Paula Dorf – Crease and Smokie lid
The Crease and Smokie lid brushes were discontinued for ages but I have got news -but maybe you already know- this brush and the smokie lid are both back in stock (or maybe not anymore) on the Paula Dorf website, available here.
Paula Dorf only ships to the USA and that makes far away customers quite sad. I didn’t see these brushes on other sites for now but Dermstore used to store them, hopefully they will also be available there in the future.
The Sheer Crease
I went crazy and ordered 5 crease brushes! Why 5 ?? There is a reason. I mean there is always a reason, even if it’s not reasonable! I sincerely hope you find this post a bit more on the creepy-funny side than on the creepy-mad one.
When I got my first Sheer Crease brush a long time ago, it was ok but a bit too scratchy for my liking. Since it was really not that soft for me and I had a friend who wanted it really bad, I sent it to him. I then started looking for another one to replace mine and complete my collection -because no collection seems complete without a PD Sheer Crease, specially after Lisa Eldridge’s enabling.
I found one in a blog sale after I had lost all my hopes for it! I bought it and when I received it, it was actually better than my old one, not that much better but the improvement was just big enough so that my sensitive skin could finally fully enjoy it. I was very happy with my Sheer Crease but I wanted to get a few more for my own usage and for my kit, I thought it could be interesting to order 5 of the same brushes and see if they would differ at all, I don’t know, I was just curious.
It shouldn’t be the case but sometimes the same brushes can have a tiny difference in the quality and shape and for some of us that tiny difference could completely change our opinion on a brush. Of course we shouldn’t have to order 5 in a normal world but it’s what I do here.. I do crazy things so that you don’t need to
I received my 5 Sheer Crease brushes and I got 4 truly great ones and … a cute little ugly duckling, it’s still fine and totally functional but just a bit different, looks like it had a bad hair day, it’s not as tapered and directional with the placement and the bristles are of less great quality and slightly less soft than the others. After a few days of usage, it started looking more like the others but still lacks precision compared to the other ones, I can still recognise it from afar because I am that crazy about brushes but I think this is just me…
They may seem similar to you, of course they are, after all it’s the same brush There are just micro differences in the density, the quality of the bundling, the shape and the softness. They will all do the same job (maybe with more or less precision) but there is no need to go wild and buy 10 !
On the left (with the white label) is the one that I already had, honestly wonderful, fantastic density, firmness and softness (just one hair is longer but that doesn’t really matter, it’s her little cute antenna that I call a “perfect imperfection”… On its right, the 5 other brushes I ordered, they all have been washed and dried with a similar brush guard so that they would keep the same shape after drying.
They are all nice, only one looks different in person – the last one on the right. You cannot see it that much in the pic, it’s denser and more splayed out (less directional), today it’s much flatter than it looks here, in that pic they still had the “brush guard perm” effect but now that 3th brush really did splayed out more than the others and I use them all similarly (that’s because of testing purposes only!). That one will serve more as a blender since blenders work best with less soft bristles. The other brushes differ too little to really point it out.
When my partner asked me “5??” I told him “Hey they are not exactly the same, I needed the 5 of them”. He stopped judging me a while ago so now he just walks away and I can see his smile while he leaves, he doesn’t want me to see he is amused with my insanity but I can see he is. We all need to have fun and he certainly has a crazy clown at home.
So.. no, you don’t need 5 brushes to get the one that will fulfil a perfect “Sheer crease” application, any of these will do, it is actually a fantastic efficient brush, it will apply your crease, not always sheerly because it is firm and the tip has such a density that you can apply quite a heavy layer in one go but the bristles are thick and powerful to do a fantastic job with any type of product. Perfect tool for beginners and for anyone. You will have to deal with the blah look of the handle and maybe with some perfect imperfections but it will most certainly make you very happy. Japanese made brushes also have little differences and all these differences, whatever the manufacturing process, should not be an issue when delivering the expected result.
Three of them will go into my kit, three will remain with me, for a lifetime, I am not that young so that should do it. When I had only one I was going crazy when I wanted to use it, always scared to loose it or forget it somewhere, with the house works chaos is reigning and there is no safe place for anything at the moment.
If you are interested in the other PD brushes I posted a little review here.
There is a very nice dupe in the Royal and Langnickel BC430, which is very cheap, not as soft as the PD (the ferrule looks quite cheap and doesn’t age that well) but that brush is honestly truly interesting, it’s tapered, dense, evenly bundled and fluffy, the layers start at the middle of the head so there is a lot of surface that will pick and blend efficiencly, it’s just very slightly softer than the Nars 13 and more tapered and firm, both are squirrel hair. If you love crease brushes and want something more affordable, this RL is a fantastic choice, I am very happy with it. I knew of its existance thanks to SugarPuffandFluff video’s thank you my lovely !
