The products: Ecotools Perfecting Blender Duo complexion sponge, Real Techniques Eye Shade + Blend eye brushes
When I started wearing makeup, it was tough to find affordable tools and brushes that were actually good. The market has really opened up in recent years, though, and two of the brands at the forefront of everything are Ecotools and Real Techniques.
Ecotools Perfecting Blender Duo ($15.99 CAD/intl)
Ecotools were one of the first super-soft synthetic makeup brushes on the market, but they can be a bit of a mixed bag. Some of their brushes can be poorly made (I can’t tell you how many of my Ecotools ferrules have just popped right off their handles), and their bristles are a little too soft. They can feel almost staticky or oily, which is a little bit too much like being petted by the Penguin–or a penguin–for my tastes.
Where the brand excels, though, is its breadth. They make makeup brushes, konjac sponges, exfoliating puffs, dry brushes, hair brushes… the list goes on.
This spring, Ecotools is adding the Ecotools Perfecting Blender Duo to their lineup, and these little guys are absolutely excellent. If you’ve tried the Real Techniques complexion sponges, these are very similar–both brands are owned by Paris Presents.
I prefer using the Ecotools Perfecting Blender Duo damp, although it can also be used dry. Both sponges are soft, bouncy, and durable, and the flat angles are a great compromise between precision and speed. The wedge tip lets you get really sharp edges where and when you need them, and the rounded base stipples them out really easily.
I know that not everyone always wants two sponges, but the fact that these are sold in a kit is really helpful. The smaller one is firmer and smoother, delivering heavier coverage in a more precise location. It’s also less absorbent, so it’s perfect for creamy undereye concealers.
Real Techniques Eye Shade + Blend brushes ($14.99 CAD/intl)
When it comes to choosing between the two brands, though, Real Techniques is definitely my favourite. They make great products, and I love the long ferrules on their makeup brushes.
I already own an alarming number of Real Techniques makeup brushes, but these ones don’t seem extraneous. If you don’t own the Real Techniques Starter Set, there was probably a gap in your eye brush collection; these satisfy that need perfectly.
I’ve always thought that what made a great brush (or a great anything, really) is that it isn’t interchangeable, and these aren’t. The Deluxe Crease Brush (the rounded dome) is a lot firmer and denser. It picks up a lot of eyeshadow with a light touch, and it blends it out just as rigorously.
The Base Shadow Brush is more tapered and lightly-packed, and it delivers and blends a medium wash of colour. Both are excellent brushes, if a little bit large for my lids, and neither can be swapped out functionally for the other.
Sure, it used to be hard to find great tools at the drugstore–but it isn’t anymore. The Real Techniques Eye Shade + Blend brushes round off the Real Techniques range nicely, and the Ecotools Perfecting Blender Duo is an affordable, durable alternative to high-end sponges like the Beauty Blender.
Availability: Look for these brands at Walmart and Rexall in Canada.