This is the LAB2 Beauty I’m Turning Pro Brush Kit. Look familiar? It should! I found L.A.B.2 by chance in Wal-Mart and tried out an angled-bristle liner brush, and was excited to try more.
Before we go any further, though, let’s get the legalities out of the way. The folks at L.A.B.2 were kind enough to send me this I’m Turning Pro brush set after I expressed my delight at their liner and brow brush. This post is not paid or sponsored, but the brushes in the post were free.
There were no conditions or stipulations attached to the brushes. My opinions are my own and were formed in the same way my opinion would be formed for any other product whether I bought it or it was a gift. That’s how we do things here because we aren’t unethical scrubs who can be, “bought.” Got it? Good. Check the Legal page for more info, or comment or contact me if I can clear anything up.
Now don’t mind the banged up box – that is 1000% USPS’ fault. I don’t know if it happened en route or if it happened on the last leg (sometimes my Post Office could stand to handle things a bit more gently).
Like the previous LAB2 brush I reviewed, the I’m Turning Pro brush set has a lot of information on the back including an explanation of the set and what each brush does, a cut-out card of how to use the brushes – even a face chart.
The I’m Turning Pro brush kit is available on Amazon for $21.99 and includes:
- Angled Contour Brush
- Flat Foundation Brush
- Shadow Brush
- Buffer Brush
The Strokes of Genius set is more eye-centric and is available on Amazon for $19.99. More after the jump…
I may not be the best person to give an unbiased review of a flat foundation brush – generally, they aren’t my favorite. Regardless of the brand or bristle type, I personally cannot produce results I like without having to add a step to blend out because I always get streaks. The LAB2 I’m Turning Pro Foundation brush is slightly different from most flat foundation brushes I’m familiar with. The breadth is narrower and bristles are longer and therefore have more flexibility than, say, a Sigma F60 or a Coastal Scents Elite Flat brush. This foundation brush, however, is NOT the same as their Don’t Get Mad, Get Even Foudation brush, which has that familiar shape.
Despite not being fond, I gave it shot anyhow – after all, what if this brush was what changed my mind? I dispensed four drops of my current HG foundation, Sephora’s serum foundation, onto the back of my hand, picked up a little bit with this brush, and applied it to my face, starting with the red areas of my cheeks. Streaks were clearly visible, and although I can usually cover my whole face with 4-5 drops of that foundation, I ran through all I had dispensed on just my cheeks. The flexibility of the bristles seemed to neither help nor hurt.
Unfortunately, I’m not in love with this brush for foundation application. That said, it will do a fine job at applying skincare (like masks!), so that’s what it will do for me. If you’re a flat foundation brush wizard like Lisa Eldridge is, you may have better luck than I did. You may be able to use it for patting out concealer, too.
Next up, the LAB2 I’m Turning Pro Buffing Brush. This is a little more my speed. Looking at this brush, the bristles appear to be pretty dense – although L.A.B.2 says it is intended for powder application, I decided to give it a shot at foundation application because I don’t use too many powder products these days.
This time, I dispensed four drops of foundation onto the back of my hand and then dotted it onto my face with a finger, like I would if I were applying via a flat-top kabuki. I then started working the product into my skin in circular motions with the brush but found that, despite the density, the bristles were too flexible for this purpose – on its own, this brush can’t provide that ultra-buffed, almost-blurred, flawless finish with liquid foundation.
Instead, I cleaned it off and used it for blush, which it worked well for. It would also be a good brush to blend the entirety of your face together if you did contouring work to get rid of harsh or obvious lines. If you’re looking for just a powder brush, the On a Powder Trip brush may be what you need. As for me, I’m looking forward to picking up and trying the Triple Threat Multi-Purpose brush – their flat-top buffer.
I haven’t gotten into contouring largely because I haven’t really had a brush that worked for me for the process, so I was especially excited to try the LAB2 I’m Turning Pro Contour Brush. The angled-bristle brush is on the smaller side and is better suited towards contour powder application than its larger counterparts. Bonus? It ought to apply blush nicely, too. Multitasking is always a good thing.
I swiped the brush across the surface of my NYX Taupe blush, tapped off the excess, and placed it along my cheekbones. It doesn’t seem to pick up or deposit an abundance of product but this is a good thing – you don’t want an ultra-pigmented contour application lest you spend forever blending it out. This allows you to build the level of definition you’d like. Despite my contouring inexperience, this brush made it relatively easy to place the powder just where it needed to go. Definitely a good brush for a contouring beginner.
You’ll notice that the longer end of this brush has some wayward bristles. I have since tried to get them to cooperate on mine and lay flush with the rest without luck. They did not negatively impact application or blending, but I clipped them away anyway for a tidier appearance.
If there’s anything you can’t have too many of (if you enjoy multiple-shade eye looks or if you don’t just have one look you wear), it’s eye brushes. The I’m Turning Pro Eyeshadow brush seems to be a general-purpose shadow brush, intended for both shading and blending.
I tested this brush in three different ways:
- First, I picked up a neutral color to sweep onto my lid. This particular shade was about medium pigmentation, not chalky, but not ultra-buttery. The shade did not pay off the same with this brush as it does with a shader whose bristles are packed both flatter and with greater density.
- Next, I picked up a highly-pigmented, very smooth-textured shadow and swiped it onto the back of my hand. This particular shade usually goes on nearly-opaque in one pass, but went onto my hand quite sheer.
- Starting to get the idea of what this brush was best-suited for, I picked up a transition shade and buffed it into my crease, and blended it into the shadow below on my lid. That is where this brush shines – blending and crease-work.
In addition to blending and working in the crease, this brush is fine for a sheer application of lid color. It would take some time to build most shades to opacity, and I certainly wouldn’t pick it up for work with pigments or glitters.
In all, for the price point the LAB2 I’m Turning Pro brush kit is a decent buy. I’m not impressed with the flat foundation brush, and I was definitely hoping the buffing brush in this set would have been able to handle foundation application; unfortunately those brushes don’t do much for me. Even without having tried them, yet, I definitely would have preferred the Don’t Get Mad, Get Even brush and the Triple Threat brush (which I actually thought this set had, until I received it).
The contouring brush is a nice size and doesn’t pack on too much pigment on (I will personally never be looking for a harsh, drag-like contour), and the eyeshadow brush is a competent blender. The brushes, overall, were soft. If I were shopping, though, I’d probably buy the individual brushes I was interested in rather than this specific kit but that is also taking into consideration the fact that I already have an established collection of brushes and tools.
I will be picking up (purchasing on my own) a few other L.A.B.2 brushes and share my results.