July 7, 2011

Review: Bdellium Tools

 

This is going to be a MEGA post, but please hang in there. There's a lot of valuable info.  I have 13 brushes to share with you including details about my experiences with them as well as recommended uses for them.  So, let's begin.  Let me start by sharing my introduction to Bdellium Tools.  Actually, no.  Let me start with the name.  Bdellium is NOT pronounced BEE-Dellium.  Don't believe me?  Check their site.  The "B" is silent so as much as you may be tempted to do not say BEE-Dellium.  Now that I have gotten that off my chest, onto my introduction to the line.  Nes, from the blog Lyrically Ness, tweeted about her love for the brushes and how she planned to purchase more.  I had never heard of Bdellium but she sparked my interest.  I have a good core collection of brushes so as I browsed the Bdellium website I decided to look for brushes which would augment my collection - brushes unlike any I already had.  The problem is that as I searched through Google and YouTube for blog and video reviews I didn't find info on any of the brushes that I wanted.  So, I ordered blind.  The purchase links on the Bdellium site re-direct you to Amazon where you actually place your order.  The brushes arrived less than a week later via USPS.  Bdellium was also an exhibitor at America's Beauty Show so I picked up a few brushes when I attended. At first I thought that I was just excited to try something new but in all honesty even now, three months later, I reach for these brushes more than any others.  

All the brushes that I am going to share with you are from the Studio line. But Bdellium actually carries four different lines:

  • Maestro LineThe professional-grade line.  Nickel plated brass ferrules with black lacquered handles.  The bristles are natural, synthetic or combination of both.

  • Studio Line - The consumer-grade line.  The brush heads are identical to the Maestro line. Anodized aluminum ferrules with yellow lacquered handles.  The bristles are natural, synthetic or combination of both.

  • Travel Line - Travel-friendly. Identical to the studio line however the handles are shorter.

  • Green Bambu Line - The eco-friendly line. Sustainable bamboo green lacquered handles. 100 % animal and cruelty free hypoallergenic synthetic bristles.

A Couple of Things to Note

Each brush in the Maestro, Studio and Travel lines is treated with an anti-bacterial agent. This anti-bacterial agent helps guard against bacteria (specifically E.coli or S.aureus), fungus and mold. The Green Bambu line is  NOT treated with the antibacterial agent in an effort to keep them eco-friendly.

Also worth noting is that ALL Bdellium brushes are cruelty free. The natural bristles used come from goat or pony hair. Bdellium never uses squirrel, badger, sable, etc. 

I mentioned that I purchased my brushes via Amazon.com and at America's Beauty Show but Bdellium Tools is also available at Naimie's in California, naimies.com, and boozyshop.nl and cocktailcosmetics.co.uk for customers in Europe. Bdellium is also an exhibitor at various beauty shows throughout the year. You can check their website for details.


A Couple of Things I noticed In Using the Brushes:

After three months of use, neither the lettering nor the numbering on the brushes has not rubbed off at all.

The duet fiber brushes did bleed the first 2-3 times I washed them but they never stained.

I noticed some reddish discoloration on the bristles of my #948 & #957 brushes right at the ferrule. It happened after I washed them and left them to dry and only happened on those two which seem to be made with the same type of synthetic bristles.


The Brush Overview

Synthetic Bristles | Retail Price: $7.04 | Available: Here
Bdellium says:
This brush was crafted with a flat tipped head to allow for a precise application of wet & dry formulas.

Azia Says:
I specifically bought this to smudge out eyeliner and eyeshadow at the lower lashline. I saw makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic using a similar brush for this technique but realized that I didn't have a brush with a head this exact shape or size. Now, in the above picture the brush almost resembles a MAC #242 but it is completely different. The bristles aren't as rough and the brush head is shorter and more narrow. It's an excellent brush with works well for detail work on the eye. You can also easily use this to apply gel eyeliner or shadow as eyeliner.


Synthetic & Natural Pony Hair Bristles | Retail Price: $7.92 | Available: Here
Bdellium Says:
Dome shaped soft but firm bristles create the ideal tool for shading with eye shadow.

Azia Says:
I thought this would be a dupe for the MAC #252. It is not. This is a shader brush closer to the MAC #239. It's not as large as the #252 nor is it as firm. At first glance and touch I didn't think it was remarkable at all. However, I really like this brush. It picks up and deposits color well. It's a great go-to brush for eyeshadow application.


