“ Type: Brushes / Brand: Space NK / What it does: Bronzes, „
Any serious make up fan knows how important it is to use the correct tools and brushes to apply products. I really believe that brushes make a huge difference to how easy a product is to apply, the finish you get from it and in some cases tools used can even prolong wear of certain items. I have even found that good brushes have changed far from perfect products in to perfectly usable items that give a pretty decent finish.
There are literally thousands of different brushes out there from both lower priced brands and also the higher priced luxury brands. I have used brushes from both ends of the scale and personally feel that the more expensive options are better, simply because better materials are used to make them and they are therefore normally superior quality and last longer than cheaper options. The exception to this is Crown brushes (www.crownbrush.co.uk) which is a UK based company that offers a huge range of really well made brushes with prices starting from just a couple of pounds.
A lot of the higher end brands such as Chanel, Bobbi Brown and MAC offer an extensive range of brushes for pretty much every use you can think of and I was tempted when building my set to buy from just one brand. The pre made sets are very appealing but are also very expensive, a basic six piece set from Bobbi Brown costs £136 and unfortunately was way out of my price range. I decided the next best thing was to custom build my own set so I could spread the cost and also only purchase the tools that I knew I'd need and use.
Over the years I have slowly built quite a respectable set of tools and my collection consists of many different brushes from many different brands. I have purchased some from lower end lines such as Ruby & Millie and also from higher end counters such as NARS and Dior but some of my favourite and most well used are from Space NK's own brand range. There is one in particular (The bronzer brush) that I have used on a daily basis for the past three years and it's not only amazingly soft but also exceptional quality.
About Space NK
Space NK apothecary have both a chain of retail stores that stock high end beauty products and brands and also two luxury spas which are both based in London. The company was founded by Nicky Kinnaird and the first shop was opened in 1993 in Covent Garden, London. There are now 50 stores throughout the UK and 4 US stores as well as a website where products can be purchased. Space NK offer a huge range of cosmetics, skin care and bath and body products from brands such as Jo Malone, By Terry, Bumble and Bumble and Philosophy as well as offering their own brand range of products which includes, candles, fine fragrance, skin care and tools and brushes.
Price and availability
Space NK brushes are available to purchase online (www.spacenk.co.uk) and in store. I normally purchase online simply because my nearest store isn't particularly close and I find it more convenient. I have also found when I have made a trip to the shop that more often that not what I want is not available as mine doesn't carry an awful lot of stock. There are currently 10 brushes available in the Space NK range and they range in price from around £10.00-£50.00 depending on size, use etc. The bronzer brush is priced at £18.00 which is also what I paid for it three years ago but be aware if you purchase from the site that postage is a huge £5.00 for standard delivery.
I'm not aware of anywhere else that you can purchase Space NK products, I have seen brushes listed on sites like e-bay in the past but they rarely seem to come up and are not much less than the rrp when they do.
What does it look like?
The bronzing brush is short and stumpy and stands around four inches tall including the handle which is made from a smooth, black gloss metal and is stamped with a white Space NK logo. The bristles are made from super fine, black dyed goat hair, are gently tapered and measure approx 3 inches across. The brush was packaged in a sealed, transparent storage bag which contained a turquoise piece of card with the Space NK logo on it when I received it. Although I haven't used it, I imagine the sealable bag would be handy to keep hold of to use for travelling.
The whole thing is quite light and although the handle is quite stumpy, I still find it easy to grip and hold. In the three years that I've had it, it has been dropped on many occasions on to tile and wood floors but the black gloss has never scratched or chipped in any way and is still as perfect as the day I bought it. I really like the overall simple design of Space NK brushes and am particularly fond of black hairs as they don't stain and discolour.
What is it for?
As the name suggests the brush is designed for bronzing and more specifically, highlighting and contouring the face. I have to admit that I have only used it for this purpose on a few occasions as I instead use it as a loose powder or face brush which it's perfect for. I have also used it quite a lot to apply highlighting powders to legs and arms etc because the head is quite wide and covers large areas quickly and evenly.
The super soft bristles pick up colour easily and evenly due to both the tapered shape and the denseness or quantity of individual bristles. I have used the brush with both pressed powder and loose powder and have found it to be equally as good at applying both. The brush enables you to apply a range of different products with ease and blending with it is an absolute dream. Some cheaper or lower quality brushes can irritate skin because the bristles are too hard and tend to scratch but this one really does feel silky soft, even on sensitive areas.
Used as a bronzing brush I find it allows easy application of pressed bronzers, enabling you to pack on just the right amount of pigment and the stubby bristles really let you control the brush which gives an even application. As a loose powder brush I find the size it perfect for picking up a nice amount of loose powder and again the short bristles work well when it comes to buffing finishing powder into skin and reducing messy fallout.
How to look after it
I must admit I did get suckered in by MAC a couple of years ago and actually paid quite a bit for a specific brush cleaner or shampoo product which in my opinion really was nothing special. I now use a gentle hair shampoo to clean all my brushes and I find that works really well at cleaning and conditioning. I always use warm water to reduce any damage to the glue that holds bristles in place and always air dry over night with the brush heads hanging over a ledge to ensure they dry evenly.
I wash all brushes once a week and have used this method on my Space NK brush since I got it with no problems. I noticed no dye loss from the hairs even on the first wash which is great on a black brush and I don't think I've ever lost any stray bristles from it either. The glue hasn't loosened or weakened in any way and the head has stayed as soft as when I first got it.
Would I recommend?
I really have been impressed by the quality of Space NK brushes and would thoroughly recommend them. Compared to some other brands the price is relatively low and considering mine is still like new after a lot of heavy use I think it was an excellent buy at £18.00.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, this is one of my most well used brushes which is due to the shape and also the softness which makes it a joy to use. I have purchased other brushes from the line and have found them to be equally as good quality as the bronzing brush and they are also lasting really well.
Overall I think the line is excellent and I wouldn't hesitate to buy anything else from Space NKs own range in the future.