Budget Beauty | eBay Makeup Brushes Review

Monday, March 07, 2016

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Like most other makeup addicts these days, I don't really NEED any more brushes in my collection but we've all been there right...
Searching for random things we don't need which make sense at that time of sleeplessness/sleepiness.
Well, that's how I became the owner of 3 knock-off versions of on-trend designer brushes that I don't want to splurge on but just need to try to understand the hype!!! 

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It all started with the eye-catching odd appearance of the oval face brush which is all the rage right now, appearing in tutorials all over Instagram. Then within a month of ordering it, I saw this post by Makeup Savvy in which she mentioned the popular sculpting brush style and a dupe of the iconic tapered blusher brush and I ordered them there and then too. Ironically, they all pretty much arrived within a few days of each other. I've been having a play with these over the last couple of weeks and I definitely have a thing or two to say about them...

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Oval Makeup Brush | in the style of Artis and MAC Oval Face Brushes | 99p

I don't have any brush like this in my collection and I was so curious about this style and how it could possibly achieve such flawless finishes as I've seen online. It is a super dense, super soft brush that you hold up against your face, like you would a mirror, and buff in the product. For the price I think the quality of the brush head is impressive even if the plastic handle is a little flimsy. 


I have gripes with this little guy. This arrived a little out of shape from its long journey around the globe to get to me. Seriously though, that isn't what bothers me really. I can't seem to get an acceptable finish on my base products with this. It leaves it so streaky and patchy and makes even my full coverage foundations look sheer and washed out. It sucks up so much product that I have to apply 4-5 pumps to get any decent coverage (not a joke!).

I've tried this with thick and with runny products and each time it just makes my makeup look gross. It seems to also push the product around my face so I'm left with mounds of foundation on some parts while I'm left with next to nothing on other parts. It's also terrible for stippling in case you were wondering. 

I'm glad I've tried this cheap version because at least now I have satisfied my curiosity and I know for sure that applying my foundation at this angle in this way is not for me. Perhaps I'm just uncomfortable with the method but seriously I'm quite happy using regular buffing brushes and sponges.

I have to add though, it is okay for blending out cream contour but I rarely do that anyway. Upon washing, it dries in good time and retains its shape perfectly. But for me it's a no! Unless I find a suitable use for this soon, it's going to my girls to play with!!!

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Tapered Blusher Brush | in the style of NARS Yachiyo Kabuki Brush | 99p

Personally the actual version of this brush has long been on my wishlist purely because it is an absolute work of art. I bought this version with high hopes for its aesthetic value and very little expectation in terms of performance. 

When it arrived I was shocked at how plastic-y the bristles were. They felt alright on the face, kind of soft, but very obviously quite plastic. And so I wrote it off as an Instagram prop and nothing more. When I finally used it, I was shocked yet again!!!

This brush is amazing! It picks up product quickly. It then applies it in a beautiful way, whether it's blusher on the apples of my cheeks, or powder under my eyes or across my t-zone. It is a joy to use as well as easy on the eyes. It is very similar to my Bobbi Brown Powder Brush in shape and maybe that's why I like it so much.

When washed there is some dye washed out but I believe this is from the string wrapped around the handle but it still retains its shape and continues to perform wonderfully. I'm so shocked by how brilliant this brush is and it is definitely a budget beauty gem in my opinion. I just need to stop myself from buying 5 more for no other reason except that I love it so much. 

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Flat Contour Brush | in the style of Real Techniques Bold Metals 301 and MAC 163 | £2.52

Finally we have the sculpting brush of dreams or at least the cheap version. I do like to indulge in a little bit of contouring every now and then. Nothing major, just to give the illusion of less chubby cheeks. I don't do the whole forehead, nose, chin and whatever other places as prescribed as gospel in various online tutorials. 

So I thought I'd try this style of brush without spending an arm and a leg to see how good it would be for a simple swiping of the contour shade along the cheekbones and blending out. I can honestly say, I don't get it. 

Firstly, the brush isn't as well made as compared to the other two. If I push the bristles to one side, I can see down the ferrule. Secondly, as you can probably see from the picture, each bristle isn't the same length thus making the application of product quite uneven and unpredictable. But I suppose that could be down to quality. 

What worries me is that this brush picks up a lot of powder and then paints a hideous stripe down my face with the smallest amount of effort; a stripe which I can barely blend out to make wearable because the placement of product is so concentrated. The only way I've gotten away with this is with more sheer contour powders like Soap & Glory Solar Powder or NARS Laguna Bronzer.

Also, this takes a long time to dry once I wash it. It didn't retain its original shape the way the others did but rather became more frayed and prone to lose bristles. I will still continue to use this but I can't say I like it very much and much prefer a smaller, softer, fluffier brush to allow me to build up the contour rather than paint it straight on. 

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Although I am reporting 2 misses and 1 fantastic fabulous hit, I'm not too disheartened because I did only spend £4.50 altogether. It means I'm saving so much money not giving in to the hype and buying brushes that I don't actually like. Go me! ;)

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Have you tried any brushes from eBay? Did they lead you to buying the real versions? Do you have any that you prefer to their designer counterparts? Which ebay brushes would you suggest that I HAVE to try? Please let me know in the comments below...

Sal xxx
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