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Smith Cosmetics Face & Cheek Brushes Reviews & Photos

Smith Cosmetics Brushes
Smith Cosmetics Brushes

Smith Cosmetics 112 Bronzer Brush ($32.00) is smaller cheek/face brush that flares out from the ferrule to a lightly tapered, rounded shape. It looks more like traditional highlighting brushes than the typical bronzer brush. It is made out of black goat hair and designed to give “soft, diffused color.” The brush has a total length of 7.90 inches / 20.00 centimeters, and the brush head was 20.00mm in width, 33.00mm length, and 20.00mm thickness (at its widest/longest points). I’ve always found this type of shape versatile for applying color to the face with a bit more precision and better for blending as it can buff and diffuse color easily. It applied powder products (bronzer, blush, highlight) well with moderate pick-up and blended them without a fuss. The bristles were somewhat soft, but they are not as silky or as smooth compared to the goat hair used in my Chikuhodo, Hakuhodo, Rae Morris, Tom Ford, or Wayne Goss but is softer than MAC face brushes. The brush did not irritate or bother my skin, however, and the bristles more readily grabbed color from firmer pressed powder products (conversely, anything really soft and powdery already may kick up even more excess product if you don’t use a light touch with this brush).

Smith Cosmetics 115 Foundation Brush ($28.00) is a dense, more rectangular-shaped brush that flares out moderately from the base and rounds at the edges, while the depth of the brush is more lightly rounded and flatter (good for patting/tapping/buffing motions). It contains a mix of goat hair and synthetic fibers, and what makes it more unique is that the bristles are the same length, so it is not like a lot of the natural/synthetic blend stippling brushes you’ll find on the market. The brush has a total length of 7.75 inches / 19.50 centimeters, and the brush head was 32.00mm in width, 26.00mm length, and 19.00mm thickness (at its widest/longest points). It is recommended for use with all types of products from liquid to powder. For liquid foundation, it did soak up a little more product than a fully synthetic brush (that’s as expected), but it spread foundation out well and didn’t leave behind a streaky finish. It can lightly buff liquid and cream products into the skin without sheering or moving the product around too much. The brush was less forgiving if it wasn’t cleaned after two uses (or one use, if it was full coverage), as then the foundation left on it would cause the bristles to stick together and leave a streaky finish (some brushes are more forgiving than others in this aspect). For applying powder products, due to the high density, it will pack a punch, so it is good with less pigmented products The overall feel of the bristles is much softer and smoother–it feels more like they move together as one–than the #112. Again, not as soft as a lot of my Japanese-type brushes but not irritating or rough on the skin.

Smith Cosmetics 118 Blush/Powder Brush ($32.00) small-sized, moderately dense powder brush that flares out from the base and creates a rounded, slightly dome-shaped edge. It contains a 50/50 mix of goat hair and synthetic fibers (of matching lengths) that can be used with liquids, creams, and powders for “blending and building blush and powder.” The brush has a total length of 8.00 inches / 20.50 centimeters, and the brush head was 34.00mm in width, 35.00mm length, and 24.00mm thickness (at its widest/longest points). If you have found most powder brushes to be too large for your face or preference, this might be a good option as it is one of the smaller powder brushes I’ve seen–it is more in line with average to slightly larger blush brushes. With a light tap into a blush, this gives a soft, diffused look that is easily blended out in soft, sweeping motions, pulling the brush against the face. I could feel some of the individual bristles a little bit if I used more patting or tapping motions, so I did find I preferred more sweeping, feathery motions for applying and blending out. It worked well with finishing powders when I wanted better coverage, as the smaller brush ensured I applied a bit more and was able to concentrate application on smaller areas. For my face shape, size, and personal preference, it was larger than ideal for blush and smaller than ideal for powder, but I think it could be a sweet spot in size for others. It had a similar softness to the #115, where most of the bristles moved together as one when swept and pulled across the face; I felt some individual bristles when tapping or patting with the top edge of the brush.

