Brushes may be the one thing worth splurging on in the makeup world.
It may be hard to come by an honest My Makeup Brush Set review, because they offer free brushes for bloggers and YouTubers who write them *positive* reviews. So I decided to come by these brushes the honest way. All 10 of these brushes cost me $25, and I used the code BFF for free shipping. So let's be real, these brushes are attempting to be the Artis knockoff brushes of our dreams. At $50 a piece, it was only a matter of time before our crafty manufacturers in China made something similar to the beloved but expensive Artis brush sets, but don't start cheering and ripping out your credit cards just yet. (Who are we kidding, you don't need to rip it out, you have that number memorized.) Continue reading and/or click here to view my first impressions/makeup application video using these brushes.
These exact same brushes can be found all over the internet at different prices and from different websites. (I think the business model is similar to BH Cosmetics and Coastal Scents products. If you haven't noticed they sell the same products from China, just with different labels and prices.)
After three weeks of waiting, and frantically worrying about having been scammed, they finally came, in this cheap plastic casing. For $25, I didn't anticipate the packaging being fantastic, and at first glance the black box seems really nice. Quite honestly, I kind of expected it to come thrown together in a plastic bag for the price. Interestingly enough, other customers have reported not even getting the box; their brushes did come in a plastic bag (does anyone else think it's odd the packaging isn't uniform for all customers?) I soon noticed how flimsy the box was, how it was taped together with scotch tape, and how it had no labels of any kind, save the small 'Made in China' sticker seen below.
So here are the brushes. It came with five oval, three slim and thin, and two cylindrical brushes. The handles are a sleek black plastic with a lot of give, the neck of the brush bends as you apply your makeup (not a plus, actually a huge minus. Doesn't feel like it will hold up well over time.) The handles are very not ergonomic, either; I had a few hand cramps because of the slim design. Maybe I'm just getting used to holding the new style of brush, but it's hard to say.
Although quality varies among the brushes, the thin brushes are possibly the worst of all at picking up product. Despite feeling soft on my hand, the larger round brush bristles feel very rough on the face. They are very densely packed, but they don't have much give either. They may feel soft to the touch, but don't be fooled, the second you put it on your face be prepared to cry. It left my makeup rather streaky and uneven, and it lightly scratched my face. Some users have reported amazing results, and I attribute this to one of two things. First, the quality control may not be there, brushes from companies like this can vary, some will be soft and amazing, and the next batch of the same set, can be rough. In addition, if you have never used a really nice version of these brushes, then these might seem nice, but they pale in comparison to a $50 brush.
With my first time use the face brushes had a couple instances of shedding. If you have ever used an E.l.f. $1 face or blush brush, you will be familiar with this level of roughness and shedding.
I found these brushes to be the opposite of ergonomic, and because it took me just as long, if not longer, to apply my makeup with this set, my arms and hands were cramping up by the end. You can see the major difference between my $50 Bésame brush handle and this one. Like the Artis brushes, the Bésame brush has a relatively straight handle.
Verdict: I don't think I would pay $25 for these. I know compared to the $400 Artis set, it's a deal, but it doesn't really compare. If you are just starting out, this might be a good brush set for you, but if you've been spoiled by high end brushes, this will be a huge disappointment. I think just save the $25 and save up for one $50 or $60 Artis brush that will last and treat your skin well.