Oh, I am oh-so-wary of cheap brushes. They can often be such a false economy and actually, most of ‘em aren’t even that bloody cheap to begin with anyway. I’d recommend anyone who’s looking to bag some affordable tools to invest in a set from Crown Brushes, but when Marks and Spencer sent us a four piece brush kit recently for trial, I gave them a go. At €20, if they performed, then they’d be worth a punt, I reckoned. Especially at a fiver apiece.
Four’s kind of an odd number for a brush set: you get a synthetic foundation brush and then three natural brushes: one for cheeks, one for eyes and one for lips. Lets start with the negatives. This lip brush is not a lip brush. End of story. It’s the wrong shape, size and thickness and will be useless for applying anything remotely sticky.
Shadow on left, lip brush on the right. As you can see, I’ve been using these, hence the power on the bristles
What it is good for is for use as a small shadow placement brush and it makes a good companion to the actual shadow brush in the collection. This has quite a wide, flat head with rounded corners and is basically very similar to a chisel brush. Both of these are quite firm and the faux-chisel is good for placing product in the crease in particular. I like it and will continue to use it.
Foundation, left, and blusher, right
The other two are the foundation brush (also used, sorry!) and the blusher brush (ditto). The former is good – it’s got nice soft synthetic bristles that are firmly packed and does just as good a job as many much more expensive offerings. I’m not blown away by the blusher brush, but that’s mostly because I just happen to prefer an angled one. But it’s fine for powder blush and does the job grand.
All in all, this is a good enough bet. The four brushes feel soft and are well-packed, meaning you can actually use them with accuracy. How well they wash and wear is another matter and I can’t report on that yet. Still, for €20, not a bad bit of kit to pick up on a Saturday splurge – though I’d definitely recommend you bag yourself a couple of extra eye brushes to fill out a basic kit.