I was curious about the Coastal Scents brushes, having heard mostly good reviews about them and noting the incredible prices, so I decided to try out a few. Below is a list of the brushes I purchased, their prices, first impressions, and a link to pictures and reviews of each brush on the Coastal Scents site if you're interested in purchasing or learning more about them.
1) Pink Oval Deluxe Shadow Brush - $2.39
This brush reminds me of the MAC 227 but with slightly shorter bristles. I got it to apply highlight to my brow bone, but it could also be used to pack on shadows to the lid. The brush also comes in black, but I love the candy pink handles - the perfect addition to any girly-girl's makeup collection. :)
2) Pink Oval Synthetic Concealer Brush - $2.89
This brush is stiff with very soft synthetic bristles. I think this would make an excellent concealer brush, but I purchased it to have a very flat, stiff eyeshadow brush to pack on shadow for maximum color intensity and control (similar to the concept of a MAC 249). Could also be used to apply cream shadows or bases, as the synthetic bristles will not absorb or "eat up" cream-based products.
3) Italian Badger Blender - $2.95
I was instantly attracted to the design of the Italian badger brush line - the burgundy handles are beautiful. The bristles are incredibly soft on this blender brush, but I wish the brush were a little stiffer; as it is, it does not pick up much product and applies it very sheerly. If you're going for a more intense crease color, this would not be ideal brush to use. I find this brush works best when used clean to simply blend out other shadows or soften out harsh lines.
4) Italian Badger Pencil Brush - $3.29
Initially I expected this pencil brush to be slightly stiffer, but after using it I'm completely satisfied with its design. It's perfect for applying shadow to the lower lash line and to the inner corners of the eye to brighten your look. It could also smudge out liner for a smokey effect.
5) Chisel Angle Fluff Shadow Brush - $2.00
This brush is a lot smaller than I expected it to be, and much less fluffy; Coastal Scents includes the dimensions of most of their brushes, but not for this one. I expected it to be like the MAC 275 and planned to use it to shape the outer V. The actual brush head is very thin, almost like your typical angled brush for liner, but just slightly fluffier. I actually like this, as it provides a very controlled application shadow. One could use the belly of the brush to pack shadows on to the lid, or could sweep the brush along the crease to blend out color.
6) Sable Blending Brush - $2.90
After reading and hearing reviews comparing this brush to the MAC 224, I absolutely had to get it. I love everything about the brush, from the softness of the bristles to their tapered shape. The shape, density and performance of this brush is everything I expected from the Italian Badger Blending Brush but didn't get, so I am glad I placed a second order for this brush. I can easily see it becoming my new go-to brush for basic crease color. It might not be great for applying very intense, concentrated color in the outer V (I would suggest a much smaller, denser brush for that), but everyone needs a basic, fairly long-haired crease brush like this! For about 10% of the price of the MAC "equivalent," I am really pleased with this brush.
These are just my first impressions of these brushes; I've only had the first 4 for about a week and the last 2 for two days, but this is what I think of them given my personal experience thus far. Detailed reviews in the future!