Review: MUFE Artisan #146 Brush
It’s not really a secret that I love new product launches, and I go crazy in particular for brushes. My experience so far with synthetic brushes is that they don’t really compare to natural hair though, so I was interested to find out how the new Make Up For Ever Artisan brush series performs. As much as I wanted to buy every single brush from the line to try out, that was waaaaaay out of the realm of financial possibilities so I settled for just one to start with. I ended up picking the #146 brush ($37) because it’s a fairly unique shape – definitely different than anything else in my brush collection.
I’ll get to the brush head in a second, but first I want to talk about the construction of the brush because that’s my top requirement – I don’t care what kind of hair/shape/whatever a brush has, if it’s shoddily constructed, I’ll return it. Fortunately there are zero worries about that here. The ferrule is a solid piece of gunmetal that’s crimped on both ends, so there’s no seam for water, soap and gunk to seep into. The metal feels very sturdy, but isn’t unreasonably heavy. Only time will tell if it’s corrosion-resistant. The joins to the brush head and the handle are tight and seamless, so I expect it to hold up well with use.
The handle is made of beech wood and is fairly light-weight, but long enough to feel well-balanced with the brush head. There’s a bit of a wood-grain texture because it doesn’t have a thick lacquer coating like a lot of wooden handles do but it’s not rough. The end of the handle is angled and finished very smoothly – no rough edges. The product description from MUFE suggests using the tip of the handle to scoop products out of jars (genius, since a lot of products in jars/pots for some reason don’t come with a scoop) or to press false lashes into place. I think this brush is too large and long-handled to be convenient for lash placement, but the finish of the end is nice enough that I’d feel safe using it around my eyes.
The handle is printed on the front side with the MUFE type logo, and on the back side with the brush number and fiber type – in this case, straight and wavy. Again according the MUFE descriptions, straight fibers are used for a more precise and directed placement of product, and wavy ones allow for a more diffused application. I suppose a mixture is supposed to be the best of both worlds?
The #146 brush is a trapezoid-shaped brush that they label as a ‘flat blush brush.’ It’s moderately dense, and the tip of the brush is fairly slim but long. You can see it here next to the Hakuhodo J210 round blush brush, which is very close in size and shape to the MAC 109:
I’m always really curious about exact brush sizing, so here are the measurements for reference. I’m going to use millimeters since that’s how a lot of other brush measurements are listed, and I don’t think the metric system is some kind of evil socialist propaganda :-) Measurements, by the way, are as exact as I can get them using a measuring tape – I really need to get a set of calipers.
- Full length – 180mm
- Bristle length – 29mm
- Width of ferrule foot – 21mm
- Width of brush head at the tip – 40mm
- Thickness of brush head at the tip – 10mm
The bristles on the 146 are incredibly soft – at least as soft as the uncut hair tips on my Hakuhodo white goat brushes. If you run your hands down the length of the bristles, they feel more like synthetic bristles than natural hair, but the individual bristles are very fine.
The brush picks up a decent amount of powder product with a firm tap into the pan. All of the bristles are the same length, so it deposits product nicely too – wherever you touch the brush to your skin, that’s where the vast majority of the product is going to go. In practice that means the brush works really well for concentrating the product in one area and diffusing it out a bit. However, once you start moving the brush around, the bristles have a little too much movement to direct the product very precisely, so I prefer it much more for blush than for contouring.
So far I don’t think this brush has shed a single hair. However, I did find out something interesting the first time I washed it. Normally I wash my brushes with baby shampoo and a few drops of olive oil. I discovered that the olive oil makes the bristles of this brush stick together a bit, which seriously compromises the performance – it didn’t move as freely or release the product as uniformly. Luckily another wash with just baby shampoo and some thorough rinsing got it back to normal.
In Short: This brush has given me a really good first impression of the MUFE Artisan brush series, but I’m not sure if I’d call it a must have.
Select Make Up For Ever Artisan brushes are available at Sephora stores, and the full line is available at Make Up For Ever retail stores and sephora.com.