Sunday, February 6, 2011

e.l.f. Brushes- Essentials, Studio, and Mineral

Left to right: e.l.f. Professional Brow Comb & Brush, Lip Defining, Bronzing, Eye Liner, Smudge Eye Sponge, Eye Shadow, Defining Eye, Blending Eye, and Eye Crease Brushes
e.l.f. (Essentials) Professional Brushes:
Left to right: e.l.f. Professional Brow Comb & Brush, Lip Defining Brush, and Bronzing Brush
Brow Comb & Brush $1
Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✪✩✩
Standard, but for one buck worth it, easily washable and durable in transport. I've had no teeth fall off or bristle fraying. This will last me far longer than $1 usually goes in value!
Lip Defining Brush $1
Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✩✩✩
This one is not the best lip brush I've found, though I like that I feel comfortable using it and/or buying a bunch to use in cycle for combining colors or if doing someone else's look. Still worth it and easy to wash. Bristles stay stiff after washing but do fray periodically, have thus had some shedding.
Bronzing Brush $1
Beauty Newb Rating:✪✩✩✩✩
Pretty sure I've only ever used this as a blush brush, and when none of my others are clean, this gets the job done. I would only recommend using this with sheerer blushes/bronzers because it's not the best at perfect blending. More pigmentation would be more difficult to blend. The bristles are rougher than I'd like, not physically scratchy, but not luxurious to touch. Still works in a pickle though.

Left to right: e.l.f. Professionals Eye Liner Brush, Smudge Eye Sponge, and Eye Shadow Brush
Eye Liner Brush $1
Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✩✩✩
This is your standard flat-top liner brush which I don't like at all. The line is so straight at the top of this that I can't curve around my eye and the corner, can't get in between lashes, etc. I just can't work with this one personally, but it is a standard style that works to make a line. The hairs are soft to the touch but stiff in shape, so the brush feels fine on skin. If you can work with the width of the flat-top, go for it.
Smudge Eye Sponge $1
Beauty Newb Rating:✪✩✩✩✩
One of my least favorites, because like the Bronzing Brush, I could use this in a pinch but not get much precision out of it. The sponge does smudge eyeliner but smears it everywhere as well. It's difficult to wash so product from every use gets smeared in. Pretty much as useful as those sponge shadow applicators in palette, meaning useless.
Eye Shadow Brush $1
Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✩✩✩
The "C" brush, essential to any kit, packs on color, not for blending. This one in particular is stiff and can feel scratchy when swept across the lid. It's good for wet packing powder shadow, but since I do sheer mostly (and blending) I don't use it that much. Not a big win for me, but useful and worth a buck.
Left to right: e.l.f. Professional Defining Eye Brush, Blending Eye Brush, and Eye Crease Brush
Defining Eye Brush $1
Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✪✩✩
The short bristles and slant of this brush are awkward to me, and I can't remember ever even using this one yet (and I've had it for months). The bristles feel in between soft and slightly scratchy. I think from using it to swatch a few shadow on my arm a while back that it would work for an all over color, no blending, but there are better ones from eyeslipsface.
Blending Eye Brush $1
Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✪✪✪
Favorite, favorite, total favorite. This is soft, doesn't scratch at all, blends really well, and gets plenty of product up to give a good payoff. I say that last part specifically because I purchased the MAC 217 blending brush and like e.l.f.'s version better in terms of color payoff. The bristles on e.l.f.'s blender are more dense but still soft and I feel as though they keep their shape better. After using the 217 about three times, I felt the bristles were splaying out and I needed to wash it just to mold it back to shape. (As a really personal preference, I also like the dark brown hairs of the e.l.f. instead of the white of the 217, for the clean look of hair where I cannot see every speck of product. The 217 seems to look dirty all the time.)
Eye Crease Brush $1
Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✪✪✪
Second favorite. This is a shorter, slightly denser version of the e.l.f. Blending Brush, and so a lot of the same stuff applies, especially the good color pay off since the crease is for darker colors (which you want to show up more than the lighter ones, correct?). I think this is worth every penny and more: precise, controllable, easy to wash, delivers great results. Worth it!

Left to right: e.l.f. Studio Angled Foundation, Powder, Complexion, Blush, Small Angled, and Small Precision Brushes
e.l.f. Studio Brushes:
Left to right: e.l.f. Studio Angled Foundation Brush and Powder Brush
Angled Foundation Brush $3
Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✪✪✩
Oh the Studio brushes I have, this is workable but my least favorite. I have another foundation brush that I prefer; however, this works well and can give a streak-free finish with some light handling and buffing. Wish I had also tried the Essentials $1 Brush for comparison, to see if the price jump makes a difference. The angle of this brush has made no difference to me, fyi.
Powder Brush $3
Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✪✪✪
Great, only thing was that the shaft is coming loose after I very carefully tried to keep the water at the bristles while drying. The shifting is annoying, but I still use this everyday for finishing powder (and in the summer will use it for mineral powder foundation). The flat top is great and gets just enough product for powdering oily skin, and blends evenly.
Left to right: e.l.f. Studio Complexion Brush and Blush Brush
Complexion Brush $3
Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✪✪✪
The perfect companion brush for Complexion Perfection and/or finishing powder with just a hint of coverage because this picks up far less product than the Powder Brush. It is less dense than the Powder Brush with longer hairs and more flexibility. If you wanted to blend out the lines of a super pigmented blush, this would gently and evenly do the trick.
Blush Brush $3
Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✪✪✪
Favorite blush brush, super super soft, great coverage with product and flawless blending. I really don't think I could do my makeup 90% of time without using this brush. Really, just buy it. The point and size of this make it versatile and a cinch to work with. Go, go get it now!
Left to right: e.l.f. Studio Small Angled Brush and Small Precision Brush
Small Angled Brush $3
Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✪✪✪
This is fantastic for cream or gel eyeliner, and I use it almost everyday for just that. It's small, precise, not too stiff (doesn't scratch at my eyelid and/or waterline). In the spirit of full disclosure, the hairs can bend around quite a bit and therefore loose some directionality, so you have to be careful how hard you press in order to keep the line you want. Highly recommended also because this is not as wide an angled brush so you don't have to fit the whole contour of your eye; you can also do very small corners, brow shaping, etc.
Small Precision Brush $3
Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✪✪✪
Again, I use this one mostly for cream or gel eyeliner, but this one is more for when I am going to smoke out the liner because it applies a thicker line. Since for smoky I stroke back and forth, the flat rounded end of this doesn't flick in one direction as the pointed angle on the Small Angled Brush would. Again, highly recommended, especially if you don't have something similar. And if you are doing a very slight bit of color or contrast in the crease or corner of your eye, this also works with shadows too, although the color payoff will take a few back-and-forths to the pan for product.

e.l.f. Mineral Foundation Brush
e.l.f. Mineral Brush:
e.l.f. Mineral Foundation Brush
Foundation Brush $5
Beauty Newb Rating:✪✪✪✩✩
This one was a bit of a disappointment for me because I had to work not to get streaks from my foundation. I did recently use it to apply a very dark cream blush, and it blended nicely. I think it just isn't wide enough to work as a full face foundation brush. I also dislike light-colored brush hairs because they show so much product and seem to stain if you don't wash them immediately, and I am a little OCD about that (the staining, not the immediate cleansing). Five dollars wasn't too steep a price for this, but I'm unable to use it for what I bought it for.

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