Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Louise Young LY12 Large Socket Brush

Louise Young LY12 Large Socket Brush is a good example why sometimes reviewing a makeup brush can be very hard. I already had (and loved) six or seven other Louise Young brushes in my collection when I bought LY12, so obviously expectations were high. I like using crease brushes and the shape of the LY12 caught my eye (no pun intended)- it's a domed brush, rounder than pencil brushes (Hakuhodo Kokutan T for example or Smashbox Eye Definer #15) but significantly fuller and more dense than Sephora Platinum #13, a great smudge and crease brush. All in all, this Louise Young brush with its nicely shaped handle and professional appearance seemed like a worthy addition to my arsenal of eye makeup brushes.

The problem emerged as soon as I got the brush ready for use. I noticed that a couple of hairs weren't packed correctly and even had a different texture than the rest. I tried the brush but it was scratchy and unpleasant- we're  lid and crease here, and even if my skin is not the most sensitive in the universe I still need TLC in that area. Resorting to desperate measures I performed a little surgery on the LY12 and plucked the three hairs that seemed to cause the most irritation. This helped significantly as Louise Young no longer pokes me in the eye. This is an obvious irregularity/quality control issue, so neither I nor anyone else can actually evaluate a brush based on it. The difficulty is even bigger, though, because while the worst of the fibers are no longer there I still feel my LY12 is not as soft and pleasant to used as it should be. I have several other Louise Young eye brushes that I use regularly and happily. All are soft and perform as expected, so is my LY12 a fluke or the black sheep of the family?

Had this been a brand that's readily available I'd just visit the counter and compare my brush to their stock. But Louise Young brushes are only sold online and shipped from the UK, so that's impossible. I guess I could take one for the team and order a second LY12 but you'll have to forgive me for deciding to pass. I'm not happy with this brush but other than the fact the initial problem should have been caught by Louise Young quality control before shipping it to me, I can't tell you if all LY12 are scratchy. If any of you have this brush please chime in and tell us how it feels and how you feel about it.

Louise Young LY12 Large Socket Brush (£15.00) is available from louiseyoungcosmetics.com.

All photos are mine.


  1. oh that's a bad thing to hear. i think you should contact LY and tell them about that issue. i don't think they'll give you a hard time with return or replacement.
    but i love your brush posts! LOVE them.

  2. You should check into what @ketoglutarat recommends, it won't hurt. And I do agree... you have a knack for brush posts! Hope you're enjoying your week.

    Katie for Ouidad

  3. I have been wanting to try Louise Young brushes for a long time but have been hesitant because I can't feel the bristles or the quality in my hands. So I really appreciate these brush reviews as they are very helpful in deciding if it is worth trying sight unseen.

  4. I find that squat, dense brushes tend to show deficient quality more, because more hairs are in contact with your skin. Perhaps that's why you experienced such a disparity with this particular brush from Louise Young?

  5. I sincerely wish I had seen this earlier yesterday. I went into Harvey Nichols yesterday evening and learned that they actually stock Louise Young so I could have checked the feel of it there. I will certainly go back and have a look next time I visit the store.

    I find it only takes minor roughness of the bristles to make a brush unpleasant to use on the eye. How disappointing that this one wasn't a success for you. I agree with the others that an email to LY might be a good idea.

  6. K., thank you so much. I think I hesitated to contact LY because of the hassle of international transactions. Silly, I know.

  7. Thanks, Katie. I need to get over myself when it comes to returning cosmetics. I never do and it's not very smart.

  8. N., luckily, the other Louise Young eye brushes I have are quite fabulous. Reviews coming soon, of course. I'm glad I'm able to help :) .

  9. Dain, you're might on to something. still, the other brushes I have that are somewhat similar are kinder to my skin, so I hope this one is just a fluke after all.In any case, my old Sephora #13 does the job quite nicely.

  10. J., let me know when you get a chance to visit with LY12. I'm curious what you'll think.
    I'm trying not to be jealous that you have access not only to LY but also to Suqqu and RMK. I can order the latter online, but Suqque brushes will have to wait until I actually go back to London. It's been way too long since the last time.

  11. Hi! I was wondering which brush of the other 4 brushes you showed is most preferred by you? Thanks so much for your time!

  12. Jessica, it depends on the very specific use and texture of the eye shadow I'm using, but the Hakuhodo Kokutan is amazing, both in quality and performance. It might be a tad too big for very detailed work but I have an abyss of a crease so it works for me. The NARS one is a classic and very versatile while the Sephora is among the best smudge brushes you can find.


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