Make Up For Ever 126 Powder Brush - Medium: Review and Photos

Make Up For Ever's 126 Powder Brush - Medium.

With some things, as hard as it is to admit, you really do get what you pay for. Such is the case with Make Up For Ever's new Artisan Brush Collection. I have a fairly extensive brush collection—and one of my newest additions, MUFE's medium powder brush, is definitely the must luxurious. 

They call it a medium-sized brush, but I find it easily large enough for setting powder. Larger brushes such as the Real Techniques Powder Brush tend to be bigger than my pan of powder—what's the point of that, right?

MUFE's new brushes have both wavy and straight bristles. Here's a detailed explanation of what that means from the press release:

What further differentiates this brush collection from any other is the specific synthetic fiber technology that exists in several diameters and types: wavy or straight depending on the required use. When fibers are straight, application is more generous and precise, while wavy bristles are more splayed, allowing for a lighter and freer application. A unique combination of the two fiber textures gives infinite creative possibilities.

126 Powder Brush - Medium offers both wavy and straight bristles, and the brush lives up to its claims of versatility. I use mine primarily for powder application, and it does a wonderful job. It's beautifully soft and dense, picking up a good amount of product and distributing it evenly. I like that the bristles are dark—it helps me see how much powder I've picked up.

I did use this brush once for liquid foundation, and it worked amazingly well—the size of the brush allowed me to blend the product in quickly, and I was left with a perfect, flawless finish. I would say, however, that it's too big and bulky to use for liquid products on a regular basis—I'd find it too much to wash (I wash liquid foundation brushes more frequently than I wash powder brushes). 

The handle is a nice feature, too—it's sleek, just the right length, and nicely tapered, making storage easy. The beveled end is supposed to help with scooping product and applying false lashes, though I've used it for neither. 

I find the head nearly as dense as a kabuki brush, but not quite. Some might find the density makes washing a pain, but I haven't had trouble. it's completely dry in 24 to 30 hours. Bonus: I've washed it a few times, and I've experienced no shedding, bleeding, or splaying. Yay!

Here's what it looks like:

Make Up For Ever Medium Powder Brush 126.

Make Up For Ever 126 Powder Brush - Medium (right) next to my Kabuki Brush from The Body Shop (left) for comparison. The MUFE brush head is bigger and very slightly less dense. 

The Make Up For Ever 126 Powder Brush - Medium (left) next to my Real Techniques Powder Brush (right) for comparison. The RT brush (about $10) has a slightly shorter, thicker handle, a bigger head, and less dense bristles. It's also noticeably less soft than the MUFE brush (and that's saying something!). 

Here are a few other interesting tidbits about MUFE's new brush collection (pulled from the press release):

  • The brush numbers are coded for easy identification: 100s are for the complexion, 200s are for the eyes, 300s are for the lips, and 400s are specialty brushes for artists.
  • The collection has 76 brushes in total.
  • The brush design involved a five-year process. Construction involves 25 stages, and each is hand-crafted by a total of 30 people. 
  • Bristles are placed with tweezers and not scissors.

The verdict: Usually I thumb my nose at pricey face brushes, but I admit that this brush may have converted me. It has quickly become my favourite powder brush. The $63 CAD price is really quite steep, but you could, perhaps, consider it an investment. Cared for properly, this brush should last you for years. My recommendation: Grab it during the next Sephora sale. Does anyone know where we'll see one more before Christmas?

Rating: Four and a half stars out of five (I docked half a star for the price). 

Available: Select brushes are available at Sephora, and you can find the full line at Sephora.ca or MUFE boutiques. 

Have you tried any of MUFE's new brushes? What did you think?

Disclosure: This brush was provided by a PR representative for my consideration. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Real Techniques Stippling Brush: Review and Photos

Real Techniques Stippling Brushes (yes, I have two). 

Real Techniques Stippling Brushes (yes, I have two). 

