Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sonia Kashuk Brushes: Synthetic Flat Blusher and Eyeliner Brush

When it comes to makeup brushes, I personally think you really get what you paid for. There are many budget brushes out there that are soft and seems to do a decent job, but a good craftsmanship can be tested by time and the longer you own your brushes, the better you will know what that extra 10 bucks goes to.
I am not going to change what I said (that I still like brushes that are a bit on the pricey side) , but for an intermediate price, you do get tools range between some 30dollars a piece Stila and the cheap CVS brand. That's would be Sonia Kashuk brushes: At a higher price, they performs better than those cheap brushes but they are not there yet.
I just got the synthetic eyeliner brush when I saw this when this May, Sonia Kashuk line eliminated the smudge sponge tiny contour brush and introduced a flat liner brush and a bigger fluffier (it also sheds like crazy judging from the amount of fall out inside the boxes) cuter, contour brush.
The Sonia Kashuk synthetic eyeliner brush costs 10 dollars, which is quite expensive consider Tarte is around 12 (with a pretty nice quality). The brush has two humps so you get to pick where to rest your hand (doing makeup for you or others). The length of the brush is quite handy as it's exact same length as my hand, longer than Stila short handles brushes and shorter than the longer handled ones.

When I ran my hand on the display brush, the brush feels firm enough and seems like it will give a nice a crisp line without the poking (What I get from Stila #13 one step eyeliner brush) or staining (on the white hair from Tarte brush). But it just works completely differently on my eyes: Yes, it's rather gentle and doesn't poke, but I personally find the hair not concentrated or firm enough when working with a powdered shadow, as the line is always somewhat diffused and dragged out.
On the bright side, this brush glides relatively well with a gel liner though, which you don't see with a flat brush that often. (Since I play with Stila Smudge pots most of the time, their brushes are more handy for me than this one.)

I have had this brush for 2-3 months (since I have taken the picture and finished up with most of the review) but now the glossy finished have dried up and cracked like a clay mask, resulting and rough touch...I wash it along with my elf, tart and Stila brushes and non of the other has fallen apart like this. (Not to mention they were not that much more expensive/a lot cheaper than this)
Synthetic Flat Blusher Brush is by far the best rated Sonia Kashuk brushes there is. I found the shape pretty cute and picked one up last year but returned right away as it was shedding like a post-chemo cat. (Not surprisingly, I saw other defective looking ones lying around when I decided to give it another go this year...Quality control, people...)

The brush is quite dense and soft when I run my finger over the display, it does feel like teddy bear, like some people call it. But Teddy bear is...soft, but artificial. (For one thing, it's not nearly as soft as the Too Faced synthetic brush) and I hate it when the synthetic hair that glare under sun as if showing off its artificial beauty...

Well, instead of running my face over a stuffed animal, I would much prefer running my face on a puppy that's soft, gentle and airy all at once. (Stila #21 brush gives me that kind of feeling, although it's made of fine goat instead of puppy hair.)
Let's not judge a brush on where it's from and what it's made of and let's talk about performance.On the back it says it's perfect for blending powder or cream shadow, I guess I will see how it perform with different blush texture then.

For Powder Blush
When I used it with Anna Sui face color accent (as the small top kind of fits the small pan) it cover very small area at a time and require too much blending and effort to make it look even. With a natural haired fluffy Stila brush, I am done within 2 swipes and it feels so much better with the soft hair. The same thing (too much blending needed) happens when I tried it with Benefit boxed blushers.

Anyway, for pigmented powder brush, my approach is to use a light and even swipe as opposed to a concentrated dot of color plus tons of blending.

For Cream Blush
Stila convertible in fuchsia is the first one I headed to when I think about testing out this blush, as it's a very bright and pigmented hot pink blush that can look clownish when overdone. If this brush is as good as it seems, it should give me a flush that looks like my own.

Here goes the same issue for me again: Too much blending required (for something that doesn't even feel good) and I ended up using my fingers anyway because it just takes forever with such a small contact area. Ironic part is that I can actually get a pretty natural look when I just dot 2 little patch on and blend with my fingers, having this brush is like an extra and unnecessary step. But if you are super anal, this step might just be what you need.

Anyway, attempting to discover the brush's full potential (Actually, I don't remember where I put the receipt so I can't even return it). I tried it again with Peony (a lightly peachy convertible color from Stila) and this time it does look pretty nice, the finish is quite even and the effect is somewhat airbrushed (finger rubbing is required again) , so at least I am happy that my money is not completely flush down toilet.

Why don't I just use my fingers instead anyway?

For Liquid Foundation
Many people use it with liquid foundation...I don't know how it performs and I don't plan to find out.

Anyway, I have a the Tapered Blusher Brush by Sonia Kashuk last year, and I think it performs much better than the two synthetic ones.
I have a quite detailed review of this brush (as well as Stila #21 ) click here . It's nice and soft and picks up and dispense color quite well but I can't help my notice that it does not hold up nearly as well as the Stila brush. It's just doesn't seem to be as soft as it used to be while in the other hand, Stila still feels like a puppy on my face.

At least you can see how fluffy this is from the top. I have compared the display, it seems that Sonia Kashuk power brush is actually a lot bigger (duh), softer and more airy that this blusher brush. (I don't use powder so it would be a pointless purchase for me)

Overall, Sonia Kashuk brushes are decent for the prices and some of the more pricey ones do have very nice quality (I still like how my Stila brushes hold up a lot better though.) Do check out their powder and blusher brushes for yourselves if you ever visit Target.


  1. created an "on switch" alert for brushes, I have soft spot for brushes! They look gorgeous! Now I'm off to ebay to checkout Sonia Kashuk brushes :)

  2. Nikki:
    I don't know if you have noticed in my review (although I didn't say I hate them), my view about Sonia Kashuk is generally negative.

    I hate:
    The two white handled brushes
    The flat eyeliner brush

    I don't like (it doesn't piss me off but I don't get the hype)
    The flat blusher brush

    I am OK (It's nowhere as soft as Stila) with the tapered brush.

    So, it's a 80% dislike rate from all of my reviews. If you insist on checking them out on eBay.

  3. i do mix around with brushes...
    a few of stilas - pickup eyeshadow is great
    bobbibrown for blush - heavenly swipe my apple cheeks
    some drugstore brushes for eyebrow, foundation brush hehe

    its a gamble on performance hehe

    oh yea..i luv the shu uemura blushes so much that its my daily blush til i HIT the pan
    the lilac turn-out really pastel pink!
    like those scawaii girls in magazine
    i'll find a FOTD and share with you :D


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