Friday, January 27, 2012

Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush - Review

Rembrandt - The Night Watch

If brushes made the artist, then everyone would be Rembrandt. Can a perfect brush make you paint a perfect picture?  No...but I bet you didn't realize that a perfect brush can give your foundation a flawless look of perfection.

WHAT?

Yup.  The geniuses over at Shiseido have created a foundation brush that is PERFECT!  It's so perfect, in fact, they even use the word "perfect" in the name of the product.

Ladies and gentlemen I bring you:

image from nordstrom.com

The Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush.

I have a fetish for looking like I have mannequin skin. Perfect, plastic, poreless, flawless.  I want to look photoshopped. I want to look unreal.  Blame it on the media. I have an unhealthy ideal of what "perfect" skin looks like.  Thanks to photoshopping all traces of pores, blemishes and wrinkles form every face I see in magazines, I now want that same look.  That look, by the way is unrealistic, but I want it anyway.


So what do I do?  I go through a zillion different primers and foundations trying to achieve this flawless look.  Sometimes it's not the foundation's fault that I can't look flawless. It's, what I like to call:
IO Error = Idiot Operator Error
or
1D10T Error = Idiot Error
Yes. I'm so clever.
Not.
Anyhoo.

When you combine Shiseido's sate-of-the-art technology with traditional Japanese brush-making techniques you end up with the perfect foundation brush that provides the perfect foundation finish. I have only used this brush with liquid and powder foundations but it is supposed to work for cream foundations as well.  Judging by the performance I have seen so far, I imagine that cream foundations will respond very well to this brush.  

The 100% Synthetic bristles in this brush pick up the the right amount of product and distributes it evenly for a consistent and flawless finish.  The brush has tapered fibers that form an angle or slope, if you will.  This slope allows the bristles to reach all of the facial contours.  The trick is in the method you use to apply the foundation. The made in Japan brush has a fairly short handle.  this makes it perfect for close up work and for travel!  The brush from it's highest point to the end is approximately four and a half inches. (~4.5" or ~11.5 cm)  From just the handle to the end of the ferrule, you know the metal part that holds the bristles to the brush, is approximately three and three quarters inches. (~3.75" or ~9.5 cm)

I found the best way to use this brush for an instantly perfect finish is to do the following:
  • Put some liquid foundation on the back of your had.  Use about 1/3 the amount you normally use when applying with a sponge or other brush.
  • Gently tap the brush into the foundation picking up a small amount.
  • Starting with your forehead (or chin) quickly tap or dab the brush over your face.  You will then see a thin but even coverage of your foundation in the area to which you applied it.  If needed you can smooth out any streaks you might encounter by gently sweeping the brush over the area or simply dab the brush some more in the same area to even out the coverage.  However I have been using this brush for several weeks and I have yet to notice any streaking when I use the dab, dab, dab application!
  • Work in sections forehead, nose, chin, cheeks, neck (if necessary) moving in a dabbing motion throughout. You do not need to move in circles or even strokes. That won't help.
End result...PERFECTION.
No seriously.  I have been using Armani LSF in 3.75 for months and I have always like the color match but sometimes it just didn't look so great in application. I used a sponge to apply and I found myself going through bottle after bottle very quickly.  I used to take 6 pumps of the bottle to get my entire face and neck done.  Then when I started to use the Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush I a) Achieved an even and immaculate finish. 2) I started to used LESS of my foundation I went from 6 pumps to 3 to 4 depending on how much coverage I desired and iii) Because I started out with a more even coverage I used less concealer and my foundation wore better throughout the day because it was applied properly! WIN!

The only, and I mean ONLY issue I have with this brush, is that it can be slightly difficult to clean.  The bristles are very dense and there are many of them.  Foundation LOVES to cling to the brush and it tends to move farther and farther down the bristle until it reaches the ferrule.  That makes cleaning a real bitch.  I actually start by using my oil based cleanser (and if this is a bad thing to do, please tell me, it's the only way I have found that gets all the foundation to separate from the bristles) work it in there pretty well. then get the bristles damp and watch the oil emulsify off all of the foundation. Then I follow with my BECCA Professional Makeup Brush Soap and usually have to do two rounds of washing to get it all clean.  I have to clean it after each use because I don't like using dirty brushes for foundation or any sort of liquid or cream based products.

Do you NEED this?  YES! You need this bad!  If you wear foundation, you need this brush. TRUST ME!  If it can me this old hag look somewhat presentable and not scare small children* it can make you look like a supermodel...from the neck up.  The brush retails for $30 USD (totally worth the investment) and can be found online and in select stores at Nordstrom, or Sephora.com .