If you're at all familiar with my blog, you know I love and adore MAC products. You also know I'm willing (mostly) to spend a lot for quality. Admittedly, MAC brushes fall into the "quality" category. But, in the words of Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog, DAYUM. They're REALLY expensive. I draw the line at giving up your firstborn spending upwards of $50 on a brush—because it just isn't necessary. Brushes like Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman of Pixiwoo prove it.

I was introduced to the foundation phenomenon that is The Stippling Brush about a year ago. MAC was selling these cute brush sets as part of their holiday collection, and I thought, "Why not?"

I fell immediately almost-in-love with the 130SE, a short duo-fibre brush. It left a finish I'd never before had the joy of knowing on my foundation.

The standard flat brushes have always left me streaky, and sponges soaked up too much product. So for the longest time, I ignorantly, blissfully used my fingers to apply foundation, not understanding that this application method let my foundation sort of just sit on top of the skin. The MAC 130SE showed me the magic of foundation that melts into the skin. It was incredible...except for one little thing. 

The brush shed.  

Every single time I used it, I was picking little black hairs off my face—even after washing more than once. 

In addition to this being annoying, I couldn't help but wonder how many days my little brush had before going bald.  

Back to the MAC store it went. Maybe it was because it was an SE brush (the cheapie brush sets are machine cut rather than hand cut like the full-sized MAC brushes)—I don't know. But I wasn't spending $50 on the full-sized version without a REALLY good reason.  

My research led me to one of these little beauties as an alternative: 

 

Real Techniques Stippling Brushes.

Real Techniques brushes are good quality—and cheap, cheap, cheap. I got my first one from iHerb.com, and in Canada, they're now available at London Drugs. Sets of three to four brushes are only $20. This brush, which comes alone, is only $11! 

This stippling brush is great—as are the other Real Techniques brushes I've tried. They have light metal handles and ferrules, the synthetic bristles are nice and soft, and—YAY!—I've experienced zero bleeding or shedding.

I stipple my foundation on with the sparser white bristles, which allows for an incredibly even application. Then, pressing a little bit harder to get at the denser black bristles, I do some blending. I find th bristles aren't quite dense enough to give me a streak-free finish, so I do some final buffing with my Sonia Kashuk Flat-Top Multipurpose Brush.  Given both brushes are less than half the cost of a MAC 130, I'll take it!

Why do I have two of these stippling brushes? If you look closely, you'll see they look a little different. One is a year old. The other is brand-spanking-new. 

I thought you might like to see how they've worn. The brush on the left is the new one. The brush on the right is a year old. Note that I've used it almost daily and washed it very, very frequently—at least a few times a week, if not every day. There are some dents on the old brush from me tapping it against the sink to knock water out of it (oops), and the bristles kind of bunch together even when it's clean. Thanks to some very, very over-zealous drying (I used to tug as I squeezed to get the water out—don't be like me), the head has been superglued in a few times. 

 

Real Techniques Stippling Brushes.

Real Techniques Stippling Brushes. Left: new. Right: A year old. 

Yep, I've been hard on this brush, and it looks a little worse for wear. But it still performs really, really well. I replaced it only because I figured it was only so long before the head popped out again.  

One important note: I don't recall my first brush being quite this fluffy-looking when I bought it, but I could be misremembering. I'll keep you posted on how this one looks in a few months.

Would I repurchase? Yes, I think so—though I'm hoping a gentler touch will keep it looking lovely for longer. One MAC stippling brush will buy five of these—so I figure there's a little grace, right?

Rating: Three and a half stars out of five.

Available: In Canada, your best best for these brushes, which are about $11 each, is London Drugs. You could also try Wal-Mart. If you can't find RT brushes in store, go for iHerb.com—shipping is incredibly reasonable.

Have you tried any of the Real Techniques brushes? What did you think?

Disclosure: These products were purchased by Eyeshadow Addict. 

 

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