Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Artis Elite Collection Oval 8 Brush





I've been using this Oval 8 face brush by Artis for three months now, but it took me ages to actually take the photos. There's this cycle: I use the brush twice, wash it, take two days for it to dry, use again twice, the brush now is dirty and soaked with foundation, wash it, repeat. This should tell you two things. First, I like this brush and find that it performs well. Second, it's not the most practical tool in the world. For many reasons.

Artis brushes and similar ones from other brands (there are some cheap ones on Amazon, as well as a small collection by MAC) have a very dense synthetic head that forms a flat surface. They cover larger areas than any other brushes, which means that you need fewer application motions. You use the brushes lightly, making broader strokes, and never ever apply pressure or buff the makeup on (it'll cause some serious exfoliation and will look uneven and patchy). The learning curve for me was not too steep, but it is a different way of makeup application, and it sometimes go completely against instinct (see buffing your foundation). Done right, your makeup will look smoother than ever and as close to flawless as possible.

The problems start with the fact that not every foundation is suitable for use with this brush. I've tried almost every single one in my arsenal and only the thinnest liquid ones worked for me. Not even  silicone/gels looked right. That means that Artis Oval 8 performed well with all the foundations that come in a dropper bottle, as well as other light-as-air formulas like YSL Touche Eclat. sliding the brush over my skin with these foundation (over a primer. always over a primer) created a beautiful even surface. Of course, we're talking about a light coverage foundation, so take this into account.

Another issue: , you know how regular foundation brushes soak up runny liquids? Multiply this by five or more for Artis. The brush is dense like a sponge and acts like one, only more porous. This means that a staggering amount of product is wasted and eventually is washed down the drain. Speaking of washing, Artis offers a brush cleaning pad that uses a special microfiber cloth and their own foam detergent. I haven't tried them, so maybe that's the way to go if you decide to invest in these brushes. I've been washing my Oval 8 with the same cleansers as other brushes: Dr. Bronner, Shea Moisture Black Soap, Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils, and using my trusty Sigma cleansing mat (the one with the suction cups that attaches to the sink). No matter what I do, it takes forever before the brush finally rinses clean, and I always worry that all this washing will result in loosening the glue and the hair.

I have to say that so far my brush hasn't lost a single fiber. It's obviously very well-made and matches the elegance of the design (and of the end result).  The box suggest using it powder as well, but there's no way I'm doing that as I prefer the lightest and sheerest touch I get from fluffy powder brushes. I enjoy using Oval 8, since the combination of performance and luxury speaks to me, I just don't think it's the a very practical tool, and that's the bottom line.

The brush I was sent free of charge by Artis is part of the Elite Collection and comes in the smoke finish (Artis just released a 24k Gold range, and there's a different line, the straight-handle Fluenta, that also has an Oval 8 and is more expensive, which is sold at Neiman Marcus. Artis Elite Collection Oval 8 Brush ($65, made in China) is available from Saks, Net-a-Porter, and Anthropologie (what?).


11 comments:

  1. You say that you;re not sponsored, but doing a write-up for a free product means your post was sponsored by the company that sent it to you.

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    Replies
    1. Here's the thing: there's a major difference between accepting products for CONSIDERATION (which I do), and accepting it as compensation for posting and mentioning on social media (which I never ever do). The latter means that the blogger is, indeed, working for the brand/participating in a campaign, and is creating content for the company. That's basically an informatial /advertorial and not a review, and the blogger is under an obligation and a contract. That is, indeed, a form of sponsorship.
      However, when I accept a product for consideration I do not guarantee anything. I might not post about it at all if I have nothing to say, and the brand understands that my review can be negative or include a list of pros and cons. The product is free of charge, but I'm under no obligation to the brand and the post is not "brought to you by X". It's brought to you by me, and contains nothing but my personal experience and opinion.

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    2. I, for one, am grateful when you review something, whether it was purchased by you or sent for consideration, because I get your perspective on it. And that's why I read your blog: I very much value your thoughts on perfume, makeup, application tools, whatever. You stand out as one of the few remaining bloggers who will review products honestly, so I'm happy brands send you things because I know if you review something, you're reviewing it insightfully and without marketing prejudice. That makes it a pleasure to read--and often quite helpful, as I live far, far from cosmetic and perfume counters, and welcome the help in determining whether something meets my needs. If brands are okay with sending you something that you might not review in glowing terms, then I say: bring 'em on!

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    3. Thank you s much, SuSuSam. I've said it before: this is the reason I keep blogging despite occasional bumps in the road. I write to share ideas and opinions, and knowing that my ramblings end up being helpful is a great joy.

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  2. I really want some of these brushes, but this big one never appealed to me. I love their design!

    Adrienne

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    Replies
    1. I suspect that the smaller ones are the way to go in this case. Washing and drying time should be more manageable.

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  3. Considering I hate to wash my regular brushes this is way too much work for me. Love your honest reviews!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kuri. washing brushes is a chore, but I find that having the right tools for it helps tremendously.

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  4. I actually have three of this type of brush by MAC, and they are among my favorite brushes, but I don't use them to apply foundation. MAC's larger oval, which is probably smaller than the Artis brush you have, I use to improve the finish on foundation after it's already on my face -- to blend out the edges along chin and hairline, to blend the edges of concealer into the foundation, that kind of thing. Their smaller oval lives in my makeup bag in my purse and goes with me everywhere, because it is The. Perfect. Thing. for getting rid of creased concealer and smudged eyeshadow/liner/mascara that tends to accumulate under my eyes by halfway through my day, while leaving a thin layer of good-looking concealer behind, that was underneath the crud. The linear brush is good for quickly darkening eyebrows with powder, and for making a really thin line of eyeliner under your eye -- run an eye pencil along it, then use it to apply the color from the pencil up against the lower lashes. With the way that I use them, almost no product sinks in, and a quick clean-up with an alcohol-based brush cleaner is all they seem to need. They actually look denser than the brush in the photo here.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the info. I will have to buy some of the smaller MAC ones and give them a try. They sound awesome.

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  5. Love your thoughts on this! Glad to hear it hasn't lost a fiber yet after 3 months. I was a little worried about that.

    Have you tried any dupes? I found a cheap set from Amazon and I really like it so far (but you can obviously tell difference of quality). Would love to hear your thoughts on any!

    ReplyDelete

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