Brush Envy #6: Make Up For Ever Student Brush Kit (21 pcs)
I AM SO GLAD I BOUGHT THIS.
I almost passed up on the chance to buy Make Up For Ever brushes. Students were able to avail of student-introductory discounts up to 50% off on the first week of classes only, but since I shipped all my consumer makeup and Zoeva Makeup Artist Zoe Bag (25pcs) with me to Korea, I figured I would spend as little as possible. I was trying to see which, if any, among the color cosmetics, tool or brushes kit I would be spending money on.
I AM SO GLAD WE HAD A WEEK TO DECIDE.
To be honest, I couldn't care less for MUFE as a makeup brand before enrolling in the academy. But it was easy for me to see that the products were very good, and I'm still so thankful that we were given a week to decide about the kits. Actually, I was set on buying only the color kit because I thought it was the only one I needed.
The brushes, I was a little iffy with. I thought then, and still do now, that Zoeva brushes are good. I hadn't had much experience with the MUFE brushes but I felt a deep sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) and that was the only reason I got them. I thought it would be great to alternate them for use during Zoeva wash days, and that they weren't so bad.
I HAVE NOW CHANGED MY MIND.
They aren't just not so bad. They're so good!
The student brush kit comes with 21 pieces and Dany's pouch - which is still one of my favorite carrying cases to date. Dany's pouch is a sturdy, woven, lockable canister sewn together via elastic straps. I use the 2 cans to separate my face brushes and eye brushes, or to separate my clean and dirty brushes. I like how sturdy it is and that it keeps my brushes from being flattened or deformed.
The brush kit would have cost me KRW 858 000 (~PHP 42 000). Since I got the full student kit, I got the maximum discount of 50%, and I paid KRW 429 000 (~PHP 21 000) for a 21pc brush set + case that have helped me deliver truly beautiful faces, and have lasted so much wash and wear and tear. You can imagine, I have completely 0 regrets about this decision.
Make Up For Ever brushes are divided into 4 collections: Face Brushes (#100's), Eye Brushes (#200's), Lip Brushes (#300's,) and being an artistic brand, it never fails to include something for the artist - Artist Brushes (#400's). They also incorporate 3 kinds of bristles; straight (synthetic-feeling,) wavy (natural-feeling,) and straight-and-wavy (natural with weight.) One thing I like, across the board, is that all MUFE brushes are so easy to wash. Aside from the dark hairs not being prone to stains, the synthetic fibers mean they are free from cuticles. Cuticles are shingle-like structures in animal hair that may hold on to strains, which is why staining and wear-down are bigger problems with them.
The brush handles are designed with beveled tips, meant for picking up product. While I can see Dany Sanz's painter background at work there, I just would never scoop out cosmetic product with the butt of a brush that has been sitting on the bottom of brush case :/
#100 Precision Foundation Brush (Small) has straight bristles. The brush head is round at the heel and points at the toe. It's also packed tight and dense. All this makes it perfect for applying cream foundation - the straight, synthetic bristles play with wet product well, while the pointed shape means it's strong enough to push foundation into creases and pores.
#106 Foundation Brush (Medium) has straight bristles as well. It is your standard liquid foundation brush. The head is only a little thicker than normal, but I like it a lot because the handle feels very ergonomically-designed for me :P
#128 Precision Powder Brush is one of my favorite powder brushes of all time. OF ALL TIME! It has straight and wavy bristles, and feels like a floppy version of a powder brush. I like the added weight because it helps push down the powder a little bit, as opposed to a fully fluffy and airy powder brush. My favorite way to use this brush is to quickly tap setting powder atop foundation with it in motions similar to Whang Od's traditional tattooing.
#156 Flat Round Blush Brush features wavy bristles. The bristles are layered but still keep a flat shape. This makes it really good for applying blush, highlighter or contour to smaller faces.
#176 Concealer Brush - features flat bristles and is about as large as my thumb. I love it best for blending out undereye concealer onto foundation.
