Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NARS Wide Contour Brush #16

My Sephora brand angled contour eye brush (this particular shape and size has been discontinued for a while now) reached the end of its too-short life. It held for about three or four years, but was obviously not as well-made as I would have liked (it was from the regular line, not the Professional Platinum). But I loved it because the density, angle and the small-medium size were not only unusual but also incredibly efficient. But we're not here to talk about my dead brush but about my (unsuccessful yet) effort to replace it.

NARS Wide Contour Brush #16 is too big and wide to be a true contour brush or to fit in the crease as my old brush did, but it's a great tool otherwise. It's reasonably soft but till dense enough to pick the right amount of color for the entire lid. It can give a wash of a base color and even under the bone highlighting (I have enough lid space to land an airplane) and also does a good job blending whatever I throw at it. NARS No. 16 feels nice on skin and steady in my hand and delivers great results especially for soft and natural looks.

What doesn't NARS Wide Contour Brush #16 do? Real contouring. Or any precise and detailed work, especially with dark colors. It's just too wide and soft for this. But other than misnaming it, I don't have any complaints for NARS regarding this brush.

Bottom Line: Not an essential if you already have enough wide blending brushes, but nice to have, especially because of the somewhat unusual shape.

NARS Wide Contour Brush #16 ($33) is available from select department stores and narscosmetics.com.

All photos are mine.


  1. I thought I was the only one who regularly used an angled contour brush - mine is also a Sephora, from one of their holiday 10-brush sets a few years back. I don't know how I'll replace it when it gives out; the ones I've seen in this shape are all *gigantic,* even more so than the one you show here. Please do post if you find a good equivalent. :)

  2. I have a suggestion of a brush that might end up being what you're looking for - the Laura Mercier Eye Crease Brush (http://www.lauramercier.com/store/shop/prod220091_prod220091_prod220091 )
    However, I don't actually have that one, so though I know it's a lovely brush, I don't have a lot of experience with it.

    The one I do have a ton of experience with, which is similar in shape to this NARS brush is the Laura Mercier Angled Eye Colour Brush ( http://www.lauramercier.com/store/shop/prod220074_prod220074_prod220074 )
    And for me, this brush is a must-have. If you've got a delicate touch, you can use it for eye contouring, as it comes to more of a point at the tip than the NARS seem to from your photos. But it is also excellent for blending, and for laying down shadow over a large or a small area. It's a real multi-tasker, and though I have many brushes, I almost always end up using it just about every time I do my eye makeup.
    The only time I don't use it is with cream eyeshadow, or if it happens to be dirty.
    Also, I've had it for about 10 years now, which speaks to its quality!

  3. urban decay have a brush like this one in their new brush line. Haven't bought it just looked in store!

  4. Hi, I am new to your blog and loving it, I like how you give us the bottom line : )
    I have been looking at the NARS #16 contour eyeshadow brush and Paula Dorf eye contour brush. I don't do a lot of crease work (I am Asian and I don't really have a crease and am not attempting to creat one since it is usually a disaster). I know you have reveiwed both brushes, which do you like better in terms of quality if you have to pick one. Thanks.


  5. Daisy, I use the Paula Dorf one more often- it's smaller and softer, so I find it does a better job for me.

  6. I have this brush and I totally agree--it is gigantic! You might try the Stila #20 eye enhancer brush. It drives me crazy that it is dual ended because I can't store it with my other brushes but it's the perfect size for my eye. I actually purchased the NARS brush trying to find a dupe for my Stila brush but because I purchased it online I didn't know how large it was. I also have the Laura Mercier Eye crease brush that Proximity suggested which is another fave of mine but gives a different application than the Stila.

  7. Lovely brush. Nars do this same one in a smaller version called #14. Have you seen that one?


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