When I first got my hands on this make-up brushes set, aptly titled It’s All About The Brushes, designed by make-up artist Caroline James for my wonderfully creative and inspirational friend Georgina Jones, founder of Bathing Beauty line of skincare products, I knew that I was holding something truly unique, born out of passion and striving for perfection of two very accomplished and talented women, in my hands.
After 18 months of design, Georgina and Caroline launched it a few months ago, during the trade show in Olympia, doing it with pride but immense modesty as well. And since that moment on, I have rediscovered the joy of applying my make-up not just with my fingers but with professional brushes, guided by a wonderful expert, whose instructions are printed on the box. But why don’t I let Caroline tell you all about it, in her own words?!
How it all began: George meets Caroline
”Amazingly, despite modelling in Milan, Paris and London for eight years, Bathing Beauty founder George Jones and myself had never met, that is until we moved to North Wales!
It was on the Osteopathic Table, at George’s Clinic, during a treatment session, that we discovered our mutual past. George had been considering a range of makeup brushes, determined to make them cruelty free and vegan in line with Bathing Beauty’s founding principles. However, she realised she was lacking the technical expertise.
I was also looking to design my very own range of brushes and happened to start talking about them. This was a collaboration waiting to happen !
Caroline James, the make-up artist story
I did my training over 20 years ago at Greasepaints, a highly acclaimed School of Makeup in London and then embarked on a career from which I have never looked back.
Having achieved international success in a job which is challenging, demanding and incredibly rewarding, I had the pleasure of working with some of the music industry’s most influential artists, Hollywood stars and TV and sports personalities, like Paul McCartney, Minnie Driver, Caro Emerald, Marianne Faithful, Danii Minogue, Alice Cooper, Sir Tom Jones, Steps and SClub 7.
From the bright lights of Las Vegas to the bottom of the North Sea in a gas rig, I have taken on many challenges and had some incredible experiences, whilst doing a job I love and which enables me to show off my enthusiasm and creative flare with Makeup.
A Makeup Artist’s life is never dull!
I have been doing makeup lessons for many years and realised that many women simply don’t have any makeup brushes and if they do, can be totally confused as to what they’re all for.
So many ladies apply makeup using only their fingers, just not knowing the difference a quality set of brushes make, both to applying makeup and also its durability on the skin. The fact that most brushes are made of all kinds of animal hair seems to be completely unknown too!
I wanted to design a complete set of brushes which were all simple to use, free from any animal hair, all relevant to a ladies everyday makeup application and soft and gorgeous of course!
We decided on a set of ten brushes, perfect for a complete makeup look. And to ensure everyone knows how to get the best from them, we have numbered each brush and included a lesson on the box – a helping hand at your mirror!
Everything has been considered for each specific brush, including the size and weight of the handle, the length and angle of the fibre, fulness of the head, the ability of each brush to hold and disperse the different makeup formulations and the ease of use.
There were several prototypes along the way that just weren’t up to scratch but instead of being disheartened, we carried on re-measuring and re-assessing everything, until finally we have the brushes we have today. It was a process I thoroughly enjoyed, and thrived in, as we ended designing, in my opinion, the perfect tools for the job I love!
1 foundation brush: this is the Perfect brush for achieving a flawless base. The dual length fibres mean you can easily load the brush with your chosen foundation and brush on to get a good coverage. You can then buff and polish the skin in circular movements, where the longer fibres within the brush will leave the skin looking flawless.
2 concealer: this is the perfect concealer brush to use around the delicate eye area. It is soft enough to blend the makeup and not irritate the eyes, yet has the firmness needed for a creamier product.
3 fan powder brush: I love using a fan brush to apply loose powder, as it very gently sweeps the powder over your carefully applied base, without ruining any of your work. Again, this is a dual-length fibre brush, which allows the powder to be loaded into the shorter, thicker hairs and then any excess on the skin can be swept away with the longer fibres. Enough powder can be applied to set the makeup and remove any shine but it won’t look ‘cakey’.
4 mascara wand: Perfect for brushing though the eyebrows to groom them and removing any excess makeup from the brows.
5 large eyeshadow brush: this seems to be one of the favourites in the set! It’s beautifully soft, yet full of fibres and large enough to sweep eyeshadow effortlessly across the whole eye area.
6 small domed eyeshadow brush: I designed this to apply eyeshadow to the socket line – perfect to create the smoky eye look. Again, it is soft to the touch and can be loaded with products.
7 angled fine liner brush: this brush is a great talking point -‘is it supposed to be bent?’ The answer is very much yes! Gel or cream eyeliner are a must-have in your makeup bag and so much more forgiving than a liquid liner. This brush, with its slight bend, allows you to apply a thin layer of liner right along the lashes at a natural angle.
8 eyeliner brush: this has been designed to allow you to blend the eyeliner for a softer finish or to apply a thicker line, if preferred. Again, the fibres are soft enough to use around the very delicate eye area.
9 blusher brush: the softest, most luxurious feeling brush in the set! It will allow you to apply blusher and bronzer along the cheek bones with ease. It has a soft, domed shape and is packed full of soft fibres, which follow the contours of the face. It can also be squeezed to form a flatter head to really contour and give a chiseled look. It is also lovely for giving the face a little buff and polish!
10 lip brush: This is the perfect little travel companion for touch-ups during the day. It has a much firmer head than the other brushes, which is perfect for the consistency of lipstick. Slightly domed to easily follow your lip-line and with a lid, that is also used as an extended handle, this can be popped into your bag ready for lipstick re-application later.
We have included a hand-made lavender soap with the brushes too, as cleanliness is vital. I am always being asked if you need to clean your brushes, many people are still shocked when I say ‘yes’! Having this ready to use with the brushes, again, with instructions, is a little gift from George & I to you !
When George came to me with the idea of the packaging, I was thrilled as it is such a brilliant and fitting way to display the brushes. We had initially struggled with the best way to display the makeup lesson notes, so to be able to have them printed on the box was perfect! The box can be easily packed in a bag when travelling and keeps the brushes nicely protected as well ! All the images and writing have been hand-drawn by my own fair hands too. Simple, beautifully crafted and a joy to use, even if I say so myself”. Love, Caroline & George xx
P.s Those brushes feel ridiculously soft and luxurious on the skin, are very comfortable to hold in your hands and work with. They are effective irrespective whether you prefer creamy or powder textured products, mass market, luxury or natural & organic products. I have tested my set across different make-up ranges and wasn’t let-down. They are great to be shared with a girlfriend or mum if you are getting ready together for a night out or as a gift to a woman who prides herself on her impeccable appearance – after all, clever tools should be in our daily arsenal to help us enhance our natural beauty, irrespective of age and skin type. And please, do put Bathing Beauty’s gorgeous soap to good use – dirty brushes can breed bacteria, which in turn can lead to skin’s discontent. Thorough daily cleansing for our faces is the foundation of good skin and a fragrant, soapy, regular wash for the brushes will guarantee they will be your faithful beauty assistants for a long time!
To learn more about Caroline and her work, please click here
To find our more about Bathing Beauty skincare and purchase brushes, please click here
This weekend, Friday 25.9 to Sunday 27.9 Bathing Beauty will be in town, for Olympia’s CamExpo Show. Find Georgina and her team on stand 2117
It’s All About The Brushes set of ten vegan, cruelty free brushes £80