Thursday, July 9, 2009

Battle Of The Brushes: Quo vs. Annabelle

Ever since I first got into make-up, I knew that I would need a good set of quality brushes before I could even go anywhere with anything. And living in Canada, we don't have many accessible brands of good make-up brushes. The only two brands then I have found with good, usable, make-up brushes that I've seen relatively frequently is Quo (which is available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart) and Annabelle.

Basically, this will be my personal opinion and experiences with these brushes, and you can make your own judgments on them with a grain of salt. (:

My collection of Annabelle brushes (on the left) and Quo brushes ( on the right).

Quo Brushes:
Price Point: $10 and up.
Where You Can Purchase From: Only at Shopper Drug Mart locations in Canada.
Look Of The Brushes: All brushes in the regular line are long & silver handled.

Left to right: Face contour brush, all over eyeshadow brush, crease blender brush, 4 brushes from limited edition holiday set.

Quo is well known in Canada, so I thought there wouldn't be a better time to pick up brushes than during a 40% off sale that Shoppers Drug Mart (SDM) had on Quo implements.

First of all, SDM regularly has sales on Quo implements (stuff like sponges, eyelash culers, brushes, etc..). And they can range anywhere from 15% to 40% off. So if you're looking to try out some brushes, wait until there's a sale going on.

Quo also has a good selection of different kinds of brushes. Which is a good thing for someone just starting out in make-up and looking for simple but useful brushes. To see the full collection of brushes that Quo has available, click here.

I personally own:
- Face Contour Brush (I use this for blush)
- Crease Blender Brush (I originally bought this for blending, because the sales associate said it would be good for that, but it's not any type of blending brush at all. This is suppose to be used for precision crease work and contouring your outer V)
- All Over Shadow Brush (I use this for my highlight colour, and for blending my highlight and crease a bit)

To begin with, I'm not a big fan of Quo brushes. They're just mediocre to me. I also feel that they're a bit overpriced for their quality, so I would never pay full price for them. My face contour brush seems to be "crushed." Like, the hair at the top isn't full, and it's bent. I don't know how to explain it, but I'm not a big fan of it. I'm not sure if it's because of the way I wash them or what, but it hasn't "straightened" out. You can kind of see it in these pictures below:

You can kind of see how it looks a bit uneven, that's because of the "crushed" hair.

The ferrule dis-attached from the wooden handle of the brush. Also, this paticular brush has a bit of wood & paint that's chipped off.

The brushes do shed a bit, but not a lot to the point where they lose their "fullness."

The only other brush I would purchase is the Eye Smudger Brush. My sister owns this brush and I borrowed it the other day to apply an all over eyeshadow and although it's really small, it's really dense, and it applied my shadow beautifully.

Overall, Quo brushes are okay, and I would recommend them to someone, but only if they couldn't find anything else. I hardly find myself reaching for the 2 eyebrushes that I have, and I stopped using the face contour brush, only because it hasn't really wowed me, and I've found something better.

Annabelle Brushes:
Price Point: $4-$12
Where You Can Purchase From: At some Wal-Mart, Shoppers Drug Mart and Zellers locations.
Look Of The Brushes: All brushes are travel-sized and black.

To begin with, Annabelle brushes may be a little hard to find. I know that SDM and Wal-Mart sell Annabelle cosmetics, but they may or may not have their line of brushes. Some Zellers locations also sell Annabelle cosmetics, and maybe also their brush line. So the best thing to do is to look to check if any of these locations near you have the brushes.

Annabelle has a small limited selection of brushes, but they do carry just the basics.

I personally own:
- A-21 Large Shader Brush (I use this for apply all over eyeshadow, applying my highlight colour, and blending my highlight and crease colour a bit)
- A-10 Medium Shader Brush (I use this for applying eyeshadow)
- A-8 Small Shader Brush (I use this for applying eyeshadow and doing detailed work, like contouring my outer V, or applying colour to my crease, or a highlight to my tearduct, and applying colour on my lower lash line.)

Overall, I'm a big fan of Annabelle brushes. They're affordable, all of the brushes are under $12 (on a side note, I've found that Wal-Mart is the place that has the cheapest price, but if your Zellers carries these brushes, you can use your Student Price Card [SPC] card and recieve 10% off). These brushes are also incredibley soft, I've had the A-8 brush for a year now, and I've have VERY minimal shedding - probably like only 1 hair *knock on wood* haha.

I would definietly reccomend Annabelle brushes if you can find them. The only thing I'd love to see is a better brush selection.

I hope this helped some of you Canadian ladies out who have been looking for quality make-up brushes. Have any of you tried Annabelle or Quo brushes? What do you think? Let me know! (:

Till later guys. (:


Michelle (Lipstick Rules) said...

I'm with you on the Quo brushes. I haven't tried Annabelle but... I do have a tip for you too. Go to Michael's and check out the artists brushes. I did a post in May about these brushes and how some of them are MAC dupes. I got ones that are dupes of MAC 239s and these were only $6 at Michael's versus $30 plus dollars at MAC.

I'm also a Toronto blogger. Come check out my site ;-)

Halifax said...

It's interesting that you didn't like Quo. I just received some Annabelle brushes and liked the A21. How about branching out to some EcoTools brushes?

Gee xo said...

the crease brush that my sister bought from QUO i snot worth the moneY! she tried it out on her hand and probably shed 10 hairs. she tried it on me and it felt so wierd and it was shedding like crazy! the annabelle brushes look real good. my local walmart has them so i might investt.

Anonymous said...

I Love annabelle brushes. I just bought a bunch of posh makeup brushes and there really nice and soft. they r really cheap for the quality. $4.99 - $12.99. at pharma plus. If u google posh makeup brushes there's a web site, and there they more then double the price. they have a few different mini sets too, for about $12.99.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I wanted to start by saying that I really love ur blog, I just discovered it and there are so many interesting looks, when doing my makeup I always focus on the eyes so it's quite inspiring for me. Concerning your brushes, u couldtry using a brush guard, u can find it here I saw that for the first time on Michelle Phan's video on how to make ur own brush cleaner at home and how to dry the brushes to make them last longer (, I don't have it yet, but I'm definitely gonna buy it cuz it's always so hard to dry the brushes and to store them etc... I'm a beginner so I have a lot of cheap brushes that are quite fragile so I guess I'll need that to take care of them. I hope this helps =)
I'm planning on having a blog of my own but still hesitating... who knows, someday maybe. have a wonderful day and keep up the good work =)


Anonymous said...

Hi, I was just checking out your comments on the Quo brushes and I totally agree. They are simply low quality. I have both the contour brush and the blending brush and I haven't been impressed.

I wanted to let you know that E.L.F. ( has some stellar brushes from $1-$3. My personal faves are the "Eye shadow brush" from their $1 essentials line and the flat-top "powder brush" from the $3 studio line.

It's a little hard to find them in stores. You maay be able to get them at a Giant Tiger, but the brushes they carry from the brand are a little lacklustre. But online the shipping to Canada is usually about 10-14$, which is completely worth it, since their products are low priced (especially since you can pretty much buy one of everything affordably).