It’s no secret that I love local brands, whether it is a local brand which disguises itself to be Korean or if it is an indie company spearheaded by a fellow makeup-loving Malaysian sis. However, I admit that I might love the second one much more.
There is such a juxtaposition between the culture of selling makeup and the culture of buying and using and loving makeup. The person who buys and loves it always comes off as somewhat naive and dreamy in their hopes that this new lipstick, or bronzer or eyeshadow palette is going to bring them one step closer to a fully realised person, to the woman that they wish to be. The culture of selling makeup, however, is a bit more cynical. And this is not referring to the owners of online shops but instead to the giant corporations who spend billions a year on the mass production and the marketing of cosmetics. There’s nothing wrong with a business trying to turn a profit, but when the majority of the heads of cosmetic companies are men who presumably do not even wear makeup I can’t help but feel a little bit duped, like a joke is being played on me.
That is where indie brands step in— it’s so much more refreshing to know you’re buying from someone who shares a common love and passion for beauty. An example of such a brand is Breena Beauty, a company founded by a Malaysian beauty blogger and self-professed beauty junkie, Sabrina Tajudin.
I actually found out about this brand through a friend who was raving about the Face Luxe Brush and whether or not she should get it (she didn’t). That specific brush has now been out of stock for a while (sadly for my friend), which is a damn shame because I’ve heard that it’s a pretty great brush.
Nevertheless, Breena Beauty has two other brushes in its inventory— the Basic Eyeshadow brush and the Brow Definer brush. Upon receiving these brushes in the mail, the first impression is that this brand really knows how to make a first impression. The brand has a really strong sense of aesthetic— all white and rose gold. This writer may not be the Ultimate Connoisseur of makeup brushes, but I’ve seen enough to conclude that these might just be some of the prettiest brushes I’ve ever seen— especially for its price.
Makeup brushes which come in any colour other than black can be tricky— you run the risk of looking kind of cheap. Not that there’s anything wrong with looking cheap (cue Dolly Parton: “it takes a lot of money to look this cheap”) and I don’t make brushes myself so I wouldn’t know the costs involved in producing them, but Breena Beauty shows that it is more than possible to produce pretty and attractive products without charging a bomb for them. Zoeva brushes are nice, but it’s doubtful that it would be controversial to suggest that they are the dullest looking brushes one might ever see.
These brushes, however, are so kitschy and charming that they’d totally fit right in in a makeup flatlay alongside some Too Faced, Tarte and Thebalm products.
The website suggests using the Basic Eyeshadow brush for packing on colours and blending— for me, this brush is a bit too short and dense to be used solely for packing on colour. I’d prefer a flatter, longer and stiffer brush for that, but it can totally be used for blending although the ease of usage may differ based on which part of the eye you’re trying to blend shadow on.
For blending in shadow on your crease or the outer-V of your eye, I’ve found that it is possible to use this brush but you’ll have to hold it in a somewhat awkward position. I don’t have a monolid, but I don’t have a huge amount of lid space either so just going at it with the whole brush might lead to shadow getting all up in my brow bone… not flattering, so I tend to hold it in a way where I’m only using the corner of the brush to blend out the shadow. Not ideal, but it works when I’m too lazy to grab a fluffy brush.
I would say the best way to use the Basic Eyeshadow Brush is for blending out shadow along your lash line— both upper and lower. I especially like using it for blending out shadow on my lower lash line when I’m trying to get a more smokey, grungy look (obviously nothing is more grunge and punk rock than the Maybelline The Nudes palette).
I’ve gotten suggestions that you could use this brush for blending concealer as well— however, I’m not the type to use brushes for skin makeup in general thus any opinion I may give is more testament to my skill (or lack thereof) and not of the quality of this brush.
The Brow Definer brush is a pretty straightforward stiff angled brush. Therefore, despite its name, you can use it not only to apply brow powder but also to apply gel eyeliner. It is a bit too thin and stiff for applying shadow to your lower lash line without producing a harsh line— but if that’s what you’re going for, then do you girl.
The bristles are thin and short enough to get a precise application. For me, it’s a godsend for those pesky brow tails— I’ve been using an eyebrow pencil for the last couple of months and the fatness of the bullet always creates this awkwardly thick tail, which I then have to wipe into the shape I want like some kind of makeup barbarian.
All in all, Breena Beauty proves itself to be a really fun and exciting brand. As a person who spends a bit too much time looking at Swedish Scandinavian minimalist Ikea monochrome effortless garçonne Audrey-Hepburn-in-Funny-Face wannabe blogs, I understand the importance of having a strong sense of aesthetics and I appreciate that Breena Beauty seems to have total confidence in theirs. The fact that there is such a small selection of items also kind of seems like a plus to me, since it indicates that there is actual focus on what is being produced. I’ll definitely be looking forward to any new brushes that they might come up with. It’s too bad that the Face Luxe brush is all sold out, though. I’d pick it up if it comes back in stock.
Breena Beauty Basic Eyeshadow Brush and the Brow Definer brush are available at breenabeauty.com, each one goes for RM25 excluding shipping.