Monday, 28 February 2011

Review: ELF's Mineral Bamboo brushes

These brushes have been in my possession long enough to be given the full five star Rhamnousia treatment so I can finally let you know what I think of them.  If you want to know more about the basics, click here and ye shall see all you need to know about this range.

These are my test subject:

First, the general points:
  • The bristles are bamboo coloured.  On the plus side, you can see how much product you have picked up.  This also means that the brushes look used a lot quicker so if you're funny about having brushes looking clean all the time, you will find yourself cleaning them more often.
  • When I first got the all-over eyeshadow brush out of the packaging, a powder came out.  I kept stroking it until all the powder had vanished.  It wasn't a large amount of powder but I've never had that situation with any brush I've used before.
  • The hair on the brushes is very soft.  The softness of these is on par with the brushes that Elizabeth Arden and NARS make.
  • When you take them out of their packets, they smell very plastick-y, much like those children's plastic chairs that we all had.  However, this smell all but faded once I'd taken them out of the packet.
  • They don't seem to pick up as much colour as my other brushes which is a good thing if you're new to using makeup as you don't want to be over zealous and look like a fool.  If you're a bit more advanced then this might annoy you a bit.

The Smudge Brush is my favourite.  ELF say that you can get a smokey look by using this brush to smudge some colour in the corner of your eye but that didn't work for me.

They also say that this brush is great for adding depth to the crease.  This is very true.  I will not be looking for another crease brush now that I have this one.

You just dab this brush into your eyeshadow and draw where you want the crease and it applies it the shadow in a semi harsh line and then all you have to do is blend it out.  This is the best brush that I have ever used for crease finding and defining purposes.    

The All-Over Eyeshadow Brush is similar to the MAC 239 in that it pats down colour.  However, it's not as dense and does not pack on as much colour as the MAC one does.

This brush seems to be confused as it is a hybrid of the "colour patter" and a blender.  When it blends, it doesn't blow the shape out of the water which I find that a lot of non "C" shaped brushes do.

I find that the hairs are a fraction too long, if they were a bit denser and shorter, this brush would be perfect and blending would be far easier.  I feel that in its rush to be an allrounder, it fails to set the world alight.  When I'm in a rush to get to work, I don't mind using this just to roughly apply one colour on my lid but I wouldn't reach for it if I was doing something more intricate.  If you're new to makeup brushes then I wouldn't suggest this as a starter brush.  My Models Own eye shading brush is a better version of this and that's the one I use when I have time to sit and do my eyes properly.

The Angled Blush Brush was the one that broke me out.  I never wash my new brushes before I use them but after my experience with this, I think I will.  Maybe I just got a bad one as the eye ones didn't make my eyes react or anything.

Putting the breakout to the side, did I like it? I'm a bit on the fence about this one.  It can be used on both powder and cream blushers.  It seemed to absorb the cream blusher a bit too much.  When I use my Revlon brush, I can see the colour transferring onto my cheeks but when I use this, there is more colour on the brush than there is on my face.  It wasn't that good with powder blusher either.. I'm still not convinced that it works better than my Revlon one as it seems to soak up a lot more product than I feel is necessary.

The Complexion Brush has a rogue frizzy hair which I can't remove and I don't want to cut.  It doesn't effect how the brush works but it just irks me a bit.  This isn't the first ELF product I've used where the finishing touches have been a bit sloppy.

I use this brush to pat translucent powder onto my forehead and it does a very good job at this.  It doesn't deposit so much onto my skin that it's obvious that I'm wearing powder.

I've also used it to add some bronzer when I want to look a bit sunkissed and it works very well as a bronzer brush as it distributes it well and doesn't make me look like a roast chicken.

Would I recommend them? If you have trouble precisely adding colour to the crease then I would definitely suggest getting the Smudge Brush.  The Complexion Brush is my second favourite and has made its way into my daily brush arsenal as I've been bronzing like a fiend.  I wouldn't suggest the Angled Blush Brush as if you like cream blushers, it won't be your friend and there are better blusher brushes out there (like this one!)  The All-Over Eyeshadow Brush is also a no, simply because I feel it fails that there are better brushes out there (this being my favourite).

Every brush in the range is a very affordable £5.50 and can be picked up here.


  1. Now that you mention it, my angled blush brush doesn't pick up much powder and I have to work at it but I love the quality of the brush, especially for £5.

  2. Nice ! Too bad mine here doesn't carry Elf =(

  3. I think I'll skip these! I love their regular brushes though - have you tried them? I have the precision brush, "C" brush and they eyeshadow brush - all very nice :)

  4. interesting. Question any tips on products that remove bloody mascara from your eyes completely?


Thanks for your comments everyone! I do read each and every comment left and I try my best to answer any questions.

If you have a burning question and would like an in-depth/personal reply, feel free to email me at or and I'll reply as soon as I can. You can also tweet me (@rhamnousia84) but you'll need to be following me if you want a reply via DM.

A quick note to any companies who come across my blog: Please do not use my comments section as a way to advertise your website. If you'd like to feature your site on my blog then please get in touch by emailing me at


Related Posts with Thumbnails