It’s amazing what a difference certain brushes make when it comes to makeup application. They’re one of the tools I don’t mind splurging on, because an amazing brush can transform how products apply and wear. But it’s always awesome to find a good one on the cheap, so I was pretty stoked when the new e.l.f. Ultimate Kabuki Brush launched.
This type of brush isn’t a new conception: the first one I saw was The One Perfecting Brush from Becca ($49), which is supposed to be a multi-purpose tool that could replace several brushes by getting multiple jobs done. After that was released a couple years back, dupes were on the rise. While I haven’t tried any others, my curiosity remained peaked, and I was eager to try e.l.f.’s version.
The Ultimate Kabuki Brush is a wide, dense brush that is fairly large— it measures about the width of my palm. The bristles are extremely soft, like you’d expect form the brand’s Studio line. The “barrel” is thick enough to stand on its own in true kabuki fashion, and because of it’s funky shape, you’ll probably have to store it standing on your vanity.
Due to the size, I didn’t know how well this brush would do in my routine. It seemed too thick for contouring, too wide for blush, and too awkward for foundation. After using it, let’s just say: Ultimate Kabuki Brush-3, Miranda-0.
The size was both an advantage and disadvantage when applying foundation, since you can cover a lot of area at once, but don’t get as precise an application without some fiddling. It will take a little bit of practice to get used to the maneuvers, since the wide shape can cause product to get into your hair once you move towards the side of your face. You can squeeze the bristles to be more narrow to get a more exact application, which worked OK for me. The synthetic bristles work well with both powder and liquids, and blend pretty easily.
I particularly liked using this brush for contouring and blush application. I tapped bronzer onto the long edge, and swiped the product right under my cheek bones. Then I moved the brush upward to blend softly. I used the same technique for highlight on the tops of my cheek bones. The size made it a little too hard for me to contour my nose, though.
For blush, I concentrated the product onto one of the ends to get exact placement onto my cheeks, then used the rest of the bristles to blend the color out. It diffused the product beautifully.
Straight out of the box, I did get a little bit of shedding, but after my second application I didn’t see much more going on. Overall, this is a nice all-around face brush that can definitely hold its own in terms of multitasking. The synthetic bristles make it easy to clean between products— I use my Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner— although if you’re just using powders, it doesn’t suck up a lot of makeup to begin with. I think I’ll mostly be using it for contouring and blush, but it will be nice to know I can cut down on brushes for traveling if need be!
While this is one of e.l.f.’s more expensive brushes ($10!), if you’re able to replace five old brushes with just this one, it will definitely be worth it… especially if you were considering buying some of the higher priced alternatives. It’s currently available on the e.l.f. website.