Review: Rae Morris #4 Square Kabuki Brush
Last month Rae Morris re-launched her new and improved brush line. If you haven’t heard of these brushes before, it could be because they’ve never really been marketed in the US. If you’ve heard of her, it’s probably been about her makeup books and work with celebrities, or the Radiance brush from the old brush lineup – it’s a favorite amongst brush addicts (though I haven’t tried it). The brushes looked so gorgeous that I had to try them out. Since I’ve never owned a Rae Morris brush before, I restrained myself to just one – the #4 Square Kabuki brush. Unfortunately I can’t really compare these to the old brush lineup, but they definitely are different in appearance. The blonde wood of the old brushes has been replaced with ebony-stained oak with black chrome ferrules, and I believe the hair quality has been upgraded too. A (possibly) neat feature of the new range is the magnets at the base of the handles. They’re made so that the brushes can stand upright on a metal surface instead of lying on their sides. This feature is designed with makeup artists in mind, so brushes heads won’t come in contact with dirty surfaces or roll off tables. A magnet-compatible storage system should be upcoming too. Since I got one of the kabukis (which are magnet-free) I haven’t had a chance to test out that feature yet; from what I’ve seen in beauty forums, it’s a bit of a love-it-or-hate-it thing.
If you remember my review of the Becca The One brush, you’ll recall that I was shocked at how huge it was. Well, when I pulled this one out of the box, I was really surprised at how small it is. It seriously is one of the most tiny, adorable brushes I’ve ever seen. Overall it measures:
- Width across the widest part of the bristles: 30mm
- Bristle length: 20mm
- Brush thickness: 11mm
- Total length including the handle: 85mm
As you can see in the photos above, the brush head is very nicely shaped – nice and symmetrical, with evenly distributed hair. The handle is just as nice. It’s bound in the traditional Japanese style, and it’s incredibly sturdy. The bindings are tight and there’s no movement between the handle and the brush head. The wood is perfectly smooth and there are no uneven spots in the stain. In the month that I’ve had it (which includes daily use and weekly washes) it hasn’t shed a hair yet. In short, I’m very impressed with the construction.
But let’s talk about the hair! It’s pretty densely packed for such a small brush, and it. is. so. soft. The website doesn’t specify the exact hair types, but an email to their customer service was able to confirm my suspicion that it’s blue squirrel. It’s very silky and comfortable to use; in fact, it’s taking me about three times as long to write this review as it should because I keep picking up the brush and rubbing it on my face (don’t judge me).
Usage-wise, this is what the product description recommends:
Perfect for blending and polishing edges and also for blending concealer. Best used with linear strokes (as opposed to circular). This brush is especially soft and therefore perfect for using under the eye. Also fabulous for cleaning up eye shadow fall out under the eye.
I can confirm that it certainly does work well for its intended purpose. It smooths things out nicely under my eyes, and will even blend out brush strokes in that stubborn area between my nose and upper lip. I don’t know what it is about that spot – probably that the skin there is so dry – but I can never get my foundation brushes to blend evenly. This little kabuki takes care of that though. Buuut, since Rae Morris isn’t the boss of me, I actually bought it with something totally different in mind: contouring. I wanted something similar in shape to the NARS Ita (the smaller one), but softer and not cut flat across the top. It’s been working wonderfully. I tap it lightly in my contour powder, align the longer edge of it under my cheekbones and buff lightly back and forth. Then I lay the flat side against my cheek and buff back and forth to blend. It’s also small enough to contour the sides of my nose, and I’ve used it for highlighting too – above my cheekbones, down the center of my face, and it’s even small enough to highlight under my eyebrows. Important note: I do have very small facial features, so this brush will very likely be way smaller than a lot of people want to use for contouring. If you have a normal-sized head, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Getting the brush from Australia wasn’t too painful. Shipping was a little steep at $15AUD (about $13USD), but I’ve definitely seen much higher international shipping prices. It shipped via DHL and got to me in about six days. Unfortunately there aren’t any US retailers, at least not that I’ve heard of.
In Short: This little brush is effective, well-made and cute!
The Rae Morris #4 Square Kabuki ($45AUD or approximately $39.50USD) is available from raemorris.com