BS-Mall Brushes, $13
If you’ve ever shopped for beauty products on Amazon, you’ve probably encountered BS-Mall Brushes. Retailing for around $13 for 14 brushes, this set has over 2,700 reviews that average out to 4.5 stars. There are other sets with lower piece counts at lower prices as well.
But if you’ve shopped for brushes before, you know that even a set of inexpensive drugstore brands like Real Techniques, EcoTools, and e.l.f. will run you more than that for 10 brushes unless you get a ‘value’ set that often features lower-quality brushes. The contrast between the price/amount and the quality makes me suspicious – after all, when it seems too good to be true, you’re probably screwed.
So I bit and decided to give them a shot. For $13, I figure at least one of the brushes should be decent. Overall, for less than a dollar a brush, it won’t be a total waste of my time.
The 14 BS-Mall Brushes
The fourteen-piece set I got includes:
- a flat top buffer
- a more classic kabuki shape
- an angled flat kabuki
- a large concealer brush
- and something that between the second and third brushes.
- a flat shader
- an angled liner/brow brush and spoolie (dual ended)
- two buffers
- a fine liner brush
- a lip brush
- an angled buffer
- a pencil brush
- a tiny definer brush
I find that the face brushes all soft and feel pleasant on the skin. They are definitely not scratchy or prickly which you sometimes encounter in lower-end brushes. I can get a streak-free finish with liquid products with the classic kabuki and the flat top buffer BUT they shed!
That said, I find that with the exception of the flat top buffer, the bristles are almost too-densely packed in all of them for me to use them without needing to reach for something else (like my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush or a Sigma F80). None of these apply blush well for me, for instance – neither of the angled ones do.
None of these blow me away – and beyond the period of time I dedicated to putting these through their paces exclusively, I just don’t find myself reaching for them.
As for the eye brushes, I find that the flat shader does a nice job of laying down certain shadow products – it seems to do well with shimmers and pigment-rich products like L’Oreal Infalliable Never Fail 24H Eyeshadow ($7); but it does not perform as well with mattes or items that might lean a bit powdery.
I love the angled liner/brow brush. It’s nice for both shadow-as-liner and for gel liner. The buffers are OK, but I don’t love them – they shed, too. I don’t really use lip brushes enough to assess whether this one is decent or not. The others, again, are OK – but like the face brushes, I don’t really reach for them.
Cleaning & Care
I clean and care for ,y BS-Mall Brushes like anything else I own, but I find they are a little more fussy about cleaning. Products seem to stain the bristles easier. Due to the density of the bristles in the face brushes, it is much harder to rinse soap from them cleanly. The eye brushes wash up just fine.
The Bottom Line
In all, I’d rate these BS-Mall Brushes a 3/5 stars if I were leaving them an Amazon review. I brought them on a recent work trip just because I would’ve have felt any sorrow if anything happened to them…and I wouldn’t replace them.
The brushes aren’t bad; in fact, they are a good value. This would be a fair place to start if you’re just starting out with makeup and have no idea what you want/like/need or as a gift for a youngster who needs to learn how to take care of tools before getting nice ones. So, for instance – I might buy this set for my preteen niece, but I wouldn’t gift it to my best friend who knows WTF she is doing.
If you’re someone who is inching towards fleshing out your brush arsenal with quality brushes, this isn’t for you. Save your money and throw it at a nicer brush or brushes.