Sedona Lace released the Sedona LaceVortex Travel Brush Set ($49.95, sedonalace.com) just in time for their annual Black Friday sale. This set features eight of the most popular, best-selling brushes from the original Vortex Set ($89.95) and can be purchased online at sedonalace.com.
I have been eyeing the Vortex Set for some time now since I wanted to try some new brushes and grow my brush collection. I have shopped and purchased brushes from Sedona Lace in the past and have been impressed with the quality of the brushes which comes at a fraction of the Sigma Beauty Brushes (now their brushes are somewhat “premium”-priced) or MAC Brushes. At the price point of $49.95 for 8 “travel” (I’ll get back to this point later on) brushes including a case, the brush set was an instant hit.
This is a fairly lengthy review and I’ve included as many pictures as I could to make it informative and relevant. Hope you enjoy this review and find it relevant P.S. Don’t forget to grab a cup of coffee while you’re at it! This is the longest review I’ve written so far on the blog with over 1500 words!
Sedona Lace Vortex Travel Brush Case
The brush set comes with a faux leather case with a sturdy zip-around-zipper. The brush case is embossed with the Sedona Lace logo, but otherwise has no other logo or titles. From afar, it looks very professional, and easily something that I can imagine a professional makeup artist would want to carry around. I really appreciate that Sedona Lace included extra brush slots so we can also carry our favourite brushes in the same set. In the images below, I am showing how the brush set looks on its own in the case, as well as what it would look like with the added brushes. The brush case is sturdy, compact, and slimmer than I imagined it would be; It is perfect for travelling/weekend trips to carry your favourite brushes.
How the brushes are organized inside, the flap keeps the bristles clean and in place
Sedona Lace Vortex Travel Brush Set case only; extra slots in the front
The dimension of the brush set is actually really functional as it can fit full-sized and travel sized brushes comfortably as I demonstrated with my brushes below. The slots for the extra brushes are tighter than I expected, so they will not be able to fit brushes with thicker handle such as the Sigma Beauty or Real Techniques brushes with the flared ends (see picture for reference below). For the “skinnier” brushes, they will sit snugly and comfortably in place. Some of the slots are large enough so you can double up the number of brushes in one slot. Even with the extra brushes, the case zips up nicely and still looks very compact, slim and sturdy and will not take up too much space in your bag. There is no awkward bulkiness and it still zips easily and securely in place.
Sedona Lace Vortex Travel Brush Set with some extra brushes
Thicker handle brush such as the Sigma Beauty ones or the flared Real Techniques brushes will not fit. The pointed foundation brush (which does not have a flared handle) fits comfortably into the slots.
The set features 8 “travel”-sized brushes (3 face brushes, 4 eye brushes, and 1 lip brush). My first thought when I imagine travel set is a brush with a short handle, ferrules, and bristles, resulting in a brush that is 1/2 the length/dimension than the original. I have a dislike for travel sized brushes as they can be awkward to hold and use, and tends to get lost easily. I was very surprised when I saw that these brushes are pretty much regular-sized, like most of the brushes I own. The length of the handle is visibly shorter than a regular brush but, but the dimension is similar to the Real Techniques and Sigma Beauty kabuki brushes. The length and dimension are still very comfortable to hold and use.
The set comes with three brushes: the Tulip Contour FB03, Dome Contour FB05, and Flat Top Buffer FB07. I haven’t used natural-haired brushes in a while now, and playing around with these brushes reminded me of how much I loved them way back then. Starting with the Tulip Contour FB03, which has a pointed, “tulip” head, this brush is perfect for depositing bronzer or blush on or under the cheekbone and easily blending them out. The pointed shape makes it easy to manoeuvre and use. The brush is also very versatile – you can use the side to apply setting powder. The brush is very soft; there is some bleeding from the leftover dye during the first wash, and as expected, the brush sheds quite a bit when spot-cleaned and recently have been shedding when I apply products.
