Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Les Minis de Chanel - The Mini Brush Set

For the 2010 holidays, Chanel released another Les Minis de Chanel brush set. The brushes are not the same as the brushes in the 2009 holiday set although it is packaged pretty much the same way.

The zippered case is about 6" x 4.5" x 1.5" which is a good size for travel. It has slots for each brush and an extra zippered compartment to keep your makeup or other tools. I use it for sponges, a lash curler and some extra brushes that I like to have along.

Les Minis de Chanel - Collection of 6 Mini Brushes ($125)

Brushes from left: Powder and Blush, Foundation, Eyeshadow, Angled Lip, Angled Brow, Contour Shadow

The brushes are approximately 4 inches long from handle to head. They are not labelled or numbered but there is an accompanying sheet that details the use of each. I've labelled them above as described in the literature.

The powder and blush brush has a dense, tapered head that makes it great for sweeping powder across the face. The hairs are very soft against the skin and the shape makes it ideal for contouring. I think that it is similar to the MAC 138 which is a tapered face brush designed for all the same things that Chanel says their brush is for (blush, highlighter and powder).

Mini Powder and Blush Brush

Mini Foundation Brush

The foundation brush is pretty much your standard synthetic foundation brush which I also use for applying concealer. It is surprisingly dense that it really does the job of the full-sized brush. At first glance, it looked just like my well-worn Sephora Platinum foundation brush but I realized later that the only similarity they had was the color on the brush fibers. The Chanel mini foundation brush is indeed very similar to the full-sized Chanel foundation brush in shape and density but the mini has softer hairs which I think actually make it better.

Top: Chanel Mini Foundation, Bottom: Sephora Platinum Foundation Brush

Top: Chanel Mini Foundation, Bottom: Chanel Full-Size Foundation Brush

Top: Chanel Mini Foundation, Bottom: Chanel Full-Size Foundation Brush

The eyeshadow brush is a regular fluffy shadow brush. The brush head is only very slightly smaller than that of the full-size Chanel eyeshadow brush. It's good for sweeping shadow across the entire lid.

Mini Eyeshadow Brush

Top: Chanel mini eyeshadow, Bottom: Chanel Full-Size Eyeshadow Brush
From left: Full-size eyeshadow, Mini eyeshadow brush

The density of the two brushes as you can see on the side shot is similar. The shape is also exactly the same. For this set, this would be your main eyeshadow brush.

The one referred to as the angled lip brush in the set does not have a cover. Because I don't wash my lip brushes as frequently as I do my other brushes, I don't like lip brushes that don't have a cover. I never even tried using it as such. I've used it as an eyeshadow brush to get on smaller areas and it does the job. The angled head helps. That said, this set would be fine without this brush.

Mini Angled Lip Brush

Brush head up close
The angled brow brush surprised me. I actually really like it. It's extremely similar to the Sephora Brow Brush #10 which I use all the time. This brush is very stiff and I do not recommend using this on your eyes (as some people may think that this can double as an angled liner brush). This is definitely a brow brush and a very good one.

Mini Angled Brow Brush
Top: Sephora Brow Brush, Bottom: Chanel Mini Angled Brow Brush

Finally, we have the contour shadow brush which I initially thought was the lip brush. It is a very small tapered brush with bristles that are soft on the skin but retain their shape. After much thought, I realized that what it most reminded me of was the Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush so I tried using it with some gel eyeliner and it was perfect!

Mini Contour Shadow Brush

Top: Chanel Mini Contour Shadow, Bottom: Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush

I like this set a little better than the mini brush set that Chanel released the previous year, if only because the smaller brushes were more useful to me. I do miss having the big fluffy brush in the set and I would have preferred an angled blush brush with a full-sized head rather than the tapered one. This set is also $5 more than the previous one but they are both made in China. That said, I think the quality is there. I've been using these in place of my regular brushes for a few weeks now and I really like them. I have a quick snapshot of 2009's brush set just to compare.

2009 Les Minis de Chanel Brush Set

Using the old set on vacation, what I felt that it missed were a good eyebrow brush and a couple of other eye brushes. I would normally take a mini ponytail brush and a pencil brush with me, to augment these eye brushes. The new set answered my need for the brow brush and I thought that the contour shadow brush is much better for lining the eyes than the angled eyeliner brush from the old set. If they replaced the lip brush with a mini of the Chanel #3 crease brush and changed the eyeshadow brush to a mini of the Chanel #12 contour shadow brush, I think it would be better.

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