Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush (02) Review & Photos

Tom Ford Cream Foundation (02) Brush
Tom Ford Cream Foundation (02) Brush

Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush (02) ($72.00) was created to be used with Tom Ford’s Traceless Foundation Stick, but it can easily be used with liquids as well as true creams. The brush is about 6″ long, while the brush head is about 1″ in height and width and is about a 1/2″ thick. It’s made with natural hair, though I haven’t been able to confirm exactly the type of natural hair (likely goat and potentially something else). The brush is made in Japan, and it’s rumored that Hakuhodo manufactures these, but I haven’t seen it confirmed or mentioned in a press release (only that Tom Ford engaged the world’s leading brush maker in Japan to make them to his exact specifications).  The handle is well-balanced, and the brush head is densely-packed and very, very soft. It’s not a small face brush, but it’s not a large one, so it can still maneuver underneath the eye and around the nose without issue.

This brush excels at both cream and liquid foundation application, as it does not take any more product than is necessary to achieve a natural, even finish. It doesn’t soak up the product, which can sometimes result in a heavier application than you really need. Because it’s so densely-packed, it’s not a fluffy brush, but it is soft and holds its shape well and never leaves streaks or brush lines. It’s really as if all you do is apply the foundation, because there’s no need to blend it afterward–it’s already done. It can also be used with cream blush (even powder), but it stands out most for liquid and cream foundations because of the streak-free finish it leaves behind.

I’ve been using this brush for a year and a half, having received in late 2011. Oh, I’m sure you’re wondering why so long, and that’s really because it’s at such a luxury price point that I’ve wanted to not just put it through the paces but incorporate it into my regular routine. I really wanted to see how it held up to consistent, prolonged use. One of the things I was most surprised about was how clean and pristine the brush looks after over a hundred washes (I wash my brushes after each use)–still as white as the day it arrived. I haven’t experienced any shedding or funny smells after washes.  It’s retained its shape well over time, and it really shows no signs of wear.  The ferrule is perfectly in place, bristles aren’t splayed at the edges, and it still looks new and shiny.

The majority of my brushes are MAC, though I do have other brands in there, and my often-used brush for foundation is Hourglass No. 2 Foundation/Blush Brush (which is a nice alternative if you prefer Taklon bristles, rather than natural hair).  Tom Ford’s brush is easier to clean and requires even less attention to get a flawless, even finish in comparison, so between the two, yes, Tom Ford gets my personal vote, though the two are both great brushes.  Tom Ford does, however, easily beat my previous go-to MAC 109 for liquid foundation application.

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See more photos!

Tom Ford Cream Foundation (02) Brush
Tom Ford Cream Foundation (02) Brush

Tom Ford Cream Foundation (02) Brush
Tom Ford Cream Foundation (02) Brush

Tom Ford Cream Foundation (02) Brush
Tom Ford Cream Foundation (02) Brush

Tom Ford Cream Foundation (02) Brush
Tom Ford Cream Foundation (02) Brush

Tom Ford Cream Foundation (02) Brush
Tom Ford Cream Foundation (02) Brush

Tom Ford Cream Foundation (02) Brush
Tom Ford Cream Foundation (02) Brush

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We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!


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“The brush is about 6″ long, while the brush head is about 1″ in height and width with a density of just over 1/2″. ”

A minor thing – density isn’t the right word, maybe thickness?

Seems everyone is getting into the brush scene these days..which leads me to believe there must be huge margins on them. It’s good to know TF quality is there as one would expect at this price point.

If indeed TF is made by Hakuhodo, then the prices are only somewhat (potentially, since they have various series) higher than buying from Hakuhodo direct – although I haven’t tried anything from the brand and am quite overwhelmed every time I think about what to start with, LOL!

Don’t be intimadated by the huge selection of brushes by Hakuhodo, Christine. Once you try a few of Hakuhodo’s superlative brushes, you’ll not want to use anything else. There are a few bloggers who have extensive Hakuhodo collections and they’ve done exhaustive reviews so you can get a good idea as to where you’d like to start. Although the majority of the brushes are made with the finest goat hair, if you’ve never experienced the luxury of stroking a blue squirrel brush on your face, that might be something to consider.

I’ve also heard that TF brushes are manufactured by Hakuhodo. Because I own a large number of Hakuhodo and Tom Ford brushes, I can say unequivocably that they exhibit the same quality and craftsmanship, so I think the “rumor” is probably true. Neither TF nor Hakuhodo has ever denied it nor has any other company come forward to take credit.