#202 Precision Smudge Brush (small) - features straight bristles. It's a small, stiff, flat brush which is my absolute go-to for pushing product (gel, powder or blending creamy pencils) into the lash line. I've used it on myself, and find it the most comfortable option for working on that area.
#208 Precision Shader Brush (small) - features straight bristles. It's also small and stiff, but much wider than the pen-like 202. I like using this to apply brow gel or really precise pops of color to the eye.
#220 Shader Brush (small) - features straight bristles as well. A lot of the shader brushes I have are quite similar, with how the smaller ones are good for applying really intense pops of color. I like to use 220 for brow powder or dark eyeshadow, like 208.
#226 Shader Brush (medium) - features straight bristles. Nearly all the shaders feature straight bristles. 226 looks like an ordinary concealer brush, only a little thicker. I like it to sweep "midtone" colors across the lid.
#228 Precision Shader Brush (medium) - features straight bristles. I'd describe it as a shorter and fuller concealer brush. It's great for spreading midtone colors and blending them with deep tone colors.
#230 Shader Brush (large) - features straight bristles. I call it the "fat concealer brush." It's pretty similar to the rest, and I start to find the kit repetitive in this sense. They don't really serve a lot of specific functions, but rather let you explore your skill with this certain shape of brush.
#242 Blender Brush (large) - features wavy bristles. When I first got the kit, I thought this was the only sane brush in the set. My idea of eyeshadow brushes were fluffy, and so far all my eye brushes had been variations of concealer brushes, and I didn't know how to deal?!? Still, I have quite a fondness for this kit, and working with mostly-concealer brushes feels like it's unlocked a new skillset for me.
#244 Precision Shader Brush (large) - features straight bristles and is again, another variation of the concealer brush. It's huge and dense, and I prefer using it to pat a cream base or to set glitter pigment on the center of the lid. I personally call this the "big, fat concealer concealer brush."
#254 Eyeliner Brush - has straight fibers. I call it a watercolor brush. It can draw thick and elegant eyelines in a jiff, and also doubles for detail work in body art.
#270 Angled Eyebrow Brush - has thick, straight fibers. It's very prickly, and I personally feel is the poorest brush in my kit. I feel it's too thick to draw eyebrow hairs, and too tiny that it makes eyebrow work tedious. I've tried it with gel liner, but was told it's really uncomfortable for use near the lash line.
#272 Eyelash Brush - has straight fibers. It's a spoolie! I'm not too demanding with my spoolies, but I like the fullness of this one and appreciate how it grabs onto and combs out every single lash or brow hair.
#300 Lip Brush - has straight fibers. They flex and give, enough to easily draw flat lines along a curvy lip. If true HD makeup is a bane for you, this is A GODSEND.
#304 Lip Brush w/ Cap - has straight fibers. I like the cap because it keeps the lipstick from staining my pouches or other brushes 'til I get home and wash it. It is dense enough, making applications of glosses to mattes universally easy.
#400 Calligraphy Brush - features straight bristles. This brush has a triangular heel and pointed toe. I LOVE how flexible it is for art concepts. The tip flexes and moves so you can twist and press to change the weight of your lines in a snap.
#402 Artistic Fan Brush - features straight bristles. This fan brush is tined, and I've never used it other than to pick mascara crumbs off the face :)) I have seen it in action for art though, and it does create some interesting textures and lines.
#406 Body Foundation Brush (small) - features straight bristles. This thin, square brush is used to apply water-based foundation all over the body, though I also sometimes use it to quickly apply skincare on the face.
I still appreciate my fluffy brushes, but I'm glad to know I can work with just one brush (and know which brush to choose) if the need arises. Would you like to see a one brush eyeshadow tutorial?
Make Up For Ever is available in SM Megamall, Greenbelt, Mall of Asia and Trinoma. You may also purchase online at makeupforever.com.ph