Home Brushes Paula Dorf – Crease and Smokie lid

Paula Dorf – Crease and Smokie lid

by Sonia G.

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 🙂


  1. Royal & Langnickel Silk Pro Applying Precision Eye Colour Pencil Crease Brush, 9.99 USD
  2. Rae Morris 7.5, 35 AUD
  3. Paula Dorf Sheer Crease, 30 USD
  4. Nars 13, 32.50 GBP (discontinued)
  5. Hakuhodo G5522, 28 USD
  6. Evgeny crease, 40 USD
  7. Charlotte Tilbury eye blender, 25 GBP
  8. Rae Morris 7, 39 AUD
  9. 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).
  10. Wayne Goss, ?
  11. 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 🙁

For reference:


  1. Evgeny blender, 65 USD
  2. Paula Dorf Smokie Lid, 28 USD
  3. Chanel 24 (discontinued)
  4. Paula Dorf Smokie Lid
  5. Charlotte Tilbury smudger, 25 GBP
  6. Paula Dorf Smokie Lid
  7. 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.


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Wayne 30 April, 2014 - 10:42 am

Funny about the ugly ducklings… my friend bought me 10 of these and 3 were “ugly ducklings”. They looked like they’d been used and washed over and over. The hair colour was almost bleached … if that makes sense and the hair texture seemed slightly different. But otherwise still workable. The smokey lid brush (i got 2) were all normal looking. They aren’t a brush i pick up daily but so pleased i have them darling 🙂 xx

Sweet make up temptations 30 April, 2014 - 12:24 pm

Hi Wayne! Yes! thank you, that’s the right word I was looking for 🙂 more “bleached” and it looks like it had a rough day :)))
xoxo x1000

Dena 30 April, 2014 - 11:05 am

Ooh, this has got me all excited – I have a major US haul en route to me, including a few backups of the Sheer Crease brush and the Smokie Lid, which I am excited to have finally got my hands on. I have the Smudger Brush, and it is awfully scratchy ;(

Sweet make up temptations 30 April, 2014 - 12:28 pm

oh coool!
I did a USA haul too with these brushes, I am using now the IT cosmetics CC cream http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod5770257 and it is really nice!
I think they could rethink a bit the Smudger, if that is general I am not even sure anyone can actually use it 🙁

Dena 30 April, 2014 - 1:07 pm

Sonia, you absolutely have to try the Astalift foundation – it is absolutely the loveliest foundation I have ever used, and I don’t think I have ever been so faithful to a foundation in my life. Even though I have to mix 2 shades, I still have 3 back-ups! And it’s currently on 50% discount at BathandUnwind and Debenhams. Sorry for random comment; I just can’t stop raving about it! I also bought most of their skincare products (I just can’t help myself), so look out for a review soon!

Sweet make up temptations 30 April, 2014 - 1:13 pm

Hi Dena, oh so so sorry I did not come back to you about this one.
I tried your sample, unfortuntately my skin does like it but after a few hours the dry patches become a bit visible. I wasn’t eating only crap (yes I was) but now I am being very strict and I try to follow all my food intolerances because I think most of it comes from there…
In the summer I don’t have this issue that much so I wanted to give it another try in June 🙂
I love the finish and I would love that it could work for me too 😀

Dena 30 April, 2014 - 1:24 pm

Good-quality fish oils (high in EPA) will make a big difference as well 😉

I have really managed to get my dry skin under control in the last year; I’m sure that has made a difference as well.

Jeanette 1 May, 2014 - 11:14 am

Dena, I am considering trying it. But I am a bit nervous about the nuclear leakage in Japan 2 years ago. I don’t want to absorb anything radiated through my skin.
Have you given that a thought and have any answers to whether I should be concerned about that?

Dena 2 May, 2014 - 1:19 pm

I’ll do some digging, and let you know when I hear back 😉

Sweet make up temptations 3 May, 2014 - 9:47 pm

I don’t know Jeanette, maybe I can find someone to ask but so far I don’t know 🙁
I really don’t think that Japanese people (knowing how crazy they are about their skin) would use it if there was a risk…
and here in Switzerland if I count how much weird substances I eat without my knowledge (even the fish in the lake 😀 )! also I have an issue with my teeth and have to go often to the dentist to take radios and all that stuff so I get a lot of bad radiation on my skin unfortunately 🙁 when I sum up all that, it scares me!
If I ever find any info I let you know.

Lillian 1 May, 2014 - 7:58 am

The smudger is absolutely too rough, and I also find the handle of the PD Smudge Brush to be uncomfortably thin… so much so that my nails collide just trying to hold it.
I had two of them and gave them both away.

Yvette 30 April, 2014 - 1:31 pm

I’m excited about the sheer crease brush too. But there are no information where they are made, who made them and what hair is used.