Bottom line: Brushes like Tom Ford’s are definitely luxuries. They won’t make you a better person, they won’t make you happier, they won’t make you more beautiful, they won’t bring you success. So, what good are they? They apply makeup flawlessly and transform the application process into a soothing sensory experience. For people who enjoy the application process and want fine tools, Tom Ford/Hakuhodo are outstanding examples of brushes as an art form.

Hi Eileen,

Thanks for your comment! I wouldn’t say I’m intimidated, only that there are so many brushes that I haven’t committed to where I want to start – as I start to add to bag, and it’s $800 later! I’ve read probably two or three dozen reviews, but I haven’t found them to be really good quality reviews? or particularly comprehensive or helpful, so I’d very much appreciate it if you could recommend your personal favorites 🙂 Most of the brushes I’ve considered getting have been ones that I’ve seen readers recommend through various questions/survey posts on Temptalia, since I trust you guys so much!

I don’t know where exactly you’re located, but are you in So Cal? If so, Hakuhodo has a showroom in Torrance. You have to call for an appointment, but I’m sure they’d be thrilled to have a blogger of your stature come for a visit to see all their brushes.

Gaia of The Non Blond has several nice reviews and comparisons of Hakuhodo brushes and she’s a lady who really knows her brushes! Sonia of Sweet Makeup Temptations is a bonafide Hakuhodo afficianado and has more brushes than she could use in a lifetime. If you’re in So Cal, though, I think the best bet is go to the showroom.

I’d love to purchase hakuhodo brushes but they just aren’t easily accessible to shop for in the UK. If I was in the US I would definitely give those brushes a try. The Tom ford one has been on my wish list for some time now but my personal choice would be go for a Japanese brand like Suqqu instead because of the quality I’d expect from it.

Tom Ford’s brushes are made in Japan and officially, the manufacturer is the “world’s best” or whatever in Japan as well (in case you weren’t sure). I’m sure you’ll have no trouble getting a quality brush from Suqqu or Hakuhodo (or TF), though!

I completely agree. With the exception of MAC’s 217, Hakuhodo is all I use, and they were worth every penny. Positively unsurpassed in quality.

I subscribe to the belief that one can own the highest end makeup in the world, but if cheap brushes are used, the makeup might as well be dime store quality.

i wouldnt see that from you with your methodical personality with the lists and things you keep both for the blog and yourself. my suggestion is start with the cheaper ones since those would go down better for your readers (and your wallet, and its a good start) and just get idk 2-3 at a time and see which style and shape you like best since many shapes can be found across the various price points and lines. Maybe start out with the shape of something you already know you like for example that MUFE eye blender you have mentioned…

Yes – you are very correct in your assessment! I’ve been asking myself:

“Well, what fits my style so I would actually use and be enthusiastic and could really use/put to the test?” A brush that you use once in awhile is not worth the outlay typically (I own nearly every MAC brush MAC has made and probably don’t use more than 15-20 regularly), but one you would use all the time can be (plus, you are also using it more, washing it more, etc. and seeing how it holds up and performs more thoroughly).
“Are these brushes going to translate well to readers?” Price point, obviously, will not be right for all, but for instance, a $200 brush is far less obtainable than $20, even if a $2 brush is more obtainable than a $20 – there is always a happy medium somewhere, so I want a good mix of ones more on par with popular brands like MAC and a few that may be more luxe as well (so closer to TF).

So happy you’re reviewing these TF brushes, Christine! =) I’ve been eyeing this and their contour brush; it worries me though if I’ll have a reaction to the goat hair (as I suspect I’m going through with my MAC #168, so sad!) Then again my hope is, when I finally give in to this, the hair quality is different (and ehem, better) than MAC’s.

I’ve been trying to zero-in on what’s really bothering me, if it’s the brush or the face products. But after switching products and the brush being consistent, I’m almost convinced the brush is the culprit. Have you experienced any type of sensitivity to any/specific hair type?

I don’t think I’ve had a brush-based agitation or sensitivity, though I am(somewhat) allergic to cats, guinea pigs, rats, and mice (that I know of). If you ARE sensitive or might be, just make sure there’s a good return policy in case you actually are. Would hate for you to buy a TF brush and then confirm but not be able to return.

I just wanted to say (months after the fact!) that animal allergies are caused by their dander and skin – the “living” tissue that the hair carries. Hair that has been treated and made into a brush shouldn’t irritate skin because of the animal hair content, as the component that causes the allergy should no longer be present. It’s entirely possible you’re reacting to your brush though! Perhaps something else to do with the brush? I have the 168 and can’t imagine it’s friction lol!!

Hi Christine,

I sent an email to you about the Coco Beau Big Fat Firm Foundation brush, to see if you own this and your thoughts on it, but never received a reply.

