Anna | London
Any self-respecting make up junkie will know from Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube of the obsession with Artis makeup brushes. A real game changer to the entire makeup industry. The innovative design, unparalleled softness and flawless application has taken this billion dollar industry by storm despite the fact that they look a cross between a spoon and a hairbrush.
Created by former senior Vice President of MAC cosmetics, these are the first makeup tools designed to be used on yourself rather than you using them on someone else. The brush heads consist of up to hundreds and thousands of cosmefibers, so tightly compacted that any product used should not seep between the fiber or be absorbed by them. You can therefore, effortlessly slide your product along your face, for a flawless even yet full coverage effect. Unfortunately, something this revolutionary comes at a hefty price tag.
That having been said, I just couldn’t wait to try them for myself.
Purchase 1 – Artis Oval 7 brush, £48, Cleaning Foam, £20 and brush cleaning pad, £44.- Ouch.
My go to liquid foundation at the moment is Nars, Velvet Matte
Skin Tint Foundation, SPF30 for £30. Its great because it feels more like a moisturizer than a foundation whilst giving a medium to full coverage. With SPF already included, it means I can skip a crucial step in my morning routine.
So I place a few drops dotted around my face and then start the flow with my Artis Oval 7 brush. Astounded, flabbergasted and extremely satisfied are amongst a few adjectives I would use to describe my response. The job was done within 30 seconds, and the coverage truly is flawless. No need for any second touch ups. It was so simple, and left me with a full coverage, airbrushed look. All I had to do was slide and glide the brush across my entire face and neck for perfection guaranteed. £48 well spent.
After a few days of use though, the fibers seemed to have clogged up together. So I pumped a few shots of the brush cleaner onto the pad and started rubbing off all the product that had accumulated. Job done and he brush was ready to be used again.
Purchase 2 – Three Brush Set, £72
So pleased was I with the results of the oval 7, that within a month I was ready to invest further. This time in a three piece set, the elite three brush set contains the oval 4, circle 1 and linear 1. Apparently the perfect combination required for eye makeup and lips.
The oval 4 proved to be disappointing I found it to be too big and bulky to be used, as an eyeshadow brush. Maybe if I only went for one eyeshadow across the eye it could be used but certainly not if you want to create a smoky eye look. I discovered it is the perfect tool to use to apply and blend cream based contouring products. So I will use it to sculpt the cheekbones, define the jawline, and narrow the forehead. It’s the perfect size for contouring and highlighting, not to thick and not thin.
This having been said, if I could return it, would I? Hell yes. It’s great because I have it, but I was more than happy to use other applicators at a quarter of the price, and they did the job just as well!
Next the linear 1. With a multitude of uses, this is my most used
tool from the three brush set. So finely set are the cosmefibers, that when used with a gel liner, the brush creates a perfect eyeliner for top and bottom eyelids. It’s also great for using with eyebrow wax and powders, to really define and sharpen any eyebrow shape. Unexpectedly, it’s not bad at drawing out sharp contours to slim your nose!
But like the Oval 4, don’t I have 4 other brushes that can do the job just as well at a quarter of the price? Yes I do. So, swiftly moving on….
To the Circle 1. Well this will be quick. I only used this once – when the set arrived.
So all in all. That would be £72 down the drain, the only upside is they look great as decoration pieces on my dressing table.
With their thin, elegant stork like necks, perfectly designed for self application; however, when you use a thick moisturizer, it clogs up the brush, stiffening the fibres, and if you apply a little bit too much pressure whilst attempting to glide around your face, snap, shock, shock, horror, horror… you will be left holding a broken in two Oval 7 brush! Even worse so popular is the product in the UK that most stores are out of it! So that leaves me to test out a few more brushes.
Purchase 3 – Oval 8, £52
With hundreds of thousands of fibres, it is much larger than the Oval 7, but does the job nearly as well. I still prefer the Oval 7 purely due to its slightly smaller size. The Oval 8 I find can catch some of the hairs around the temple, leaving me with patches of cream foundation covered hair. Another problem with the Oval 8, I have found is the drying time when you clean the brush. Given it’s much bigger and has many more fibers than the Oval 7, it takes much longer to dry after a deep clean when soaked in water and all product rinsed out. It can literally take up to 2 days to dry completely. But it’s even worth the 2 day drying time wait just to have a flawless complexion. My only option is to buy 2 brushes so that when one is drying I can use the other
Purchase 4 – Oval 6, £44
best thing about the Oval brushes is how quickly and cleanly they do the job. The beauty blender is great, but when you are running late and rushing to work, the last thing you want to do is have to wash your hands after playing around with foundation and then again after applying your concealer, because your fingers are covered with these products and you don’t want to get it all over your clothes, handbags, shoes, books, IPad and phone. Yes it’s happened to me lots of times. So with its long handle, all these problems are resolved. Apart from when it comes to applying concealer that is, because for that, nothing but a beauty blender will do. Or is there?
Enter the Oval 6, considerably smaller than the Oval 7 and 8. Like the Oval 7, it’s definitely just as compact and tightly compiled of thousands of those cosmefibers. It’s perfectly sized to fit just under the eye socket and glide nicely along, applying just the right amount of product and coverage. With this brush however, quite to my surprise, I can tap the brush to apply concealer just as well as gliding it along. As we all know the skin under your eye is immensely thin and fragile, hence the importance of not having to tug the skin. The Oval 6 is just as soft as all the other brushes, so soft in fact that just like its counterparts the 7 and 8, it’s extremely pleasurable brushing your skin with no product on (something I’ve noticed I do quite a lot, in fact as soon as they are dry after cleaning). All in all, yaaaaaay, another great Artis brush!
Ok the brush cleaner isn’t great, but as I have discovered, it’s actually quite good to use with all of my eye shadow brushes, which i clean much more regularly than the Artis brushes. I’ve started using the cleaner after each use of the Artis brush, just pump one time, dip the brush in, and then rub back and forth on the brush cleaning pad. By dabbing the brush in, i find the brush dries quickly enough to use again the day. I have found I can use the brushes about 4-5 times before needing to thoroughly deep clean them. After at least 6 months, I have repurchased the cleaning foam one time. So at £20 a bottle, is not bad going. Using the foam and the cleaning pad makes the whole process very quick, easy and clean. The pads i really like, the refills are expensive at £36 for 10, but then each fiber cloth can be reused so many times I’ve lost count. When there becomes too much product on the pad, it’s easy to wash – I use a tiny bit of shampoo, and job done.
The three brush set was a complete waste of money, and I honestly think at the moment the Artis brushes are great for general face application but shouldn’t be touched for any eye makeup. The Oval 6, 7 and 8 are definitely the best face brushes I have bought all year, if not ever. Yes they do cost a lot, but not so much when you consider cost per wear. The Oval 6 and 7 cost £92 in total, if I use them every day for six months – that’s roughly 50 pence per use. Given I don’t see myself using any other brushes any time soon, the cost per wear will keep dropping. If you were only to get one brush in your lifetime, let it be the Oval 7, so good that I bought it twice. These brushes are amazing in every way possible. Even if I had to pay twice the price, I would!