Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Brush Review: 12 Pc Brush Set Pt. 1

This review is going in two parts, because I haven't gotten to use all of the brushes yet. This isn't a problem for me mostly because it's 12 brushes and I don't want to leave out any details.

 On to the review, da?

As I said in the sneak peek post, I wanted some more brushes. Eyeshadow brushes, a duo fibre brush and knew I could get more brushes for my money from eBay. 5, 12, and 32 piece sets abound as well as single brushes. Looked through tons of listings, pictures and tried to get reviews with little result (lots of girls talking about how they bought fake MAC brushes though). Certain ones looked painfully thin on bristles! Then I found this cup of brushes. Yay!

The cup is just slightly over 7 inches tall. It's leather-looking/feeling fabric (it's polyurethane fabric; the listing called it "PU"), inside and outside with a nylon bottom inside the cups. Thanks to it being polyurethane, it can easily be wiped clean inside and out but you can't wipe the nylon inside so easily. Really, though, who would store their dirty brushes upside down? When they've been washed, you should store them with their bristles pointing downwards so the water will run out.

So far, I've used #136 Large Powder Brush, #168 Large Angled Contour, #316 Covered Lip brush, #263 Small Angle Brush, #231 Small Shader Brush, and #214 Short Shader Brush. Each brush has blue-gray painted handles, matching metallic-blue ferrule (the metal section), with the MAC logo and numbers stamped in silver. Let's break down the brushes into smaller reviews.

  • #136 Large Powder Brush - Oh, how I wish this was more like the real MAC 136! It's merely a shape issue. The brush was quite soft when I first bought it and only became softer when I washed it with shampoo+conditioner. It shed like mad when washed and I had two or three stray bristles on my face when I used it with my pressed NYX powder. Picks up powder and distributes well, maybe a little better than my real Techniques brush?!
  • #168 Large Angled Contour - This is my new favorite blush brush! It beat out my Smashbox brush (like it was really a hard competition). This is another sweetly soft brush, softened up further with shampoo+conditioner. Despite it being an uber-softly bristled brush, it picks up powder quite well. I have yet to test it out with my Sweethearts blush. (The Smashbox brush failed!)
  • #316 Covered Lip Brush - This works so much better than a concealer brush in my opinion. I used it with Illamasqua's Apocalips, which is a matte and a little dry. The lipstick, which I only really have occasional issues with when applied directly from the bullet, went on fairly nicely. With a brush, you can lay down a sheer base to "line" your lips with lipstick before you actually use the lipstick. I still ended up going directly from the bullet but this helped. Quite like it! With a cover, it can be tossed in a bag without worrying about getting lipstick everywhere (ewww).
  • #237 Small Angle Brush - I'm a little on the fence with this. I don't think I'd use it for my brows but with liner? Probably. I had used it when prototyping a look and it worked just fine with a slightly gritty, shimmery eyeshadow; would probably do better with a powder eyeshadow sans glitter or shimmer.
  •  #231 Small Shader Brush - Definitely smaller than the real #231 (which is wide, flat and short) but I actually really like it! I used it as a concealer brush but I think I could actually use for inner corner highlighting and working in small, detailed areas. One I look forward to using again! I lost my favorite inner corner highlighting brush... It was just this semi-fluffy brush with a tiny head (about the size of this one) that worked wonderfully in the inner corner! No idea where it is, frustratingly enough.
  • #214 Short Shader Brush - Again, this was used to prototype a look. It really picks up eyeshadow beautifully! I love it. It needs to be washed and conditioned again, because it is a little scratchy since I cut it down to match the real #214. No weird shedding issues thankfully.
So far, I'm really in love with my brushes! As I get to use more of them, I'll put up Pt. 2. I hope to use them all soon enough; I know the duo fibre brush can be used with blush and powder. Maybe I'll use it for that to test it out? Hopefully I'll get over my blush application issues soon enough.

One tip I highly recommend: if you have any scratchy brushes that seem be of natural hairs, use conditioner after you wash them. It will soften them right up. I use conditioner on my natural brushes after I wash them every time, just to keep them soft. I used conditioner on a cheap drugstore compact brush and it did actually soften up pretty well. It's not quite so scratchy to the point I don't want to use it for anything, but still a little bit scratchy.


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