Hi Wendy,

I haven’t received your email, but I don’t know anything about that brush (haven’t heard of it before). Sorry! 🙁


I just copied this from your website, which is where I read that it was on your “w/l” which I guess is short for wishlist. You posted this back in 2011 so I guess thats why you dont remember it. Anyway, did you ever get to buy this brush which was on your wishlist? If so, how do you like it and is it worth the money (approx. $62.00 USD with shipping from UK). Thank you in advance of your reply. This is basically what I wrote to you in my email I sent yesterday that you never received. Thanks again.
MAC 193 Angled Foundation Brush Review & Photos
Oct 6, 2011 … My w/l foundation brushes are that new Big, Fat, Firm Foundation brush by Coco Beau &, possibly, the Louise Young LY34. If these don’t work …

Hi Wendy,

What you’re copying and pasting is another reader’s comment – Summerblue left that comment, so it isn’t my wish list or comment 🙂 Hope that clears it up for you! I’m sorry I can’t help you about that brush!

I used to buy MAC brushes and as time went on, any face brushes I bought from them, have been a huge waste of money. Every single one has shed or broken. MAC’s eye brushes I do enjoy and use. However, I am prone to higher end brands and bought almost all of Tom Ford’s brushes after testing a few. They are by far the best brushes I have used. Very expensive but If like me you were replacing your MAC brushes far to often, the prices wind up being the same later on. It all comes down to personal choice and price points. Tom Ford for me is the hands down best 🙂

Yes, they seem very similar. I have the Shu one and I love it. The Shu makeup artist used it with my nobara stick foundation so it must be quite similar. I have been using it for the last year and it still amazes it.

Hi Christine! I literally was just about to click buy at sephora on the hourglass brush and then I saw this. I don’t mind spending the extra $20 if it is worth it- should I get the Tom Ford instead?? Thanks!

Hi Kate!

Do you have any preference between synthetic and natural hair? That to me is the biggest difference beyond price. The second would be shape – Hourglass is more circular, longer, and larger, while the TF is flatter with more of a domed/paddle shape. The thing I dislike most about the Hourglass brush is honestly the cleaning liquid foundation out of it – it takes so long to get it perfectly clean (it’s entirely possible that my brush cleanser of choice isn’t great with that brush – I use EnKore Makeup’s brush soap and MAC’s cleanser).

I received this and other Tom Ford brushes as a birthday gift last month. They are great!!! I’m so happy with them, that I don’t want to try any other brush in my stash. You’re completely right about this brush, you don’t need to buff foundation, I only dislike that I feel I need to wash after every use to keep it white (I usually clean daily with Mac cleanser and deeply wash every week). Nevertheless, it’s the only let down, all of the rest is just wonderful.

I’ve been using EnKore Makeup’s Brush Soap for the past few months, and then I have MAC’s Brush Cleaner on hand as well.

I have an issue when applying foundation, even though the color matches my skin tone it, I get a white cast that I can’t get to oxidize whether i’m indoors or outdoors. I’ve used traditional foundation brushes and cargo’s magic brush, which is a buffing brush, but I still get a white cast. Would this or the mac 109 be able to put on foundation by its true color without a white cast? Or would you recommend something completely different?

Hey Cherry!

I don’t think it’s the tool you’re using but the product you are using! Usually a white cast or oxidation is caused by your skin reacting with the actual product, not because of the brush you’ve used (as far as I know)!

Hi Cherry!

I’m really not sure 🙁 Normally white cast happens when you take photos but not necessarily in person, especially if the shade does match you!

For oily skin, look for a formula that says semi-matte, satin, mattifying, or oil-free! 🙂

I have replaced almost all of my mac brushes with Hakuhodos and I am absolutely in love with them, most of the series are repeats so dont let that intimidate you.

The S100 line series is the most expensive and with the highest quality of all brushes, but i also read that the brushes were the same except for the superior quality in the fertles and handles so you can search for the dupe of each brush in the other series. If you fall in love with a brush in the S series, to me they’re quite pricey, I just drop the letters and search the number alone and it usually pops up the same brush in each series. I love the craftsmanship in Hakuhodos, but i cant do the different colors in handle so I stick to mostly black handles.

Here are some links that have helped me along the way: has great hakuhodos reviews and comparisons of many MAC brushes. It def helped me when i bought all of mine. I think if readers need help finding brushes similar to what they already have this will help. this link explains what hairs they use

The 210 Blush Brushes both are very dense brushes IMO in regards to blush brushes I’m not sure why they have it as blush brushes you could use it for blush but you would have to have an extremely light hand and barely tap the product, it will blend beautifully because it is shaped like a kabuki brush.

