I recently picked up the Essence of Beauty Deluxe Duo Brush set from CVS for $15 (minus $3 from a coupon) and I wanted to do a quick review (no rambling!). I decided to grab these after months of debating because I saw that they had new versions of this with different handles. The new ones have a black rubber center and silver metal ferrules which looked very unattractive. You get three duo brushes in the set which is great for traveling. The design can be a pain for those of you who store your brushes upright though.
Here we have from top to bottom, the blender, blush, and foundation brush. The blender brush is oddly shaped because it is somewhat flat and not dense at all. I think this was supposed to be for the eye area but it is way too big for anything to do with the eyes. This brush sheds A LOT and it is my least favorite brush in the whole set. I supposed this can work for contouring the nose or something but I would have preferred if they had another brush instead of this one. The blush brush resembles the Mac 168 in color and shape. This is one of my favorite brushes in the set because it is very soft and it applies blush very well. It looks a bit small but it is a great size for applying blush to the apples of your cheeks. The foundation brush is a favorite for many people and I can see why. This is the first paddle shaped foundation brush I have used and it applies well. The hairs are soft and dense which are great for applying liquid foundation.
On the other side we have the eye shadow, powder, and concealer brushes. The eyeshadow brush also shed like the blender brush (but not nearly as bad as), making this duo my least favorite of the three. I like the angled shape of this brush though because it's good for depositing color in the crease. The powder brush is too small to be used for powder but it does a decent job at applying highlighter. The blush and powder duo is really convenient for travel purposes. The powder brush did shed a few hairs during the first wash but nothing too bad. The concealer brush is decent but it is not soft enough for my under eye area. I think this would be good for applying cream shadows though.
There was also some discoloration on some of the ferrules. This does not affect performance but it really shows the lack of consistency and quality of the product.
At less than $3 per brush, the set is decent. My favorite brushes are the blush and foundation brushes which I use very often. However, I still prefer Ecotools brushes as my favorite drugstore brushes which are made with more care and thought. I do not know if I would recommend this set to anyone unless there is a good sale going on.