Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Urban Decay Eye Brushes
Lip, Shading, Liner, Blending, Crease, Multi-Tasker, Smudger, Shadow

Vegan, Eco, and Planet Friendly Brushes

For fall, Urban Decay released a whole slew of brand spankin’ new brushes (and as such, are now discounting their older brushes by 50%). There are seven eye brushes, one lip brush, and three face brushes. This post features the eye and lip brushes, and I’ll do a separate review for the face brushes (which I’m still testing). I’ve only had these for a little over a week, so I can’t speak on heavy duty usage and just how well they’ll serve you over a multi-year period.

All eleven new brushes are cruelty-free and vegan, as the bristles are made out of recycled PET plastic bottles. The handles are made out of recycled aluminum. Even the boxes these come in are from recycled egg crate material. However, each box is housed in a plastic sleeve–which I don’t know if it’s recycled or not, but even if it were so… it is unnecessary. The box is sturdy and large enough to contain that single brush and travel across country.

  • Shadow ($26.00) is a flat, domed shape brush designed for application of eyeshadow onto the lid. It’s dense and stiff enough to pat on color but flexible enough to use it to blend out color, too. I’d say it’s about 10mm across and 13mm in height.
  • Smudger ($26.00) is a stumpy dome-shaped brush used for smudging eyeshadow or liner on the lower lash line. It’s pretty soft (which is not always a feature of smudgers, because they are so short), and it’s stiff and densely-packed. It’s around 10mm across and 5mm in height.
  • Multi-Tasker ($24.00) is a tiny slightly dome-shaped brush (we’re talking around 6mm wide and 7mm tall). Because of its small size, I think those with smaller lids may have more use for this than others. Personally, I just know this is not a brush I’ll be using regularly–maybe as a lip brush. It’s quite small, so it’s not my favorite brush for concealer or primer.
  • Crease ($26.00) is a densely-packed rounded, dome-shaped brush. It’s rather thick–as crease brushes often are–but it holds its shape quite well. It’s not floppy or particularly fluffy, so it’s really good for depositing color into the crease as well as blending out crease colors. It’s about 18mm in height and 10mm at its widest point.
  • Blending ($26.00) is a very large, flat and dome-shaped brush. It’s very similar to the Shadow brush, except three times as large. It’s about 18mm in height and 15mm in width. I could see this being used for an all-over wash, but it’s like half the size of my eyelid, so it’s just too large for me to use for much else. It’s a bit too thick/dense to be a go-to for creamy products like eyeshadow bases (I think too much would get caught in the bristles).
  • Liner ($24.00) is a small angled brush. It’s my least favorite brush out of the bunch, because it’s considerably thick, particularly for an eyeliner brush. I’m used to using very thin angled brushes for eyeliner, and then just thin angled brushes for brows–this is thicker than my usual brow brush (MAC’s 266). It has a great angled edge, but it’s rather thick, so I found it difficult to achieve thin, precise liner. It’s about 7mm in height at its tallest point and 7mm wide and 2mm thick.
  • Shading ($26.00) is a medium-sized, circular brush with a slanted cut. It’s stiff without being sharp. It looks an awful like the Crease brush, except someone cut it half-way and at an angle. I don’t have any brushes like this one, and to be honest, I was pretty confused by it initially. I’ve used it primarily to apply my brow highlight. It can also be used to apply color to the crease or blend it out. It’s about 12mm in height at its tallest point and 8mm in diameter.
  • Lip ($20.00) is a skinny, long dome-shaped flat brush for applying your favorite lip color. I have no issues with the brush itself, but it’s a pain in the butt to use because of the packaging. It comes in a retractable container, so you push the brush up to get it out of its container, but as soon as you start applying your lip color, it starts moving back into its home. You have to make sure you keep a finger on the slider and apply pressure to keep it in position. It’s annoying but you can maneuver it so it’s functional.  I tried to put the cap on the end to keep it in place, but my cap didn’t stay on well.  It’s about 11mm tall and 5mm wide.

The brushes I liked most were the Crease and Shading brushes. I liked the Crease brush for its stiffness, though with my lid size, I could use something a little skinnier and more tapered, but it’s a nice brush even for me without those modifications. I also liked the Shading brush just because it’s an interesting brush that I don’t have yet so it’s giving me something new to work with.

