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.