A few weeks ago I received the most gorgeous brushes ever. Benazir Akbar, former MAC makeup artist and entrepreneur based in Joburg, sent me her Mermaid Brush Set to try out and review. When she contacted me, I assumed it would be the generic unicorn and diamond brush sets that you see in every social media post. When I opened the package though, I was wowed beyond words. I’d seen the Spectrum Glam Clam priced at $75 and I was like WOAH that’s crazy. Then I saw it being sold on Facebook for R1950 by third party sellers and assumed that was factoring in shipping and a load of customs. Owning one of these seemed like a dream.
The mermaid brush set from Beauty by Benazir also comes in a sturdy, gorgeous silver shell with an iridescent finish. Housing 10 brushes held in place upon opening, it was very similar to the original. I don’t own the Spectrum brush set to compare so this is going to be a straight up review on whether I think this brush set is just a gimmick or something that you can actually put to use. The shell sits atop my lipstick organiser, front and centre of my vanity because it is just so stunning.
The brushes themselves are turquoise, deep purple-bordering-blue and rose gold. In my head that sounds like a terrible match but when I look at them I immediately think of the ocean and a pretty mermaid sitting atop a rock. Nope not Ariel with the red hair but more like a sea nymph.
I’m gonna be honest, when I felt the brushes for the first time, my thoughts split two ways. “Wow this is so so so soft I love it” and “Surely a foundation brush this soft is gonna streak and not blend well”. I mean the dense Sigma F80 is a favourite for many because it’s stiff and doesn’t give way when buffing. I brought it home and immediately started putting it to the test. The brushes in the mermaid brush set aren’t named or numbered so this might be tricky.
The Mermaid Brush Set
Surprisingly, the flat foundation brush is my favourite of them all. I use it when I’m going for a more subtle look and less coverage. Even when I use a full coverage foundation, this brush blends perfectly so that it doesn’t look cakey at all. The large powder/blush brush works well but I prefer a larger powder brush just because it saves time. The large angled brush works great for applying bronzer and chiseling out the contour. I’ve been using it the most thus far.
The rest of the brushes I would mostly classify as being used for the eye but they are quite versatile. The small flat top brush seems like it could be used for concealer but the bristles give way too easily and it doesn’t blend out well. Also the surface area is so small that it would take forever to blend out my undereyes. I’m still to find a use for it that works well for me. The tapered crease brush is perfect for applying a transition shade or blending out harsh edges. The small angled brush has been my new go to for applying my nose contour. I was initially using a similar one from BH cosmetics but this one is much prettier to use.
There’s nothing special about the remainder of the brushes but they are essential to completing a makeup look. A lip brush, perfect for precise work, a brow brush for any sparse areas and an eyeliner brush to wing it on.
As I mentioned the brushes are super soft but that’s not the only important part. The ferrules are strong and there is minimal shedding whenever I wash the brushes. I usually wash these immediately after use as I don’t want them staining so they get a bath at least thrice a week. Even dirty these babies still look good.
This brush set retails for *wait for it* … just R480. You do the math. There are only a few sets available of these so if you want to get your hands on one then you can contact Benazir here.
This is by no means a set that you NEED to have in your collection but for the price and the amazing quality you’re getting, I think it’s definitely worth it. If I had to choose I would probably replace a few brushes with a flat concealer brush and a brush to smoke out the undereyes but hey, that’s just me.