Smith Cosmetics 122 Highlighter Brush ($24.00) is a short, dense, dome-shaped brush designed for applying and blending out highlighters. It is made out of pony hair and recommended for use with liquids, creams, and powders. The brush has a total length of 7.00 inches / 18.00 centimeters, and the brush head was 22.00mm in width, 13.00mm length, and 9.00mm thickness (at its widest/longest points). If you like to highlight with precision, and you tend to like your highlighter moderate to intense in coverage/shimmer-level, this brush definitely works well for creating that type of look. It is incredibly dense, firm with some flex (enough that it can maneuver along the curves of the face and but doesn’t splay or lose its shape). The brush felt soft and smooth when patting highlighter onto the cheek bones as well as when smoothing and blending out the color by pulling the brush across the skin. I particularly liked this style and shape of brush for applying cream and liquid highlighters, as I was able to get greater precision and managed to retain better coverage than I normally get when I use stippling brushes. It can be too dense and create a very intense highlight when used with very pigmented highlighters (think Anastasia or Becca), which will not be everyone’s preference. The brush does a good job of blending out intense highlighters, but I find a less dense, feathery highlighting brush does the job faster as it doesn’t over-apply to begin with. So, if you prefer more subtle highlighting, I’d look elsewhere, but if you want a concentrated, moderate to intense highlight, this is superior to typical highlighter brushes.

Smith Cosmetics 124 Contour Brush ($24.00) is a short, angled brush with rounded edges designed for applying and blending out contours. It is made out of pony hair and recommended for use with liquids, creams, and powders. The brush has a total length of 7.25 inches / 18.30 centimeters, and the brush head was in 20.00mm width, 15.0mm length, and 11.00mm thickness (at its widest/longest points). It is very similar in overall size and quality to the #122 with the major difference between the angle and roundedness along that angle that gives it more of the look you’d expect from a contour brush. That being said, it is much, much smaller than even some of my smaller contour brushes with a stronger angle and is much denser. The smaller size and greater density make it ideal for laying down precise contour or navigating on smaller features and faces. It took some getting used to, because initially, I overapplied just about every product I tried using with it! Once I played more and adjusted my application, I was able to achieve softer, smoother contours that weren’t overly blown out beyond where I really wanted the contour color to be. It was easier to use with liquids/creams compared to more pigmented powder products as it was a denser brush. I also liked this brush for applying liquid foundations around the nose and underneath the eyes, as the contoured, smaller shape fit well into the nooks and crannies of my face. The brush felt soft, smooth, and didn’t irritate my face; the pony hair is not as soft as the best goat or squirrel hair, though (I find the pony hair used by Smith to be as soft as the goat hair used, sometimes seemingly softer).

Smith Cosmetics is a newer brand that primarily makes makeup brushes but is also well-known for their Smithfolio, which is a storage system that includes pages that can hold makeup brushes, glosses, liners, zippered bags, etc. that are held in a zippered binder. I was more curious about their brushes after watching a video the brand did earlier this year, as I liked their approach to creating and releasing brushes–they specifically looked for gaps in the market or ways to improve and tweak certain types of brushes. There seemed to be a really careful thought process to the whole range of brushes. All of their brushes feature a copper ferrule and antibacterial-coated, stained wood handle (one piece of wood, not wood chips).

They’re a Canadian brand, so shipping to the U.S. is around $10, but my recent order of three additional brushes and Smithfolio came very quickly (overnight) via DHL, which was impressive. They just announced free shipping from August 1st through August 20th, worldwide, so I’m doing my best to review the brushes I have from them before that promo is up.

Smith Cosmetics   112 Bronzer Brush
B+

12
Product
14
Fitness
5
Durability
4
Construction
88%
Total
Smith Cosmetics   115 Foundation Brush
12
Product
12
Fitness
4.5
Durability
4.5
Construction
83%
Total
Smith Cosmetics   118 Blush/Powder Brush
B+

12
Product
14
Fitness
4.5
Durability
4.5
Construction
88%
Total
Smith Cosmetics   122 Highlighter Brush
14
Product
13.5
Fitness
5
Durability
5
Construction
94%
Total
Smith Cosmetics   124 Contour Brush
13.5
Product
13.5
Fitness
5
Durability
5
Construction
93%
Total

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Smith Cosmetics 253 & 256 Laydown Eyeshadow Brushes Reviews & Photos

Smith Cosmetics 256 Laydown Brush Large
Smith Cosmetics Laydown Brushes: Small | Large

Smith Cosmetics is a newer brand that primarily makes makeup brushes but is also well-known for their Smithfolio, which is a storage system that includes pages that can hold makeup brushes, glosses, liners, zippered bags, etc. that are held in a zippered binder. I was more curious about their brushes after watching a video the brand did earlier this year, as I liked their approach to creating and releasing brushes–they specifically looked for gaps in the market or ways to improve and tweak certain types of brushes. There seemed to be a really careful thought process to the whole range of brushes. I’ve been testing a lot of the brushes in the range, which I hope to review at some point, but there are two that have fully captured my attention (so much so that I purchased multiples, along with the Smithfolio, after trying them). All of their brushes feature a copper ferrule and antibacterial-coated, stained wood handle (one piece of wood, not wood chips).

