The beauty world has been all upside down with glee since Make Up For Ever launched their new permanent brush line, the Artisan Brushes. The BIZ was sent 10 brushes to review, so of course we split them up evenly – and believe it or not we didn’t even fight about it!
I chose the 102 Small Foundation Kabuki Brush, 148 Blending Blush Brush, 222 Sponge Applicator, 254 Eyeliner Brush, and the 402 Artistic Fan Brush. Marcia chose the 108 Large Foundation Brush, 160 Blush Brush, 218 Small Blender Brush, 270 Angled Eyeshadow Brush, and the 300 Lip Brush.
Today, I will share my thoughts on my five brushes and Marcia’s review of her five will go live next Sunday, September 15th.
My overall opinion:
These are great brushes. They are high quality tools that will last beautifully for both makeup artists and for just regular folks. There are 76 different brushes in this collection, so there is something for everyone. And I love this: To achieve the ultimate collection, every brush has gone through 25 production stages by 30 craftsmen and has been checked for quality 50 times.
Makes me wonder, who was the unlucky sap in charge of all the counting??
Some brushes are obviously more practical than others, and with such a large collection there are bound to be options that seem rather obscure. I like how Make Up For Ever has divided everything up by use and by number – face brushes are in the 100′s, eye brushes are in the 200′s, lip brushes are in the 300′s, and artistic brushes are in the 400′s. Instead of the typical straight synthetic fibers, this collection features brushes with a variety of textures. The brush fibers are soft, silky, and firm. The handles are made of sturdy wood, so the brushes feel substantial but not too heavy.
102 Small Foundation Kabuki Brush ($36)
The handle for this brush is metal, unlike the wood handles on the other brushes reviewed today. This smaller sized kabuki is meant for use around eyes, lips, and nose to apply cream and liquid concealer and foundation. The brush head is tapered so it does a fantastic job around the eyes and nose. I absolutely love it for buffing out my cream concealers. I find it’s also perfect for powder application under the eyes to help brighten that area and seal in concealer. At $36 it is a bit spendy, but this is a brush I use every day so I think it’s worth it.
148 Blending Blush Brush ($37)
This brush has a duo fiber head that combines long straight and short wavy bristles. It can be used with cream products or with any type of powder products. It works best to highlight, contour, or shade because it gives light coverage. It’s meant to be used for more subtle effects. I find the bristles to be quite soft with lots of bend. With the softer bristles I definitely like it best for use with loose powders.
222 Sponge Applicator ($13)
I was really excited to get this brush because I have a HUGE loose pigment collection. Loose pigments look fantastic when applied with a sponge applicator, but most sponge applicators I come across are so cheap they don’t last long, and fall apart when I try to clean them. This is a very sturdy, firm sponge that is worth the price. Plus, you can get replacement sponges when you need them. It’s also terrific for blending out pencil eyeliner to get a softer line. It’s one of my favorites.
254 Eyeliner Brush ($24)
This is a wonderful, wonderful eyeliner brush. The brush head is longer and thicker than most similar eyeliner brushes, and it is firm with just enough bend to easily get a great line. This is all straight fibers, and it makes a killer cats eye. Make Up For Ever says it’s also the perfect brush for more artistic effects like tattoos and complex designs. This isn’t for powder eyeliner, it’s best with cream and liquid liners.
402 Artistic Fan Brush ($20)
This brush is definitely a ‘specialized’ brush that is probably most suited to reside in the collection of a professional body painter. It has a fan brush head with eight divisions for multi-line effects. I don’t have any body paints, but I’ll bet it does a great job with those. I used this with my loose pigments and found that it’s not for powders – this is a brush for liquid and cream products. When I used it with wet pigments it did give an artsy, interesting look on my eyes, but it isn’t something for every day use.
The brushes I will use the most are the small kabuki, the sponge applicator, and the eyeliner brush. I will get some use out of the blending brush, and will have to find reasons to use the fan brush.
Other Artisan Brushes I would LOVE to have in my collection include the 150 Precision Blush Brush, the 226 Medium Eye Shader Brush, and the 414 Body Kabuki. How about you, which brushes look like must-haves for your collection? - Lisa