J210 I used this one for foundation it’s really dense, I feel like it soaks up the foundation, but it does give me a really smooth airbrushed look, it’s extremely soft on your skin and a lil bit bigger than a Mac 109, I’m really liking it to buff my powder foundation and some fix + for more coverage. I also have the 210 version with black bristles but ***Do not use your black goat hairs with any cream or liquids as these are dyed and will ruin them instead opt for a J series as they are un-dyed white goat hair.

For blush i recommend either the J110 as a blush brush has well if you want an all around blusher and because of its un-dyed white goat bristles it is very versatile, if you want a more diffused brush try the k020 although i think that is quite pricey ($65) because it is a blue squirrel bristles geared for sensitive skin. My in between was the G5545 (mixture of blue squirrel and goat) and that one picks up the perfect amount of color.

G5521($36) this is like a softer mac 165. This is the brush that started it all I was looking to dupe the 165 since its LE. I love this one more and tend to reach this for my highlights. IT has a nice tapered point and still dense enough to pick up products. J series version may be a lil fluffier than the g version but im sure they both work the same just that the g series is dyed. it is very comparable to the MAC 165.

J4002 (mac 188 dupe) this one is duo fibre for when i want to go softer on the look as you know duo fibres wont pick up as much pigment so i like to use this with my NARs albatross or whisper of guilt. I also use it more for my lustre drops actually.

K001- this one is like a smaller mac 116 its slender paddle shape highlight brush. Some people could even use if for blush if they want precise application. This one is for precise highlighting its very very soft but deposit its good amount of color. you can use it on its flat side to cover more area or on its side for just barely touching it. This one is made of blue squirrel tho so maybe you may want to take note of that. I think for similar size try out the 116 versions in g or j series those are made of goat hair.

G5538- this one is my absolute favorite to highlight because its like a feather to highlight. It goes on very soft and very light. This one is like a fan brush but a better application sometimes i dont even need to blend. I love this one for highlights. But id doesnt pick up color much unless i swirl it really good. It applies with a light hand.

I love love love my g503 for powder contour, its deposit the right amount of color and placement and blends it so beautiful and effortlessly

J4003- this one is slimmer than the Mac 168 and about the same amount of bristles. Again like any j series it’s very soft and When I use it with my blushes I get a nice glow

J544 is like a softer white hair 131.

G545 is tiny! like super tiny, is like a baby 131 though, i feel like it would be really nice for concealer or maybe highlight, its really flat brush. it doesnt really taper it has more of a rounded end and flat.

If you want to dupe the NARS Yaichio brush they also have white goat hair ones, Note that the dupe to the NARs one is the Large pointed version, I got the medium and its as small as a MAc 165 in the bristles, these are amazing! I plan to get more Japanese traditional brushes.

If you want a concealer brush the j212 or j214 are nice denser brushes like mini Mac 109s or u could go for the j122r or j125r they’re the duo fiber ones a lot softer for the under eye

As far as eye brushes I have in both g series and j

I think the closest to Mac 224 is the g5533 but it’s more slender like a 222 but with time I think it may get more fluffy also there is the g5522 but this one tapers to a pointy end I have both an love them both. The J series versions are much fluffier then the g series and its white goat hair.
J242G is like a smaller mac 239
5533 (mac 222 dupe)
5522 (blending brush but tapers)
5529 (smaller blending brush)
G5514/G5515 are way smaller versions of mac 219
J142/J146 are white goat hair but they’re so soft and pick up pigment so well, they are like nicer white goat hair versions of the Louise young 38 series (i have those too) but also about the same size of the mac 226 but less scratchy and more slender. If you want bigger versions of these try out the g5522 or j5522 its a lot bigger and blends nicely

Okay im sorry for the looong post but i am very passionate about my hakuhodos brushes and since they are only available at IMATS online or at Hiroshima I can understand the frustration it is to buying them but let me tell you you will not regret it. Most of these are the same price points as mid range makeup lines like MAC,NARS, Smashbox. Despite the online ordering their customer service is superb! and the shipping is ridiculously fast !!! Shipping is $9 and its priority I always get mine btw 3-5 days. Hope this helps!

This brush looks just like the Cover FX Cream Foundation Brush. It’s not cheap either at $38 but is definitely more affordable.

Has anyone tried both?

Is this brush mainly for cream products, could you use this brush for powder blush or do you think it is way too dense please reply I would be very happy to hear your response as im thinking to purchase tf brushes but im not so sure. I have ordered the TF blending brush im looking forward to trying that out. I am interested in this one but Im not so sure as im quite happy with signa f80 brush. I would like to buy tf blush brush but I have heard thats also dense. Im thinking of collecting the tf eye brushes overall


You can definitely use it for powders if desired, but if you want a brush for blush, then I’d just get the blush brush 🙂 It’s very similar in shape, just a bit larger!

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