Tools of the Beauty Trade — Discover the Japonesque Color Collection Makeup Brushes
Most men get ludicrously excited when they go shopping for new power tools, emerging from the stores they visit clutching their purchases with the cautious care new mothers exhibit when holding their delicate babies. Well, I can’t say I’ve ever felt giddy over purchasing a power tool, but I do get excited about big tickets beauty gadgets (my personal tools of choice!) like the Clarisonic Mia 2 Facial Sonic Cleansing Brush, my Clarisonic Pedi Sonic Foot Transformation Set (so essential for summer!), and my Tria Hair Removal Laser — to name just a few. That said, I’m not quite bursting with anticipation when buying some of the everyday beauty tools: eye shadow brushes, sponges, powder puffs, makeup brush cleansers, eyelash curlers, and so forth. Yes, I realize that the proper tools are essential to creating any masterful beauty look, but investing in those functional items isn’t as thrilling as scooping up an adventurous eyeshadow palette with pigment-rich colors, an über bright lipstick, or a silky blush in a stunning compact. I suppose it’s akin to what DIY-minded men feel when they enter a power tool emporium and end up bypassing the fancy lawnmowers and cordless drills to, instead, pick up sheets of plywood and boxes of nails, rivets, and eye bolts. They know these are essential building tools, but they’re not necessarily splashy buys. That’s basically how I feel about purchasing makeup brushes — I recognize their indispensability and insist on high quality tools, but I’m usually a little irked by having to spend so much on these instruments. It doesn’t help that top-notch makeup brushes are often pricey and, well, boring-looking. Sonia Kashuk is perhaps one of the only makeup gurus who has created a line of brushes that’s both affordable and fun, featuring printed handles that vary from season to season. But now, it seems like Japonesque is giving Sonia a run for her money.
All of Japonesque’s offerings are inspired by the professional makeup tools used in Japanese Kabuki theater, and so every detail is considered: the feel of the synthetic fibers against the skin, their efficiency in terms of smoothing the pigment in a uniform fashion, the length of each individual fiber and its placement to create the desired shape, and more. Available at Ulta.com, Japonesque brushes are not only top-notch quality, but they’re also remarkably affordable. And here’s the kicker: they’re pretty!
Japonesque’s new Color Collection brush series is absolutely stunning! All of the brushes in the collection feature clear, see-through brush handles and, emblazoned on them, hazy swirls of colors that create a fun-loving, kaleidoscopic, prismatic effect. The result is reminiscent of the glass marbles I played with as a child, and that nostalgic mental connection only works to augment my fondness for the brushes. In other words, I actually find myself getting giddy over these brushes!
The Japonesque Color Collection features five brushes: a Face Brush ($32 at Ulta.com), a Foundation Brush ($18 at Ulta.com), an Eye Shadow Brush ($16 at Ulta.com), an Eye Crease Brush ($16 at Ulta.com), and a Lip Brush ($14 at Ulta.com). Adding to the genius of this collection, the printed handle bars are color-coded, so that both eye shadow brushes feature blue tones on their handles, both face brushes feature magenta pink swirls on their handles, and the lip brush has poppy red swirls of color on its handle.
I had the chance to try two of the brushes in the collection — the Eye Crease Brush and the Lip Brush — and I am loving both so much I may have to scoop up the other three pieces to round out the collection. Who would’ve thought I’d be excited to purchase beauty tools?
Next, check out details on the two brushes I road tested:
JAPONESQUE COLOR COLLECTION EYE CREASE BRUSH
Aside from foundation brushes, I find crease brushes to be the hardest to select since there are so many factors to take into account. The perfect crease brush should taper slightly along the tip (meaning it’s slightly wider at the base, where the brush tip meets the handle, and slightly thinner along the top) while retaining an overall rounded form. The brush head also has to be malleable enough for its fibers to really penetrate the fold between the upper eyelids and the brow bones since stiff fibers won’t ever allow the desired exactitude. Though the fibers should bend when properly guided, however, the brush head has to maintain its shape so that fibers don’t go rogue and end up messing the look up.
This brush meets all the aforementioned criteria, plus it has the perfect diameter, so that it’s not so wide as to wind up covering all the lower brow bone area. It gets into the crease and the outer V area easily, allows you to smooth powder shadows and diffuse them with ease, and it’s almost intuitive to use. I was stunned at the precision I was able to achieve with this brush – especially since it costs less than $20. Truly remarkable!
Here’s what the brush head looks like up close:
And look at how gorgeous the handle looks with its violet blue and sky blue tones:
JAPONESQUE COLOR COLLECTION LIP BRUSH
Next up is the Lip Brush, which I also adore. Unlike so many lip brushes, which are incredibly thin allowing for a very precise application along the contours of the mouth, this one is considerably wider. Why? Because, that way, when you lay the brush head flat against your pout, you can cover more surface area, making coloring the inside part of the mouth easier and quicker (using a pin-sized lip brush for the center of lips can prove tedious after a while!). But what about when it’s time to reach the corners of the mouth or precisely outline the shape? Well, that’s when the slightly pointed tip comes in handy, as well as the overall flat shape of the brush head, which allows you to trace a perfectly smooth line.
Here’s what the lip brush’s tip looks like:
Next, check out the candy red and pink-tinged white swirls on its handle:
Isn’t it gorgeous? With a handle like this one, you’ll feel all the more inspired to pick up your own brush and create a masterpiece!