I also really liked how each brush has its usage labeled on the end–it makes it easy to keep track of them, especially for those who are newer to brushes.  I’m always a sucker for gunmetal packaging, too, so I dig the look of the brushes as well.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re trying to stay away from natural fiber brushes, Urban Decay has made a solid alternative that’s eco-friendly and animal-friendly.


See more photos & swatches!

Urban Decay Eye Brushes
Lip, Shading, Liner, Blending, Crease, Multi-Tasker, Smudger, Shadow

Urban Decay Eye Brushes
Lip, Shading, Liner, Blending, Crease, Multi-Tasker, Smudger, Shadow

Urban Decay Eye Brushes
Lip, Shading, Liner, Blending, Crease, Multi-Tasker, Smudger, Shadow

Urban Decay Eye Brushes
Urban Decay Shadow Brush

Urban Decay Eye Brushes
Urban Decay Shadow Brush

Urban Decay Eye Brushes
Urban Decay Smudger Brush

Urban Decay Eye Brushes
Urban Decay Multi-Tasker Brush

Urban Decay Eye Brushes
Urban Decay Crease Brush

Urban Decay Eye Brushes
Urban Decay Blending Brush

Urban Decay Eye Brushes
Urban Decay Blending Brush

Urban Decay Eye Brushes
Urban Decay Liner Brush

Urban Decay Eye Brushes
Urban Decay Liner Brush

Urban Decay Eye Brushes
Urban Decay Shading Brush

Urban Decay Eye Brushes
Urban Decay Shading Brush

Urban Decay Eye Brushes
Urban Decay Lip Brush

Urban Decay Eye Brushes

Urban Decay Eye Brushes

Urban Decay Eye Brushes

Urban Decay Eye Brushes

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57 thoughts on “Urban Decay Vegan Eye Makeup Brushes Review, Photos

  1. Ru

    Where can we find the older brushes that are 50% off?

  2. Annie S

    the only thing I don’t like about these brushes are two things: 1. the inconsistency of the heights…. they look almost like they don’t belong together…. and 2. if they are trying to be eco-friendly why does each brush come with that large unnecessary case

  3. I have to say that I have to leave this one out, we don’t have Urban Decay here in Hong Kong. :(

    • Rachel

      I usually join group purchase to get UD when UD website or sephora is on sale…It’s weired that we dun hv UD or Too faced in HK.

  4. Pearl

    You know, I love it when you go into great details describing the dimensions of the actual brush part. Nobody ever does that and it’s very frustrating trying to figure out the brush sizes just from online photos. Thanks Christine!
    Anyway I’ve been meaning to buy a short stumpy eye makeup brush for a while. I’ve been looking at MAC 214 but I’m wondering how this UD smudger brush compares. Is it softer than MAC? Better bristle quality (since it is more expensive)?

  5. that seems like some really excessive packaging.

  6. Ester

    I really like how these look, especially that it says the type of brush it is, but I probably won’t purchase them unless they come in a holiday set that I can purchase with a Sephora FF code. Haha.

  7. Shayna

    i thik that for the price of these i will just get some MAC brushes

  8. baby in a corner

    my sister had one of the old brushes and loved the quality.
    I find that real hair brushes are a little thicker (i mean each strand of hair) which makes them a little less soft but better at picking up product sometimes. Synthetic hair can be very fine. but i’ll def check these out, i really like the packaging and UD in general.

  9. Oh thank you for doing this review! I had seen these brushes and hoped you would try them out before I bought them. I use only cruelty free animal free products so I am really excited about these brushes.

  10. Beth

    Thanks for this review! I do not use animal-hair brushes, and am planning on purchasing these. I have all the ‘vintage’ brushes, but I’ll probably get the new versions at this fall’s F&F sale. Will be buying the shading brush at full price, though, I’ve been wanting one for ages. (Stila makes one, but it’s natural hair so I couldn’t get it.)

  11. Shinggy

    I think with the lip brush what you’re supposed to do is once you take the lid off, flip it around and cap the bottom end of the brush and push it up bringing the slider up with it until you reach the top, then the cap should stay in place and the brush won’t push back down when you apply pressure to it.

