Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Looking for the most luxurious cruelty-free makeup brushes money can buy? This set is for you.

Earlier this month, I saw a tweet from Allure magazine about cruelty-free makeup brushes. Allure has been a source for quality makeup and tools for years.  Anytime I see a list of cruelty-free makeup brushes published, I immediately scroll through to see if there is anything new that I am not aware of. Most of the brushes on the list are ones that I already own. 

As for those brushes not already claiming a spot in my collection, I began doing further research. One set in particular stood out; the Essential Brush Collection from Beautycounter.   I found myself reading online reviews to try to get a feel for the quality of these beautiful brushes. After reading numerous 5-star reviews, I decided this sleek collection of brushes needed to become part of mine. 

I purchased the Beautycounter Essential Brush Collection for $98.00.  The set includes four brushes; two face and two for the eyes.  Each came packaged in an individual cardboard box. Like the brushes inside, the boxes have a nice high-end look and feel to them. Each gives a brief description of the intended use for the brush inside.  The majority of packaging from this brand includes cartons that are recyclable in most North American Communities.

The company, Beautycounter, isn't one that I was familiar with before reading the Allure article. You can learn more about the company here: The Beautycounter Story

There are many high-end, luxurious makeup brushes on the market.  However, sadly a lot of them are made with animal hair. There are of course some wonderful brands on the market, but this set is different from others that I own.

Here is a closer look:

The Fan Powder Brush, isn't a traditional powder brush.  As the name suggests, it is a hybrid between a fan brush and a powder brush and serves both purposes. Like a powder brush, it is intended to apply and buff setting powder.  Like a large fan brush,  it also works well for bronzer, blush and highlighter application, as well as other powder products. The soft, dense brush head is quite large, as you can see from the above photo.  I used it to apply my Urban Decay mineral foundation (pictured above) for extra coverage.

The bristles glide over the skin with ease without disrupting the liquid foundation or concealer underneath.  As I am getting older, I really do not want to use anything that will pull or tug at my skin.  It is easy to find a brush with soft bristles, but not as easy to find one with soft, synthetic bristles that pick up, apply and blend powder beautifully.  This brush hits all the marks.  The unique shape and size makes it very versatile.

Next, I tested out the Angled Cheek Brush.

This brush is much smaller than the fan powder brush. It is the perfect shape for blush application.  Like all of the brushes in this set, the quality is remarkable. I love this for sweeping on my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush. The way the bristles hug the contours of my cheekbones allows for perfect placement.

The All-Over Eyeshadow Brush is a standard flat eyeshadow brush intended for applying color to the eyelid.

It has a medium brush head size, with the bristles cut in the perfect shape to pick up powder products easily. When I apply eyeshadow, I often use quite a few different brushes depending on how dramatic the look is that I am creating. I decided to apply an eyeshadow look using only the two eye brushes in this set to really put them to the test. The second eye brush in this set is the Crease Eye Brush.

I found this brush to be surprisingly multipurpose. I used it to blend eyeshadow through the crease of my eye, sweep pigment below my lower lash line and highlight the inner corner of the eye. The size, shape and flexible bristles make this a much more unique shaped brush than I originally thought.

Who is this set for?

This set is ideal for those looking for luxurious, cruelty-free makeup brushes. It is a highly edited set comprised of the four brushes everyone needs in their set for a full makeup application. If this is your first set of brushes, it is a great place to start, allowing you to add on extra blending brushes and angled brow brushes later. 

At this point in my life, I am very particular about the type of makeup brushes I want to use. I have tried so many different brands, that I only want to add truly high-quality brushes to my stash. While I still try a variety of brushes and review them here, so that you don't have to find things out the hard way, it is important that I only add well-made brushes to my personal and professional collection. With the quality of synthetic brushes finally at a point that rivals their animal hair counterparts, I can confidently recommend brushes to fit a variety of budgets.  With this particular set, I do think the quality is superior to many other brands at this price point.  

These are the types of brushes that will improve your application, allowing you to get the most out of your products. 

What brands are they comparable to?  

I don't have any powder brushes shaped exactly like the Fan Powder Brush in this set. However, if I had to describe the bristles, I would compare the texture to my Real Techniques Bold Metals #100 brush or Furless Cosmetics PRO3F.

Here is the makeup look I created using only the Essential Brush Collection from Beautycounter:

Next on my list from this brand, I hope to try their Powder Brush ($39), which has a large dome-shaped head.

Have you tried any Beautycounter brushes?  Which one is your favorite?

*All of the brushes in this post were purchased by me.  I do not get paid to write reviews.  All opinions are my own. 

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