Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Shu Uemura 18 R Face Brush

A story from my early childhood might explain why I had to have this Shu Uemura 18 R Red powder brush: One of my biggest challenges during my first year of preschool was adjusting to the food they served at lunch. None of it was up to my three year old standards that were fashioned by my mom. The worst offenders were the sardine sandwiches. They looked even worse than they smelled. I took one look at that mess and refused to eat it, telling the teacher that I simply didn't like the color. The exasperated woman blurted: "so, do you need me to paint the sardines red?", my answer: "yes, please!".

There you have it. Red is my color.

Shu Uemura 18 R is a powder/face/bronzer brush. It's big, made of loosely packed longish goat hair that makes it quite floppy. This is obviously not a tool to push powder into the skin, but to flick the excess away. It's also good at light blending without moving the products on the face and for applying and diffusing shimmery bronzers.

As for comparisons, 18 R is obviously more narrow and floppier than Shu Uemura 27, which is a true powder brush. It's softer than both Bobbi Brown Face Blender and Smashbox #2, and as a result picks up and applies less product than these brushes.

Bottom Line: nice but definitely not a must-have. Unless you're crazy for red stuff.

Shu Uemura 18 R Face Brush ($52) is available from


  1. I have an older (and I think discontinued) Shu brush, the 16R which I got for the same reason. It used to be bright red, but it's a much softer colour after all the years of use it's seen. Lovely and soft!

  2. I have this brush too ... I love it. I bought it initially for similar reasons to you, and it took me a while to find the right role for it in my collection.
    Which is, unsurprisingly, similar to the role you've described. It's excellent for flicking away excess powder. I use it as a powder brush only when I'm planning on setting something extremely lightly, and then I only use a tiny bit of powder, and a very light touch.
    Oh, it's also decent with something like Guerlain Meteorites to just finish off your face.

  3. Love the childhood story Gaia :) I also love this brush so much I bought a back up and the same one with the white and black bristles! A brilliant multi-tasker! On the point about the bristle colour, I spent ages trying to get hold of the red Kabuki style brush (famously photographed in the hands of Mr Uemura himself). I was told it came out quite a few years back so no longer available, still searching for it though!

  4. Hello! Thank you for your review. I find this one is very similar to the Chikuhudo P-1 standing brush. It has goat hair too, comes in red, blue, black and white. The bristles' length is 55 mm


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