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.