Love Affair with London Brush Company.

February 12, 2015

It's IMATS 2014, and we're nearing the end of day 2. I'm on my 48th hour without a single hour of sleep (not even exaggerating) and I may or may not be on the verge of bursting into tears! It's half out of the sheer maddening exhaustion that comes from working these kinds of shows on that kind of sleep, and half out of the simultaneous satisfaction that came from Blur's swinging success during our second year at the Toronto
Enter Siân Richards, major makeup maven and owner of London Brush Company. This ball of burning energy bounces right up to ME, and it's not even what she says that blows me away, it's the way her conviction, excitement and belief are exploding like firecrackers right in front of my face! It's quite obviously her pride and joy - it is, after all, her own product.

IMATS is always crawling with brands trying to share and promote their hot new thing with other vendors. Blur, being one of Toronto's newest and most buzzworthy outlets, is evidently at the top of the list for these pro- and enthusiast-geared products. We tend to help brands wiggle their way into our professional market, whether in Toronto and the GTA, or the rest of Canada. Needless to say, we met our fair share of new friends.

Anyway, in my borderline insanity at that particular moment, I made the mistake of not really trying to talk with this goddess of incredibly-crafted, top-of-the-line artistry tools. I passed her off to chat with Liz, the head honcho Blur Babe, aka store owner, and went on with my life to later learn a big lesson: ALWAYS listen and ALWAYS show interest!!!
Had I known then what I do now about Siân and her line, I know I would have had a majorly embarrassing #fangirl moment. Sooo... maybe things worked out for the best? The heavens may just have prevented me from bursting into a torrent of ultra-tired and teary-eyed compliments.

Siân's approach is the definition of the old school. It's the essential component to standing the test of time and trends. It's what will hold together and survive the quality and integrity of the truly professional artist's industry - from our arsenals, to how we utilize them, to the career they lured us into.

Siân Richards, if you're reading this... Huge respect. You speak to my artist's soul.
"You mustn't be looking at makeup. You mustn't be looking at how they look. 
You've just got to be accepting of who they are and what they're doing." - Siân Richards

The way this this lady speaks about what we do makes me feel down to earth and dreamy all at the same time - which are both incredibly important to keep you going strong in the business of makeup artistry. If you want to really see how these manage to go hand in hand, you have to pay a visit to Siân and her London Brush Company on YouTube.
More specifically, I HIGHLY encourage you to check it out in this video for some seriously professional makeupspiration, particularly when it comes to the timeless beauty that graces some of the finest faces of the red carpet, and the out of kit and special effects aesthetic I personally was taught to appreciate. (And of course for a look at a really strange version of Bill Nye that will blow your mind a bit.)

I actually asked to write this post, just so I could share with the world all the reasons I'm falling absolutely head over heels in love with the London Brush Company. Here's why I think you will too, if this all speaks to you the same way it does to me.
"Siân wanted to give the best quality possible that she could to enable people to once again hold works of art in their hands as they create works of art on their faces, or faces of their clients." - London Brush Company

Functional Facts
- Brushes are made in small batches by experienced master craftsmen and women in the USA and the UK, bringing back the quality that has been lost over time due to mass manufacturing and other money-saving shortcuts and solutions.
- Each brush has been mindfully designed to have the perfect snap and density for its individual purpose, and to balance perfectly in the artist's hands.
- The Classic Collection is made with Premium Grade, European, Unblended hair from Sable, Blue Squirrel, and Pine squirrel, creating the highest quality natural makeup brushes that are super soft and will stay that way for good.
- The NouVeau Collection is made with Man-Made, Premium Grade, Simulated Hair that mimics Mongoose, Blue Squirrel, and Brown Squirrel. This gives us unbelievably soft makeup brushes that are literally made from top-quality faux fur.

Feel-Good Factor
- European standards and regulations are enforced in with the strictest standards, requiring gentle and humane treatment of the animals contributing to the brushes, and therefore resulting in cruelty-free, natural hair options.

LBC recognizes that the hair in our brushes are just that - hair! Hair must be cared for gently and respectfully, and the hair on our brushes especially must be cared for even more gently than our own, because it cannot grow back!

Functional Facts
- All of the food-grade shampoo ingredients, and even the creation processes, are chemical-free, keeping hair, ferrule, glue and handle paint from becoming dry and brittle, and in-turn keeping them from eventually cracking, breaking and shedding.
- Both shampoos will completely clean and recondition your brushes, very quickly and very easily.
- Each shampoo contains just 5 ingredients: natural oils and extracts, and either Goat Milk or Young Coconut milk added for their specific benefits.
- Young Coconut Milk Brush Shampoo provides a vegan shampoo option and is designed specifically for clean-rinsing on synthetic/man-made brushes.
- The Goat Milk Brush Shampoo will whiten stains from your light-haired brushes, and will safely and totally remove some REALLY TOUGH STUFF - we're talking Pros-Aide (yes, seriously) and caked-on, dried-up, alcohol-based/activated products like our Reel Creations palettes and the popular alternative Illustrator Palettes. (Yes. SERIOUSLY. We tested this.)

Feel-Good Factor
- The lady who hand-pours these soaps in California also raises her own goats - the same ones who supply the milk for the soaps.
To experience the London Brush Company for yourself, come check it out at Blur. For more in-depth info on what they create, click over to their website.
As an artist, Siân Richards clearly values the diversity and challenge that comes from working in every media of our métier. Her work is refined to the smallest detail. As a creator, she puts in the same quality, variety and detail into her tools and products as she does into her work.
The London Brush Company is an obvious extension of the woman who gave it life.
By Blur Babe Cheri Chung

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