I think one of the biggest makeup/beauty trends this past year was the “oval” brush. The Artis brushes are perhaps the most well known due to all the hype they got on YouTube. Nevertheless I wasn’t going to spend $60 on a brush that I felt pretty certain was a temporary fad. I did a bit of research and found out that Missha and Etude House, popular Korean beauty brands, offered similar “toothbrush” style foundation brushes at much more affordable prices and both are very well received within the beauty community.
I purchased the Missha Artistool Foundation Brush #101 ($14) off of Missha’s official website which was pure luck because it’s almost always out of stock.
For reference, I generally love a dense, short bristled brush for applying foundation. Some of my favorites that I’ve tried over the years are the Sigma F82 Round Kabuki, the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, and more recently the Up & Up Complexion Brush. Because I have such dry, flake-prone skin I don’t use these brushes in the traditional manner. Rather than buffing with these brushes which would cause gentle exfoliation and result in skin flakes, I prefer to use these dense brushes to stipple/stamp/pat foundation into my skin. I just want to put that out there because my experience and opinion of this”oval” brush is influenced very much by the technique I use to apply my foundations. When I decided to buy this brush I never had any intention of using it to buff foundation into my skin. I wanted to experiment and see if I could stipple with it.
Compared to all of the brushes I’ve ever tried I have to say that the Missha brush is perhaps the densest and softest brush I’ve ever tried. It’s so dense that if I run my fingers over the bristles, it feels more like velvet or suede. The bristles are so tightly packed and soft that when I run my fingers across the brush head I can’t even feel the presence of individual bristles. It just feels like one solid piece of fabric which is pretty amazing.
The magical thing about the Missha brush is because it’s so dense, all of the foundation stays right at the tips and doesn’t seep deep into the bristles. That makes for easy cleaning but it also maximizes the potential of whatever foundation I use with it. Put another way, it’s the least wasteful of any brush I’ve ever used. A constant complaint that I have with the Beautyblender is that, although I love the natural finish it gives me, it sheers foundations out too much for my liking and I find that I always have to use more foundation with it to achieve the same level of coverage I get with a brush. The Missha brush does the opposite of the Beautyblender by allowing me to get the most coverage out of the tiniest bit of product while still giving me a natural looking finish. The Missha brush is basically the Beautyblender if it didn’t sheer out foundation.
I think for most people this brush would be a dream come true — soft, dense, stretches out your foundation to the max — but for me there’s a major drawback. This toothbrush style of brush is really only good for buffing. For a person like me who prefers to stipple, the placement of the handle makes this brush extremely awkward to use. I would love it if someone came out with a kabuki brush with a brush head with bristles as short and dense as this Missha brush. That would be amazing. Unfortunately, as it is, the Missha brush just doesn’t work with how I like to do my makeup.