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I thought I will take a little break from my lipsticks and bring to you another love of mine – makeup brushes. From budget to mid end to high end – I have tried quite a few and through my reviews on them, I will share my learning along the way.
In case of brushes, I do feel that they are an extremely under-rated makeup product in India. Probably because we don’t have too many choices in the budget range and branded ones come with a hefty price tag, but this has impacted our outlook towards brushes negatively. We are okay to splurge on a lipstick but feel stingy about doing the same for a makeup brush which would outlive the lipstick and would probably be used way more often than the lipstick!
A good foundation brush is a MUST in everyone’s vanity. Whether you use liquid, cream or powder foundation – an appropriate brush is needed and more often than not, it will change with the product in hand. You would have heard that the base of your makeup is important and it’s essential to get a good quality foundation because that’s the base of all our makeup and getting it right is half the battle won. However, a good quality foundation will not be able to do much for you if its not applied properly – if it looks streaky, patchy or uneven. Hence, if foundation/BB creams/tinted moisturizers are crucial to your makeup routine – invest in some good brush for them.
Finally, a foundation brush for use with all formulations – liquid, cream or powder. Shiseido’s innovative technology combines with traditional Japanese brush-making techniques to create the perfect foundation finish. Excellent pick-up of all types of formulas for a uniform application and impeccable finish. Gently tapered strands create an angled slant that best allows bristles to reach all facial contours. Short handle allows for precise control during application and portability for travel.
Allure – The Beauty Expert 2013 – The Best of Beauty Award Winner
From the Pack:
Foundation fits seamlessly against skin. This brush creates a perfect natural finish with great coverage. It works well with any type of foundation, emulsion or powder. Avoid applying water resistant foundation with this brush. I presume the last one is on account of the fact that it could get difficult to clean (get the product out of the brush).
$30 in US/in India @ INR 1950.
It comes packaged in a hard plastic box, makes it easy and convenient to store or carry it. How essential is the packaging of a brush? MAC does not provide any packaging, just a simple BoPP wrap. While I would not want companies to hike price of a product to accommodate the price of a case/container/package; however, for high-end brands, I would like the product to be packaged more attractively than a BoPP wrap! While one can argue that MAC isn’t really a high-end brand, there brush prices aren’t cheap or even mid-range! Their most coveted foundation brushes – #187 and #130 go for over INR 3000. What if INR 100 of this amount (less than $2) would have been utilized towards aesthetics – meaning packaging! It’s a personal view, but I feel, if Estee Lauder, Lancome, Shiseido can do it – why not brands like MAC?
My Experience with Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush:
Size: The brush has a short handle and is fairly petite – refer pics for size indication.
Bristle shape: Short, stumpy, densely-packed tapered bristles.
Coverage: Provides medium coverage.
The brush head consists of tightly-packed artificial bristles which are soft to touch but do not have much give. Meaning, the feel of the bristles is soft. However, they are not pliant or don’t bend to soft touch. They resist bending, which ensures a smooth, streak free application of foundation.
Background: I wanted to buy the standard sized MAC #130 stippling brush, which for me is pretty much my ultimate foundation brush since I first started using its SE version. The cost and non-availability continued to be a deterrent. So, my search for alternatives began.
When it comes to brushes, I love to experiment with different shapes – which you will learn through future posts. I knew I needed a brush with thick head and short bristles, to stipple my foundation. So, I remembered reading about this Shiseido and a similar Dior brush on the blogosphere. Thankfully for me, Dior and Shiseido counters are opposite to each other in Shopper’s Stop. I first visited the Dior counter – the brush seemed a little scratchy to touch, I do not know if it was real hair or artificial, plus the price was close to the MAC one, it didn’t make sense to me to settle for something and still pay top bill. So, I hopped across to the Shiseido counter. The SA handed the tester brush to me, it was hard and filthy! I wouldn’t have let them put it even 5 inches close to my face, let alone test it on my face. I refused to look at it. So, the SA promptly brought out a new piece to show. I obviously couldn’t test it by applying foundation (because it wasn’t a tester), but I gently felt the bristles which seemed soft). Purchase was made.
When I tried the brush, I took some foundation on the back of my hand, dotted my face a little bit and picked the brush to start stippling. It wouldn’t move!!! The brush wouldn’t rotate to buff, it wasn’t making sense! Finally, I figured my mistake – this brush isn’t meant for stippling, since the bristles are finely packed, same sized throughout and it doesn’t have much give unlike a stippling brush. This is what happens when you don’t try the product before buying!
However, all isn’t lost. The brush is great! Its just that its not a stippling brush – its more an alternative to paddle brush kind of application. So, you dot the face with foundation (either with fingers or the brush itself) and use swiping motion to apply the foundation. When a hundred bristles go over the same portion of your face –the foundation gets nicely buffed. Since the brush head is compact and the handle is short, it gives an absolutely streak-free application and provides great control. Its also fairly easy to go around the facial contours like the nose area, etc.
Since I am used to stippling my foundation, I feel this brush takes more time than when I use my stippling brush; however, time taken is almost the same when I use my paddle brush.
The application coverage it provides is medium.
I did try to use it with my powder foundation as well and found it very convenient. Plus, with its small size, its fairly easy to carry as well.
To sum this up for you:
Pros of Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush:
- No shedding.
- Soft bristles.
- Synthetic bristles – easy to maintain.
- Short handle gives more control over the application and portability for travel.
- Gently tapered strands create an angled slant that best allows bristles to reach all facial contours.
- Compactly packed thick head applies the foundation in an absolutely streak-free manner.
- Bristles pick all products easily – liquid or powder (did not have a cream foundation to test with).
- Multi-tasker – works well for liquid and powder foundation both. Though would advise you to clean between either application, else the result will be uneven and cakey.
- Convenient packaging.
Cons of Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush:
- The brush head consists of compactly packed short bristles which can be a tad bit difficult to clean – to get the product totally out.
- Shiseido products are not easily available in India.
Yes, 4.75/5 product. Taking off 0.25 for the slight difficulty in cleaning. It’s a great brush to add to your routine since it works well with liquid or powder foundation. Would advise you to try it before you buy it, but please insist on the SA cleaning the brush before used on you. This should anyway be your thumb-rule when testing a brush or a product.
So, what is your favourite foundation brush type and your favorite brush. Do share through the comments.
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