So, thanks to the heads up from Reddit, I finally caved and went out and got the Sonia Kashuk 15th Anniversary Brush set, for not 40, not 30, but $20!!
These brushes are all pretty similar to the touch; They are soft, fluffy, and feel good against the skin. The feel of these brushes is a lot like the ELF Studio brushes, which I love dearly.
The fluffier brushes have a problem with shedding. When you first wash them, the loose bristles come free, as well as the clipped bristles from when they were cut to level. It's a little alarming at first, but it is taken care of rather fast.
I noticed while using these, that some of the brushes (like the Powder Brush) shed occasionally. They're still new, and I've only been using them for a little over a week, so perhaps with more time they'll stop shedding.
These brushes also need to be washed before you even think of using them to apply makeup. The bristles are dyed purple, and they hold on to some of that dye, so you need to wash the excess dye that was left behind. You'd be surprised how much dye is still clinging to the bristles! Some contain more excess dye than others, but it only took me ten minutes to wash all 15 brushes for the first time.
This brush is just so large and fluffy. I love this brush for applying my setting powder, because it covers my face in a thin layer of powder quickly. The downside to this brush, is that if I use it for powder foundation, I have to add extra layers, because the coverage is too sheer.
Unlike the Powder Brush, I love this Blush Brush for the reason that it applies powders sheer. It's especially useful for highly-pigmented blushes like the Wet n Wild blushes (such as Pearlescent Pink) that are so pigmented that if you're not careful will make you appear like a Raggedy Ann Doll.
If its a high-pigment blush, this brush is a bit of a life saver since it's so fluffy it diffuses the colour. If it's a more on the light side of pigmentation, you may need to go in again with the blush to pack on pigment for a brighter look.
Now, I know that these two brushes look similar, but I assure you that they are not the same.
They would be the same, but they differ in two counts; 1. The Powder Brush is less condensed. They're both still incredibly fluffy, but the Blush Brush is packed in just a little more tightly. 2. Their size. The Powder Brush is a little over twice the side of the Blush Brush.
Duo-Fiber Buffing Brush
This brush has a good idea, but I'm not overly fond of it. This buffing brush is supposed to buff any product right into the skin, but it's so condensed that it just feels rough. It has a little give, like a step up from using my fingers, but it's not a brush that I reach for over my Real Techniques Buffing Brush.
Synthetic Angled Multipurpose Brush
This brush is a brush that I wasn't sure about, but I quickly learned to like. The area is a little small, but it applies foundation surprisingly fast for being little. The angled make of the brush let's the bristles easily get to every nook and cranny of the face, and it buffs the product in well. I like this for both foundation, and concealer.
This is the reason (as well as many others, I bet) that I wanted this Brush Set in the first place. It resembles the NARS Ita Brush, with how flat the brush is. I have to warn you, that this brush picks up pigment like nobody's business. Just a tap, I'm serious all you need is a tap, and it picks up pigment. If you're not careful, you might just apply too much.
Even aside from that, this brush is beautiful for getting sharp contours. I can use this to contour my temples, nose, jaw, and of course, the hollows of my cheeks. It's stiff enough to get sharp lines, but it gives enough that you can buff the product into the skin and get soft, blended edges.
I wasn't enthused with this brush. I used it, but I'm not fond of brushes like this, not since High School. It applies foundation alright, but if I have to use it I'd use it for concealer or applying a face mask.
The only wish I have, is that this brush was just a touch bigger. This is a synthetic Concealer Brush (a small version of the Foundation Brush) that is really nice in covering acne. It's not so great for large area like liquid highlight or for under the eyes, but for small spots it's pretty good.
I was a little intimidated by the size, but this brush is fantastic for blending the eyeshadow for a smooth gradient effect. It distributes the pigment around so that your eyeshadow looks flawless with very little effort. One of my favourite brushes out of the bunch.
A brush that's perfectly sized to put colour right in the crease of the eye. It lets you put the colour right where you want it, and it lets you control the placement with ease.
Small Eye Shadow Brush
This brush is great for putting pigment in smaller places, like the outside corer and the outer V. Of course... Mine was a little messed up when I opened the box:
Rough, right? It's okay though, after washing, the brush formed back to how it should be, so that's great that the bristles were rather malleable, in the case that they will be squished on the side of a makeup bag. A nice, soft eyeshadow brush.
Fluffy Eye Shadow Brush
This is one of my favourites as well. A quick brush that applies product across the lid in a single swipe (not kidding, it's that good) and has the added benefit of being able to blend out eyeshadows. I love this brush when paired with a single-eyeshadow-look, and makes my eyes look put together with very little effort.
Precision Smudge Brush
I use this for the outt-v for a very defined shading. A nice pencil brush really, and glad to have it added to my collection.
Synthetic Angled Liner Brush
I tried this in two ways; for my eyebrows and for lining my eyes. For my eyebrows, it was practically useless. The bristles are too long for me to be able to draw the lines I like to. For small, short strokes, this is great, but for the line when I still want it delicate, it makes them too thick.
For eyeliner however, I adore this. It isn't great for eyebrows, but for the eyeliner i love it. Thin strokes let this apply product right against the lash line, and since the bristles bend with a bit of pressure, dragging it across the lid to polish off the look ends up working to it's advantage with making the line thicker the farther I get from the inner corner.
A brush that everyone needs at least one of. Great for putting eyeshadow on the lower lash line.
Another brush that everyone needs at least one of. This is a basic Spoolie, that you can use on the lashes, but I LOVE spoolie brushes for my eyebrows to soften the application of eyebrow products.
Was the set worth it?
I think so! There are a couple of brushes I wasn't wild about, but overall I enjoy the set, and there are brushes in this set that I can see being integrated into my everyday face brush cup.
Would it have still been worth it if it was bought at the $40 Value?
This is a little harder to answer. The quality is good. The brushes themselves look amazing (purple and gold? I feel like royalty!) and they generally perform really well.
I would have bought these at their original value, heck, I was going to. However, I am more than pleased that I got these brushes for half of the price, because it makes this set even sweeter.
Thanks for reading!