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Make Up For Ever #106 Medium Foundation, #156 Large Flat Blush, #176 Medium Concealer Brushes Reviews & Photos

Make Up For Ever #106 Medium Foundation Brush
Make Up For Ever #106 Medium Foundation Brush

Make Up For Ever #106 Medium Foundation Brush ($36.00) isa medium-sized, flat foundation brush with a slightly rounded edge. The brush head is 29mm in length, 26mm in width, and 5mm in thickness. The ferrule is pinched towards the top (near the brush head), and the handle is fairly thick (1.5 centimeters in diameter) towards the center and then narrows as it tapers to a slanted point. The total brush length is 6.75 inches or just over 17 centimeters. The weight is distributed more towards the brush head, so the handle does feel quite light.

It’s a thinner, firmer brush that is flexible as it is pressed and swept across the face, but it is not at all fluffy. The synthetic fibers pick up liquid and cream really well, but I do see noticeable brush strokes on the skin when I use this, so some buffing/blending is required with another brush after the initial lay down of product is done with this. I also noticed that there were four or five fibers that I had to trim back, because they were a half an inch or so extended beyond the brush’s actual shape. The brush is soft, and it didn’t turn greasy after several washes, and I had no real issues with it. There are a lot of flat foundation brushes on the market, and though I don’t have any in this exact shape, they all tend to apply similarly–somewhat streaky but can lay down more coverage (like MAC 190).

#156 Flat Round Blush Brush ($55.00) is a flat, fluffy blush brush with a domed, rounded edge. It’s not too dense, but it has enough fibers to not feel sparse. The brush head is 35mm in length, 35mm in width (at its widest point), and 15mm in thickness (at its thickest point). It has an pinched ferrule and a moderately wide handle (just under 1.5 centimeters in diameter) towards the center that narrows and tapers to a slanted point.  This brush had nice weight distribution.

It’s soft enough not to feel rough or scratchy against my skin, but I noticed it was less soft compared to other Make Up For Ever brushes. It doesn’t grab onto powders particularly well, so it ends up with a very soft, light application of powder blushes and bronzers. If you prefer a lighter application, you may enjoy this brush or want to look for a synthetic blush brush as synthetic brushes tend to pick up less powder than natural fiber brushes. I noticed that this brush lost a lot of its shape after a few washes and seemed more flared with some bristles splayed oddly.  Shu Uemura’s #20 Brush is similar–a touch longer in length with less flare and is slightly denser. Hakuhodo G5545 has a more rounded edge and is just a few millimeters longer. MAC 116 is much thicker, so it’s not much of a flat brush, while Sephora PRO Precision Blush (73) is also thicker and has a more tapered edge.

#176 Medium Concealer Brush ($30.00) is a small-medium, firm, flat brush designed to be used for concealer on larger areas. The brush head is 23mm in length, 17mm in width, and 4mm in thickness. It has a pinched ferrule, and a total handle length of 7 inches or just under 18 centimeters.  The weight distribution was nice–not too heavy at the brush head.

Make Up For Ever recommends using it with liquid and creams (like concealer), which is what I would use it for. If you like firm, flat brushes for applying foundation but find many of them too large, you may prefer the smaller shape of this one. I think it performs similar–it’s nice for laying down product initially, but for spreading and blending, it leaves streaks behind that need to be fixed with another brush. MAC 192 is thicker and longer. OCC’s Concealer (003) Brush is longer and more tapered.

Make Up For Ever   #106 Medium Foundation Brush
0
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0
Pigmentation
0
Texture
0
Longevity
0
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0%
Total
Make Up For Ever   #156 Large Flat Blush Brush
0
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0
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0
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0
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0
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0%
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Make Up For Ever   #176 Medium Concealer Brush
0
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0
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0
Texture
0
Longevity
0
Application
0%
Total

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theBalm Swiss Dot Instain Long-Wearing Powder Blush

theBalm Swiss Dot Instain Long-Wearing Staining Powder Blush
theBalm Swiss Dot Instain Long-Wearing Staining Powder Blush

theBalm Swiss Dot Instain Long-Wearing Staining Powder Blush ($22.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “peach.” It’s a medium-dark orange with subtle red undertones and a matte finish. Chanel Presage is similar but a cream product. NARS Gilda is slightly pinker. MAC Early Morning is a touch more muted. MAC Out for Fun is slightly redder and brighter, also a cream product. Guerlain Peach Boy #1 is pinker/redder. Chanel Frivole is slightly lighter. See comparison swatches.