Sweet make up temptations 30 April, 2014 - 1:33 pm

Hi Yvette, oh I know 😀 I sent them an email with those exact questions some time ago but no answer 🙁

Sweet make up temptations 30 April, 2014 - 1:34 pm

it should be squirrel hair but I wanted confirmation, also in China but I wanted same confirmation, also asked about how they are made but I guess it was maybe too much 🙂

Bora 30 April, 2014 - 1:55 pm

OMG, I had exactly the same issue with the Kent brush!! I was doing an order (I think it was on BeautyBay) and needed one more items to make up the amount for free postage. Since I always look at brushes first, I saw the picture of the Kent brush and my heart skipped a beat, it looked like the Paula Dorf smokie and seemed like the perfect dense soft smudge brush and I loved the red handle and black ferrule combo. And then when that beige THING arrived which looked NOTHING like the picture and was rough and pokey, I was so disappointed. That picture was truly misleading.

Sweet make up temptations 30 April, 2014 - 9:17 pm

argh! this is so so so wrong! putting a total different brush on the pictures!! they have to stop that immediately!!!
I am going to tell them and we should all do the same!

bellyhead 30 April, 2014 - 6:17 pm

Thanks for this post, Sonia! I’ve been contemplating a backup (or two) of the sheer crease brush and have always wanted to try out the smokie lid one. I hesitated because I was concerned that with the ownership change, the quality of the wonderful brushes would also suffer. You can see a local NY newpaper article about the cosmetics quality suffering here:

Now I can safely go out and splurge! xxoo

Sweet make up temptations 30 April, 2014 - 7:16 pm

Thank you Bellyhead! this is a very helpful link and info.. I had no idea 🙁
I am now browsing the web for more information, hoping and dreaming that one day Paula Dorf will find this article and will write to us to explain the current situation.
I don’t know about the other products because I stopped buying them approx 4 years ago so I don’t know how the quality evolved. The crease brush I own today is better than the one I had 3 years ago but I really am not sure what is going on right now, if she is relaunching herself or still not at all.
I will see how I can manage to get more info, but clearly that may explain why they don’t reply to my emails. At some point I even told them that there is no point in having an email if they never reply to emails 🙂 then I got I reply saying that they did reply, haha… but I did not get my replies 😀
Thank you so much <3
If I find more info I paste the links here and will update the post ...

bellyhead 30 April, 2014 - 8:14 pm

😀 You’re welcome Sonia! I am more excited just to be able to go buy a few extra brushes. Looks like the relaunch never happened and just that they were bought out and now the sad lawsuit. Sad thing what’s happened to such a beautiful line!

Also SO MANY MANY MANY thanks for your Suqqu S brush comparison. I hope Suqqu will consider reintroducing the S brush. At some point on twitter, they indicated they may be open to it. I would die happy!

Sweet make up temptations 30 April, 2014 - 8:43 pm

fantastic! for sure they are worth it, some PD brushes more than others but I am truly happy with the functional side of them!
crossing fingers for Paula Dord’s future and wishing her lots of luck!

Oh about Suqqu S… I hope to have news in the near future 😉 working on it!!!

Bonnie 5 May, 2014 - 2:22 pm

I hope it is GOOD news 🙂

Dena 1 May, 2014 - 1:48 pm

Thank you for this info – I had no idea, and it explains the quality issues. What a dreadful situation 🙁

212kiki 30 April, 2014 - 8:34 pm

The Paula Dorf totally looks like my version of this brush https://www.poshbrushes.com/shop/cosmetic-brushes/posh-smokey-eye-brush/
I’m not sure if they changed the brush shape since I bought it some years ago… And I can’t say if it’s natural hair or synthetic for me it fells more like kind of soft goat or a bit more rough squirrel but for that price ??
If its synthetic its s nice synthetic Version in my opinion 😛

212kiki 30 April, 2014 - 8:42 pm Reply
212kiki 30 April, 2014 - 8:44 pm

Ups sorry wrong link I mean I know them from here

Sweet make up temptations 30 April, 2014 - 9:09 pm

cool, thank you!!! what a shame about the old Kent 🙁 couldn’t they just update the pics on their website ?! I think a few got mistaken and ordered one they didn’t want 🙁 the old one looks excellent …
it’s very much like the Paula dorf 😮
I won’t order it because there is no shipping to outside USA so since I am happy with the PD, I will skip it but otherwise if they had shipped here I would have taken it 🙂
thank you so much for the links 😀 this is very interesting!!

Jeanette 2 May, 2014 - 9:10 pm

I have so much respect for the Paula Dorf brushes. It performs very equally to Tom Ford #13 with a very even line. The smoke lid is also very good for a defined crease. And the eye blender is so versatile that one is not enough. It is perfect for blending eyeshadow, contouring and flicking off powder in smaller areas.
I have read that the eyebrushes are made of grey squirrel.
The smudge brush is terrible. I have actually examined it closely to see if a metal wire was among the bristles by accident. It is impossible for me to use on my eyelids. It is perfect though for eyebrows and put more colour on than a regular, and harder, eyebrow brush.

Jeanette 2 May, 2014 - 9:12 pm

The brush that I think resembles the TF #13 is the crease brush.

