Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sephora Collection Advanced Airbrush Set

A few months back, I purchased the Sephora Advanced Airbrush Set which features 5 brushes in a zip up case. The brushes are all synthetic and appear to be similar to or the same as the brushes from the Sephora Platinum line.

Admittedly, what attracted me to the set was that the case reminded me of the original Laura Mercier brush sets. But I have had a really good experience with the Sephora Platinum Brush line and find that brush sets from Sephora, in general, are usually a pretty good value as well.

Sephora Collection Advanced Airbrush Set ($65)

The Advanced Airbrush Set includes 5 brushes: a powder brush, a foundation brush, a concealer brush and two eye brushes. One is a regular eye shader brush and the other is meant to be a crease brush. Each has a specific slot in the case and features a grey plastic handle.

The brushes are all full-length, with the handle from bottom to ferrule being at least 3.5 inches long. The brushes, from bottom to tip, are at least 6 inches in total length and each brush is labelled according to its designated use. At $65, expect a real brush set. Not a dinky little travel one that you might get for free with purchase. After all, you are paying more than $10 per brush.

Sephora Collection Advanced Airbrush Set

The first brush featured is a flat powder brush. I really hate having to start with this one, to be honest. In my opinion, this is one of the poorer brushes in this set. The hairs are long and floppy, giving the user less control.

Airbrush Powder (flat powder brush)

Airbrush Powder (flat powder brush) from the side

I find the flat powder brush most useful for super sheer application of powder. It works with translucent powder because that's not something you would want to pile on. This picks up pigment rather poorly so if you expect heavy application, you will need to go over the area numerous times. If you are using highly-pigmented powders for the face or cheek, this could work out too. Light patting movements across the cheek should give you just the right blush.

The Precision Foundation brush is also a flat brush. It essentially the same shape as the powder brush (with a somewhat rounded end) except it is more dense and the hairs are short. I actually wish that they made the hairs on it just a tad longer and I think it would have worked out well as a powder brush. As it is, I've used it to successfully apply liquid foundation. It's very soft against the skin and the handle is a good length. I find that I have acceptable control over the product. However, it's not the best for getting into those nooks and crannies that a thinner brush could go to. This "compromise style" between a rounded foundation brush and a flat foundation brush is interesting but ultimately needs improvement. I still think that they should have picked a direction for it, make it tapered or make it rounded, not somewhere in between.

Aibrush Precision Foundation

Airbrush Precision Foundation Brush

Side View, Airbrush Precision Foundation

The concealer brush is the surprise for me in this set. It is a dense rounded brush with a smaller head than the foundation brush above. The shape of the brush makes it great for swirling around in tiny circles, which ultimately gives you the airbrushed look. You could use it with concealer but only on relatively large areas. This will not give you the pinpoint dot to conceal acne scars. For me, it only works under the eyes. But what I find this brush most useful for is to go over the foundation that I've applied with the Airbrush Precision Foundation brush. I feel like I can control this brush much better so I can hit up smaller areas on the face (than what the foundation brush can do) and redistribute the foundation over it.

Airbrush Concealer

Dense Rounded Head of Concealer Brush

The two eye brushes in this set, the Airbrush Shadow and Airbrush Crease brushes, have the same soft hairs as all the other brushes. The Airbrush Shadow brush is shaped more like a typical eyeshadow brush that is small enough to move powder shadow across the lid. It is a bit more dense than I'm used to but is, at best, an average eye shader.

Airbrush Shadow (top), Airbrush Crease (bottom)

The Crease Brush on the other hand works better as a blending brush. The tip is rather rounded and the hairs spread out too much so it doesn't allow for precision placement of shadow on the crease. Like the flat powder brush, the hairs are longer than necessary and it picks up pigment poorly. What this does instead, if you use it after you've applied eyeshadow all over your lid, is redistribute the powders so that you can blend out the colors better. It's particularly nice for moving across the browbone in a windshield wiper motion. It is also ideal for powders that are highly-pigmented, such as the ones from the L'Oreal HIP line (try the L'Oreal HIP duo in Forgiving) but again keeping in mind that precise placement can be a challenge with it.

Airbrush Crease

The two eyebrushes are not as good as I'd hoped and the set in general leaves me wanting. If I were to go on vacation, this is not the set I would take with me as I would need a whole slew of key brushes to augment it with. That said, it's an interesting batch to have in my collection because I find that these 5 brushes have unique qualities and they work well with highly-pigmented product which can be a challenge with natural hair brushes.

The quality of the brushes that I received seem to be really good. They don't shed or get out of shape even with repeated washings. They have no funky odor and they handle nicely. If this is your first set and you're not particularly used to certain brush styles, this is an ok set to have. But I would also pick up a big rounded powder brush, a good brow/liner brush and maybe a more precise eye brush for the crease. In the end, that makes this set particularly useful only for the Airbrush Foundation and Airbrush Concealer combo which allows you to swirl your foundation to a flawless finish. Apply with one, refine with the other. The rest of the brushes, I can live without.


  1. I'm a sucker for brushes and these look amazing(= Thanks for the review! xoxo

  2. Happy to oblige! I can't stop buying them myself LOL :)