Natural Goat Hair Bristles | Retail Price: $7.92 | Available: Here
Bdellium Says:
This brush is perfect for shading or blending of color or creamy products. Efficiently diffuses lines to create a professional appearance.

Azia Says:
I purchased this because I was looking for a dupe for the MAC #217. This is almost a complete dupe. The picture above shows the brush after it was washed and dried in a Brush Guard so it's compressed but the natural shape is almost identical to the 217. It's a great brush for blending your eyeshadows or buffing liquid or cream concealer under the eyes or on other areas of the face.


Natural Pony Hair Bristles | Retail Price: $9.68 | Available: Here

Bdellium Says:
For controlled lightweight application and works well with mineral pigments. This brush makes easy application on the eye crease and around the nose area.

Azia Says:
This brush comes in two versions - a pony hair and a duet fiber hair. It was really confusing when I purchased it because I wanted the duet fiber but was sent the pony hair. I eventually got it all settled and decided to keep the pony hair because it really is almost another brush entirely because of the difference in the hair. My understanding is that this, the pony hair version, is being phased out.

I purchased this brush to buff liquid and cream concealers under the eyes. If anyone remembers the now discontinued MAC #225 this brush is similar in shape and size but it's not as dense. I found that pony hair tends to have a lot of give and isn't the best type of brush for buffing product. I did try to blend shadows in my crease as well. It was ok. It's a very large crease brush, even for someone like me who has a lot of lid space.  And again, when blending the crease I find that you need a brush that is a little more stiff.  I think it works really well as a face brush, though. You could even use it to highlight the top of the cheekbones. 


Synthetic & Natural Goat Hair Bristles | Retail Price: $9.68 | Available: Here
Bdellium Says:
For controlled lightweight application and works well with mineral pigments. This brush makes easy application on the eye crease and around the nose area.

Azia Says:

I prefer this duet fiber version to the pony hair version.  It's a sturdier brush that has more body. I found that it was the better of the two for blending the crease as well as buffing concealer under the eye. I really like this brush! I reach for it all the time. Because it's a duet fiber brush it gives you a lighter, more sheer application. It's great for the days when you just want to apply concealer or foundation in the areas you need, powder, then go.   


Natural Goat Hair Bristles | Retail Price: $9.68 | Available: Here
Bdellium Says:
Made of high grade goat hair, this softly rounded dome tip can be used on the face to apply, blend or contour powder products.

Azia Says:
The description says that it's a goat hair brush but I wonder if it's actually pony hair. It's very similar in density and feel to the other Bdellium pony hair brushes. This is a dupe for the MAC #109 in shape and size but the similarity ends there. The #109 is a brush that a lot of people love for contouring and highlighting the face as well as buffing cream and liquid foundations into the skin. This brush just wasn't dense enough to buff product into the skin. It collapses into the face. You can use it to sweep powder onto the skin and the brush deposits color well. I just wish that it was denser.


Synthetic Bristles | Retail Price: $11.88 | Available: Here
Bdellium Says:
This 3 toned foundation brush is crafted specifically to apply foundation to the face. Providing an even application and a perfect finish, use it with either liquid or cream foundation/concealer.

Azia Says:
This is my favorite traditional-style foundation brush. I have looked for a long time for a good foundation brush. It always seems to be a Goldilocks situation. One brush is too large, another too small. Some are very stiff and some are incredibly flimsy. I felt lucky and relieved to find this. The brush head is the perfect length, width and height. It is dense enough to pick up product while being flexible enough to glide it across the skin without displacing it. One of the things that gives such a great finish is the feathered taper on the sides of the brush. You can see the texture of the brush in the picture. It's soft and applies product very evenly.


Synthetic & Natural Goat Hair Bristles | Retail Price: $12.32 | Available: Here

Bdellium Says:
The Duo Fiber Foundation brush is ideally used with cream foundation. The short, flat domed shape provides easy & precise application of foundations, creams, powder products & emulsions.

Azia Says:
This is a dupe for the MAC #130, I think. I don't have the #130 but have seen and felt it. I think that the brush head on #130 is shorter, though. That said, this brush is awesome. I love it for cream foundation. It gives great, even coverage. The brush is dense and allows you to buff the foundation in small circles into the skin. It would also work really well for blending in cream blush for a very natural finish.