*Funny story. Back in college I used to have all sorts of strange colors in my hair. Purple, Blue, White, Magenta, etc. This was in the early 1990's and in the south in a rather small town, so freaks like me were fairly unusual. I was in a local department store to pick up my roommate from work when I happened around a corner and took a little girl by surprise. I was wearing my platforms so I was about 6 feet tall. I was wearing all black, my leather biker jacket and a long black skirt. I had dark purple hair in spiral curls and I was wearing lipstick that matched my hair color (not the best makeup moment of my life). She took one look at me, her eyes went super wide and then she started to cry and run away from me.  She thought I was a witch! BUWAHAHAHA!  She almost had it right...she just needed to replace the 'W' with a 'B'!

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39 comments:

  1. I clean my foundation brushes with oil-based cleanser as well and even my manky cheap ones have survived the process soo.. probably alright! The brush looks beautiful.

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  2. If you have access to a Daiso store, this is where the Daiso Detergent comes in handy. Since bristles are synthetic, it shouldn't hurt them the way they hurt natural bristles. I've got a pic of it here for reference. Its v good for getting stuff like foundation & stains out of brushes & sponges.

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    1. Awesome! Thanks for the tip. I found a bunch of Daiso Detergent for sale on ebay!

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  3. I may have to try this - I love my old prescriptives one but I'd like to look "porcelain perfect" too! LOL!

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  4. Zomg, I totally skipped right past the pic of the brush to skim through your review, thinking it was a natural bristle brush - and therefore not "needable" - but it's synthetic? Well geez, now I have to check it out!

    I use handmade soap on my brushes. It lathers crazy well and leaves my brushes soft and clean. My brushes never seem any worse for the wear, and I figure if I can use it on my hair, then it's fine for my makeup brushes.

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    1. Thanks for the tip! I think I have some handmade soap around. I'm going to try that!

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  5. This pic and review reminds me of my favorite foundation brush, sigma f80. Have you tried it? I find that it gives a flawless finish like what you describe with this one.

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    1. I'm embarrassed to say I have never even tried a sigma brush! I'm a bad blogger I guess. Good to know there are dupes out there!

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  6. Ok - will look for it at duty free next week!

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  7. I didn't know this was only $30!! Compared to MAC brushes that's practically a steal! Love this review and the poor girl!!

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  8. The bestie just got the brush and has been raving about it.
    $30 for a brush neither astronomical nor cheap but if it really gives results like you say then I need to check it out!

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  9. I too want seek the perfect mannequin flawless face! =) I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this brush and after your review, I will be off to buy it asap! Thanks!

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  10. I need this brush in my collection. I've been using the Beauty blender for some time now but replacing a $20 sponge every few months is a bit expensive. Im surprised the brush is only $30 dollars-total steal compared to other brands!

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    1. There are beauyblender dupes that work like a charm and they are much cheaper. I have also seen a set of six original beauty blenders with cleanser for about 60 USD. Actually I have this brush and it doesn't work for me at all. I am way more happy with the beauty blender dupes, and I don't need 6 pumps of foundation (1-2 max).

      I guess that the success of this brush depends on the kind of foundation and the mass of silicone in it.

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  11. Bought this brush at christmas. My acne skin looks so much better. SO HAPPY! NOTHING ELSE CAN BEAT IT

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    1. YAY! Glad to know you are having success with it too!

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  12. I need to stop reading your blog, you're going to make me go broke! D:

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  13. I totes need this! And luckly I'm actually in Japan right now! Me thinks I need to pop down to the shisaido store I saw in Kutchan last night ^.^

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    1. OK. COMPLETELY JEALOUS that you are in Japan right now!

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  14. Lol... I totally agree about wanting to look abnormally flawless. Have you tried Cinema Secrets Brush Cleanser? It's pricey, but it's the *only* cleanser I've ever used that removes all traces of foundation/ makeup from my brushes (including my beloved Shu Uemuras), and I've tried everything (homemade cleansers, major brands, oil cleansers, baby shampoo). The only thing some people don't like is the vanilla scent.

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    1. I have not tried Cinema Secrets Brush Cleanser. I'll add that to my list! Thanks for the tip!

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  15. God, there is nothing better than a great foundation brush... must check this one out!
    Love your blog, BTW!

    Greets from Dublin!
    xxx

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    1. Hello to Dublin!! I haven't been to Ireland in 25 years!!!! YIKES I can't believe it's been that long. And Welcome to the Pink Sith Blog!

