When you stand in the same place, looking in the same mirror doing slight variations of the same thing to your face every single morning your mind starts to wander. Sometimes I mentally pick out my outfit for the day, so that in the last 3 minute rush to get out the door I can pull together something presentable. Sometimes I try to figure out exactly how many meals I can get out of my cupboard stocks before I absolutely have to go shopping again. Sometimes I think about where I would put everything if I had a beautiful mirrored vanity with all the muji storage. And sometimes, I survey my ever-growing makeup collection and think what I would do if I could only chose one of each thing? In the event that someone told me I could only use one brush for the rest of my life... what would I choose?
When your mind drifts to these incredibly important and life-affirming conundrums I think it is imperative that they are considered very, very seriously. After ruling out the insanity that would be using just one brush for everything... I decided I would chose one for base, one for eyes and one for cheeks (stay tuned for posts to come). I spend most of my makeup application process perfecting my base before finishing up with a quick coat of mascara and a dusting of blush- so narrowing this down was by far the hardest task. Initially, I was compelled to go for the obvious answer, a buffing brush, but as I sat and thought about the ins and outs of what goes into creating a perfect base I eventually settled, not on a traditional foundation brush, not on a beauty blender (although not technically a brush), not on a buffing brush, but on the Real Techniques Setting Brush (£5)- and I'll tell you why.
A buffing brush creates a flawless finish with a liquid or powder foundation- it can also pat in large quantities of fairly high coverage concealer but that's pretty much where it's services end. But, say you were to apply your foundation with your hands for a more natural finish, you can then use the setting brush to smooth over any lines and create a similar polished and airbrushed look. You can do that, but you can also use it to blend in correctors and concealers around the nose and under the eyes. The shape is perfect for getting into every little nook and cranny of the face. The density and flexibility of the bristles make it perfect for concealing blemishes without them looking cakey. Move your grip down towards the bottom of the handle and you've got a light enough hand for some precision powdering. This is a brush that works wonderfully with cream, liquid and powder formulas and serves a multitude of purposes. And if you felt the need to stretch it even further... it makes a pretty decent highlighter brush too.
So, if you're only going to buy one base brush and you want to make it count I'd go for this unassuming little pink hero. Unfortunately, I've only ever seen it sold as part of a set in stores but I think you can buy it individually online. Although, almost all of the Real Techniques brushes are amazing so you might want to go for the set anyway!
What would you chose if you could only buy one base brush?