I’m always on the look out for new brushes, I can’t help myself… I suppose it comes with the territory. Anyway, one of the things that I’m passionate about is finding inexpensive brushes that are of decent quality.  I say decent because my personal opinion is that it’s impossible to find high quality brushes at low price points, it’s not that I’m a brush snob, it’s just that I understand the workmanship that goes into making a high quality brush. With that said, I don’t think that high quality brushes are the only brushes worth using.  The truth is, especially if you’re doing makeup on other people all of the time, your brushes get worn down fast, even good brushes, so I think it’s wise to know which brushes to splurge on, and where to find decent quality at low prices for the rest.

I did a whole big brush entry not in the too distant past, so I’m not going to bore you with all of the technical stuff all over again, I’m going to get straight to the review of these specific brushes.

  1. e.l.f. has made a name for it’s self for being affordable, decent quality cosmetics, most of the things in the line are $1, as were the two brushes I recently purchased from them.  In the first picture is the tiniest concealer brush I’ve ever seen (which is actually the reason I decided I had to have it, because I own nothing like it). As is evidenced by it still being in it’s package, I haven’t used it yet, but it still gets a picture… and based on how pleased I am with it’s sister (the defining eye shadow brush pictured next), I have high hopes.
  2. The e.l.f. defining eye brush is a little gem! It’s a little lighter weight than I usually prefer, but the bristles seem to be bound pretty well and the shape is really nice. Often I find (and will illustrate in a moment) that one of the areas compromised by purchasing less expensive brushes is the shape. Shape is everything when it comes to brushes, and this brush is cut extremely well for something that cost me a buck (both e.l.f brushes were purchased at Target)!
  3. Unfortunately I had some issues with the Gabriella blending brush in picture number 3. I paid a little over a dollar for it at a local beauty supply store. Had a taken the time to feel the brush before buying, I probably wouldn’t have purchased it. It’s bristles are very corse and hard, which basically amounts scratching instead of blending (it doesn’t feel too good either). Also, due to the texture of the bristles, the brush doesn’t pick up or move pigment very well. In any case, it will serve as a good example in the next picture!

First, ignore the grubby color band on the brush to the right.

Brush #1 is the Gabriella blending brush, brush #2 is Sephora’s Platinum #10 crease brush. As you can see brush #1’s shape doesn’t look very good when compared to brush#2, you can even see stray hairs poking out there.  Add to it that brush #1 is brand new and has been used once, and brush #2 is two years old and has been used countless times on myself and others, and the difference in quality becomes even more clear.

The squiggles at the top of both brushes are also to help illustrate a difference in shape. Brush #1 looks spikier due to bristles that are uneven in length (I like to call them scratchers), while brush #2 is very smooth and the bristles are even.

If you should find yourself with a brush that isn’t up to par, no worries, there are plenty of other uses for them, a stiffer brush like this can be used for blending out concealer, or, as in my case, they’re good for applying glitter. =)