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  16. Hi Elvira!

    I have the Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush as well, and absolutely LOVE it!! I used to apply makeup with a Beauty Blender, and had the same problem as you... It sucked up half of my foundation! I've been using this brush for a couple months now, and wash it with Origins Clean Energy (oil-based) cleanser - no problems whatsoever. The brush looks and works as good as new!

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    1. Awesome news. Always good to hear about like experiences. And if I happen upon that origins cleanser I'll give it a look!

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  17. Yup. It is an AMAZING brush...

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  18. Wonder how it works with powder foundations?

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    1. I have used it with my Lancome Dual Finish powder foundation and I found that is worked very well. It offered even coverage that was slightly dense when compared to using a fluffy brush, but not as opaque as when using the enclosed sponge. The finish was far more natural looking when I used the Shiseido Brush than when I used the enclosed sponge. Hope that helps.

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  19. I'm 69 & in the last couple of yrs have started getting acne & blackheads, cysts that leave scars none of which I've ever had even as a teenager. I've always had nice skin & don't look my age. Now, however, Im beginning to look more aged & if I try ANY foundation it looks great at first then I look old & really dry & 'scabby'. This is always followed by painful pus-filled zits, especially if there was one forming or existing. These get red painful & leave scars. Mostly I don't I try to wear foundation but sometimes I weaken & try something new usually with disastrous results. Anyone have any suggestions? My dermatologist is very young & acts like I should act my age & leave makeup to the younger crowd. I like to look nice too - I'm just getting old I'm the not dead!

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    1. Brerbears: a) Get a new Dermatologist. b) I cannot offer medical advice as I'm not a Dr. You should seek the advice of a professional before using any product you are not familiar with. Your experience sounds like a similar one I had with hormonal acne and product irritation. I had to do a long ingredient search before I found that certain silicones in products were screwing up my skin. I would get cystic acne and just overall bad looking skin. I went to a Dermatologist who recommended hormone therapy (birth control pills) to help with my acne. But that isn't an option for me because I want to have a 2nd child. So she put me on a very mild topical treatment and I cut out anything with Cyclopentasiloxane in it. It's a silicone that has caused me to break out. Not everyone is allergic to it, so you might ave to do your own ingredient comparisons to find out what might be irritating you.
      As for rough looking skin, I highly recommend using a clarisonic brush or similar facial brush on a daily basis. My skin has improved 10X since started using this brush. If that clarisonic is too expensive for your budget, try looking into using a mild cleanser with a muslin cloth as the exfoliator. and don't forget to moisturize with a non oil based cream. Feel free to e-mail me at heyelvira at pinksith dot com if you have any questions.

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  20. i NEED to have this!!! $30 is totally worth it!! thanks for the post :)

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  21. I played with this brush in store the other day and got a total brush boner! Softest brush ever, it might have to come home with me! I also tried it with the new shiseido cream foundation and it was brilliant! In Canada we have it in Shoppers Beauty Boutiques!

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  22. I'm determined to pick this up after seeing it in Myer (Australia) on Thursday just gone and it's LOVE! Going to be using my Monthly Reward (I'm on a Beauty Ban for 6 months to save up for IMATS) on it so it's beaten the YSL Glossy Stains and Edward Bess bronzers, it's just that covetable!! And the size is perfect too :-) Now to find it cheapest... Aussie prices are shocking!

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  23. I'm determined to pick this up after seeing it in Myer (Australia) on Thursday just gone and it's LOVE! Going to be using my Monthly Reward (I'm on a Beauty Ban for 6 months to save up for IMATS) on it so it's beaten the YSL Glossy Stains and Edward Bess bronzers, it's just that covetable!! And the size is perfect too :-) Now to find it cheapest... Aussie prices are shocking!

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  24. Elvira, I've been told by the ladies at Shiseido that the brush is natural hair. I myself think it is synthetic. I see you say it's synthetic and I wondered if someone confirmed to you it was?
    I have the brush and it is bugging me. Shiseido won't reply to my email.

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  25. Thanks Pink Sith! accidentally stumbled on ur blog while searching for this Shiseido brush! Can I get this at my local Shoppers Drug Mart or do I have to go to Sephora? If I can earn points while making a good investment, why not?

    Thanks again!

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    Replies
    1. Hi! Welcome. I'm glad you liked the review. I'm not familiar with Shoppers Drug Mart, so it's best to call your local store. :-)

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