it is it sounds good! Underneath the writing are two small pictures in a circle - one of a face and once of a neck and chest which tells you that this brush can be used to apply bronzer to both these areas. In the corner in a black semi circle is a quite saying 'power to the bronzer' a play on the 'power to the people' one which I like!
Once you open it up and get into your brush you notice that it is quite short and quite broad which all kabuki styles are. They are made in this was as it is easier to hold them, store them and take them on the go with you by having a shorter handle. Speaking of handles, the one on this brush is really lovely and definitely stands out as it is a gorgeous matte white and made of a very hard a sturdy plastic, so its not going to chip or break off if dropped. One thing I love is that it has a rounded bottom which makes it self standing something which is also great for storing and helpful when you are putting your make up on as it doesn't roll off! The bristles are my favourite aspect of this brush by far as they are super soft! Made with natural hair they are arranged in a circular dome shape that is the same width and height from the base until you get to the very top where it tapers into a little bit of a tip. The tones of the hairs go from warm to dark brown from the bottom to the top.
I love the look of the brush as I think it looks classic, chic and chunky which is something that I find to be a great advantage with make up brushes. I use this to apply any bronzer that I am wearing - you can use this to apply low end or high end and it will still make it look amazing on your skin! You can also apply this on pressed or loose powder although I think it applies loose powder much better as it doesn't concentrate the powder into one place or hold too much at once, instead it picks up just enough to lightly dust over your complexion.
I would recommend this handy, great and luxury feeling brush to anyone who wants to apply there bronzer lightly to give a natural and flawless look. It is the perfect size to be able to fit in your handbag, glove box or even your pocket for touch ups on the go. This is an expensive product at £23.50 however it lasts so much more than a cheap brush, which you will need to replace once it gets too clogged up and starts to lose its bristles, so the quality pays for itself.
You can purchase Benefit at Boots or Boots.com, online make up stores as well as the Benefit website and any department stores that have a Benefit counter.
As I seem to have collected a number of bronzers over the past year or so I decided that it was time to use them up. The majority of these have actually been bought with a brush included yet for some reason I always seem to mislay the brushes. So I decided, in an attempt to beat the credit crunch, rather than buy a new bronzer I'd simply buy a new brush that I could then use with all my current bronzer pallets that I've accumulated.
Now in the past I've always tended to opt for fairly cheap bronzer brushes as I do usually loose them quite easily. However this time I thought I'd buy one that was more expensive in the hope it'd be of a higher quality and also last much longer - I basically thought that if I spent more money I'd be more careful not to loose it quite so easily! After finding out that Clinique didn't have one in stock I decided to have a look at Benefit.
Benefit is a rather expensive American beauty brand that prides itself on its cutely named products that do tend to produce positive results. It's sold in Boots, Debenhams, Selfridges, etc. and the prices do tend to be the same across all the stores. It sells the majority of make up items and has recently moved into body care products as well. You can expect to pay around £15 for a mascara, £22 for a blusher and £15 for a make up brush.
In the past I've bought quite a few products from Benefit including blushers and eye liners and have always been quite happy with the products themselves. There have been one or two that have been a little disappointing and also the odd one or two that I've felt weren't really worth the much inflated price tag. I've never previously bought any make up brushes from this brand so this was a first time experience for me!
Upon first glance I was rather unimpressed with the look of the brush; it had a small silver base that was only about two inches in height at the most. The top of this was then filled with brown bristles that seemed to be quite loosely packed together. Overall it certainly didn't look like a Benefit brush as such, I've always associated their products with quite cute and exclusive type packaging that was both functional and stylish.
The bristles are about two inches long and they span about a three inch diameter across the brush making it quite large. I did like the fact that it was quite large as I thought this would allow for a more even coverage when sweeping the brush over my face, oppose to the more compacted brushes. There was a synthetic smell to the brush although this has faded over time and has now been replaced with a bronzer type smell.
However I was not to be dissuaded so easily and therefore decided to buy the brush anyway. Upon taking it out of its packaging my first impressions were confirmed; there was absolutely nothing special looking about this brush at all. There was also no lid or packaging for the brush which did mean it could roll around in my make up bag and pick up all sorts of dirt on it quite easily which didn't really impress me much either.
The brush actually comes complete with a lesson on how to use it but the gist is that you should swirl the brush head very lightly around your bronzer pallet to collect the powder. It's then best to gently tap the brush over a bin or a sink to remove any excess powder that may cause clogging on your face. After that you can simply sweep the brush over your face, concentrating on cheek bones, to give a bronzed and even glow to your face.
I've found that the best thing to do is swirl the brush in the bronzing pallet and then gently sweep it across my face, covering all areas. After that I repeat the swirling action but this time I concentrate on areas that I want to highlight such as my cheekbones. Depending on the desired effect you can continue to build up the colour quite easily by just returning the brush to the bronzer more times to ensure more colour reaches your face.
It was actually incredibly easy to use the brush, despite having a very small handle as such this actually allowed for much more control when using the brush. The large size of the head of the brush meant that when sweeping my face much more area was covered with a single sweep which not only saved time but made the effect much more even. When highlighting my entire cheek bones were covered using a single sweep too.
I've only cleaned the brush once since I've owned it and it is recommended that you clean it every three to four weeks as it can pick up germs both in your make up bag and obviously when it comes into contact with your skin. I used some warm water with a little bit of tea tree oil diluted in it to clean my brush, after I'd let it soak for a few minutes I rinsed it in cold water and then left it in my airing cupboard to dry overnight.
So what did I really think of the brush...
Yes it applied my bronzer really easily and evenly.
Yes it didn't cause it to clog or clump up at all.
Yet... I wasn't overly impressed. As it cost me in the region of £14 I was expecting some sort of miracles and have to be honest and say that my £4 equivalent that I lost from No 17 did the job just as well. If I was too loose the brush, which is more than likely considering my past history, I'm certain I wouldn't replace it with a Benefit brush due to the price being so much higher yet the effects not really being any different at all.
So would I recommend it? Well yes if you want to spend £14 on a bronzer brush then do, but remember you could get a similar one from a different brand for a fraction of the price. You also might have a slight problem finding it as I've just checked on the Boots website and they don't appear to stock it anymore so you may well have to buy it online... with the additional delivery cost I really wouldn't bother.
Thanks for reading.
Perfect for dusting on any loose powder /