Friday, January 29, 2010

Brush set reviews: Shu Uemura, EcoTools, & I ♥ Sephora

Hello loves & new followers! I've been putting off these reviews for quite some time now, and I figure it's time I share my thoughts on three different brush sets I've collected over the past year (sorry some brushes are dirty, I use them a lot!). This is a long, wordy post, but thorough and detailed, if you want to know more about these brush sets!

Shu Uemura Compact Brush Set

Price: $55 (I got mine from the shu uemura website, but it's the same price from Sephora)

What it is: A set of four compact-size expert brushes.

What it does: This compact brush set contains four expert brushes presented in an ultra-sleek case, and is conveniently portable to ensure holiday glamour anywhere you are. Made with the finest hair quality including goat and sable, these brush bristles dispense the perfect amount of color to your eyes, cheeks, or lips to enable a professional, fail-proof makeup technique.

What else you need to know: This limited-edition set includes a Blush Brush, Eye Shadow Brush, Lip and Eye Liner Brush, and a Concealer and Foundation Brush.

The case is quite sleek. Very nice and portable, with a magnetic closure. It's easy to clean. The brushes are, well, compact! I actually prefer shorter brush handles because I don't like using long brushes because they tap against my mirror when I'm using them. No fallout.

The blush brush was my biggest disappointment with this set. While it feels super soft on my hand, it's nowhere near as soft on the face. While it's not terribly uncomfortable, I still wish it was A LOT softer. It is not too firm, but still picks up product well. However when you use it, it splays out quite a bit. In this sense, it is better for lightly dusting on powder.

Overall: It's okay.

The eyeshadow brush is luxuriously soft and smooth. It picks up and deposits product very well. No complaints here.

Overall: Love it!

The concealer/"foundation" brush is definitely not something I would use for foundation. It is way too small! However it is an EXCELLENT concealer brush. It is also luxuriously soft and smooth, but firm. I have only used it with powder products (don't want to yuck it up with creamy concealer XD) and it picks up and deposits product very well, without leaving a streaks.

Overall: Love it!

The lip/eyeliner brush is again, also extremely soft and silky smooth, but firm. I have not used it with any product yet, as I don't use lip brushes, and haven't really had a need for a very tiny eyeliner brush.

Overall: Indifferent.

EcoTools 6 Piece Bamboo Brush Set

Price: $12.99 from

What they say:
• 5 high-quality brushes inside a natural cotton & hemp case
• Soft cruelty-free bristles
• Natural & recycled materials

This earth-friendly brush set is packed with the 5 high-quality brushes you need to look beautiful. And, it shows respect for the planet:

• Bamboo handle has a low impact on the earth’s resources as it is a highly sustainable plant.
• Synthetic taklon bristles are 100% cruelty free.
• Sleek ferrule is made from recycled aluminum.
• Cosmetic case is made from natural cotton and hemp.

The brushroll is eco-friendly (: While cute and all, I don't use it, as I use all these brushes on a daily basis. You have to tie it closed. The brushes are just the right length too, not too long. No fallout.

The blush brush is the EXACT OPPOSITE of the Shu blush brush. While it's not exactly cut in the most attractive shape, it works! This brush is EXTREMELY soft, smooth, and feels silky on my skin. It picks up and deposits product very well! No complaints here, and I use this brush daily!

Overall: Love it!

The eyeshadow brush is also a VERY good brush, I'd say on par with the Shu eyeshadow brush. It is super super soft and smooth and picks up and deposits product extremely well. This is my everyday go-to eyeshadow brush!

Overall: Love it!

The concealer brush is extremely soft like the rest, but I find the brush head a little too large to be precise and not firm enough for my liking to apply my NYX jar concealer with. I find it works better with powder products, but I still prefer the Shu concealer brush over this one. However my HG concealer brush is still ELF's concealer brush from their Studio line.

Overall: It's okay.

The angled eyeliner brush (not pictured) was also soft and firm, but like the blush brush, not cut in the most precise way. I never used it because I don't really use brushes to line my eyes, so I put it up for sale. I don't doubt that it is most likely a nice brush though!

Overall: Indifferent.

The brow brush/comb is what you'd expect any eyebrow brush/comb combo to be like. It does the job! I actually do use it every day to brush through my brows after filling them in, even though I have many spoolies lying around :P

Overall: Indifferent.

I ♥ Sephora Brush Set

Price: $29 from Sephora

What it is: A portable set of top-quality brushes.

