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I first purchased two of these brushes (the retractable powder brush #51 and the all-over eyeshadow brush #21) when I first ventured into Sephora. I had not ever bought makeup brushes for myself, let alone owned any…so it was my first small step into a larger (pocketbook-draining) world.
Sephora's Professionel brushes all have black handles, and most have either black or yellow bristles. They're not the best brushes for applying mineral makeup - the Sephora SAs will even tell you that - they are good, sturdy, serviceable brushes. The #21 eyeshadow brush worked well for both all-over and some crease application, as the bristles were closely packed and the top of the brush was slightly rounded, not cut straight-across. The powder brush #51 caught my eye not because of the “powder brush”, but because it was retractable. (Even then I had a pretty good idea that I was not always going to be as careful with my brushes as I might wish.) The bristles were a bit firmer than some of the super-silky brushes (such as BE's Soft Focus Face Brush), but the brush was about on par with the BE Full Face Brush.
Since purchasing those two, I've thrown them both out. I used the eyeshadow brush A LOT and didn't properly clean it, so after a while it actually smelled a little odd. (Remember…new to using makeup brushes. I tried to learn wet-application of mineral pigments, but didn't dry the brush properly, or ever clean it.) I found that the powder brush was nice, but I had marginally nicer equivalents I'd bought either off of Ebay or from Crown Brush. I didn't repurchase because I had other similar brushes, thanks to all the various BE kits I've purchased. I have purchased another Sephora brush collection which I very much like for its versatility and portability; but I don't use them every day.
I do like how Sephora has come out with more retractable brushes. For those of us that either travel and don't pack a train case, or for those of us that want something to pitch into the knapsack for quick touchups, the retractable brushes are fantastic. I am eyeballing the Retractable Concealer Brush #57 and the Retractable All Over Shadow Brush #19. A few of the other brushes in the collection look interesting, but they too closely duplicate the ones in the travel kit…and if I'm roaming around town and need to do a quick touchup, I probably won't have my brow powder or body shimmer along so there's no reason to get those brushes. (I don't have a travel-version of the concealer brush, though, so that would be a good addition.)
The prices are decent for the quality. There are certainly lower-priced brushes out there that provide the same or similar quality, though. If you're looking to build your “everyday” brush collection, I would not recommend Sephora's Professionel line for individual brush purchases due to the price. Some of their sets provide you good brushes for a slightly lower price-per-brush. Just make sure to maintain your brushes properly and they'll last you far longer than mine did. :D
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