It’s intensely pigmented with rich color payoff. The texture is soft and finely-milled without being powdery. It does have a tendency to cling to the skin almost immediately, so I highly recommend applying over totally dry/set foundation (if it is liquid/cream) with a light hand and patting, then blending. You may consider lightly dusting cheeks with a finishing or setting powder and then applying the blush, because this will help it blend better. Even on bare skin, it sometimes would stick where it landed, and it would be difficult to blend out. Swiss Dot wore well, though, for eight and a half hours, and after ten hours of wear, it started looking patchy, so it lives up to its long-wearing claim.

theBalm Instain Long-Wearing Staining Powder Blush Swiss Dot
Swiss Dot
Swiss Dot
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9.5
Longevity
4
Application
90%
Total

Tom Ford Cheek (06) & Bronzer (05) Brushes Reviews & Photos

Tom Ford Cheek (06) Brush
Tom Ford Cheek (06) Brush

Tom Ford Cheek (06) Brush ($78.00) is a blush brush with a rounded square-shape, slightly domed along the top edge, with very densely-packed bristles that feel lush and thick to the touch. It is very similar in shape to Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush, it’s just larger. The brush head is 33mm in length, 35mm in width, and 20mm in thickness. It has a metal ferrule that is pitched towards the top, and the handle is well-balanced with some heft (but it’s not heavy or awkward) with a total brush length of just over 6 inches or just under 16 centimeters. The brush handle is somewhat thick at 15mm in diameter, and it has a flat bottom, so it can stand upright (if desired). The brand’s logo and brush number are engraved and have gold lettering (neither have worn off at all so far).

Tom Ford’s brushes, from my experience, are very consistent. There is no question that they’re soft, silky, and feel great against the skin, and the Cheek Brush is no different. The brush is dense and thick, so it’s somewhat firm (but not stiff) with spring and give that’s just right for sweeping, patting, and diffusing powder products. I haven’t had any issues with this brush over the year and a half I’ve been using it–no shedding, no funny smells, and despite it being white, surprisingly easy to keep close to the way it came. The natural bristles pick up color well, and then the shape and texture of the bristles also blends out the powder well. Because it retains its shape during application, it can also work well for contouring or applying bronzer, as the edge fits well into the hollows of the cheek.

Hakuhodo J5543 ($60) is very similar and is only 2mm shorter in length and thickness (though Hakuhodo lists it as 11.5mm in thickness, mine is 18mm after washing and use)–it is not quite as dense, which results in a lighter application, though I felt realistically you can layer and apply as much/as little with either brush, it’s a matter of technique, pressure, and amount of product you initially pick-up. I also think that many will prefer a softer blush application to start than one that provides for a more pigmented application right off the bat. Generally, denser/thicker brushes will yield more color payoff and coverage, and then fluffier, sparser brushes will give you a softer, sheerer color payoff and coverage. I don’t have it to compare, but the J501 ($96) is longer (44mm) and less thick (16.8mm); J505 ($69) is also longer (38mm) and less thick (15mm). MAC 116 ($35) is much less dense, not as soft, and is narrower/more flared.

Bronzer (05) Brush ($115.00) is a massive, dense, thick brush that’s wide, flares out towards the top and has a slightly domed edge. I have to reiterate that this brush is huge, and it’s one of the larger brushes I have. The brush is 45mm in length, 50mm in width, and 30mm in thickness. The handle is quite thick at 21mm across in diameter, flat-bottomed, and the brush has a total length of 6.7 inches or 17 centimeters. It has a metal ferrule that is pinched towards the top. The overall shape is similar to both the Cheek (06) and Cream Foundation (02) brushes, which this being the largest, the Cheek falling in the middle, and the Cream Foundation being the baby of the family. The bristles are layered, so the outermost bristles are shorter than the ones in the middle. They move, feel, and act like one in many ways; you do not feel bristles or fibers against the skin, just a seamless sweep across the face.

While it’s designed for bronzer, and it certainly applies bronzing powder well and blends it out nicely, the brush is quite large and so it will depend in your application and face shape/size whether it’s really a feasible/worthwhile tool. It picks up powder products quite well, which may make products seem too pigmented if you tend to be heavy-handed. Less is more, and you’ll spend less time diffusing and blending out whatever product you may apply. I must admit that I personally like using this for applying finishing, setting, and loose/pressed powders/foundations over bronzer, as I regularly wear those and wear bronzer less, so I can get more use out of it that way. I had two to three hairs shed during the first two or three uses, but after that, I did not have any issues with it shedding. It washes easily, though be prepared for a slightly longer drying time compared to smaller brushes–it’s just so large. It dries in less than a day, though, and some of the synthetic brushes that are closer to this size, take a full day.