Sweet make up temptations 3 May, 2014 - 9:35 pm

yes that’s right Jeanette! 🙂 depending on which PD you have, it’s the more directional it totally matches the TF!

Carlyn 3 May, 2014 - 5:58 am

I love the Smokie Lid which I got thanks to Sonia’s heads-up. I’ve had the Shear Crease for over 15 years and it still looks and performs as well now as it did then. I love it, but don’t feel like I need a back up since I have several great blenders, but the Smokie Lid makes me want another one. Thanks for the great review as always.

Oh I’m using the IT cc cream and like it for the high SPF. It’s not the best match for me, I have to mix a little of the Tan in with the Medium for the right shade , but I think it leans more neutral and I definitely have more of a yellow undertone. It still looks pretty good and wear it when I’m likely to get more sun exposure than usual.

Sweet make up temptations 3 May, 2014 - 9:41 pm

I am lucky that the Light shade on its own is exactly my match at the moment but I got the medium too, not sure I will even use it but maybe in summer I will probably have to do like you and mix those two shades.
It looks really good on me too, my pores are less apparent and my skin looks younger (fewer little lines), since I noticed that without even looking for it, I guess it does work! 🙂

Stacy 5 May, 2014 - 12:55 am

When I placed my orders I spoke with the girl/ woman who deals with customer service. Sounded like she worked out of the wear house. She was lovely! She said they had been doing inventory and had a brush or two that I was inquiring about… (sadly I don’t remember which ones 😉 )
She said she would ship them to me even though they were showing out of stock on the site. I am wondering, based on the fantastic quality of the three I ordered and am using if perhaps these are the “original” PD brushes just uncovered in an unorganized wear house??

*Soooo glad the IT CC is working for you! I don’t go a day without it! Sometimes I will use with an additional Founation in areas other times I will add a powder. True love 🙂

Bonnie 5 May, 2014 - 2:23 pm

I was never interested in the PD brushes before, but you make them sound so lovely, even the ugly ducklings that I might just bite. Maybe not right now, but if an opportunity ever arises!

Vivian 6 May, 2014 - 8:26 am

Hi Sonia! I just received the sheer crease and smokie lid in the mail….I am a little disappointed because the sheer crease looks like lightening had strike it after first wash!! I guess it’s my bad luck, huh?! 🙁

Hiba Ismail Al-Attar 6 May, 2014 - 7:58 pm

Hi Sonia, excellent review… As usual.

I have a soft spot for ugly ducklings in reality :)… As a kid, my mum used to call me that. The smokie lid brush has a unique shape and the sheer crease sounds very promising.

I’m giving my wallet some time to breathe. I’m keeping my eye open for Koyudo RES. But once I’m done purchasing that, I will redirect my attention to these brushes. Future plan making lol

resham 14 May, 2014 - 1:32 am

is the smokie lid brush like the older version? I mean is it tapered and flat… I have pencil brushes and I was something like the one above/… I know I am not making much sense… but I hope u can help coz you are master with brushes!!

Sweet make up temptations 14 May, 2014 - 9:20 am

Hi Resham, no it’s not the older tapered flat one unfortunately. Going to Japan in a month and in my hunt list there is one like that to find, if I find it I let you know! 😀

Julie 24 May, 2014 - 1:47 am

I have been looking for a brush to smudge pencil, just like you mentioned! I will get the smokie lid. I’ve heard about her brushes for years (Lisa Eldridge!). I just checked and the Paula Dorf website in the US is offering 15% off orders. Thank you for this review!

Evelyn 26 August, 2014 - 6:38 am

Omg, thank you so much for this update! I’ve wanted the sheer crease brush so badly ever since first discovering Lisa (and by the way, Charlotte Tilbury uses it in her old videos quite a bit as well). I had all but given up…

Just placed my order and can’t wait for it to arrive! *fingers crossed that mine won’t be an ugly duckling*

Super excited to compare it to the tf13. That brush is my favorite ever. It’s hard to believe that a brush can completely enhance makeup.

Cassie 14 January, 2015 - 7:26 pm

Hi Sonia! I saw your recommendation of these brushes from the 2014 end of year post. I ordered the crease and smokey eye and I LOVE them! My sister has since ordered based on my recommendation. Thank you so much for telling us about these brushes. I never would have known. 🙂

Karina Fogliani 1 February, 2018 - 8:30 pm

I own 3 of the PD brushes – the sheer crease, the smoky lid and the total camouflage. The last 2 I was able to find unused via Ebay for a very reasonable price. There was no way to find the sheer crease ANYWHERE and I had to wait for it a long time. PD finally emailed me when it came back in stock. I do like the brush, but $30 for it!! Really incensed me to pay that much for such unassumingly made brush.

Ellena 14 February, 2020 - 9:30 pm

Hi Sonya!
Do you know if PD still produces these brushes? I have been checking her website for more than a year and the most popular brushes are still out of stock. Is PD still in business? Many thanks for any info!


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