Synthetic Bristles |Retail Price: $14.52 | Available: Here

Bdellium Says:
This 2 toned synthetic hair brush has the versatility to apply powder blush, cream-to-powder color, mineral powder or bronzer. The wide, flat bristled head allows you to pick up product with ease & precision while evenly sweeping the product resulting in a professional air blushing effect on the cheeks. Also, ideally used to buff liquid products.



Azia Says:
I like this brush. It's very soft. I thought it was a dupe for the E.L.F Studio Powder Brush. Honestly, they are incredibly similar but I think that this brush is a little softer. That really says something considering the softness and lush feeling of the E.L.F brush. This is an extremely dense brush but like I said it is VERY soft, not rigid or rough at all. I've used it with my Bare Minerals foundation, pressed powder and liquid foundation. It worked well with them all however I prefer different brushes for each of those individual applications.

Synthetic & Natural Goat Hair Bristles | Retail Price: $14.96 | Available: Here

Bdellium Says:
Full large powder used for lightweight application and blending of face powder or pigments. It creates soft layers or can add textures.

Azia Says:
When I saw this brush I wanted it just because. I loved the design and thought I might give it a go with liquid foundation. LOL. That was a no go. This truly is a powder brush. It is very large and has a nice density to it.   Although it's not a fluffy powder brush, which is my preference, I'm still glad that I bought it. I will find a good use for it.


Synthetic & Natural Goat Hair Bristles | Retail Price: $14.96 | Available: Here

Bdellium Says:
Made of a mixture of high grade goat hair & synthetic hairs, this classic powder brush is exquisitely crafted to blend powder.

Azia Says:
This is the only Bdellium brush that I have which isn't really that soft. It's kind of scratchy, actually. I was disappointed because I thought it would make a fantastic powder brush. It's got a very large, dense head and if it was softer it would feel amazing on the skin and work as a large buffing brush. I honestly don't reach for it often at all. I just took a look at Amazon and it looks like they have redesigned this brush using a different kind of hair. Hopefully, it's softer. 


Synthetic & Natural Goat Hair Bristles | Retail Price: $12.98 | Available: Here
Bdellium Says:
Ideally used for lightweight blusher application, this Duo Fiber Blusher brush is tapered for flawless application. Used to highlight & contour.

Azia Says:
One of my favorite brushes and definitely my FAVORITE brush for applying foundation. I dampen the brush with water and apply liquid or cream foundation in light feathered strokes for a very natural, beautiful finish. It also works well used dry to apply very pigmented blushes like those from NARS, Rock & Republic or Kevyn Aucoin. It  gives you control over the intensity of the color payoff. I would definitely recommend this brush, specifically for foundation. If you like the MAC #187 for applying liquid foundation then you will love this.


Synthetic & Natural Goat Hair Bristles | Retail Price: $15.30 | Available: Here

Bdellium Says:
Ideally used for lightweight powder application, this Duo Fiber Powder brush is tapered for flawless application. Used to contour & highlight.


Azia Says:
So, this is the big brother to the Bdellium #965. I thought it would also work well with foundation. It doesn't. It's way too big. But, it works well with powder. The duet fiber is great for a lightly sweeping powder over the face. Try applying your foundation with the #965 and then powder with this. 


Synthetic & Natural Goat Hair Bristles | Retail Price: $17.10 | Available: Here
Bdellium Says:
Made from a mixture of high quality goat hair and synthetic fibers, this wide, flat angled brush is perfectly suited for whisking powder over the face. It can also be used to gently brush off any excess. With its large handle, this brush helps to illuminate the most subtle contours of the face


Azia Says:
This is another brush I just had to have. It's an interesting brush because it's a blend of natural and synthetic bristles but it's not a duet fiber brush. But another interesting thing is that the shorter end of the brush is denser than the longer end. You can use the shorter end to press powder into the skin and then use the longer end to whisk away the excess. You can also use this for applying bronzer. But, it is a very large brush so it may be awkward for some to use for that purpose.  And of course you can always use this brush for lightly powdering the face.

The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that the brushes are very well made. No crooked handles or ferrules, no excessive shedding, no chipping of the paint or crooked printing. They are lightweight without feeling flimsy or cheap. They are very impressive brushes that I think everyone should try.

3 comments:

Just wondering how these brushes compare to Crown brushes?

I got these brushes in the travel size and I love them. I did not order them but got them at the The Makeup Show in NYC 2011. I got to talk to the owner. He help me pick out the brush. I Let him know it was for me and needed them to be travel size. I love the travel size brush just the handle are small not the head of the brush!! Love them.

This was an AWESOME review! Thanks so much!

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