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I believe that a makeup brush can make or break a beauty product. Most of the time, we dismiss a particular makeup item, say an eyeshadow, as a failure for its intrinsic features. “It’s not pigmented enough!”, “It’s too sheer!” and other I-regret-the-day-I-got-this buys. However, we fail to realize that sometimes, it’s the brush we use (or not use!) that makes all the difference.
Being a pretty low maintenance user of brushes before (I didn’t have a whole set, just a self-proclaimed ‘multi-purpose’ brush I use for everything), I never really noticed the difference that makeup brushes have in applying products. With this, do note that I’m not an expert on brushes having only wandered into this realm of beauty tools just recently. MAC and Sigma brushes are great to have but the price is just too steep for someone just starting out on brushes like me.
This is why I was so ecstatic, overjoyed and just plain thrilled when I discovered a local wonder in the beauty industry selling not just this luxe brush at an extremely affordable price — but also great cosmetic products as well! Without further ado, I present to you CarmenClaire Cosmetics. Read on after the jump for my full review!
CarmenClaire Cosmetics was born through a makeup artist slash beauty blogger’s passion for beauty. She saw that there weren’t so many local brands that catered to Filipinas’ unique beauty problems. Carmen believes that her brand is not just there to sell but to answer these beauty problems plaguing Filipinas all over the country. Makeup, skin care, fragrance and brushes — you can find them all in her one-stop beauty online shop.
She was kind enough to send me one of her bestsellers — the Top 10 Collection Brush Set. One look and you can see the very luxurious design of the set. Tuxedo black-and-white, luxurious leatherette. Screams James Bond to me. The bristles are made of ultra-soft natural and synthetic hair, same as MAC’s and Sigma’s combination, but not sure if they’re exactly made out of the same animal hairs.
Powder Brush — Super soft and fluffy but not as densely packed as I’m used to with my powder brushes. However, it’s best used for applying loose powder or powder foundation all over the face as its floppiness helps move your product around, not applying too much pressure on any part of your face.
Angled Blush Brush — Fluffy and great for diffusing a blush, but also firm enough for contouring needs. I find it tighter and more compact than my Chanel angled brush. I love using this brush for my Laguna bronzer, perfectly picks up enough product and deposits it well on my hollow cheekbones. I keep this in my makeup bag wherever I go now, replacing my Chanel one.
Round Blush Brush — This is perfect for my powder foundation when I need to put it under my eyes on top of concealer as well as the corners of my nose because of its perfect size (smaller than the powder brush). I also use it for blushing the apples of my cheeks.
Foundation Brush — Very soft yet densely densely packed which is great for buffing in cream and liquid foundations in every nook and cranny of the face. Virtually no shedding with this foundation brush.
Thoughts: I love the fluffiness and softness of these brushes! Not scratchy at all (although I need to update you on that still after washing them over and over). I even like them more than my Chanel brushes (which are also made of natural hair). My Real Techniques brush sets are made of synthetic taklon fibers which is why I can’t compare them apples-to-apples.
I’ve learned that NATURAL HAIR is best used for powder pigments while SYNTHETIC HAIR is best for liquid and cream products. Natural hair just picks up powder products better than synthetic can. While synthetic hair picks up liquid and cream products better — they don’t use up too much as compared to when using natural hair for these.
Blending Brush — It’s a fluffy crease brush, which I am not used to as my prior blending brush is dome-shaped. It’s also not too densely packed compared to the other two eyeshadow brushes but it’s perfect for packing on color well and blending them easily on the crease. However, I also use it for my lid area when blending two shadows. My favorite of the eye brushes!
Medium Eyeshadow Brush — This is great for overall eyelid application but having small eyelid space, I use this more for my browbones and outer-v eye area for contouring.
Small Eyeshadow Brush — I use this for my tiny eyelids and it picks up product better than my Real Techniques eye brushes (and probably because I use powdered shadows and not cream ones). The two eyeshadow brushes are very densely packed that I feel they won’t ever shed (but again, will have to get back to you on that!).
Brow and Lash Comb — One of the items I’m not particularly excited about but it’s nice to have. For my brows, I usually use a spoolie than a comb.
Angled Liner Brush — Very stiff just the way I like it. Great for applying eyeshadow liner on the upper and lower lashlines. Also works wonders on eyebrows for shadow application!
Lip and Concealer Brush — I don’t really use it for concealer as it is too small and pencil-like. It’s great for lipstick but I also tried it for lining my eyes with gel eyeliner. The brush is very stiff as well but glides cream/gel eyeliner smoothly on the lids.
✓ This set is great for beginners as well as those who are looking to upgrade their current drugstore brushes.
✓ I especially love the softness and fluffiness of the face brushes. They aren’t scratchy nor do they leave streaky marks on the face.
✓ They pick up product very very well! I usually have a hard time getting my Nars blushes to show but with these brushes, it’s become a breeze.
✓ The design is really nice. I love the matte handles and the glossy ferrules, with the cute Carmen Claire logo at the end.
✓ It’s great for travelling. The leatherette case is very compact and the set has all you need for your travel essentials.
✕ The face brushes have shed a little after the first washing. But I’ve read somewhere that natural hair brushes really have this tendency. Also, the shedding is very minimal on each of the face brushes.
✕ The set is priced at Php 1200, which to some may be too steep, but actually for me, given its high quality, it’s worth the price.
And because it’s Christmas season, Carmen Claire has great Christmas gift sets prepared for your makeup/skincare-loving friend, classmate, mom, relative, teacher, secret santa etc!
They also have great makeup products which I will definitely purchase soon!
To order online, visit: Carmen Claire Store
You can also find her on Facebook: Carmen Claire Facebook
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