AliExpress haul: of brush trees, makeup brushes and zpalette dupes

Being a beauty addict as I am, I am always looking for great bargains. Especially when looking for makeup tools like brushes and empty palettes, prices can shoot up quite high and your bill reaching a hundred euros without you realizing. That's when websites like Aliexpress come in handy, offering knock-offs of expensive products for a fraction of the price. Of course the sword is always double-edged and the quality can be bad, but also as good as the original. Following posts from fellow italian bloggers who had great experiences buying makeup accessories from the website, I decided to give it a go.

The first purchase consisted of two acrylic lipstick storage units and a brush tree of which I raved about in this post. The shipping was fast, the package only took two weeks to arrive from China and the quality of the product was amazing!  You can find the black acrylic brush tree here for around 8€. However, I have more brushes than the 26 slots available in the one I bought, so together with Fran from Being Cute is not a Crime, we ordered another one from a different seller which also was slightly cheaper. I haven't received the second one yet, but I am expecting the same quality.

Enthousiastic from my first experience I went on a bit of an Aliexpress binge and ordered a bunch of other stuff. I really wanted a safe place to store my brushes while traveling so I ordered a brush cup holder in this pretty mint green with gold pattern, right before finding this cup holder in my drugstore (sigh). Then I went on the hunt for some good eyeshadow brushes, since I am always using the same few brushes that I love, I thought of looking for cheaper dupes.

I have never tried Sigma brushes but decided to order the dupes for the E30 Pencil Brush and the E45 Tapered Blending Brush. You can see them here compared to similar brushes from my collection. Both of them feel very soft, are made of natural bristles (not synthetic that is), and cost only 2.50€. The E30 is slightly longer than my Zoeva 230 Pencil brush and fuller than the Boozyshop version. The E45 is similar to my all time favorite Zoeva 231 Petit Crease, but with longer bristles and more give to it, promising a softer blend.

The real shocker was this 4 piece goat hair eyeshadow brush set featuring dupes of the most famous MAC blending brushes for under 3€. Of the original MAC I only own the 217 and the knock-off is not a perfect dupe but close enough. Again the bristles are longer, but the quality of these is again great, especially for the price. In the picture above you see them compared with my Zoeva brushes: the chinese 224 with the Zoeva 228 Crease, the 217 with the MAC 217 and Zoeva 227 Soft Definer, the 239 with the Zoeva 234 Smokey Shader, and the 219 with the 231 Petit Crease. They feel of course of a bit lower quality than their more expensive counterparts but I hope they will withstand washing without shedding too many bristles, will keep you posted.

Finally the last order I placed was for two empty magnetic palettes since my z-palettes were getting crowded. Main reason for that being that Makeup Geek eyeshadows are available on BeautyBay since yesterday evening and of course I ordered a few of the new matte eyeshadows. I am a big fan of depotting and storing most of my eyeshadows in magnetic palettes, since it makes for an easy storage and I can see all my shadows at a glance, without having to open 20 palettes to get the colors I want. So far I own four ZPalettes: one Extra Large, two Large and one Small, but with more lonely nights of depotting-frenzy they have quickly filled up. With the ZPalette  Large and XLarge priced at 20 and 26€ respectively (here), I was super happy to find a similar product for half the price. The Aliexpress Large Magnetic Palettes retail for 23€ for a set of 2, of which you can change the style you prefer. Of course I picked the largest sized palettes (25 x 14 cm) with a clear front window. You can see them in the picture compared to the ZPalettes and the Nabla Liberty Twelve. The Zpalette XL is slightly bigger and can fit 35 eyeshadow pans (MAC, MUG) in 5 rows of 7, whereas the Aliexpress fit 32 eyeshadows in 4 rows of 8, with half a centimeter extra space all around.

Overall I am extremely happy with all my purchases and highly recommend checking out the website if you're looking to save a bit on makeup tools and storage. I am sure these will not be the last bits I buy for sure (lol).

Have you tried these bargain chinese shops? Found any hidden gems?


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