Monday Money Saving Tips and a Quick Review of MAC SE Brush Sets

Hello ladies,

Happy Monday! How are we doing today? And how was your weekend? Mine completely blew just because of this thing that happens to women once a month ('nuff said, I spare you the details!) So the last two days I was a grump and all my plans for the weekend went down the drain. Thankfully it's only once a month, right?

However, being indoors most of the time was not that bad thanks to the internet and I found out some bits and bobs of information that are deemed to be useful:

1. For those who are fans of Stila, Two Faced, Lola, and DuWop, there's this website where you can get makeup from those brands for a whole lot cheaper: introducing Beauty Crunch! This website is Stila's authorized reseller and you can find things about 40-60% cheaper than at Sephora. Moreover, they also sell holiday products from last year that you can buy for cheap. I have my eyes on this brush set that originally priced at $75 USD but currently on sale for $20!

Originally priced at 75 dollars, now sold at Beauty Crunch for 20 bucks!

2. Since you know I am a fan of MAC brushes, I was tempted to get those holiday brushes at their website. However, a little bit of digging around can be profitable as I found out Nordstrom currently sells MAC Adoring Carmine brush sets at $35 USD. That's $14.50 cheaper than at MAC website! (It's like buy 2 get 1 free, y'all!)

Every year when the MAC holiday collection rolls out, I always have this temptation to take one set home. The price is much more affordable than getting the full size brushes but the only sacrifices are the shorter handles and the machine assembled and cut bristles. However, my brushes from the basic brush set I got some years ago feels almost the same as their full-size siblings. This time around, two of the sets definitely have a huge difference in term of quality.

Adoring Carmine basic brush set

As I have the basic SE set, I can see a big difference between mine and the current edition: the 219 SE pencil brush is a lot thinner, the 266 SE angle brush is very poorly cut and the bristles have different colors instead of black, and the 239 SE eyeshadow brush is not as full and fluffy. Also, the bristles of these brushes are not as soft as the full-size ones. To me, the 266 SE brush looks really wrong if you compare it with the regular version: it looks nothing like a 266 at all!

However, this set is not the worst as it still has some redeeming factors of being the basic set. The eye set is a serious offender and also is the one I want to purchase this year.

Adoring Carmine eye set which I initially really wanted to purchase

The 252SE soft eyeshadow and 275SE angled eyeshadow brushes are cut in a horrific manner that resembles nothing like the regular versions! Moreover, the bristles of the 252SE is really scratchy and cheap-looking. I got some really cheap brushes from Target that are better made than this 252SE brush from MAC just to emphasize on the scratchiness and poorly assembling of this brush. While the 209 and 212 brushes are synthetic, they are not as well-made as the one I remember from Antiquitease, MAC's last year's edition. So even if you want to get a set of eye brushes, I think you should hold your horse this year and hope that next year they will improve the quality of this brush set.

Adoring Carmine face set is the redeeming factor of their brush collection

The only reason I show the picture of the face set is the brushes are very well made, which is an irony as it was the worst set of last year's collection. I guess somebody complained enough for MAC to make a difference and I always believe in the power of letting your opinion heard. The 187 SE duo fibre brush is a bit smaller than the full size but extremely full. For ages, it is my dream brush until I got a cheaper version from a mineral makeup company. The angle blush brush is really soft and the foundation brush is nice to touch as well. These three brushes are exactly the same as the full-size ones as I really spent time at MAC counter to feel each of them simultaneously. Since I don't really use liquid concealer, the concealer brush is kind of useless for me but it's also well-made. Although I have similar brushes in my set, I may end up buying this set anyways and complain a bit louder to MAC about the eye set.
3. Please visit Marshall's-the discount store- for makeup deals: last week when I stopped by the local Marshall's to look for a clutch, I found some Stila, Two Faced, and even Lancome products there for ~75% off retail price. However, most of the products were opened and some people already tested it (I saw fingerprints smudged the lip gloss pots and all!) I did not find a clutch that I wanted but I was able to bring home a cute Two Faced palette for $3.99!

So what do you think? Do you have any websites that are similar to Beauty Crunch? Please do share with us, I'd love to hear all about them :)

Have a nice Monday and a wonderful week ahead everyone!

Your Makeup Blogger

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