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.

12
Product
14
Fitness
5
Durability
4
Construction
88%
Total
12
Product
12
Fitness
4.5
Durability
4.5
Construction
83%
Total
12
Product
14
Fitness
4.5
Durability
4.5
Construction
88%
Total
14
Product
13.5
Fitness
5
Durability
5
Construction
94%
Total
13.5
Product
13.5
Fitness
5
Durability
5
Construction
93%
Total
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See more photos!

Smith Cosmetics Brushes
Smith Cosmetics Brushes

Smith Cosmetics Brushes
Smith Cosmetics Brushes

Smith Cosmetics Brushes
Smith Cosmetics Brushes

Smith Cosmetics #112 Bronzer Brush
Smith Cosmetics #112 Bronzer Brush

Smith Cosmetics #112 Bronzer Brush
Smith Cosmetics #112 Bronzer Brush

Smith Cosmetics #112 Bronzer Brush
Smith Cosmetics #112 Bronzer Brush

Smith Cosmetics #115 Foundation Brush
Smith Cosmetics #115 Foundation Brush

Smith Cosmetics #115 Foundation Brush
Smith Cosmetics #115 Foundation Brush

Smith Cosmetics #115 Foundation Brush
Smith Cosmetics #115 Foundation Brush

Smith Cosmetics #115 Foundation Brush
Smith Cosmetics #115 Foundation Brush

Smith Cosmetics #115 Foundation Brush
Smith Cosmetics #115 Foundation Brush

Smith Cosmetics #118 Blush/Powder Brush
Smith Cosmetics #118 Blush/Powder Brush

Smith Cosmetics #118 Blush/Powder Brush
Smith Cosmetics #118 Blush/Powder Brush

Smith Cosmetics #118 Blush/Powder Brush
Smith Cosmetics #118 Blush/Powder Brush

Smith Cosmetics #118 Blush/Powder Brush
Smith Cosmetics #118 Blush/Powder Brush

Smith Cosmetics #118 Blush/Powder Brush
Smith Cosmetics #118 Blush/Powder Brush

Smith Cosmetics #122 Highlighter Brush
Smith Cosmetics #122 Highlighter Brush

Smith Cosmetics #122 Highlighter Brush
Smith Cosmetics #122 Highlighter Brush

Smith Cosmetics #122 Highlighter Brush
Smith Cosmetics #122 Highlighter Brush

Smith Cosmetics #122 Highlighter Brush
Smith Cosmetics #122 Highlighter Brush

Smith Cosmetics #122 Highlighter Brush
Smith Cosmetics #122 Highlighter Brush

Smith Cosmetics #124 Contour Brush
Smith Cosmetics #124 Contour Brush

Smith Cosmetics #124 Contour Brush
Smith Cosmetics #124 Contour Brush

Smith Cosmetics #124 Contour Brush
Smith Cosmetics #124 Contour Brush

Smith Cosmetics #124 Contour Brush
Smith Cosmetics #124 Contour Brush

Smith Cosmetics #124 Contour Brush
Smith Cosmetics #124 Contour Brush

Smith Cosmetics #124 Contour Brush
Smith Cosmetics #124 Contour Brush

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About the Reviewer

Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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30 Comments

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You’re right, their shipping is super fast, faster than stuff I order from USA companies! On Aug 1, I ordered the Small Laydown Shadow Brush #253, and it will be at my doorstep today, so only 3 days to get from Canada to CA, and shipping was free. I’m going to play with the brush tonight, so I can report back for Free Haul on Friday. And if it works out, I will be back for more, to take advantage of that free shipping deal.

I’ve tried the several traditional foundation brushes including a few of Sephoras types. The flat types with oval ends. I’ve tried other brands of the same type and didn’t care for any of them. The best of the group was Sephora airbrush foundation brush though. I also had the one big dense fluffy brush by Tarte. It worked well but had a musty smell that I couldn’t wash away.
All in all, I preferred my fingers and or the Beautyblender.

You certainly have perfected the brush review game. Your functional descriptions are great. And we all remember when you had not yet firmed a up a rating system. Multiple photos help me out a lot. I clearly don’t speak brush as well as I speak color cosmetics. I could pick out a swatch, based on your verbal description with ease. Brushes seem much harder to envisualize. That is one very different take on a highlighter brush. Overall, these seem quite sturdy, functional, and not too expensive. Go, Canada!

Still playing with the rating system a bit – my husband and I are in disagreement over the term fitness (he favors “performance,” while I favor “fitness,” which I guess is a holdover from law school). I’m confident with the four groupings but trying to convey terminology that’s both general and more objective is the harder part, haha.

Definitely considering ordering a few of the eye brushes now!!! None of these face ones seem essential to me, but definitely the two eye brushes you reviewed so far! I can’t wait for your thoughts on the rest of the brushes then I’ll place my order!

Isn’t the highlighting brush meant for highlighting under the eyes, not the shimmery highlighting you’d do on the cheek bones? I’ve already ordered three brushes with the free shipping deal because shipping to Australia is crazy expensive. Thanks for the reviewing, Christine ?

Hi Maddy,

On their website, it mentions just highlighting in general, and in a video they did with YouTuber Samantha, they mentioned it being good for doing the triangular highlight underneath the eye area (which hits the tops of cheekbones when they demonstrated) along with down the bridge of nose. They did mention both the highlighter and contour brushes are very dense, so they will tend to apply powder heavily and work particularly well with creams.

As mentioned in the review, I preferred it for liquids/creams over powders for that very reason!

Hi,

How does 122 work with Becca poured version highlighters for someone that likes moderate highlight ? I don’t like fingers with poured because more products ends up on my fingers than on my cheek.

how funny (regarding the foundation brush) I find that when freshly washed, it is super streaky and blends horribly!! but after being used 1x or 2x its much softer and blends better!

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