Review: TK MAXX Oval Brushes

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As you’ve been surfing your social media, specifically Instagram, you might have come across makeup videos featuring new looking brushes usually dubbed “oval brushes”. They’re very popular and brands are racing to make their own version, similarly to happened with the Beauty Blender.

After seeing a billion videos of these oval brushes being used and producing beautiful, flawless results, I was really curious and wanted a try some as well. I don’t need to tell you that getting anything brand new in Australia is annoying; there are some local brands that are starting to bring them out but they either sell out so fast or burn your pocket out quick-fast. Nude By Nature had brought out a set exclusively through Priceline and I sadly missed out on those. I was kicking myself.

Then on a trip to TK Maxx, I found this set of five oval brushes from an in-house brand and took them home to try…

 

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Set includes (from left to right): concealer brush, blush/contour brush, foundation brush, blush/contour brush (larger than 2nd) and smaller contour brush.

 

First thing I want to mention is these brushes are densely packed but super soft.  The only repercussion from having a tightly-packed brush is that the handle needs to support the pressure you’re going to apply. Usually, this isn’t something you need to think about with traditional brushes, however, because the handle is on the side – and plastic – any actual pressure makes it feel like the brush could snap at any moment, especially since the handle becomes thinner near the brush.
Before trying it, The Evil Assistant was going out and wanted to give it a go. She used “Oval M” as her foundation brush and although she liked the brush part, she was worried it was going to snap as she was using it. Then when I went to use “Oval L” aka the foundation brush I could understand what she was saying; even if they didn’t snap at that moment, I really feel like these might not last long.

To comfortably use it for foundation, I actually placed my index finger behind the brush part and found it solves this pressure problem for now, and because of that, I’m applying foundation easier.

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Let’s look at these brushes individually.
First is the thin contouring brush which was a complete bitch to photograph. The box suggested it could also be used to line lips but I don’t know about you, my lips are thin and the most ridiculous suggestion I’ve heard today. I’m also not sure about it being a contour brush for the sides of the nose either. While it does put down a nice, hard edge, you still have to blend it out, something this brush isn’t actually built for. Maybe after some playing around with it I’ll come to use it more often and/or effectively.
One brush I love the most is the round, concealer brush. The size and density are perfect for blemishes or marks. This is where I think this style of the brush really works because you don’t get any streaking and it’s very exact – definitely my favourite brush of the set.

 

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Now the last three brushes (the true “oval” brushes) are basically the same, just slightly different sizes. Inside the box had them labelled with different ways you can use them; the smallest one for contouring, the middle one for more blush coverage, but I translate that to basically mean you can use them however you want.

For the foundation brush, I used liquid foundation as I thought it be the most popular consistency people (myself included) use and I wanted to see if it streaked. It didn’t, which really helped as I had to get used to this new way of applying it. I also noticed it’s pretty easy to blend into areas like the creases outside the nostril (the concealer brush works really well here too).
I haven’t used it with cream or powder foundations just yet, however I will do a follow-up and tell you how I went.

The two smaller ones were really good as well. I played around with powder blush, cream and powder contour, and even cream eyeshadow, all performing pretty well. I also would like to test these more with different colours and consistencies.

Another advantage these brushes have is colour pay-off thanks to the tightly-packed bristles. I didn’t have to apply much blush or even foundation to achieve a really even and blended look.

 

Some Last Thoughts…

I’m on the fence with this brush set. While the bristle part of the brush and how it made my makeup look was impressive, the feeling that I’m going to Hulk-snap it leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.
Also, the price. If I’m spending $35 on brushes, I’m hoping to chuck some older, lesser-used ones out. That was my goal with these too, yet I feel like I shouldn’t just yet. I also want results, even if I am paying $7 a brush, and I don’t feel these were really worth the price..

I feel like this is a brush set I will definitely have to give a follow-up on to show you how I’ve gone with different foundations and if the brushes themselves are still in one piece.

Cost: $35
Would recommend?: Unsure, a follow-up will give a final verdict.
Good for: Anyone wanting a new style brush set for whatever reason.
Would try again?: Yes.

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