Review: EcoTools Eye Brushes

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Review: EcoTools Eye Brushes

I picked up the EcoTools Eye Brush set on sale at one of my local drugstores (during my rabid search for Sally Hansen’s Hidden Treasure, which I eventually found.) The set had five brushes, a mirror, and a cotton/hemp cover/wrap/brush holder. For quite some time I’d been wondering if the EcoTools brushes were as amazing as people said they were - so I was happy to get a chance to test-drive these myself.

For purposes of my review, I’m leaving out all the “green” and “environmentally responsible” happytalk. Firstus, you can find that on any site that carries the products; and secondus, if the products work well, their being “green” is a bonus. If they don’t work, their being “green” won’t help much if you end up throwing them out. I don’t like companies who are wasteful with their products or packaging. By the same token, I don’t love companies whose chief claim to fame seems to be that they’re “green”, “cruelty free”, “practice Christian values”, “are a 100% woman-owned business”, or aught else. Impress me with the quality of your product -=first=- and make me feel good about spending my money with you, then tell me about these other things - as bonuses.

For $7.99, this set is a decent deal even at "full price". You essentially get five eye brushes and a carrying case for about $1.33 per item. I don't know enough about brush manufacturing to know if the lower cost of these items means that ecological manufacturing practices aren't nearly as cost-prohibitive as some companies bleat on about, or if EcoTools is twisting arms to keep the manufacturing costs down (these were manufactured in China, which does not currently have the best global image when it comes to human rights and treatment of its workforce.) The carrying/storage case with its included inset mirror and velcro closure is fairly decent, but I'd have preferred a flap that rests over the brush bristles and prevents them from being jammed or jostled.

The brushes themselves are not specifically "mini" size - like Bare Escentuals' eye-quickie brushes - though they are smaller. The handles are about the same size as "travel" eye brushes, and the whole thing fits rather easily into one's pocketbook/purse/backpack (just...see my previous not about no protective flap over the brush heads.) There are six brushes in this set:

  • Large eye brush — best used for all-over applications and for blending
  • Angled crease brush — for crease application and contouring
  • Petite shading brush — for shading, smaller application areas
  • Highlighting brush — for sweeping across the browline or applying a thin strip of a highlight/blending overcolor
  • Smudge brush — for lashline applications/smudging

The brushes are all very soft...but the heads are almost fuzzy. It's as if they weren't all trimmed as well as they could have been to provide the user with a little more control, especially the angled crease brush and the smudge brush. (Maybe the thickness of the individual bristles has something to do with it...maybe that's what helps make some brushes stiffer.) These brushes do work alright, they just don't give me quite as much precision or control as I'd prefer.

Here's some quick-and-dirty equivalents to BE brushes, along with my personal opinion about which version is better:

  • EcoTools large eye brush :: Bare Escentuals' Blending Brush (my personal pick: EcoTools)
  • EcoTools angled crease brush :: Bare Escentuals' Eye Defining Brush (my personal pick: Bare Escentuals)
  • EcoTools petite shading brush :: Bare Escentuals' Tapered Shadow Brush (my personal pick: EcoTools)
  • EcoTools highlighting brush :: Bare Escentuals' Short crease defining brush (my personal pick: Bare Escentuals)
  • EcoTools smudge brush :: Bare Escentuals' Heavenly Liner Blending Brush (my personal pick: Bare Escentuals)

I compared these to Bare Escentuals for two reasons: one, many people have or have seen BE brushes; and two, I have lots of BE brushes and not many from anyone else. Since BE's brushes are pretty expensive when purchased individually, and you can't always find them in kits, this isn't exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. These brushes do make good items for casual makeup users, people on a tight budget, or people for whom buying green is one of their overriding factors in any purchasing decision.

Comparison: EcoTools Blending vs. BE Blending brushComparison: EcoTools
Comparison: EcoTools Highlighting vs. BE Short Crease Defining brushComparison: EcoTools Petite Shading vs. BE Tapered Shadow brush
Comparison: EcoTools Smudging vs. Urban Decay smudging brush

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