If you are even the slightest bit seduced by brush softness and don’t want to splurge on this product, I highly recommend never, ever touching it. Ever. It is like a combination of silk and cream against the skin. One thing I’ve learned is that brushes can be had at all price points, and like anything that’s a splurge, you have to not just love it but use it. If it just sits there, it’s never going to be worth it. If you use it every day, you get joy out of using it, then it might be just the right reward for yourself.

I gathered similar brushes to compare to this one, but its greatest difference is how dense, full, and lush it is. It is just packed with feathery, silky-smooth bristles. MAC 134 ($53) is the brush closest to this that I have, though it feels noticeably rough and scratchy in comparison, is more flared out, and is 30-40% less thick/dense (just my estimate!). OCC Powder Brush ($28) is narrower at the base with a stronger flare, and it is a thinner, less densely-packed brush. I don’t have any Hakuhodo brushes that I purchased that compare to this, but I did try to make an educated guess comparing the measurements, and the closest I could find was the J5541 ($111), which is half as thick (13mm vs. 30mm), and the J501 ($96), which is 6mm shorter in length and half as thick (16.8mm vs. 30mm). Make Up For Ever #128 ($52) is a brush that also has a very large brush head and a fairly thick/dense quality to it, but the shape is really quite different. I do prefer the #128 for loose/setting powder application (I feel like you can press better) but Tom Ford’s is better for dusting, sweeping, and feathering those products across the skin.

Tom Ford Beauty   Cheek (06) Brush
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0
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0
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0
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0
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0%
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Tom Ford Beauty   Bronzer (05) Brush
0
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0
Pigmentation
0
Texture
0
Longevity
0
Application
0%
Total

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Make Up For Ever #110 Medium Foundation Kabuki & #126 Medium Powder Brushes Reviews & Photos

Make Up For Ever #110 Medium Foundation Kabuki Brush
Make Up For Ever #110 Medium Foundation Kabuki Brush

Make Up For Ever #110 Medium Foundation Kabuki Brush ($48.00) is a tapered kabuki brush, and the tapered edge definitely separates it from my other kabuki brushes. The brush head measures 40mm in length, 30mm in width, and 30mm in thickness. It has a short handle (as you’d expect for a kabuki) with a total brush length of 3 inches or 7.5 centimeters.

The brush is incredibly dense, soft and silky against the skin, but it’s flexible enough to easily allow the tapered edge to curve around the nose and underneath the eye. Make Up For Ever recommends this for cream and liquid foundations, first and foremost, though it is also recommended for loose and pressed powders. I liked it best with liquid foundation, and it does tend to apply with heavier coverage, so if you tend to prefer a very sheer or light foundation application, it won’t be a go-to for you. I also used it to blend out edges of powder blush/bronzer, and it works, but I’m more inclined to reach for a buffer brush (like the #126 below) for that.

Make Up For Ever has five kabuki brushes in their range; the #102 is a smaller version of the #110, while the #124 has the more traditional dome-shape. There is also the #132, which is a flattened version, and the #414, which is a body brush. If you actually wanted to really buff and blend using the top of the brush, I would steer you away from this, as the tapered tip is tapered and firm enough that it works better for sweeping at an angle, not straight-on like many kabuki brushes are used.

#126 Medium Powder Brush ($55.00) is a large, dense, dome-shaped brush designed to be used for loose and pressed powder application with “moderate-to-high coverage.” It’s incredibly dense, thick, and very lush. The brush fibers are soft, silky, and glide across the skin almost as if they were one. The brush head is 40mm long, 40mm wide, and 40mm thick. The weight is more concentrated towards the brush head, and I would have preferred a better weight distribution to give the handle more heft. The handle is particular thick–about 3/4 of an inch in diameter at its thickest point. The total length of the brush is just over 7 inches or 18 centimeters. The ferrule is particularly long, even for a face brush, and is an open/round ferrule (no pinching).

This brush actually reminded me of a kabuki or buffer brush–in fact, the shape and size of MAC 182 is almost a dead-ringer, except for the handle. If you’ve always loved the shape of a kabuki brush but wanted a longer handle, this brush will definitely give you that. I loved it for blending and buffing out powder blush and bronzer, and it also worked for applying loose powder all-over. It tends to pick up powder a bit more than a fluffier brush, so for setting and finishing powders, I think it ends up yielding a too powdery finish. For powder foundation, though, it works to give light to medium coverage fairly easily.

One downside to both of these was that they take forever to dry (at least a full 24 hours) if you’ve done a full wash of them. On the plus side, I really didn’t feel like I had much in the way of similar brushes in my stash. The tapered shape of the #110 definitely makes it more unique compared to other kabuki brushes, while the fullness and denseness of the #126 make it different from other long-handled powder brushes I have (which tend to be less dense and fluffier), but it is comparable to the more traditional kabuki brush shape and density.