They’re a Canadian brand, so shipping to the U.S. is around $10, but my recent order of three additional brushes and Smithfolio came very quickly (overnight) via DHL, which was impressive. They actually just announced free shipping from August 1st through August 20th, worldwide.

Smith Cosmetics 253 Laydown Brush Small ($21.00) is designed to be used for powder products and uses pony hair. The brush has the following dimensions: 6.25 inches / 16 centimeters in total length; brush head is 7.75mm in width, 4.00mm in thickness, and 11.5mm in length. It’s a smaller eye brush with a triangular shape with tapering bristles as you move away and down from the point of the brush. While not quite as silky-smooth in feel compared to high and luxury-end goat-haired eye brushes, it felt very soft and never poked or scratched the skin on and around my eyes (it was softer than my go-to MAC 239). The tapering of the bristles makes it particularly excellent for blending and diffusing colors into each other, particularly when applied on the lid.

It was moderately dense without being firm or inflexible, which made it great for packing and laying down color (real surprise, given its name, I’m sure!). I found that the 253 picked up product really well–sometimes too well, if it was a more powdery and pigmented product–and was a great way to use firmer-pressed powders without having to dig and jab at them. Again, it seemed like the tapered bristles made it so more of the brush was getting brushed across the pan’s surface and therefore more product is getting picked up. The brush is thick enough that the edge can be used to apply color into the crease, and the tapered, smaller size of this particular brush also makes blending out crease colors possible. The triangular shape is one of the reasons I fell in love; it fits so well into the inner and outer corners for more precise lid color placement, while the tapered edge makes it easy to diffuse one color into the next and just above the corners for a more seamless eyeshadow look.

Smith Cosmetics 256 Laydown Brush Large ($23.00) is designed to be used with powder products and uses pony hair; it is a larger version of the 253. The brush has the following dimensions: 6.8 inches / 17.2 centimeters in total length; brush head is 10.00mm in width, 4.75mm in thickness, and 14.00mm in length. Against my skin, the brush felt very soft and smooth without any bristles that poked or scratched at the skin. I enjoyed using this brush a lot for diffusing colors after I placed eyeshadow onto the lid, and it worked well for applying color to the brow bone as well as blending transition shades from crease toward the brow bone. It can be used in the same manner as the 253–placing color on the lid, applying color to the crease, and blending out color on the lid or in the crease–but its larger size made it better for placing one or two colors on my eye due to the size/shape of my lid. I’d actually love to see a Medium version of this style of brush.

Smith Cosmetics   253 Laydown Eyeshadow Brush Small
A+

15
Product
15
Fitness
5
Durability
5
Construction
100%
Total
Smith Cosmetics   256 Laydown Eyeshadow Brush Large
A+

15
Product
15
Fitness
5
Durability
5
Construction
100%
Total

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Wayne Goss The Air-Brush Review & Photos

Wayne Goss The Air-Brush
Wayne Goss The Air-Brush

Wayne Goss The Air-Brush ($35.00) is a powder brush designed for sculpting, buffing, and baking. It is made out of blue squirrel hair, which are some of the softest natural hairs I’ve come across. It is a flatter, tapered cheek and face brush that’s small-to-medium in size; it’s not so small that it is only useful for precision work, as it can easily be used to apply products like blush and bronzer, but it is smaller than the average blush brush (though I find it more in line with the size of more Japanese-branded cheek brushes, like Chikuhodo Cheek/Highlighter and SUQQU Cheek). It’s 22mm in width, 35mm in length, and 14mm in thickness with a total length of 7.75 inches / 17 centimeters.

The brush felt silky-smooth against the skin; I couldn’t feel the individual bristles moving across the skin at all. It had moderate density and a fair amount of flexibility, so it can absolutely be used to buff in a powder product or to lightly sweep it on, which made it a more versatile brush overall. Personally, I liked it best for applying cheek products like highlighters, blushes, and bronzers, or else lightly patting loose setting powder under the eye (the softer hairs help minimize disturbing any concealer underneath the eye); it is a smaller version of Hakuhodo G5545, which is a brush I use regularly for applying cheek colors as it lays down color well as well as blends out powders nicely. The way the bristles taper really helps to diffuse color more gradually across the skin, giving a more blended result without a lot of effort. It can be used to contour as the narrower edge can be held underneath the cheek bone, and then the tapered edge can be used to blend out the contour. I still find an angled contour brush (which is more traditional) is more suitable for me to get a more gradual contour that really sits well underneath my cheek bone.