I love efficient crease brushes and don’t mind that they are a bit on the rougher side -as long as I can use them- because that roughness will help with the blending and just make it quicker and more polished. Most of the days I will use Wayne’s or Rae’s but all these crease brushes are getting some action on a regular basis.
The Evgeny crease and the RM 8 are the most directional and precise of all, the Hakuhodo is very dense and soft, slightly softer than the Rae. The Sephora is not as soft as the PD but it’s another very nice brush quite firm and efficient blender. The Wayne Goss could have been squirrel because this goat hair is just as soft, it has more give than the Paula Dorf but it will provide an effortless application with any kind of color (light or dark), excellent with any eye shape, I think that balance between softness/firmness/shape will make it one of the most universally appreciated. All these crease brushes are ok to use for me, but the Nars and RL only for my better days
- Royal & Langnickel Silk Pro Applying Precision Eye Colour Pencil Crease Brush, 9.99 USD
- Rae Morris 7.5, 35 AUD
- Paula Dorf Sheer Crease, 30 USD
- Nars 13, 32.50 GBP (discontinued)
- Hakuhodo G5522, 28 USD
- Evgeny crease, 40 USD
- Charlotte Tilbury eye blender, 25 GBP
- Rae Morris 7, 39 AUD
- Sephora Rounded Crease 13, 17 USD (I think, not sure if it’s made anymore, somebody sent it to me as a gift in a swap (makeupalley swap).
- Wayne Goss, ?
- Rae Morris 8, 35 AUD
The Smokie Lid
I ordered 3 smokie lids. I really wanted a domed pencil, pointy but with a flat-ish surface to work with and this brush sounded very interesting. I scored ! They are all soft enough, just one is a bit less dense, so it has more flexibility and is a bit more pleasant but they are all just great in softness and efficiency. I use this smokie lid to either apply powder shadow or to blend pencil, usually I do both, first the pencil, then I blend it then I place a shadow on top and I blend with the same smokie lid. You can play with the pressure you put on the tip and the angle and still get quite a nice precision, this is an absolute holy grail of brushes, I am very happily surprised that it is actually that soft, it’s slightly softer than my Charlotte Tilbury smudger.
I will label one and use that one only with light colors. The problem with these darker brushes is that sometimes when I smudge black eyeshadow/pencil I don’t see that there is residue remaining and very often I also use it with very light reflective shadow (white or beige) on the bottom lashline to open up the eyes, this brush is great for many things but you won’t really see if you used it to smudge before… Having two similar like these (doesn’t need to be this one) can be really useful. I could just wipe it with a microfibre cloth but some of my dark pencils are very sticky
- Evgeny blender, 65 USD
- Paula Dorf Smokie Lid, 28 USD
- Chanel 24 (discontinued)
- Paula Dorf Smokie Lid
- Charlotte Tilbury smudger, 25 GBP
- Paula Dorf Smokie Lid
- Kent Twelve Socket Line Brush No. 4, 8.75 GBP
Just a little story… I ordered the number 7 shown in that pic here, which was supposed to be this one:
But instead I received the not pointy 7 you can see in the pic.. I contacted them and they proposed to refund me but I did not had the time to go to the Post office that week at all and the shipping in Switzerland is very expensive, since the brush is approx 8GBP, the shipping would cost approx the same so I decided to keep it. Unfortunately it is clearly too rough for me but the shape (even though not pointy) it’s super interesting. There aren’t many blenders like this shapewise, actually I have the Chanel 19 brush review coming tomorrow… which looks a bit similar This Kent brush would have been amazing, if you don’t mind rough blenders it will do wonders, but keep in mind, this is rough.
Paula Dorf smokie lid is a winner, deserves the rave and even though it’s a bit bigger than I expected, there is huge potential that it will steal the show in your routine.
An update on the smudge brush
I already had one little smudger but I ordered another one to check if it was any softer.
The little Paula Dorf smudger I had was very scratchy. I bought it on Amazon, it was so rough that I though it could be a fake. The one that I purchased now at Paula Dorf is just the same, good mine is not a fake but sad it’s not any better. You can truly hurt me bad with that brush! There is no way on earth I can use this brush at all on myself, not sure if I dare use it on someone else. If you have it, please share your experience because that would really be helpful for a more balanced opinion. I really enjoy brushes even if they are not the softest, I really really do, some less softer options offer finishes that you sometimes cannot achieve with too softer ones, but this is just a stick to me (sorry to be so rough myself…).
If you want a small little smudger and have sensitive skin, the Rae Morris 12 is a fantastic option, it’s a big bigger but in my Rae Morris review you can see comparison pics.
I hope this little post was somehow helpful… I am probably not the only one who does crazy things but sometimes I can be a total nutcase.
The smokie lid and the sheer crease are definitely must haves.