Monday, August 12, 2013

Tools of the Trade: bdellium Make-up Brushes

For a beauty blogger, I think I have slightly atypical collection of brushes; in fact, I only own one MAC and one Sigma brush and they're by far not my favorites. I do however own a lot of Ecotools, Real Techniques and bdellium brushes, and since the latter aren't the most talked about, I thought it'd share my stash and some mini reviews for those intersted in more affordable, mostly cruelty-free (synthetic) brushes.
bdellium tools (the all lower case spelling is starting to bug me now) brushes are professional make-up brushes in 4 different ranges: Maestro Series (the luxury line, animal hair with antibacterial treatment, durable nickel plated brass ferule, black handles) Studio (animal and synthetic hair treated with antibacterial agents, anodized aluminum ferule, long yellow handles), Travel Line (identical to Studio, but shorter handles), and three Bambu lines: Green, Yellow and Pink (colorful synthetic bristles non treated with antibacterial agents, colorful sustainable bamboo handles).

I only own brushes from the Studio and Green Bambu lines. Common denomination between all of these: they haven't shed a single hair, they don't leek dye, they wash well and the bristles seem immune to stains - I've been using these for well over a year now and they have lasted tremendously well.
Starting with the eye brushes: 760(S) Liner/Brow, all synthetic bristles, $7.04 at bdellium online store/ Amazon. I bought this brush primarily to use with a gel eyeliner for cat eye flicks, and it works very well for that purpose; the tip is very fine so you can get a very thin line towards the inner corners, just how I like it. I haven't used it for brows, but it works well with powder eyeshadows too. No complaints here - it's my favorite eyeliner brush and I prefer it over standard liner brushes like Sigma no. as well as angled brushes.
No. 772(B), Small Shadow, $8.02. I use a small eyeshadow brush every day for lining my eyes with a darker shade or deepening the outer corners. The 772 works well with its shorter, firmer bristles - it blends out the color well but it's not scratchy or pokey. I maybe wish the handle was slightly slimmer for storing purposes, but I'm nit-picking here.
No. 776(S) Blending, Full Soft Natural Bristles, $7.92. My most used eye brush ever - I already know I want a second one of those. The 776 is supposed to be a MAC 217 dupe, but I can't really compare since I don't own the MAC version. What I do know is that the 776 is perfect for both all-over shadow applications as well as placing colors in the crease, and it works well with both powder and cream eyeshadows. It has a rather fluffy, rectangular-shaped tip, so it can be used flat to apply color and then vertically to blend it out. I love it. You need it.
No. 778(S) Large Shadow, Optimized Soft Natural & Synthetic Mixed Fibers, $7.92. I love using a large paddle brush to apply concentrated shadow to the lid and sometimes also to diffuse it into the crease. The 778 is dense enough to pick up powder but also fluffy enough to blend it out, feels soft on the eyes and holds its shape well through brush laundry. A really great brush all around.
Onto the face: no. 957(S) Precision Kabuki, Full Synthetic Fibers, $14.52. I bought this brush to use with liquid and cream foundations, and it works reasonably well for that, although I find the bristles a bit too dense and firm for blending out - it works well for stippling motions but circular and lateral movements with this brush seem to drag the product around a bit too much. I would personally skip this one, but it might work if you need something for stippling, or maybe pressing setting powder onto selected areas.
No. 975(B) Mixed Powder, $14.96. This brush is recommended for finishing touches, though I like it better for applying bronzer and contour rather than setting powder. It's not really a round dome, I would say it's definitely flatter and thus better suited for applying a line of product when placed horizontally and then blending out when held vertically. It feels wonderfully soft and blends like a dream - what more would you want?
No. 995(B) Kabuki, $18. This is a rather large, very dense kabuki with dome-shaped bristles. It's quite soft and so well suited for blending out powders. Personally, I find the size a bit too large for me (it barely fits into the lid of my mineral foundations), although it works like a charm when I'm pressed for time and do need something bigger. Also, because the bristles are so so dense, I sometimes feel like some of my foundation disappears somewhere within the depths of the brush. I also like to use the 995 for setting powder or blending out an excess of blush on the cheeks.

Overall, I enjoy using my bdellium tools brushes and definitely plan to pick up more in the future; I especially want another eye blending brush and maybe something for blush as well. I think the price to quality ratio and the size of the range of these brushes are something to look into if you're a make-up brush enthusiast. Have you ever tried bdellium tools? What are your favorite brush brands?


  1. They are wonderful! Precision Kabuki for face is actually my favourite!

  2. I've never heard of this brand, where can you buy it? For me personally, I've got a good mix of MAC, Quo, and Real Techniques brushes. I actually really like the Quo ones - especially for the price since they're often 40% off.

    xo, alison*elle

  3. I remember seeing some blogger posting about a sale maybe 2 years back, I didn't buy any since I wasn't comfortable buying from an unknown brand online. That green really float my boat though.

  4. I'm not much of a brush collector, either, and I go the same route as you - affordable & cruelty-free when possible. I like the look of that large shadow brush - I'm lazy and I like to deposit as much shadow on the lid as possible with one go, lol!

  5. Oh, I've been reading up on bdellium tools brushes and I've only read positive reviews! I'm definitely curious about these... perhaps one day, I'll get my hands on some :-)

  6. I love how colourful they are!