What it does: Made with the same peak standards as Sephora's Platinum Brush Line, these essential beauty tools are perfect for creating your signature look, at home or on the go! These makeup-artist-tested brushes deliver built-to-last durability, and just as beautiful as they are functional.

The case is sleek, and it's nice that it's a hard case with a magnetic closure. The brushes are suuuper cute and candy apple red. They also are embossed with the brush names; very nice touch. I had fallen in love with this brush set when I saw it in a magazine, but I am not so impressed with it now that I bought it.

The powder brush has gone unused. Mostly because I don't use brushes like that anyway, AND it feels similar to the Shu blush brush, except it is not too soft on my hand either. It is on the slightly coarse/prickly side.

Overall: Pass on it.

The eyeshadow brush is soft, but lacking. It is relatively firm, but does NOT pick up and deposit product anywhere near as well as the Shu and EcoTools eyeshadow brushes. I have to load the brush multiple times to get the amount of product I want. It is more on the fluffly side so it's better for blending... but I still don't find myself reaching for it too often. Not impressed.

Overall: Pass on it.

The smudge brush is also soft to the touch, but extremely firm! Not in a good way for me! I understand it is suppose to be a "smudge" brush but I was hoping it would be like a smaller version of my ELF eyeshadow brush because they're shaped the same way, so I could use it like a shadow brush as well, but it is WAY too firm for my liking. It also does not pick up and deposit product too well. So I have to keep rubbing it in the shadow and then it deposits way too much product, way too heavily in a small, concentrated area. And when I try to use it for smudging, it does not blend shadows very well and just makes it look harsh. This was a disappointment.

Overall: Pass on it.

The lip brush is soft, but it also goes unused, as I don't use lip brushes.

Overall: Indifferent.

The bent eyeliner brush is soft and feels a bit flimsy at first, but it actually did the job very well when I tested it out. I have only used it with powder, as I don't own any gel liner, but it can create a nice fine line. No real complaints here.

Overall: Getting to love it!

Congrats to you if you've read this far! :P
I hope this post was helpful for anyone interested in these brushes!


  1. thanks for the wonderful review. It's so sad my area does not carry these brushes. I always have to drive another 2 hours to get access to these goodies :)

  2. for the most part, sephora brush sets are never good! im not surprised you didnt like these... i looove how it's packaged though! loooks soooo pretty... the hard case would make me want to buy it too :P

    everyones been raving about ecotools... i always see it in walmart buuut never really interested me (for some reason, when i hear "eco friendly" i picture brushes made out of grass lol)... definitely picking it up the next time i see it though... theyre soooo cheap!


  3. Thanks for the detailed review on all of the brushes. I've been thinking about getting a brush set to "blend" all the colors and etc, but you definitely help me to stay away from some what SEEMS to be awesome choices (like Shu Umera and Sephora...I didn't expect the Sephora set to have so many "cons"). On the other hand, it seems like the set is the best one. Go figure. ^___^

    Thanks again! :D

  4. Very thorough post :] .. Thanks for the hard work~ I'm sure the readers appreciate it (I know I did ^-^ ~)

  5. I think I totally spelled "Uemura" wrong in my comment...& I'm here to correct it because how could I possibly spell SHU UEMURA wrong?! Okay. Hehe, just a bit of my weird attempt to be typo-free tendency. ^___^

  6. that's a heck of a lot of brushes.. lol

  7. I've been interested in the EcoTools brushes before, so it's nice to hear mostly positive things about them.

  8. thanks for review the 3 diff brands! It's funny cuz I use so many diff brushes! Sephora, EcoTools, MAC, Walmart brand! LOL!

  9. Wow - look at all those brush sets. I only have one - the Ecotools one and I LOVE IT! Unlike you though I really like the concealer brush... and not so much the shadow brush. And I love the liner brush! Overall, the best thing ever when it comes to drugstore brushes!

  10. I have the ecotools blush brush! it really is everything you said it is! it is SOoOoOo Soft! I've been wanting to get the brush set, but it is always out. :( great review! thanks for sharing.

  11. Thanks for the reviews on brushes! I've been wanting to try that Eco Tools set :].. BTW <3 your site!

  12. Nice reviews! I love the EcoTools brushes. I have the full-sized blush brush and several others too. They're all freaking awesome! :D

  13. hi, very pretty blog u have! btw, thanks for the extensive review on the brushes... seems like most are not that useful and oh ya, how do u really find the angled liner brush? I find it a little funny and hard to manage. haha.


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