I don't know what's available to you in the UK (I'm in the southern US) but here's my take:
I've tried my share of brushes from various lines, I can tell you Crown Brushes (supposed to be a major supplier to high-end makeup lines and professionals) shed horribly for me and the brushes from Bare Escentuals makeup line are awful as well- evertime I use one a bristle sheds onto my face! Stila brushes are OK, I don't like the texture (the hardness) of the eye brushes though :/
They have never shed a hair and feel perfectly soft for application and blending. I have had the Slim Essentials set for a few years and with regular gentle washes they are as good as the day I bought them!
Plus some of the sets are so cute for a gift, like the pink Tweed one, just beware that looking online doesn't always give a good idea of the size, some of the sets are smaller than others but those say "mini" I think.
virgin vie brushes are good as are body shop ( i know you mentioned they are just selling mini ones at the mo). art deco also do make up brushes, i havnt tried these yet so cant comment! hope you find some xx
a few yrs ago i got a brush set and case for my sister from MAC they do season sets at crimbo
in my own brush selection... i have MAC, Benefit, Pout, Sephora brushes as well as i think the odd extra... the price of each individual brush varies from £5 to abt £25 .... its taken me a few yrs to build up... but like my l&p, gel & design brushes,.... you can never have too many!....lol
Oh ok sorry i must have been having a blonde moment! I thought you meant that different types of brushes may have numbers (like the nail brushes do) The body shop brushes are good quality, maybe i will just buy them all singly then buy a nice case/pouch to put them in.
I guess its just a case of looking around to see what i find. I am going to a virgin vie party next week so will have a look then, & i will definately look in M&S, (thanks for the pic noodle) i like the pouch they come in from M&S, its a really nice color!
Thanks for that, i'm not sure if i have one in my area, although there is a body shop in my local town, so i could always ask them, i never thought of that! The body shop brushes are really nice too, just wish they done them in a set!