  12. Karen

    do you know if the old brushes for 50% off will be available in stores as well, or is it an online exclusive?

    • No clue – I think it’s just online right now.

      • Emma

        I think that might be a defective one because I purchased one when they initially came out and LOVE the lip brush. I had been used a brow brush for the longest time and I really like this one. Thanks for the review on the others!

  13. Bernice

    Hi Christine,
    Thanks for the review =)
    You’re so helpful and your review came up so quickly since you posted about these not too long ago.

  14. I have had my eye on these for a while now. I guess the question on my mind is – how does this compare to Ecotools?

  15. if you had to choose between their smudger and the 214, which one would ya pick? :)

    • UD’s – the MAC one is a little scratchy, though I like the black bristles, so you don’t have to worry about staining! 😛

      • awesome, i’ll be looking to get the ud one, then :) i hate scratchiesssss

      • xMissxAndristx

        i know this was a zillion yrs ago in blog time, but urban decay suggest dipping their brushes (at least the vintage ones) in alcohol to clean them. i dip and swirl a little, and it seem to get any stains right out. but i agree that having stained-pink bristles on my brush when i’m applying green eyeshadow can be momentarily nerve wracking. lol

  16. that is some huge packaging for ONE recycled brush! lol MAC brusehs come in sleeves I Don’t see why they can’t either! but love that they’re made from recycled stuff =]

  17. Mirna

    IMO, these brushes are so ugly. I think I will stick to EcoTools. Same idea re animal free cruelty and much much nicer looking.

    • Except EcoTools doesn’t seem keen to talk about where, how, or what about expanding on their “eco-friendly” nature, which kind of irks me ever since they gave the brush off to reader Dusty!

      • Mirna

        Yeah that is true. Claiming EcoFriendly is not enough? Ugh i hate it when companies are rude to buyers.

        • Jazmine

          I think EcoTools directly donates some of their annual sales towards the 1% for the planet organization which then uses it towards the environment. I’m not sure if Ecotools really has control over what the 1% for the planet organization does with the money. Since it is a different organization from EcoTools. Ecotools uses highly sustainable resources but I don’t think they do anything directly for the environment other than donate to the 1% for the planet organization WHICH should be the company Dusty wants to find out more from.

      • Rengirl

        Brush off to Dusty? Where?

        While the packaging is excessive it looks totally usable. I love repurposing makeup packaging and this looks right up my alley. I can’t wait to hear about your review of the face brushes.

        • Dusty tried to contact EcoTools both by email and phone, and they wouldn’t give any details as to the sustainability/eco-friendly claims they were making.

  18. I like the overall look and packaging of the brushes, but I think for the price I’d just go buy MAC brushes.

  19. xMissxAndristx

    so these aren’t going to be available at ulta? ugh that breaks my heart. it’s so much easier to talk my boyfriend into buying me things in a store than online.

  20. BeckBeck

    I use a brush like the shading brush *every day* to do my crease/outer V color. No one seems to know what it is, but I love it!

  21. Leigh

    Are these brushes sold at Sephora stores? Because I don’t purchase things online.

  22. Joan

    The boxes are completely excessive.

  23. Alicia

    I have some and I love the crease brush!
    These are defiantly really soft and easy to use but I do agree they could have come packaged a little different. Tad bit bulkey

  24. cmferret

    pretty cool, but buying them individually?… too expensive for my taste. if im going to buy an indv brush for these prices- i think ill just shell out the money for a single mac brush. but i love urban decay otherwise

  25. Leanna

    I saw the brus @ Urban Decay website, I wanted it, but they don’t ship to Switzerland -_- and then I tried to search on e-bay. I got no luck there either…Is there any way I could get this brushes?

    • kirayna

      It might be worth looking at the UK stockists’ websites, I think House of Fraser might ship to Switzerland, not sure about Debenhams or Boots though

  26. Shanda

    doesn’t look like they have the old ones on their site.

  27. Wow that packaging is phenomenal. So stylish and even a bit vintage! Can’t wait to see these in person!

  28. brandy schell

    mac is coming out on the 28th w sets of brushes,i have there regular ones and love them but im worried that these brushes wont hold up as well? u were bloging bout then and i wanted to know if there worth the 60$ i got a set from norstrom they were a minie size brushes n they didnt hold up n that was $50