Review: e.l.f. Ultimate Kabuki Brush

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.

Review: e.l.f. Ultimate Kabuki Brush | Slashed Beauty

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.

Review: e.l.f. Ultimate Kabuki Brush | Slashed Beauty

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.

Review: e.l.f. Ultimate Kabuki Brush | Slashed Beauty

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.

Would you replace several brushes for this multi-tasking one?



  1. I have the eco tools version ($14.00 at Ulta,but make sure you use a coupon for best price ;0) )mine ended up around $7.00 and I use it to bronze my face and body,love it .

  2. I have been wanting the Becca One Brush since it’s release a while back… but never sprung for it. I ended up getting the Nars Ita and find I only use it once in a while. I have been wanting this ELF one now since I seen a friend post about it… I must get it.

  3. I’ll tell you upfront, that BECCA One brush is shitty. Sheds like crazy. I threw it out of sheer disappointment

  4. Thanks for the review. This type of brush isn’t really my bag but it looks god for someone who is into this kind of brush. 🙂

  5. Quite the in depth review thank you! I have the Becca one, and it has indeed replaced all my face brushes. Although, I do also tend to get some foundation in my hair line also. Not too much, it doesn’t bug me. But it has just been amazing for HAC, foundation, and powder. I can’t say enough good stuff about it lol. Before the Becca, I could NOT nail down the contour! Anyways, this was a great review to have on the ELF one! Thanks!!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it! The one downside that I’ve heard a few people mention with the Becca brush is that it does absorb more product– it’s made of natural bristles right?

      1. Yes, it is goat hair. If it soaks more of the products then I’m not aware of it. I was using the beauty blender before, and I find it to be no different. I love the finish though, so if it does, I’m ok with that 🙂 Having said that though, I could not bring myself to purchase it myself! Here it’s $60! 😮 I would now make the expense, knowing how much I love it. But I asked for it for Christmas 😀

  6. I wanted to try this when it first came out but then after seeing the size I opted to pass. I don’t think I would have much use for it!

  7. Sound like a very good multitasking brush from elf, but it seems bit too large :S Of course who knows, maybe if I´d give it a try I would start loving it 😀

    1. That was my concern right off the bat, so I was surprised when I could actually contour really well with it!

  8. This sounds like a really useful brush to have. I have to be honest, the size intimidates me, but I think I will just have to pick one up and try it out for myself! Great review

  9. I’m definitely wanting to try this bad boy out. I’m waiting for a good ELF sale to try this out and grab some other new goodies.

  10. I’m going to check this one out. I don’t know if my brush skills are good enough to manipulate this big baby! But it is a steal

  11. Great review! I love your pictures! I have the same camera you have. How do you take your photos to have that clean, white background?

    1. Thanks Melissa! To be honest, I use a plain white poster board that I pick up from the dollar store for my white backgrounds 🙂 I lighten things up in Photoshop as well to soften shadows. Thanks so much for visiting!

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