Unless you are a beauty minimalist, I feel like makeup brushes, particularly eye brushes, are one thing you can never have too many of. I added four more brushes to my collection–the EcoTools Eye Enhancing Duo–in anticipation of the trip I recently took. I wanted to pack light; the fewer brushes, the better. Retailing at only $5.99 in mass retailers like Wal-Mart and Target, drugstores, Amazon, etc (with coupons readily available – I got mine for $4.99!). it was worth a gamble; even if the EcoTools Eye Enhancing Duo did not blow me away $1.25 per brush is an easy sacrifice for science.
As drugstore brushes go, there are scads of no-names we’ve all never heard of (though surprisingly one of those no-name brands, “Essential Tools,” at Wal-Mart has a couple hidden gems) and there are Real Techniques and EcoTools, both of whom have great reviews. Prior to the EcoTools Eye Enhancing Duo set, I had experience with only one EcoTools brush – a gigantic fan brush that I use to apply pressed powder with. I’m happy with it, and was eager to see how these worked out.
The EcoTools Eye Enhancing Duo comes in a pouch (that I am actually using!) to store them when not in use. The brushes themselves feature EcoTools’ signature bamboo handle and copper-colored recycled-aluminum ferrules which results in a very lightweight brush. Like all their products, these brushes are cruelty free and feature synthetic bristles that are ridiculously soft. Of my collection, my EcoTools brushes are by far the softest. Another great thing? I did not experience any shedding with any of the brushes during use or cleaning (they clean up without issue, no bleed from the bristles).
The EcoTools Eye Enhancing Duo set features a shader brush, a tapered blending brush…
…An angled definer (liner) brush and a smudger brush.
Admittedly, the shader is a bit fluffier than I would normally seek in a shader but it doubles as a shader and another blender due to not being flatter. It isn’t a bad thing and does make the tool more versatile. Due to its fluff, however, it takes more effort to pack color onto the lid – I had to revisit the pan a few times to pick up color (from shades I use regularly without issue) to achieve the opacity I wanted. On the upside, the way it applies results in fewer harsh lines that require blending out.
If I could change anything about the tapered blending brush, I would actually make it a little bigger and fluffier – basically, I want to steal some of the fluff and size from the shader and throw it on here. I find myself having to work a little longer to blend than I am accustomed to; talk about first world problems. Despite this one desired change, it is still a good brush and I am still satisfied.
I have no commentary about the smudger or definer ends other than, “Yes, I like them!” I do want to point out, however, that due to the softness of the brushes it will be difficult to create a sharp, precise line with shadow, and it may not be ideal for applying, say, gel liner. I still use it to line with shadow and get a nice, diffuse result when I do – but if you’re looking for definition, this is a little soft. Personally, I dig it because if I’m lining with shadow I’m not usually wanting a very defined line.
I am happy with the EcoTools Eye Enhancing Duo – they have solidified my opinion of the quality of the EcoTools brand, and I would feel good about trying other brushes from their line in the future. In all, I can’t say the EcoTools Eye Enhancing Duo set will replace any of my existing brushes (though the smudger is really good). I can’t even say they definitely join my staple, use-them-every-single-day-almost-no-matter-what brushes. They will definitely be a part of my travel kit or what I grab when I just want to work superfast or want a more sheer shadow application. At $5.99 or less they are positively worth it and I’m glad I picked them up. I would recommend the EcoTools Eye Enhancing Duo set for travel purposes or to someone who lacks brushes and wants or needs an inexpensive starting point as this will give you everything you need to create a diverse range of eye looks.
If you’d like to see them in action, Emily from Beauty Broadcoast has a nice a review and demonstration.