Home Brushes Claudio Riaz brushes – First impressions

Claudio Riaz brushes – First impressions

by Sonia G.

I don’t even remember when I heard about Claudio Riaz brushes for the first time, I just remember that I checked the price and then I totally abandoned the idea of being willing and able to try them one day. However, I can only resist for a certain period of time, then I miserably fall into temptation 😉

I was in the hunt for big eyeshadow brushes and pointy blush brushes, when I saw Wayne’s video about these brushes and also Deb’s, I noticed that shapewise they were exactly what I was looking for.  There aren’t many reviews or posts about the Claudio Riaz brush range, on his website I can read “Claudio’s brushes were a huge success with women around the world” but I don’t see many people raving about them, maybe it’s because you have to be a bit crazy to splurge on something you don’t even know you are going to love.

Well, if I don’t love them, at least I can write about them, maybe give you some information that can help you decide if whether or not they would be of interest to you. Please keep in mind that I am not a make up artist, just a picky client with high expectations and at this price, I can tell you they are higher than ever.

There is NO way I will buy a full brush set again or any brush that I am not sure I will be interested in using. The brushes I selected are those that I am sure I want to use. Here they are :

I have contacted the Claudio Riaz customer support via their own website. They ship internationally but you have to contact them for a quote. I have received a reply from them, to Switzerland it would cost : USD 99.69
Sorry Claudio, I could not even reply to the mail because I froze.

I found out that allcosmeticswholesale had some of the Claudio Riaz brush range and that they were authentic. They claim that if their price is the same as the retail one, the items entirely match the original ones in quality. It was the case for the brushes I ordered. Allcosmeticswholesale shipping was fast, costs around USD 18. They shipped on the 3rd of July and I already received them on the 10th. Excellent order experience, they wrapped the brushes very carefully and they sent me a little present.

These brushes are hand-crafted, made of sable hair, they feel weird but I am not used to sable hair brushes… I imagine I will need some time. Some don’t feel that soft (the primer and the instant shadows for example) but at least they don’t have a weird or strong smell.

The quality of the handles is terrible. The ferrule is damaged, the coating where the pressure has been put has been altered and falls of, I have tried to point it out with the black arrow in the picture, maybe you can see it. There is a certain percentage of quality issues that one can stand depending on the price we pay, but paying this price for a make up brush, with these kind of quality leaks, should not be tolerated.

The look of the handles is not very appealing to me, they look like antiquities. Again this is JUST my opinion and based on my own preferences and taste. It’s a dark olive-brown lacquered wood handle, I believe…  Could not even find information on where they are made… You may not be able to see it but on one brush the lacquered coating  melted a bit.

Below you will see the first pictures of the brushes, I have also taken some other brushes in the pictures to get an idea of their size. If you zoom on the pictures you will also notice the quality issues I am talking about.

Face powder

Face contour

CR Face Contour – Hakuhodo G511


Instant Shadows




Ferrule discoloration

Let’s wait and see how they perform…
I have already contacted allcosmeticswholesale and asked them for more information on the quality issues I am experiencing with the handles. Depending on how it goes, either I return them, or they considerably reduce the price.

I am not planning to keep them as they are, and pay full price  for them.  I was hoping to be blown away by these, but if the quality is not there, I don’t see how this could even happen. Am I too picky ?

Maybe I should have ordered directly in Barneys or Claudio Riaz’s website, I don’t know if that would change anything.
In this post I am not reviewing how they perform, and also not complaining about the hair, I just wish the handles would look better.  Maybe there will be a follow up review.. or maybe not… 😉

Have you any experience at all with this line ? What do you think of the quality ?

UPDATE 1 : I finally sent them back, sorry, no follow up review, if you pay that much for brushes at least you expect the best quality. Terrible brush quality, poor brush packaging, there is no prestige in these, only a high price tag that they don’t deserve.

Unfortunately I was not able to test them otherwise I could not send them back. If they weren’t damaged, I would have tested them but in this condition I could not even consider trying them.

Anywhere you’ll buy these you may be facing quality issues. Be careful and make sure they don’t have quality problems.

UPDATE 2 : I have been reimbursed all the brushes I returned, Allcosmeticswholesales have been very fair and kind to do that, I had contacted them beforehand just to check that with them.

