e.l.f. smudge brush – the best $3 you’ll ever spend!

e.l.f. smudge brush – the best $3 you’ll ever spend!

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elfbrushAll artists need quality tools to create, whether they’re working on a canvas or a face. Usually, gathering those tools can be expensive. In art school, I knew I couldn’t get away with cheap brushes. When I tried (i.e. was too poor for a good brush) my work suffered. I always thought the same was true for makeup application. Until now…

Today, I’m so pleased to be bringing you a tool that I use daily, that will set you back exactly $3. That’s right, 3 measly bucks. It’s e.l.f.’s Small Smudge Brush. And it’s freakin’ fabulous, says the girl that owns a $65 powder brush…

This comes from the e.l.f. studio line, the more fancy, more expensive division of the company (if you consider $3 expensive). And while I can’t speak of the quality of the studio line’s make-up (I have personally not tried it) I can speak of the quality of this smudge brush. It’s high, and not just high for $3, high for any price range.

This brush, like all the ones in the studio line, is anti-bacterial and vegan (because they are made of a synthetic called Taklon). Where many professionals prefer natural hair brushes, this is a very good cruelty-free alternative. What’s the difference? Natural hair brushes get softer with each use, as the cuticles in the hair break down. Synthetic cosmetic brushes tend to get stiffer with use. I think that actually works to an advantage with this brush as stiffness is a plus when it comes to a precise application brush like this.

What does it do (besides being a steal-of-a-deal)? It is a killer eyeliner brush. Use it wet or dry for placing liner and shadow exactly where you want it, either in a fine line or a controled smudge. It can switch hit and be used on your eyebrows. I’ve even used it, when it was freshly-washed, as a concealer brush. The question more apt is “what can’t it do?”

Are you convinced? Then maybe check out the 11 Piece Collection of studio brushes, only $30 and in a great carrying case. What a deal!

But don’t take my word for it. Review Team, what did you think of the e.l.f. Small Smudge Brush?

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.

15 thoughts on “e.l.f. smudge brush – the best $3 you’ll ever spend!”

  1. As you can tell from the post, I love this brush! I’m very tempted to get the 11 piece collection because it’s such a great deal, especially since it comes in a travel bag.

    Honestly, the regular e.l.f. line didn’t do much for me. Really inexpensive, and I think perfect for someone just starting to explore makeup. But the studio line has me intrigued. If this brush is representative of the line, I have a feeling it’s more up my alley…
    .-= stef´s last blog ..we really heart this – Stef’s beauty picks of ‘09 =-.

  2. I received this brush a while back and I have to say, I’ve been using it consistently since I received it (at least 3x a week, whenever I wear gel or cream eyeliner). It is so fantastic that I have literally pushed all other liner brushes to the back of the line (sorry Smashbox and BB) because I always find myself reaching for this one. I cannot stress enough how utterly awesome this brush is for lining the eyes. It’s got the perfect amount of firmness (not *too* firm, not too soft) to enable you to create a razor-sharp, clean line, or a soft, more blended line, as Stef already mentioned. Either look can be achieved with ease with this brush and for the money, it’s one of the best beauty bargains I’ve ever come across (and if you’ve seen my blog, you know I live and breathe beauty bargains). Oh, I’ve never experienced shedding with this brush–I’ve never even lost one tiny bristle, even after repeated washings.

    I love every e.l.f. brush I’ve ever used (have you tried their $1 eyeshadow brush? If not, you really should!) but after so many repeated uses, I’ve got to say that the e.l.f. smudge brush is THE brush to own if you’re only going to own one brush by e.l.f. (but at these prices, why would you limit yourself to just one, right?). It just doesn’t get any better than this if you use a brush to line your eyes. You will not be sorry if you try this one. End of story. :)

  3. This brush is so good! And the price, are you kidding!! Three bucks for a great brush.. sounds way to good to be true but its not! Recessionista said it best it really has the perfect balance so far as it’s firm but still soft. I have a similar brush from a very expensive line and I have to say the elf one is just as good.. now I can’t speak for their other brushes, but this one measures up against the big boys and at a price so low, why bother going any other route.
    Get this brush!!

    I’d like to try their studio line too Stef! If you try it first let me know how it is.

    5 very happy stars from me!

  4. I have some other items from e.l.f. and love them.. i just know from what the ladies are saying, that this too is a must have item.. I really could use one now… yes, everyone needs this little number. The prices are insanely great, and the quality has always been as good as the pricey lines.. There is something to be said about a company that makes great products withour raping the consumer! More power to e.l.f.!

