I know I’m late to the Sonia G brush game, but after a lot of research I finally decided to give them a try. I’ve been testing these since July, so I’ve got a good feel for them. I am a novice when it comes to Fude (handmade, Japanese makeup brushes), so I’m unable to give you thoughts on where the Sonia G brushes stack up against more direct competitors.
Sonia G is so thorough on her blog (www.sweetmakeuptemptations.com/) and in her product descriptions on Beautylish that I really don’t think I can express the functionality of these brushes any better than she already does. I have found her descriptions to be accurate to my experience and she does a ton of comparisons on her blog. She shows how her brushes compare to each other and how they compare to other brands on the market. In my opinion, you get full transparency. So my best suggestion for those interested in her brushes is to check out her blog and the product descriptions on Beautylish.
So why am I writing this blog post? I’ve had such an enjoyable time using the builder pro that I honestly just wanted to shout from the rooftops about it. To me, the builder pro is more unique than the classic crease brush, so I thought about only talking about that one. However, since I have both, I figured I could show them for the fun of it. Don’t get me wrong, the classic crease brush is a nice brush, but to me, not as unique in function as the builder pro.
Sonia G Builder Pro, $28 @ Beautylish.com
This is the best shader brush that I have. The tapered shape allows me to get into the inner corner of my eye and as the names suggest it builds pigment easily. Sonia G claims that this brush minimizes fallout and I really think it does. I had pretty much given up on using shader brushes and mostly been using my fingers to apply lid shades until I purchased this brush. Now I use this for my lid colors more often than I use my fingers. I’ve still been trying things both ways for review purposes, but in my downtime, I reach for this brush instead.
Sonia G Builder Pro Comparisons
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Eye Shader Brushes (listed from left to right):
- Smashbox Full Coverage Shadow Brush**
- MAC 239 Brush ** (this brush is now made with synthetic hairs)
- Sigma E54**
- Sonia G Builder Pro Brush
- Sonia Kashuk Small Eyeshadow Brush
With the exception of the MAC 239, the other comparison brushes are synthetic.
The Sigma E54** is the most similar brush shape that I own. It will get the job done, but in comparison, it doesn’t pick up product or get to my inner corner as easily. The E54 does build shadows nicely, but something about the way the Sonia G brush is tapered gets things done faster and without as much fallout. The E54 brush retails for $16 and Sigma does a lot of sales, so if you just need a good shader brush, it could be worth looking at. I also find that the E54 builds matte shades easily and smoothly if you like doing all matte looks. I have three E54s since they are included with the Sigma eyeshadow palettes, that is why you see two different color brushes in my pictures.
UPDATE October 7, 2021: Credit goes to Lili for this idea (she has tons of Fude info on her blog). I’ve added some side view comparison shots of the Sonia G Builder Pro next to the natural hair MAC 239. They are both quite flat to the naked eye, but in pictures, they seem fluffier than they actually are. But the natural hair MAC 239 is flatter, so this will hopefully be a helpful reference.
The rest of the shader brushes pictured are just for size and shape comparison. The MAC 239 natural hair is no longer sold, but they do sell the same shape in a synthetic version. I have had no issues with the synthetic 239 brush, but so far I have only used it one time, so I didn’t want to include it. If you are looking for something small, the Sonia Kashuk small eyeshadow ($6 at Target) can build color well. The thing that makes it different than the Sonia G builder pro is the synthetic fibers and it is a bit fluffier, so it doesn’t build color as fast. The Smashbox Full Coverage Shadow Brush** builds color well (faster than the Sonia Kashuk), but since it is a little wider it isn’t as precise as the Sonia G Builder Pro.
All of the brushes pictured do a great job, I have not been disappointed by the performance of any of them. The major difference between them is size. So if you are interested in any of them, I think it comes down to how big or small of a brush you need.
Sonia G Classic Crease, $34 @ Beautylish.com
The shape of this blending brush makes it quite versatile. Because of the taper, you can achieve some definition in your crease, but it is also fluffy enough to give a soft blend along the edges. I find this works well for my eye shape and the amount of space I have (or don’t have) for a crease color. A lot of fluffy blending brushes that I’ve tried blend the color too far up toward my brow. I don’t have that problem with the Sonia G classic crease brush. The tapered end also makes it easy to place an outer-v shade. Lastly, if you are someone who likes to set your eye primer, this also works to dust a sheer layer of shadow all over the lid.
Sonia G Classic Crease Comparisons
Eye Blending Brushes (listed from left to right):
- Sigma E38**
- Sigma E35**
- Real Techniques B04 (discontinued)
- Sonia G Classic Crease
- Smashbox Shadow Blending**
All of my brush comparisons for the Sonia G classic crease are synthetic fibers.
Like I mentioned, the classic crease is very nice and it does what it is supposed to do, it just so happens that I have another brush that performs the same way. So it just doesn’t stand out to me as being as unique as the blender pro.
The Real Techniques B04 is slightly longer than the Sonia G classic crease but other than that, I find it to be very similar. The B04 was part of a now discontinued collection that was made to mimic blue squirrel hair. I’ve never used a blue squirrel hair brush so I can’t speak to that comparison. I know you don’t have access to purchase this Real Techniques brush at present, but I’m assuming some people still own it and may be able to pass on the Sonia G classic crease brush since they perform similarly. So I decided to go ahead and share the information.
