It happened, it actually happened. While on the plane from Hong Kong to Shanghai for a week-long visit with my boyfriend I realised, with spin-chilling horror, that I had left my carefully packed makeup kit, the one with all my brushes, with my perfect Inglot palette, with my foundations, with my foundation sponge... all on the little table by my bed.
Damn these red-eye flights!
I took stock of the little makeup bag I had with me. Thank goodness I had my ZA 2-Way powder foundation and my trusty concealer (Time Balm - I really owe the poor thing a review) with me along with theBalm's blush in Down Boy. I'd intended to freshen up before stepping off the plane and my vanity was saving my skin (literally!) then and there.
In a state of mild panic I thumbed frantically through the in-flight shopping guide. "Should I get a palette? No wait brushes... good brushes are hard to find in a drugstore."
Eagerly I looked for the Bobbi Brown travel brush kit I'd been eyeing for several flights now. Ah hah! Slim, wallet sized and silver it was pretty and looked practical. (It's also known as the Bobbi Brown Party Collection Mini Brush Set for Holiday 2011 judging by this post by the Muse).
In real life the kit is surpassingly pretty but I was rather disappointed in the quality and choice of the brushes. There are actually only four brushes in the kit (the mini one you can see hiding between the white powder brush and the giant shadow brush is a mini smudge brush I added later).
The large fluffy goat hair brush was alright. But I would have preferred it to be slightly denser and a whole lot softer. It's a bit coarse and it's density is fine for dusting on blush and powder, but not quite enough for 2-way foundation. But perhaps I'm being a bit picky here.
The large eyeshadow "sweep" brush is bigger than my eye! I know my eyes are small, but...come on. I use it more to dust powder over my undereye concealer - it really is useless as a shadow brush.
The concealer brush to the far left, is actually supposed to be a second eyeliner brush. Hmm. I'm remain unconvinced but I used it to apply dark shadow close to my lashline and it works well enough. It still looks more like a tiny concealer brush to me.
The most useful brush in the kit is probably the dual-ended slanted shadow brush and short, rounded liner brush. The shadow brush is a little looser and larger than I'd like but perfectly usable and the short liner brush is great with cream shadows (I tested when I got back) and pretty good at smudging dark shadow in as a liner too.
Interestingly, the blurb on the back of the box claimed that these are Bobbi's go-to brushes when she's on the go. If she swapped out the useless "sweep" brush for a decent pencil smudge brush and exchanged the mini concealer brush for a lip brush I'd be far more sold on it.
After a week of using this kit, despite a little frustration and a slight learning curve, I found I could use it to apply day and night looks fairly well. It's a steep buy at HKD450 which is why I'm so hard on it and feel it could be much better. However the brushes are soft and the quality overall good. The kit itself is so handy and cute I find myself slipping it into my handbag when I know I have an event after work, and I bring it along for short trips.
Part 2: My adventure in Watsons Shanghai & a review of L'Oreal Open Eyes Pro eyeshadow quad.