I’ve been using EcoTools brushes for a while though until recently I had only one old set including face, eye and eyebrow brushes so only the one eyeshadow brush. In my recent Boots online order I decided to try one of the sets of EcoTools brushes with my Boots points. I decided on the eye set as I wanted to see what the difference was between them. The set cost £14.99 and includes five brushes inside a pouch with a clear window and includes: a large eye brush, highlighting brush, angled crease brush, smudge brush and petite eye shading brush. It is no longer on the website but they have the newer version which can be found here on the Boots website, this set contains exactly the same brushes, just the travel bag is different as this new one has a travel bag with a mirror. I think it’s closer to the old set I have in that the brushes are held with elastic strips but I’m not sure as I haven’t seen it. The main reason for getting the set is the brushes though so that part of the review remains the same.
The travel pouch for the brushes is a neutral cream colour with a bright green pattern printed on the inside with a clear plastic side, the brushes fit inside easily and you could also fit a few small products like an eyeshadow quad, concealer pen and mascara if you travel really light. My previous set had a travel bag with them that I’ve used regularly made of the same material and it still holds together well after five or six years so it seems like it will survive well if it’s sewn together as well as that was. The zip that closes the pouch is a nice bronze colour with a weathered sort of finish that stops it from being too bright and feels like it goes well with the brushes themselves as they have a bronzey part.
All five of the brushes themselves look very similar and, showing my ignorance when it comes to makeup brushes here, I can’t tell too much of a difference when it comes to using them between some of them. They all have a bamboo handle which is a renewable resource so good for the environment and have a nice finish as they’re all individual. They each have the name of the brush on one side near the end very subtly printed in a pale brown that blends in well with the wood itself, I’m not sure how well it shows up on the photo. The other side has a bolder print with the ecotools written logo, this appears to be a bronze colour to go with the metal part so it can depend on how the light hits it as to how bold the print is. The metal part of the handle is a bronze colour is a nice red bronze with a slightly matte finish so fairly subtle and a really nice look to go with the natural wood handle. On one side the EcoTools logo is raised from the surface. The bristles are man-made and cruelty free and so soft and flexible which is really good for blending. They’re a medium brown colour and fairly shiny looking. They have an almost gradient effect with the light wood at the other end, bronze middle and darker brown bristles with the different tones in a similar palette of natural colours.
I’m going to review these in two groups as, other than the shape the bristles are cut into and the width of them there isn’t that much difference to me between the brushes in each of the groups. The first group will be for the larger three brushes; large eye brush, highlighting brush and angled crease brush. These three have bristles which feel less dense than the other two though this may be simply because they’re longer. I do like these brushes but I have found that they aren’t that suited, to me, for the jobs they say they’re for. If they didn’t have the titles I would guess they were more for blending and possibly the largest not even for eyes. I do really like them, I just ignore the names of the brushes and use them for what I want and they do what I want then.
The highlighting brush is designed to be used to highlight the eye on the brow bone and, although it does work for that, I find it a bit too fluffy for that. I have the same problem with the other two in this group, they all seem too fluffy for me to be used for application, they work really well for blending the eyeshadow in wherever I use it but hold a bit too much of the product.
The main thing I have to say about the large eye brush is when they say it’s large they aren’t kidding. I took a photo next to a pen lid to show exactly how big it is, it is a lot bigger than any eye brush I have used in the past and it takes a bit of getting used to being able to cover the whole eyelid with two brush widths, I did find it made it harder to add a gradient with more than two colours but on single colour looks or ones with the majority of the lid being one colour it works well, though better for pressed eyeshadows than loose due to the fact it picks up so much when they’re loose.
The angled crease brush is nice, it does work well at getting in the crease but I find it better for blending again, the angled shape means I can get into the crease better than with the others but it isn’t anything that different like with some other companies I’ve tried where it has been less dense than the brushes for applying the eyeshadow.
The two smaller brushes I really can’t tell much difference between them besides the fact one is slightly wider and flatter but I think I prefer these two to the larger ones, mainly due to the precision and the density of the bristles. I found that both the smudge brush and petite eye shading brush feel denser than the others and I found they were very good at applying dense colour. They also both work well as concealer brushes so I might keep one for that and use the other for eyeshadow. The smudge brush does work well to smudge eyeliner under my eye but I think I prefer using my finger for this.
Overall I do like this brush set, the length of the handles is perfect for me as they are a nice size and shape to hold and control well. The bristles are really soft and comfortable against my skin and, although they may not be the exact jobs they’re meant to do, they do work well. I will definitely keep using these and will look at them next time I need replacements along with the other brands. The fact these are cruelty free and very easy to get in multiple shops is a big bonus as a lot of other brands are either hardly in stock or not sold in a range of stores, as far as I’m aware these are sold in other countries as well.
If you’re looking for nice, affordable, soft makeup brushes then I suggest giving EcoTools a go. They have quite a range of different sets as well as the individuals so if they’re in a store near you maybe try one of them first before spending more on a whole set.