For the people who are not familiar with 3 Concept Eyes/ 3CE, this is a newly emerged brand that belongs to the Korean clothing line Style Nanda (kind of like Topshop, I think?). Their website features highly artistic, closed up shots of their products (most are modeled by/alongside some gorgeous, albeit surgically enhanced, beauties). Basically, it kind of like taking camewhore-with-bottle-of-foundation to the next level. Silly pictures aside, the brand is very well-received among Asian vloggers and is said to be comparable, if not better than what MAC has to offer.
Back in September, I fell in the rabbit hole of Hong Kong youtubers (I think it was because I followed some beauty gurus and watched a lot of Cantonese-dubbed anime shows, Youtube started suggesting beauty videos in Cantonese to me). I kept hearing people mentioning the brand 3CE/3 Concept Eyes (mostly famous for their lip lacquer but do I really need more of that?).
After two monthly favorite videos (Yes, I am weak) where the vloggers mentioned this Kabuki brush, saying something like "The sale associates said it's sold out all the time" and "This is so soft". I was sold...It didn't take much effort to convince me since the price, a little less than 10 USD, itself is already a major attraction. In fact, I think this is probably the most affordable item in the whole brand...Unless they also make some cotton pads, q-tips that I am not aware of?
OK, that was a long @$$ introduction. Don't worry, you won't have to suffer much longer because the review itself is pretty short. The 3CE Kabuki is made of watermelon pink synthetic hair (they call the hair German but the brush is China-made), securedly tucked into the black ferrule. There has been zero shedding for the 2 months I have owned it for, and there is no weird smell (associated with synthetic brush/plastic/petroleum byproduct).
While it has the typical bounce from a synthetic powder brush, 3CE Kabuki also manages to be airy and puffy, like the butt of your favorite feline...Minus the allergy. It's most likely not the same kind of puff you get from Japanese artisan brushes (what do I know though, never touched one) but for 10 bucks, this is one of the better brush experience I had on my face. Easily better than the Too Faced retractable kabuki that's 3x the price.
For a puffy brush like this, it's great for a light dusting powder (to set concealer) like Benefit Dandelion or as a diffuser for highly pigmented powder blush. The tricky part is that you never know how much products is on the brush unless you are doing clown-cheek (many of my favorite cheek colors are in shades of coral/red/pink, just like the bristle so they mostly disappear). Anyway, I just ended up being lighter-handed.
For convenience, a leatherette pouch (unlike the brush, this one smelled funny at first) is also included to keep the brush/bag/makeup pouch clean. Even though the brush head is big and puffy, the over all size of the whole brush is quite compact and perfect for travel. I even brought this with me on the day of my out-of-state interview, to dust the concealer...(I played it safe and only wore concealer and that mauve Too Faced Gloss on that day).
Overall: The Essence Blush Brush (3 bucks) used to be my go-to low-maintenance and portable brush (now the ferrule cracked). 3CE Kabuki, at 10 dollars, is definitely more than 3x betters in terms of performance. I cannot recommend it enough.
FYI. I bought it off a eBay store cosmego (the brush is not available at the moment but you can certainly blow your savings on those blush and lip pigments), which is based in Hong Kong. No affiliation.