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Tried and Tested

THERE was not a lot to dislike when it came to the brushes under review. It may be due to the fact that any brushes supplied with cosmetics are to be summarily dismissed. A few quibbles, but mainly praise.

TRISH McEVOY Effortless Eyes Brush Collection, €142.50, 4/5

Fancy! The pink suede case is luxurious, and the brushes cover every eventuality, from blending to combing out your eyelashes. Best brush ever in the set, and possibly the world, is the soft smudger (far right.) There are many blank slots in the case though, and for that price, I want it filled to the max. Otherwise, these are prime tools.

ISADORA Bronzer Brush, €19.95, 5/5

This brush is like using a big, plush, fluffy teddy bear to apply powder to your face. It is amazing: it holds the product completely, so you won't get product all down your front, right up until the moment you apply it. The application feels so thorough, and yet so soft, that you will never want to stop brushing this brush on your face. I am clearly in love.

Blank Canvas Cosmetics Kabuki Brush (€14), 4/5

Blank Canvas Cosmetics is an online Irish cosmetics brand, and the brushes have been developed by Una Tynan. You can use this particular brush for contouring and for applying wide swathes of loose powder, or bronzer. I found it to be great for applying sparkly kind of powders -- but I am not crazy about how the white tips of the brushes get all discoloured.

Real Techniques Core Collection, €24.99, 3/5

The hard-backed case is meant to be propped up, like you were a proper make- up artist, but it doesn't really work -- you end up taking all the brushes out and leaving them all over, as they are actually a bit difficult to get out of the case. The white ends of the bristles became even more discoloured than those of the BCC kabuki brush. Do not like.

Benefit Foundation Brush, €24, 4/5

This is one purchase that will never evoke buyer's remorse. It is so good. It holds the product like a pro, and gives you a professional finish. Also, when you use a foundation brush, you use less foundation, so this is very good value all round. You do have to clean it routinely, so a little bit of maintenance, which if you are lazy (like me), may be annoying.