I received a few mails from other brush lovers that bought Claudio Riaz brushes and it looks like the quality problems could be located with brushes bought either on CR website, at Barneys or at ACW… again, just check them carefully, and if you tried them and love them, please update us, we would really appreciate your feedback.

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Dena 11 July, 2012 - 3:45 pm

Oh no, how disappointing. You are absolutely right to raise the issue with them. I hope you manage to resolve the issue, as this is really poor quality for the price. Good luck! Thanks for the excellent review!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 11 July, 2012 - 9:07 pm

Thank you Dena, I will wait for their reply and then we’ll see if I review them in more detail or not. That’s the risk when we don’t see the products… I take a lot of risks recently, I should stop that 🙂

MakeupByJoyce 11 July, 2012 - 4:05 pm

I heard mostly great things about AllCosmeticsWholesale, but there are a few reviewers claiming that some of the products they sell are inauthentic. Did you check with Claudio Riaz and asked them if AllCosmeticsWholesale was an authorized seller?

For the price of these brushes, I think they should be in perfect condition. I, personally, do not think you’re being picky at all.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 11 July, 2012 - 9:14 pm

I have already ordered there and it was perfectly fine, I did ask them and they told me they are 100% authentic and first quality, so I told them to check with their provider since that’s not the case. Thanks Joyce 🙂

Nikoleta 11 July, 2012 - 8:49 pm

I’ve ordered once at AllCosmeticsWholesale and had a fake (or bad) Mac lipstick (smelled horrible and texture was grainy). I know many people that had problems with this site. I think that they sell bad batches of some products and probably it is the case with your brushes. On the oder side, Claudio Riaz brushes are really pricey for what they are (the unknown beauty blog wrote some reviews on them) and hairs seem so rough. I’m brush addict like you and would pay 200 euros for a brush but these ones never tented me. It’ pity but barney’s had international free shipping some time ago and shipping was really fast.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 11 July, 2012 - 9:23 pm

oh dear.. good to know… well it can happen but all the brushes ??? that’s no coincidence. I have tried with Barneys but you cannot pay with an international credit card 🙁

Stacy 11 July, 2012 - 10:37 pm

I hate to hear this Sonia! I too have to order quite a bit sight unseen and do expect perfection in the products I purchase. I have been “accused” (by family and friends 🙂 ) of being way to picky but I disagree, we should get what we pay for. Go experiment with your gorgeous Chikuhodo brushes and put these out of your mind while you wait for the resolution! I for one am droooooling over your Japanese Blush Review picture! I am still fixated on your RMK and Kose Addiction products! That and my intense jealously of your trip to London to look in person!!
xo Stacy

Sweet Make Up Temptations 12 July, 2012 - 11:37 am

Thanks Stacy, that’s reassuring 🙂
I still love the Chikuhodo and at least it was worth the pain 🙂
Preparing the blush review right now… need to fix a focus problem with the camera, hopefully tomorrow it will be uploaded !

Buggsiebee 12 July, 2012 - 11:33 am

Boo!! Sad face.
Sorry Sonia :((
They look like second grade brushes to me. I certainly hope you get your money back.
I’ve ordered from Barneys a few times with my German cc so they def are accepting foreign cards now.
You know what foxes me with the Riaz brushes is that ‘The Non-Blonde’ hasn’t reviewed them. She and Charlestongirl ‘Best Things in Beauty’ have been raving about his products since checking out his collection at Barneys a while back BUT they make NO mention of his brushes. ‘The Non-Blonde’ loves her brushes & if they were great I’m sure she would have reviewed or at least mentioned them by now?!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 12 July, 2012 - 12:03 pm

Thanks Buggsiebee… well, big disappointment… but it makes you love and appreciate others even more, right ? 🙂
Yes my bank told me it was totally fine, they received the “fund request” from Barneys (twice! but that’s probably my fault because I thought it was not working…) so I worked, I had to call Barneys and give them the auth code from the bank, but they did not want to accept a Swiss card, great customer service…. wth ??? I won’t insist any longer.
You are right, if these were so great, there would be posts out there… 😛
I haven’t tried them yet but they don’t even make me want to right now…

Sweet Make Up Temptations 12 July, 2012 - 12:46 pm

I had a closer look at Wayne’s video… the more I look at it, the more they look different ! Mine look bigger (primer for example) and also less dark (hair). I think I probably did a big mistake by ordering there but if that ends bad, at least I reduce the risk for others… I really need that someone that has these CR, takes pictures so that we can really compare !

