Here’s the thing with paying a lot for something: It really raises your expectations.
In the case of the Claudio Riaz Collection, which comes in at the heavyweight price of $1,525 — or, one thousand, five hundred and twenty-five dollars — that means that the bar is set very, very high relative to other brushes.
So, depending on what $1,500+ means to you, these brushes may:
1.) Not live up to your high expectations.
2.) Persuade you that the value is superior simply by virtue of the price you paid.
3.) Or, if you’re flush, come off as just being a very nice luxury brush set with a few really innovative brushes inside.
But here’s the deal: There are not that many reviews of these brushes, which is odd given the price …. Makeup Alley only has three reviews. And Barneys, which sells the brushes, doesn’t have reviews at all. I guess in uber-luxe land folks simply trust their high-end retailer to only select the crème de la crème.
According to the marketing materials, the Claudio Riaz Collection features 24 brushes in a “leather-like” (not even real leather at this price?) carrying case with tie-closure “just like the professionals use.” Among the brushes:
- Foundation (Patent No. D571559)
- Instant Smoke (Patent No. D572010)
- Instant Lid
- Instant Arch
- Angle Foundation
- Face Contour
- Cream Blush
- Conceal (Patent No. D571559)
- Instant Shadows
- Instant Contour
- Blender Shadow
- Line Blender
- Instant Brow (Patent No. D625522)
- Angle Gel Liner
- Dramatic Crease
- Lip Contour (Patent No. D571559)
- Powder Liner
- Contour Liquid Liner
- Instant Liner
- Double Blush
There is no information listed on the The Collection site about the fibers used to make the brushes(?!), which is honestly shocking given the price. You literally have to investigate each brush individually to find out … that the set is a mix of natural and synthetic fibers.
Big Time Savers
Ultimately, what seems to make these brushes most special is that they are relatively high quality (everything is relative now, isn’t it?) and have big substantial toes aimed at being time-savers, which seems especially attractive to makeup artists, as you’ll see in the video reviews below. They seem to compliment these brushes in terms of “it only takes one or two swipes.”
If you watch the official Cladio Riaz brush videos, they, too, emphasize how few swipes it takes to apply product. There also seem to be some true brush innovations in the mix, based on the toe styles, and these are easily pinpointed above by the notation including their patent number.
We think the patented Instant Smoke brush, which is made of sable, perfectly demonstrates the time-saving nature of these brush designs. Watch this video and contemplate how long it would take you to create this look with any other brush.
Overall, as you would expect at this price point, these brushes are also very pretty, in their espresso-bronze dip and weighty, shiny ferrules. Although Sonia over at Sweet Makeup Temptations noticed a damaged ferrule in her purchase. At a more regular price, this might not be a big deal, but at this price …
So are these worth more than $1,500? … I dunno … We think it depends on how much that kind of cash means to you. And it maybe depends on if you’re a bona fide makeup artist who needs to do a lot of faces, where time means money.
Even More Information
The video below is from Oprah’s makeup artist, Reggie Wells, who believes these brushes are truly special, and notes that Oprah and prolly even Sasha Fierce herself use these:
Wayne Goss likes them, too, as you can see he is literally excited:
And OMG on this next video below … skip to 10:57 … there’s a lot of buildup here …