Irish brand AYU Makeup sent over some brushes for me to test out and for the past few weeks I've been putting them through their paces. Justification 1 as to why it's ok to buy new brushes? Affordability. And these are great value. Justification 2 is that they're Irish and it's always good to support a home grown brand. Justification 3 is that for the most part, the brushes are bloody good! There's nothing worse than wasting money, so here's what I think of these guys.
The powder brush (€14.50) has gotten a decent amount of use with my favourite powders and the first couple of times I used it, it shed a couple of hairs, but nothing too bad. It worked great with both loose and pressed powder and I'll definitely continue to use it.
The same goes for the duo fibre brush (€12.50). Like all duo fibre brushes I've tried in the past, it works better with loose powders as it can kick up some product when used with pressed powders. I've been using it to apply blush and bronzer and it works really well at blending out foundation too for a flawless finish.
The flat foundation brush (€10.50) is fantastic and it was the surprise hit of the face brushes! As you know, I love a good buffing brush or a beauty blender to work my foundation into the skin, but I've been loving this guy to apply a new foundation which I'll be telling you about soon. There's no streaking when I use this, which is something I generally find with flat foundation brushes, and I love it.
Finally we have the purple blender sponge (€5) and this was the dud of the bunch for me. It's really thick and dense and no matter how long I run it under water to get it to absorb anything. Usually with makeup sponges, they absorb water, get bigger and softer so that applying your foundation is easier. This stayed the same size and density and just didn't work for me unfortunately. But one out of four isn't bad!
The All About Eyes 4 piece set is great value at €18.50. Each of the brushes are available to purchase on their own too. My absolute favourite brush of the four and of the whole range is that Blender Brush at the top with the brown hairs. It's soft, has the perfect density level for blending, crease work and for applying a wash of colour all over the lids and I love it.
Below that is the Pro Blender Brush which reminded me of the MAC 217 on first impressions, but it was a bit too scratchy for my liking and after using it a couple of times, I had to stop. The same went for the Crease Brush which looks like a pencil brush. The hairs weren't soft enough for my little delicate eyeballs and I just found these two to irritate my skin a bit.
Finally we have the Angled Eyeliner Brush which I've used both on my eyebrows and to line the upper lashes and it's brilliant. Sometimes I like to line my eyes with eyeshadow and sometimes with a gel and this works with both perfectly.
The Pro Eyeliner brush (€4.75) is one of the best I've ever tried and the sheer teenyness of the head makes eyeliner a doodle. I can actually do a thin line with this! There's nothing worse than attempting to do a thin line, making a mess of it and then you end up with two black eyelids. This is a cinch to use.
The Pro Waterline Liner (€4.75) does what it says on the tin and yet I've never used it on the waterline! I thought it was a lip brush when I first got it and that's what I've been using it for like the rebel I am. The square top makes it so easy to get a really crisp lip line and that perfect cupid's bow. I must try it for the waterline too, but for now, this is my current lip brush of choice!
Finally is the Pro Detailer Shadow/lip brush (€5.95). Yes I totally haven't been using this for lips at all. It's great for an inner corner highlight, if you want to add a bit of smokiness to the outer corners or for applying a bit of sparkle right in the middle of your eyeball.
All in all, it's a big thumbs up for AYU brushes! You can check out the whole range on the AYU website where they sell lashes and makeup too. Happy shopping!