Buggsiebee 12 July, 2012 - 8:18 pm

If the Claudio Riaz brushes are high quality Kolinsky Sable then they’re actually CHEAP!!
If, for example, I compare my largest Kolinsky brush – the Shu uemura natural # 15 ( TINY compared to CR bpowder brush but which cost just over 3 times the price ) it makes me wonder!?!
Perhaps the CR brushes deserve a chance, but how one can produce a humongous powder brush in high quality sable for $90,- ? I personally doubt the quality of the hair and in that case I’d rather stick to a high quality goat / squirrel hair brush over a lower qualty sable brush. I haven’t EVER had the chance to feel or experiment with them though so this is just a thinking excercise.

Stacy 12 July, 2012 - 12:38 pm

Funny I was thinking the same thing… “The Non-Blonde” is indeed a brush connoisseur and with her CR purchases I have been waiting to see if brushes would be reviewed. I think I will ask her…..

Buggsiebee 12 July, 2012 - 9:24 pm

I’ve been waiting for these!


Sweet Make Up Temptations 13 July, 2012 - 7:25 pm

Please let me know if you see them available for purchase somewhere 🙂 thank you !!!

Buggsiebee 13 July, 2012 - 8:55 pm

Here they are:-

I scoured the internet in search of them this morning:)))


I also spent some time reading all the mentions of CR brushes I could find. Some people are quite positive about them so maybe you just got a bad batch? I’m so disappointed for you:(
I’m really interested to hear what Wayne will report back on the individual CR brushes.

Stacy 13 July, 2012 - 9:13 pm

Oh those Addiction brushes!!! And Ohhhhhhh the pricing! I think I might be better off making a trip to Japan soon…………

Buggsiebee 15 July, 2012 - 12:47 pm

PLEASE take me with you:))

Christine 14 July, 2012 - 9:00 pm

I purchased several Claudio Riaz brushes from Barney’s and I have to be honest, the quality isn’t what I was expecting at that price point. In some cases the ferrules look discolored or rusty and the lacquered handles aren’t smooth like you’d get with other high end brushes. Lastly, the hairs aren’t that soft either. But, my favorite brush is the concealer brush because it has a really unique shape that allows for precise work in the eye area. I have had my brushes several months and have not had any problems with shedding at all.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 15 July, 2012 - 2:04 pm

Thank you for letting us know Christine ! I really appreciate that ! So that’s exactly the same problem I have with mine, and it’s not because ACW are selling bad brushes… good to know… !!! CR has to do something and review not only their price, but also their quality.

Devin 15 July, 2012 - 9:01 am

Thank you for such a thorough review! You have saved me a bit of money. I had been looking at those brushes on acw as well and didn’t know what to think. After I saw the gossmakeupartist video I had second thoughts. I’m sorry for your terrible experience, but thankful that you shared with us! Btw, I have been up all night(which is usual for me) reading your brush reviews! They are excellent and extremely helpful! Thank you! 🙂

Sweet Make Up Temptations 15 July, 2012 - 12:58 pm

Thank you Devin 🙂 I wanted to get them for a long time, now it’s done 🙁
Will be hauling a few more brushes next weekend in London, and hopefully reviewing them when I am back 🙂

Wayne 15 July, 2012 - 12:12 pm

Hi sweetheart … as you know i bought the Claudio Riaz full set and doubled ended set. The doubled ended set arrived broken (the glue had come unstuck). I was sent another set – but 2 of those had come unstuck (i didn’t tell them this as i was frankly fed up with it). The hairs are stable and NOT good quality. I have been struggling with them since i had them. The instructions on the website are not easy to follow and without an actually “see” its hard to know if you are applying the makeup as intended. I have been VERY let down by these brushes – the price – and mostly the quality. There is nothing revolutionary about these brushes. I feel that i have wasted $2000 plus on these. That being said the makeup is very very good – which is really the highlight. The only way i can understand the brushes is to think about the emperor’s new clothes – so expensive they must be amazing and sadly they are not. They have the same quality as bdellium brushes. And i love bdellium because they are so cheap but for the price i expect unicorn hair and not poorly made brushes. I would have e-mailed you directly lovely but i cannot find your e-mail address 🙁

