PRODUCT REVIEW | Splurge vs. Steal Part I – Face Brushes

Ok so we all know and love the benefit of quality brushes for our make-up application, but that doesn’t mean we have the same fuzzy feeling about the prices usually associated with them. I had been anticipating the Canadian Make-up Show in order to stock up on Crown brushes (among other highly coveted make-up goods) . A grand total of 45 minutes at the Crown booth, a swipe of the card and a bag of goodies later – I was a happy camper!

I’ve spent a lot on brushes throughout the years – some worth the cost, some not so much. Crown Brushes and Elegant Faces are two great places to check out for affordable and good quality brushes. At the Crown booth, I didn’t see a brush more expensive than $15! I know – I was in awe. I walked away with absolute steals for the prices I paid (I felt like I was the woman in the IKEA commercial! “Start the car! Start the car!”) For the aspiring artist, it’s always great to have multiple back-up sets of brushes, especially when you do weddings and group appointments. Here are some recent additions to my kit from from Crown and Elegant Faces and their comparable higher end counterpart:

Elegant Faces Foundation Brush ($24) vs. MAC #190 Foundation Brush ($38.50)
Both brushes have a concentrated amount of synthetic bristles that taper towards the tip and make them perfect for blending. I equally like the way foundation glides on with both of these brushes, but with the price difference the obvious favourite is the Elegant Faces Foundation brush (top brush above).
The verdict: Steal!

Crown C309 Studio Professional Jumbo Chisel Powder Brush ($10) vs. MAC #150 Large Powder Brush ($50.50)
The Crown Brush (top brush in picture above) is shorter handled, but has a concentrated amount of soft natural hair bristles just like the MAC Large Powder Brush (bottom brush). To build up powder coverage or apply a light dusting of powder, the Crown Brush is just as effective and definitely a better deal! Go for the steal!
The verdict: Steal!

Crown B2K Luna Series Unique Pointed Dome Brush ($9) vs. MAC #129 Blush Brush ($41)
I love MAC’s Blush Brush for the soft-rounded dome that allows for smooth blush application when both contouring or dusting the apples of the cheeks. Crown’s Pointed Dome Brush is a comparable equivalent and blends just as well, but I’ll admit that although the bristles are soft, they’re not as soft as the bristles of the MAC brush. For the $40 difference in price, you can decide if it’s a worthy trade-off!
The verdict: Steal!

Crown Badger Kabuki Brush ($8) vs. MAC #182 Buffer Brush ($55)
In this case, the MAC Buffer Brush is a clear winner. Yes, the difference in price should ensure there is a definite difference in quality, but you just need to rub your fingers across it to feel how soft it is and see how it has the most concentration of hairs. I also like how the MAC Buffer Brush has a taller handle and shorter bristles, which makes it perfect for buffing. The bristles of the Crown Kabuki are quite soft as well, but much too long for buffing the face. Either way you choose, this brush is a great addition to the kit for any make-up artist – just smooth the brush over your client’s face after the application for a mini-massage treat!
The verdict: Splurge!

Check back as I’ll also do a comparison post for eye make-up brushes!

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