I admit that I definitely have a lot of brushes. But I promise that there's sound reasoning behind this.
If you haven't noticed, I am quite the sucker for EcoTools. Lately I've been feeling a bit experimental so I just got the Sonia Kashuk Highlighting Brush as well as the Spoolie so I won't be able to offer much information about them.
Skipping the brushes on the left, let's take a look at the brushes in the center. These are my blush brushes and the three of them have been fantastic. There are two EcoTools blush brushes; one from the Alicia Silverstone line and the other is just the standard 6 piece set (note that all of the brushes from this set has the pink paint at the bottom of the handle). The hot pink brush (angled blush brush) is from Sephora, specifically the I.T. Collection. While this one has never shed in use, it has shed when I washed it. It is fair to note that my EcoTools have never shed -- not even those that I've had for over two years. The three of them are equally great in use and I have yet to come across any cons -- in fact the EcoTools Blush Brush in the center (with the pink paint at the bottom is 2 years old. It hasn't stiffened, doesn't shed (none of them have actually), and overall continues to be a great performer. Why do I have three? It's the same reason I have more than one foundation brush; when it's time for them to be cleaned, I need another brush. Generally my apartment is too cold for brushes to dry overnight. So instead I will wash them once a week, if not sooner.
To the right are my current foundation brushes. Like the blush brushes, I cycle them as I use and wash them. The Sonia Kashuk Highlighting Brush (furthest right, white handle) is the one that I want to love but I seem to keep finding issues with. When I washed it, it shed and it even shed during first use. Luckily I use powder foundation so it's not bothersome, but still worth noting that it has this tendency. It does not retain as much powder as other brushes and provides weak coverage. The retractable kabuki is from Ulta and I've had it for two years and while I wish I could say it's retains it's softness, it definitely has not. And it was due to the accidental poking of the bristles that I realized that I needed to upgrade. I still do use it on occasion, but I'll probably phase that one out. As for my beloved Finish Brush (EcoTools by Alicia Silverstone) I have no complaints. I adore it.
Back to the left now, there's quite a mix going on.
- The brush in the far left is the Sephora Retractable Lip Brush which is great when you're on the go. It's primary use for me is when I'm feeling brave enough to try a red lipstick, but not strong enough to harness it's red power. Great brush, I've had it for a year and it holds up well. It does feel flimsy at times, but it has endured the pain that is my makeup bag.
- The four of those bamboo handles are all EcoTools: Angled Eye Shadow brush (Alicia Silverstone), Eye Shading brush, Angled Eyeliner (which I use all the time), and a Concealer brush. I don't get much use out of the majority of these but the Angled Eyeliner is my favourite. It is however two years old and dealt with a lot of gel and cream eyeliners which means that it's slowly loosing form. The Angled Eyeliner is also slowly being phased out and it is being replaced by the Sephora eyeliner brush.
- That bright blue brush is the I.T. Angled Eyeliner brush from Sephora which I haven't tried just yet. >_<
- Lash and Brow Groomer from EcoTools which I never use.
- Sonia Kashuk Spoolie (about $3 at Target) that I haven't used yet but got so that when I have issues with my mascara, I don't have to dip the brush again and run the risk of building mascara unnecessarily on my lashes.
So here's my thoughts in a nutshell (or bullet points):
- EcoTools is fantastic. Doesn't shed, soft (I'd say it's rather plush) and stays that way even after 2 years. Overall a great set of brushes especially considering how cheap they are.
- The Sephora I.T. (angled blush brush) is fantastic and I can even happily say that even with the light shedding that occurred when I washed it, I'm still very happy with it's performance.
- Sonia Kashuk, maybe it's my luck with this particular brush but I am not impressed. It was a waste of my money to be honest.
- Ulta Retractable, well, I'd say skip it. It seems rather convenient but I'm sure there are other brushes out there that can do what this one does.