Around the same time I purchased the Missha Artistool Foundation Brush #101 I also decided to buy the Etude House My Beauty Tool Secret Brush 121 Skin ($16.80). Based on reviews I’ve come across online, both brushes are highly rated yet still affordable “oval”/toothbrush style foundation application tools.
Perhaps the biggest selling point for the Etude House brush is that it comes with two interchangeable heads: a brush head and a sponge head. I was only interested in the brush, so that’s all I used and that’s all I’m reviewing here.
The brush heads of the Missha and Etude House brushes are approximately the same size with tapered, domed tops. Both brushes are extremely soft and dense with the main difference being the Etude House is oval whereas the Missha is teardrop shaped.
The Etude House brush has slightly longer bristles, so when I work the brush across the skin the Etude brush has some movement and give compared to the more closely cropped and densely packed Missha which has little to no movement to its bristles. It’s like the difference between the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and the denser Sigma F82/F80.
When I purchased these brushes I thought I would like the Missha brush more for its teardrop shape and high density. I figured it would be better at getting into tight corners around the eyes and nose and it is but I found myself preferring the rounded shape and lower density of the Etude House brush. I have to point out that I’m more of a stippler than a buffer and stippling with the Etude House brush was a lot easier because of its curved handle; the Missha handle is a lot straighter. Of course, neither brush was designed for stippling but I wanted to experiment with them and see if it was possible. It’s possible, just not ideal.
The main strength of the Missha brush is its ability to maximize the coverage out of every bit of foundation which is great for anyone who loves heavier coverage and wants to get the most bang for their buck. The Etude House brush, in comparison, provides less coverage using the same amount of foundation but I’ve always been more of a medium coverage gal anyway and I like the softer finish it gives me. This is exactly the same reason why I prefer the slightly less dense Up & Up Complexion Brush to the Sigma F80/F82.
One interesting thing I noticed about both brushes is how well they navigate over textured skin, specifically large pores. Many brushes move over the topmost surface of the skin really well but skip over pores leaving pores either bare and noticeable or the brushes cause foundation to pool in the pores leaving pores full and noticeable. The Missha and Etude House brushes both work foundation really well into the skin, pores included, but don’t cause foundation to pool in the pores. In that sense these brushes perform a lot like makeup sponges which press foundation into the skin.
As I said in my Missha brush review, I’d love it if someone came out with a brush as dense, short bristled and soft but in a more traditional brush handle placement (e.g. kabuki brush, stippling brush). I feel the same exact way about the Etude House brush, in fact even more so. These brushes aren’t great for someone like me who prefers to stipple but if you’ve been looking for a new foundation buffing brush, both the Etude House and Missha brush are worth try. They’re both super soft and extremely dense. Choose the Missha if you prefer fuller coverage and go with the Etude House brush if you prefer a little less coverage.