Buggsiebee 15 July, 2012 - 12:46 pm

OMG this is EXCITING and soooooo very kind & nice & helpful!! A personal FB from ‘Gossmakeupartist ‘ himself! How COOL is that?!!!
I’m distraught that you,Wayne, & Sonia have spent sooooo much just to be disppointed.
I know it helps others from making the same mistake, but your hard-earned cash is sadly out of the window:((
I’ve had my own share of expensive flops too. Sometimes the gamble pays off though & one holds the most divine brush or blush or other goodie in the hand & it’s HAPPY days!!
Glad to hear that the makeup is a winner though so not a TOTAL loss:)
See you on You Tube!!!

Sweet Make Up Temptations 15 July, 2012 - 2:41 pm

Hi Wayne, I am really happy that you shared this with us, thank you so much !
I totally agree and I am so upset !
I always rely on your amazing videos to learn new techniques and get the best advice, thanks god you are here for us… 😉
Sometimes, there are useful videos like the ones on Zuneta with Rouge Bunny Rouge, Becca, or Edward Bess products, but I hoped we could find some more information on how to get the most out of his so special and so patented CR brushes !
I am thrilled that you commented here and I am looking forward to your next amazing videos as always !
I have updated my About page… and added the email, silly me… 😛

Celine 23 July, 2012 - 9:27 pm

Hi there,

I have the whole set en I see the same imperfections as you on the handles, but on the other hand the shape of the brush is so well cut. I haven´t seen brushes that well cut. I think Mac is terrible and I was fed up with them. Even my Nars brushes aren´t that well shaped as the CR brushes. I ordered my brushes at barneys and ACW. I don´t recommend ACW. If you have a problem only pay/pall solves the problem. At least that was my experience.

Sweet Make Up Temptations 24 July, 2012 - 6:43 am

Thank you Celine ! 🙂
I hoped that for the price he could use better materials, you are supposed to keep them for a while…
I am happy that you love how they are shaped, I was really looking forward to that as well since they are so big and fluffy but the quality of the hair did not inspire me.
I sure would have kept them if the handles weren’t so poor. Shame I couldn’t even try them… 🙁

Is Exxy Sexy? Claudio Riaz – The Collection | My Brush Betty 16 February, 2014 - 11:48 pm

[…] Claudio Riaz brushes – First impressions […]

Alina 8 March, 2015 - 10:57 am

Hi Sonia :-D,

I just saw your review on the Claudio Riaz brushes and I thought: “Oh God, so I am not the only one!” lol
So I was in Barneys shopping and as I was shopping upstairs- a friend I have made while shopping there-informed me that they were launching a new line of cult brushes in the beauty department downstairs and I thought that sounds cool. Actually a makeup artist while making my make up for a photo-shoot a couple of days before had spoken to me about them and hence I was really curious about the brand.
I went to their counter, Mr. Riaz wasn’t there, and some promotional people for the brand were there. So while I reached my hand to touch one of the brushes the show began lol!
That person grabbed the brush I was reaching for and started telling the whole history of how she left the position where she was before-next to a very famous fashion designer in US- and how she embraced that brand and that they are the best brushes in the world and god knows what kind of other things she was trying to inform me about that seriously made no sense to me whatsoever! And the funny thing was that she would still hold the brush and wouldn’t let me touch it. Plus her attitude towards me in general was a bit obnoxious so I just walked away!
Sometime later, on another professional occasion I was gifted a set of brushes and among them was the Claudio Riaz concealer and powder brushes and from what I was told the concealer brush was the best seller of the brand.
So after using them on me the truth is that I didn’t like them either.
I have Shu Uemura brushes, Shiseido, Kanebo, SK-II made just for Korea- I have to admit I love Japanese and Korean products- Louise Young, Tom Ford and Trish McEvoy among others that I really enjoy using on my face but them, no!
Plus every time I hear that name it reminds me of that bad encounter at Barneys LOL.
So yeah I think there must be a serious behavior problem within the brand too and maybe they should just think again when there so many good brush brands especially coming from Asia with Amazing PR what is that they really want to do!

Much love and kisses Alina xxx


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