Sephora Collection I.T. Brushes
Category:Makeup > Brushes & Applicators
Last Updated:02.05.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

You may be wondering what “I.T.” in this brush collection stands for. According to Sephora, “This pinnacle-quality array of Intelligent Tools harnesses Innovative Technology to create a makeup-artist-worthy brush range.” Wow, now that is great alliteration; thankfully, in this case, the clever marketing language does translate to some good brushes. We found that these brushes are a well-thought-out set that’s designed to be user-friendly. The colored handles are eye catching and are categorized for different uses: Pink for the face area and blue or purple for the eye area. Another handy feature is the cap, which not only protects the bristles, but also makes each brush self-standing when turned upside down. The ergonomically tapered handles add an element of sleekness that sets these brushes apart from the competition. Beyond aesthetics, these brushes also rate highly as a collection in terms of functionality due to bristle flexibility, softness, and density.

The Smudge ($22), Crease ($24), Medium Shaper ($20) and Blending ($24) brushes are all pretty standard. The Brow Filler ($14) and Slanted Eyeliner ($18) brushes perform exceptionally well because they are dense enough to function properly, but not so stiff that they become rigid or scratchy. The Slanted Eyeliner brush is quite thin so you can achieve a high level of precision and detail. The Round Powder Brush ($40) is great for use on the body because it covers a large surface area, although perhaps a little too large for the average person’s face.

There are a few brushes that you can do without in this collection: Stippling ($32), Face Contour ($30), and Highlighting Fan ($24) are all unnecessary and it is highly unlikely you would use them at all unless you were a makeup artist. The Concealer Brush ($28) is a bit wide for precision while the Angled Synthetic Blush Brush ($35) and Angled Natural Blush Brush ($32) are basically identical, so you would only need to decide whether you wanted synthetic or natural hair. Of the two foundation brush options, the regular Foundation Brush ($30) is the stronger option because it has just the right amount of bristle density and flexibility and has a better shape for more controlled use. The Natural Foundation Brush ($36) is better designed for a powder foundation.

Brand Overview

Sephora At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; some good cleansers and makeup removers; the Blotting Papers; good powder foundation; impressive blush and shiny eyeshadow options; great metallic finish eyeliner; awesome brow kit; bountiful selection of lipsticks and lip glosses; a couple of very good mascaras; several outstanding makeup brushes;  testers are available in-store for each product, and sales pressure is practically nonexistent.

Weaknesses: Mostly average to below-average toners, moisturizers, and sunscreens; no options for those dealing with acne or skin discolorations; some SPF-rated products (including foundations) lack sufficient UVA-protecting actives; the lip plumper is too irritating; too many disappointing eye-makeup products, including several disappointing eyeliners and brow pencils; unappealing shimmer powders.

Sephora's first foray into skin care was back in 1994, when they offered a colorful, artfully packaged selection of bath gels. Their facial skin-care came on the scene a few years later, but for the most part wasn't worth waiting for. Sephora must not have been too pleased with these earlier versions, because lots of retooling has been done, although, sad to say, that hasn't improved on the ordinary, mundane status their products have consistently shared. Makeup is what Sephora's house brand does best. The only reason to shop this inexpensive skin-care selection is for everyday basics or the occasional impulse buy you may or may not enjoy adding to your routine. Otherwise, most of the skin-care products can't compete with the other brands sold in Sephora boutiques worldwide.

Note: Sephora is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Sephora may not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

For more nformation about Sephora, call (877) 737-4672 or visit www.sephora.com.

Sephora Makeup

Once an incomplete line lacking such basics as foundation and concealer, Sephora's color collection has blossomed into a comprehensive group of products, most of which are priced considerably lower than products from the many other lines sold in their boutiques. Although the low price and the selection may draw you in, not everything is worth exploring; for example, some of the products (for example the inexpensive pencils, which are not worth considering) demonstrate the old adage that sometimes you really do get what you pay for. That's not to say you have to spend a lot of money for quality makeup, but it does seem that many of Sephora's potential bargains are below average in terms of performance.

What you really should pay attention to are the pressed-powder foundation, one of the concealers, the powder blush, the liquid shimmer, and a few of the mascaras. Of course, the hallmark of this line has always been an extensive selection of makeup brushes. That still holds true, and you'll find that in this case the prices are more than fair.

More than most other makeup lines, Sephora excels with their accessory offerings. From makeup bags to train cases and on to all manner of beauty tools (from tweezers to nail clippers and manicure aids), the selection means you will assuredly find something that meets your needs. It's easy to get caught up in the variety and scope of Sephora's makeup, and testers are readily available so you can play all you want. That's great, but it doesn’t compensate for a line with more than its share of average to poor products (and they change frequently, often not for the better). However, if you pay attention to the favorably rated products, you're more than likely to be very pleased.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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