Make Up For Ever   #110 Medium Foundation Kabuki Brush
0
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0
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0
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0
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0
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0%
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Make Up For Ever   #126 Medium Powder Brush
0
Product
0
Pigmentation
0
Texture
0
Longevity
0
Application
0%
Total

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Wet ‘n’ Wild Hard Being the It Girl Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio Quick

Wet 'n' Wild Hard Being the It Girl Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio
Wet ‘n’ Wild Hard Being the It Girl Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio

Wet ‘n’ Wild Hard Being the It Girl Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio ($2.99 for 0.12 oz.) contains a light-medium pink, cobalt blue, and yellow-y beige, all with matte finishes. The eyeshadows suffer from a really poor texture that is very powdery (almost dusty!), somewhat chalky, and a pain to use. Through a lot of different attempts at using the trios from the summer collection, your best bet is applying the eyeshadows over a creamy, slightly tacky white base (whatever that may be for you), as regular primers (like Urban Decay Primer Potion, Too Faced shadow Insurance, NARS Smudge Proof) do not work well with these–they only prolong wear by a few hours but don’t boost the color payoff enough. A tackier base will help minimize the powder sheering away or not adhering to the lid, while the white coloring will amplify the colors.

Wet ‘n’ Wild proclaims long-wear and high pigment with the Color Icon formula–which has proved to be true in the past–but is a miss here. Alone, these eyeshadows are nearly gone (with some settled into the creases) within three to five hours; with a primer, make it six to seven hours with half the product remaining and it always looking like a faded version of what you see in the palette.

Hard Being the It Girl #1 is a light-medium pink with subtle cool undertones and a mostly matte finish. It had good color payoff, but it was somewhat chalky and powdery. See comparison swatches.

Hard Being the It Girl #2 a medium-dark, cobalt blue with a matte finish. It had seemingly good color payoff, but the texture was still quite powdery so this proved for difficult application–it would sheer out and disappear almost instantly. You really need a sticky/creamy base to capture all the powder before it disappears. Pat on, avoid blending a lot, just lightly diffuse along the edges. See comparison swatches.

Hard Being the It Girl #3 is a light beige with slight yellow undertones and a mostly matte finish. It performed much like the other two: incredibly powdery which made for poor application. See comparison swatches.

If you think that maybe I’m expecting too much for the price tag, consider the previous palettes Wet ‘n’ Wild has released that have been much, much better like Comfort Zone and Blue Had Me at Hello.

* Please note: This is a quick review, but I’ve still pulled dupes, I just haven’t gone through them one-by-one and broken out how they differ.

Wet 'n' Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio Hard Being the It Girl
6.5
Product
6.5
Pigmentation
7
Texture
5.5
Longevity
3
Application
63%
Total
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Also In This Review

Wet ‘n’ Wild To Muse and Carouse Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio Quick

Wet 'n' Wild To Muse and Carouse Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio
Wet ‘n’ Wild To Muse and Carouse Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio

Wet ‘n’ Wild To Muse and Carouse Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio ($2.99 for 0.12 oz.) contains a peachy-orange, medium-dark brown, and light-medium blue all with matte finishes. Everything was powdery, and two of the shades were also chalky. I had major wear issues with these, as the eyeshadows on their own (not to sound like a broken record, but Wet ‘n’ Wild advertises the Color Icon formula as long-wearing and highly-pigmented, which is why the poor wear is such a problem) disappear in their entirety after five hours of wear–they were half-gone after three hours. It was like my lids were hungry for eyeshadow. Over a primer (I used Too Faced Shadow Insurance), they were slightly better–six hours with a fair amount of fading. Over a creamy base (I used NYX Milk), they performed the best and wore fairly well for seven hours, but you’ll be packing on the eyeshadow to get the color payoff to be true-to-pan.

To Muse and Carouse #1 is a light-medium orange with a matte finish. It’s chalky and somewhat powdery, but it had so-so color payoff. See comparison swatches.

To Muse and Carouse #2 is a medium-dark, warm-toned brown with a mostly matte finish. It was very powdery. See comparison swatches.

To Muse and Carouse #3 is a light-medium blue with a matte finish. It was incredibly sheer, powdery, and chalky. See comparison swatches.

* Please note: This is a quick review, so while I’ve still pulled dupes, I just haven’t gone through them one-by-one and broken out how they differ.

Wet 'n' Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio To Muse and Carouse
5
Product
6
Pigmentation
5
Texture
4.5
Longevity
3
Application
52%
Total
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