The Flat Top Buffer FB 07 resembles the Sedona Lace Flat Top Kabuki brush so much that I was worried I would have doubles in my collection (or in my case, quadruplets because I have 3 of the Flat Top Kabuki already). Despite the similar appearance, the Flat Top Buffer is less dense and feels softer than the Flat Top Kabuki. Since it is less dense, I feel that it does a better job at applying liquid foundation that has a more runny/watery texture since the bristles won’t absorb too much of the product. It has a smaller diameter than the Flat Top Kabuki and is overall less dense.
Unfortunately, this is a brush that I had a lot of problems with because of the shedding and flimsy nature of the bristles. I haven’t been using it often, and typically reach out for it to buff out highlighter products.
Flat Top Buffer FB 07
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Flat Top Buffer FB 07, Sedona Lace Flat Top Kabuki
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Flat Top Buffer FB 07, Sedona Lace Flat Top Kabuki
My current favourite of the three brushes is the Dome Contour FB05 which reminds me a lot of the MAC 109 brush. With a domed shaped head and density of the bristles, the brush is perfect for applying cream products. I really like the size of this brush as it fits perfectly in the hollows of my cheeks, making the application of cream-based products very easy and straightforward. This brush was the brush that convinced me to pick up this set.
Just like the Tulip brush in this set, the brush sheds slightly during the washing.
In my opinion, the eye brushes are the stars of the set. They are excellent at what they do, and I did not experience significant problems such as shedding or bleeding with any of the brushes at all. The set alone is almost worth it for the eye brushes.
The Synthetic Blender EB 13 is a very soft, somewhat flimsy eyeshadow blender brush that is just the right size and shape to fit my monolid eyes. This brush was not initially a favourite, but over time has really started to grow on me.
The Flat Synthetic EB 11 is an eye shader brush, however falls a little short in terms of performance in what it claims to do. The bristles are too thin to apply eyeshadows and I feel that it does a better job as a concealer brush as opposed to an eye brush.
Synthetic Blender EB 13, Universal Blender EB 09
The Universal Blender EB 09 is the star of the four brushes and one that I purchased in the past. When I first read about how this brush is both a shader and blender brush in one, I was very skeptical and dismissed it as a marketing ploy. However, when I actually tried using this brush as both shader and blender brush, I haven’t looked back. It has a slightly tapered head which makes the sides perfect to apply eye color. The rounded head is perfect for blending out the colors. With this brush, you can easily do your eye makeup using just one brush. The only problem is of course, it gets dirty quicker, so I bought backups of this brush since it seriously is an amazing budget brush ($8.96 if purchased individually).
The dual-ended Brow Spoolie Duo EB 27 is really growing on me and I am so attached to it now. I cannot believe that I did not purchase this before and never really realized how important a spoolie is in making your brows (which frames your face) look neater and making your makeup look more put together.
Brow Spoolie Duo EB 27, Capped Lip Brush LB 25
The last brush in the set is the Capped Lip Brush LB 25. For me, this is a nice-to-have brush as I don’t really like applying lipstick with a brush and I don’t often wear bold lip colors anyway. This brush applies lipstick well though, so if a lip brush is important to you then this brush is definitely a recommended piece.
This brush set is an excellent budget buy if you are looking to add new brushes to your collection on a budget. The price tag is not over-the-top and the quality and functionality of these brushes make the set very worth it. There is a good variety and range of the brushes in this set that makes it a great addition to any collection. Unfortunately, two of the face brushes didn’t really work well for me (Tulip, and Flat Buffer Brush) because they shed during application of products but I still would repurchase the set for the rest of the brushes (particularly the eye brushes). I would suggest waiting until Sedona Lace has a sale on their website (Black Friday is typically the best time, 50% off their entire store) or wait for the monthly 20% off sales if you are unsure you want to spend the money on this brush set.
Sedona Lace often has monthly promotions including 20% off (I think once a month) and is a great time to pick up the brushes at a discount. I picked these up for around $25 during the Black Friday sale in 2013 since they had 50% off everything, which worked out to be around $3/brush. Looking past the flaws of the 2 brushes I mentioned above, this could be an excellent starter kit for makeup beginners.