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I must admit that while I'm happy to spend more than is strictly necessary on premium make-up brands, you're just as likely to find me using brushes bought from Poundland to apply it. I bought this contouring brush when it was offered to me at a discounted price after a fairly hefty purchase at the Clinique counter, I didn't need it and can honestly say that my life would not have been poorer for not owning it - even though it's a good brush.
I've noticed over the years that standard eyeshadow brushes now tend to be called contouring brushes, and this is exactly what this is. A standard (in old money) eyeshadow brush, the short soft one that women have been using for eons to apply their powder eyeshadow. That's not to say this isn't a lovely brush to use, it is, but personally I don't think it's worth the £10 price tag.
The brush is a nice length, while the tapering slimness of the handle means it's both comfortable and natural to hold while applying your eye make-up. It's very smooth and this is where the Clinique quality comes through in this product, as otherwise it's just like any other (cheaper) decent brush.
The business end of the brush is great; the bristles are short enough that I can accurately apply my eyeshadow, and they have the perfect texture too, being neither too soft or too stiff. I like the shaping of the brush as the chubby teardrop bristles means I can apply my colour in just a couple of colour-loaded sweeps.
This brush collects quite a lot of powder with each dab into the pot, for me this isn't an issue as I like to apply my eyeshadow as quickly as possible so tend to put quite thick initial layers on anyway. For those of you who are more professional than me (ha!), it's very easy to tap any excess powder off the brush before application.
The shaping of the brush really does help you get the colour exactly where you want it. Running the brush along my lashes creates a gorgeous smoky effect, while applying my eyeshadow further up is made easier by the way the 'block' of colour will build up in any creases or hooded areas.
After use I just wipe the brush over with a ball of cotton wool to remove any leftover colour, and after every half-dozen uses I'll give the whole thing a wash in warm soapy water. This has kept the brush looking good and performing well.
Clinique claim to have added an antibacterial agent to the bristles of this brush. I can't comment on either the accurateness or effectiveness of this claim, other than to say that I've had absolutely no bacterial issues since beginning to use this eyeshadow brush - but then I had none before either.
Overall I do think this is a nice brush. I'm happy with mine as it was half price, although I honestly don't think I'd really be as complimentary if I'd paid full price for it. I can tell from the feel that it's better quality than any brush I'd buy from Poundland, but as I'm just as happy with those I doubt I'll be purchasing another Clinique one once this gives up the ghost.
Clinique eye contour brush / Short-haired and compact / Ideal for detail work: contouring and blending in the crease and corners / smudging shadow into lashline for smoky effects / Shades even hard-to-reach / inner corner of eye area / Unique antibacterial technology.