  5. Ok, I haven’t tried this particular E.L.F brush, but I would like to just assert my preference for smudge brushes in general. I have several variations of smudge brushes…including two Sephora and one Tarte that I use for acheiving different looks but these brushes (especially the Tarte brush) is one of the favorites in my arsenal. I really like how little brushes like this can give you enough smudge to get a sexy, smoky effect but they are small enough that you can maintain control and keep it minimal enough to wear during the day. I’ve tried the regular E.L.F. brushes, and they are not bad, especially if you aren’t able to “inherit” full sets of Smashbox, Stila, Tarte, and NARS brushes from your years working at Sephora like I was.

    For the most part though, E.L.F. can be hit or miss. I LOVE their shimmering facial whips, nail polishes, and pencil sharpeners, but I can LEAVE the eyeshadows, tube lip glosses, and mascaras.

  6. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has stood drooling over the brushes in Sephora. But everytime I pick one up, I can’t help but cringe at the price. As a newly minted college grad with a pile of debt and lowly part-time, it’s painful to part with that amount of money for only one brush. Luckily, E.L.F. has made it possible for me to start building my makeup brush collection at a reasonable price.

    I’m pleased as punch with my small smudge brush. It works very well (even for those without the steadiest hands, i.e. me)! I use it all the time to sexy up my eyeliner when I go out or just to soften it up when I go to work. Overall, it’s an extremely quality brush for an extremely budget-friendly $3 – you can’t beat that! Five stars from me!

  7. 5 stars all the way!! You cannot beat the price and it’s a truly excellent smudge brush and eyeliner brush. Like the others have said, it does everything that the more expensive brushes do (yep, have ’em, too – mine are just the Lancome variety) just as well and for a fraction of the price. I also love how it’s thinner than my eyeliner brush and it’s the perfect firmness (not too firm or soft) to create the perfect line without any mess creeping out. Well done, E.L.F.!

  8. I can not wait to run to my Target this weekend and get one of these brushes! I love cream/gel eyeliners and am always looking for a great brush – hard to beat three bucks. I haven’t examined the E.L.F. display that just arrived at my Target(there’s always a crowd) but I am busting in this weekend. Looking forward to seeing what sort of goodie bag I can create with my few spare dollars!
    .-= Tyna Werner´s last blog ..Etsy 4 for Friday – Calendars =-.

  9. I like the eyeliner brush and use it for my gel eyeliner, but I do miss the way a natural bristle brush gets slightly less stiff over time. I think this is more because I’m used to a natural brush and like a “broken-in” one so that it doesn’t scrape my eyelid. On the other hand, the line this brush creates is really precise every time. It’s hard to argue perfection. I give 4 stars because though I’m set in my natural bristle way, I can’t hide the fact that this does the job incredibly well. Oh, and $3???! Excellent value.

  10. Although the price is incredible, I have to say I prefer my Bobbi Brown eyeliner brush, which is shorter (and therefore provides more precision) but with slightly longer bristles. Then again, it cost a massive $25 – nearly eight times as much as the e.l.f brush. The e.l.f one isn’t bad for the money, but, seeing as I already have my BB one, I’m sticking to that. (Of course, I can’t afford the whole BB line, in which case I’m happy to explore more e.l.f products to see which ones work better!) I’d give it three stars out of five.

  11. It has been awhile since I’ve used the e.l.f brush, because I received it for review around August and the Smashbox Wish eye brushes kit in November. Since then, I’ve basically been using the Smashbox set because I’m in love with the softness of the bristles, but this doesn’t mean I don’t like the e.l.f. brush.

    I received the small smudge brush, and I really like it. It is long, sleek, and black and looks like some of my older Sephora brushes I received as a gift 6 years ago. I like looking at the uniformity on my dresser, but aesthetics aside, this brush works well. It doesn’t shed, and it keeps it shape better than some of the other drug store brushes I’ve tried. It’s not very soft, but not hard either. It is tiny enough that you could also use it as an eyeliner brush–good for during the thick cat eye. It would work well both powder and cream eye shadows.

  12. Pingback: Saturday Surfing: Makeup and Beauty Blog: Makeup Reviews, Beauty Tips and Drugstore Beauty Finds

  13. I have the whole set and the only brush that is worthless is the fan brush (not dense enough to remove fallout or apply product). And ELF usually has a sale so I got the set for $15

  14. Life has been a little crazy for the past few months and my skin is showing my woes. I’ve been using this great little brush almost daily as a concealer brush. I’m not an eyeliner wearer even on a going out night simply because it takes me an hour an eye to get it on. I’ve never mastered it. This brush is my go to for my Benefit Erase Paste that I’ve almost used the last bit of and I can wash and dry it and it still holds up. For $3 you can’t go wrong. I too have drooled over the Sephora brush section and I’ve never been able to bring myself to buy them. I’m tempted to buy the set as well. After the smudge brush I’m honestly wondering if this isn’t the best kept secret of the brush industry.

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