The other brushes pictured will definitely do the work of diffusing shadow in the crease. But without as much taper to their shape, you lose out on the precise crease and/or outer-v placement. Could you work that out using the other brushes anyway? Of course, it just isn’t as quick and easy.
I can definitely recommend the Sonia G blender pro and classic crease brushes, they are high quality and they perform as promised. They are also super soft and enjoyable to use. They are well constructed and I personally feel like the design looks nicer than my other brushes. The blender pro stands out as more impressive to me, but I truly think the classic crease would stand out more if I didn’t have a similar brush.
I’ve already dived further into Sonia G’s brushes and purchased the soft cheek brush (review posted here). Do you have any other recommendations for me?
Thanks for reading!
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7 thoughts on “Sonia G Eye Shadow Brushes (Builder Pro and Classic Crease)”
I’m such a fan of Sonia G. I’m glad you gave them a try and like them! Because the Builder Three is one of my favorite brushes from her, I considered getting the Builder Pro because I thought I might like the shape of the tip. A few of the reviews on Beautylish’s site scared me off (saying it was practically flat), but I see that yours does indeed have that tip shape. Perhaps I will try that one out in the future!
Also, it always excites me to see someone with the RT Powder Bleu brushes because there was a time I was so in love with them. When I thought Real Techniques was going to continue to expand the line, I thought I wouldn’t need natural hair brushes anymore and was actually prepared to stop buying them. It made me so sad to see the line didn’t do well enough for that to happen, though they kept it exclusive to their website for so long and I think that’s why it didn’t catch on as much as the other Real Techniques brushes did. Such a shame. I did end up completing my collection to get all of them and even though I don’t use them anymore, they still hold a special place with me and even have their own location separate from the rest of my brushes. Thank you for comparing the B04 to the Classic Crease because that does help give me an idea of the size and shape. I remember debating for ages between the Classic Crease and Blender Pro, but ended up getting the Blender Pro. I honestly don’t use it much since I switched instead to using very small brushes like the mini booster instead. And that’s the thing I love about Sonia G brushes. They’re all amazing quality, but everyone has their preferred styles and shapes and with so many different brush options there is going to be something for everyone (and our evolving application styles). The shapes I like of course make me happy but sometimes even the ones I didn’t expect to enjoy as much surprise me! I really do need to finish my review of some of her newer brushes, but I’m still undecided on a few, so it probably won’t be for another few months.
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The builder pro is technically flat, but it’s not quite as flat as my MAC 239. The 239’s ferrule is more pinched. But that flatness does help it apply near the inner corner without making a mess. If you have something that you already like for detail work, it likely won’t add anything to your collection, but it is very nice 🙂. I’ll see if I can get a good picture of the side profiles tomorrow so you can get a better idea.
I also still use the B02 brush regularly. The B02 and B04 became staples for me, so I was sad they got discontinued. I actually contacted Real Techniques asking if they had plans to relaunch that collection, but they just vaguely said “sorry, that line has been discontinued.” You’re right, they should have expanded that line at least into Target to get more interest. They could have competed in price with some of the Sonia Kashuk brushes. They have released similar shapes since powder bleu, but I never buy them since I know the fibers won’t be the same.
I have the builder pro on my wishlist, but I have so many blending brushes I’m trying to be reasonable lol. Sonia G definitely manages to create unique brush shapes that are missing in other lines. Your brush reviews have definitely helped me learn more about her brush shapes and just Fude in general.
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I had contacted Real Techniques about those brushes as well! That’s so funny! When I found out they were discontinued I had all of the brushes by then except the huge Kabuki brush. The completionist in me was quite bothered by it and even tried to find it from resellers but no one had it either. Then randomly a few years ago I was at TJ Maxx and the Kabuki was there! It was the only one from the line and the box looked like it had been through the wringer. I bought it and was so happy but I was also very confused because it was supposed to be RT website exclusive (oh and Boots UK). I guess RT eventually sold the last of their stock to TJMaxx/TKMaxx but it didn’t explain how it was still there so long after being discontinued and ended up in my small town’s TJMaxx of all places (actually technically it’s the small town next to me since ours doesn’t have one lol). This might have been late 2019. It felt like I was meant to have it somehow lol.
If it’s no trouble for the extra pictures of the brush, then thank you! 🙂 And I’m glad I could help! In my Fude posts, I usually only compare the brushes to my other Japanese ones, but if there’s ever a brush you’d like me to compare to my entire collection like synthetic brushes too, just let me know! I have given away or sold about 50% of my synthetic brushes, but I still have a decent amount left.
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That’s lucky, I hardly ever strike gold at TJ Maxx.
I added two pictures of the side view comparison. Hopefully, it helps, although the camera makes them look a bit fluffier than they appear in person.
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Thank you! Those are very helpful! I do want the Builder Pro even more now, haha. Since we’ve had Keyaki handles and Lotus handles I can be patient and wait to see if Sonia will release more limited edition versions of existing brushes.
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No problem. Glad I could help! The lotus handles are so beautiful, it was not easy to pass on that release lol.
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