Back in November Sedona Lace had their Black Friday sale where everything was 50% off! Sedona Lace already sells good quality makeup brushes at affordable prices. Imagine getting them for half off on top of that. What a deal! This is my third purchase from Sedona Lace and it's the second time I've done a blog post on their brushes (read the first one here). Needless to say, I enjoy them and would recommend them to anyone. There's also a MAC 217 dupe in here. I will be comparing the two below.
Starting from left to right according to the image above. The prices listed are the regular prices without the discount:
01. Synthetic Round Top 480 ($14.95): I already own their Synthetic Flat Top 928 but I like the round top much better. It's extremely soft, dense, and blends foundation very well. If I had to find I way to describe 480, I'd say it's a cross between the Real Techniques Expert Face brush and their Buffing brush.
02. Synthetic Small Round Dome 217 ($12.95): I included this in my Best Beauty Products of 2013 list. This brush is far too big for me to use on my eyes, although I'm sure it would be nice for a light wash of color all over the lid. I use this as a concealer brush. It blends liquid and cream concealers under the eyes in an airbrushed gentle way.
03. Synthetic Pencil Brush 904 ($9.95): I'm in love with this brush because it's longer than a lot of other pencil brushes I've tried. It's soft and dense, perfect for a defined crease or smudging eyeshadow along the lash lines (which is what I use it for).
04. Universal Blender EB 09 ($8.95): This is an attempted dupe for MAC's 217 Blending Brush ($24). I will compare the two below. The EB 09 isn't as soft as Sedona Lace's pink haired brushes, but it is by no means scratchy. In my experience, their Midnight Lace line (with the black and pink bristles) offers their softest brushes.
05. Small Angled Brush 561 ($8.95): This brush is quite small, I like that. It's not stiff enough for me to apply gel liner, but I like it for "push lining" (pushing eyeshadow into the lash line in order to make it look fuller) and smudging eyeshadow. It's also good for filling in eyebrows (but not with extreme precision because it's not the stiffest I've used).
Now onto the MAC 217 vs. Sedona Lace EB 09 comparison. As you can see from the images below, the EB 09 has a longer handle. They both feel sturdy and good quality. The ferrule of the MAC 217 has a more pronounced indenture (pinch) near the top. This might mean that the bristles are more secure and less prone to shedding. However, I've owned the MAC 217 for a year and the Sedona Lace EB 09 for over a month and haven't experienced any shedding. I've washed both brushes multiple times too. Their shape is really similar, with the EB 09 being slightly more splayed out on its sides. So how do they compare performance-wise? They give you almost exactly the same result. You will notice a difference as soon as you use them on the eyes because the bristles on the MAC 217 are softer. The EB 09 is not scratchy but it's simply not as soft. The difference in bristle material does translate into a small difference in performance. The 217 gives you a more seamless, perfect blend. However, the EB 09 works very well and it's a good alternate. To me, it's not a dupe because anyone who's a regular user of the 217 will notice the difference but the EB 09 will blend your eyeshadows very nicely. If the 217 is out of your budget I do recommend getting the EB 09.
To round this up… my favorite brushes from this haul were the Synthetic Round Top and Synthetic Round Small Dome. However, I don't regret purchasing any of these and Sedona Lace brushes are part of my regular makeup routine.
Let me know in the comments what your favorite makeup brush brands are.