I haven’t had mine for long, since it just released, but I haven’t had any issues with my other Wayne Goss brushes with respect to things one would determine with prolonged use, like abnormal shedding, ferrule loosening, and so forth. Based on past performance and the fact that this is limited edition, I am comfortable giving this review sooner rather than later!

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Wayne Goss Holiday 2015 Brush Photos & Review

Wayne Goss Holiday 2015 Brush
Wayne Goss Holiday 2015 Brush

Wayne Goss Holiday 2015 Brush ($115.00) is a new, limited edition brush for the holiday season. It is described as a finishing brush that can be used to “blend away harsh lines and set makeup without disturbing it.” According to Beautylish, it is made out of “blue squirrel hair and a synthetic weave.”

It’s like a very large, rectangular-shape paddle brush with rounded edges. It flares out slightly from the ferrule, and it is light-to-moderate in density. It isn’t a flimsy brush, but it isn’t dense either and there’s a lot of give so it almost seemed floppy at first (not in a bad way, after I used it). It is the largest brush I’ve come across from Wayne Goss’ line. The handle itself is also quite thick. The brush head was 51mm in width, 51mm in length, and 22mm in thickness. It had a total length of 6.75 inches or just over 17 centimeters.

The bristles are soft, and they’re well-placed in the ferrule so the hairs line-up and appear even at the edge of the brush head. I liked it best for setting or finishing, and it worked well to as a softer version of a buffing brush, as it could gently blend and merge all products together without losing their placement. (It will not magically blend out a blotchy blush, though, as it has too much spring and flex). I’ve only had mine for a week, so I can’t attest to longevity or prolonged use, but I have washed mine five times to at least ensure that there are no issues with shedding or smell, and I haven’t experienced either thus far.

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MAC x Guo Pei 129 & 213 Brushes Reviews & Photos (Quick)

MAC x Guo Pei 129 Blush Brush
MAC x Guo Pei 129 Blush Brush

MAC x Guo Pei 129 Blush Brush ($46.00) is a specially packaged edition of MAC’s standard blush brush (which costs $35.00 normally). It is one of my least favorite brushes, even for a MAC brush, as it scratchy and rough. It only takes a couple of washings before it loses the majority of its softness. It also sheds. The Guo Pei version is no different, unfortunately. It is pretty to look at but painful to use! The shape is perfect for blush application, as it isn’t too small or too large with a lightly domed edge, moderate density, and some spring/give.

MAC x Guo Pei 213 Eyeshadow Brush ($32.00) is a small, fluffy eyeshadow brush beset for applying, packing, and blending out powder products on the eye. It is also a brush shape that is available in the permanent range (which costs $25.00 normally) that has been specially packaged for the collaboration. I like this brush, but I prefer a lot of others (at similar price points) over it as it is somewhat soft and can be a little rough along the edges. The Guo Pei edition seems to have a better edge than some of my standalones, as it is more even.

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Hakuhodo x Sephora PRO Brush Collection Photos & First Impressions

Hakuhodo x Sephora PRO Brush Collection
Hakuhodo x Sephora PRO Brush Collection

Hakuhodo x Sephora PRO Brush Collection consists of five face brushes that are made out of synthetic fibers. All five are on the larger side and dense with a lot of spring/give (particularly the Large Teardrop brush, which seems almost floppy as the brush tapers). The edges of all five brushes was very even, and I didn’t have any issues with scratchiness or feeling an odd bristle while trying the brushes in multiple directions. The fibers don’t seem as fine as they could be–IT’s Velvet Luxe line is softer and smoother in feel against the skin. I’m uncertain about some of the shapes and how versatile/useful they will be, but that is a personal call based on my own preferences, but you may want to see them in-store if you can.

It was apt that all but one brush was specifically named as a “Powder Brush,” because these seemed to be best with powders. Their density, though, made then prone to picking up and applying quite a bit of product, so you’ll want to use a light hand or use this with your sheerer to medium coverage products. I do not recommend using this with a bright candy apple red blush, for example, which is my personal test for seeing how much powder is deposited in a pick-up as well as how well the brush blends the color out (red blush is unforgiving, it gets splotchy quite easily without good application). As a side note, all of that intense red blusher washed right off with no staining (which is as expected).

Despite being a synthetic material, which often lends itself to liquid application, the Kusabi (Wedge Sloping Powder Brush) worked poorly with liquid/cream foundation as is very streaky, while the Kusuriyubi (Angled Concealer Brush) must be used to pat concealer into place rather than any sweeping or blending motions as it will leave slight lines. I think the Kusuriyubi is rather large, so it only worked okay underneath the eye (larger area), but it doesn’t fit as well into the grooves of the nose, around the mouth, under the brow, or for concealing acne or spots.

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