Shiseido’s Perfect Foundation Brush ($30, available at Nordstrom and elsewhere soon) first came to my attention because I noticed several beauty editors twittering praise. You really don’t see a lot of excitement about brushes in the makeup world. When I saw the impression that this brush was making, I made a mental note.
The brush is small but mighty. About 4 1/2 inches long, the head is very densely packed with bristles that feel synthetic. The tip is slanted so that it can fit the contours of the face. The upper edge fits nicely into small niches, such as around the nose.
The bristles are remarkably soft. No scratchiness. This picture shows the shape from the side:
To use it, I pumped some liquid foundation on the back of my hand. I then dabbed the brush into the foundation, then dabbed it over the areas of my face. Touch lightly for soft coverage, and more strongly for denser coverage. Once you’ve dabbed some dots in each area, use the brush to smooth, distribute and cover the skin.
You can go back over problem areas to add coverage where needed.
The Shiseido Perfect Foundation brush works quite well. My foundation was very even, it was fast and easy to use and it gave a flawless finish. It is designed to work with all foundation formulas.
I find nearly all my foundation brushes challenging to clean, this one was no different. I attribute this to the foundation formula, which usually must be removed with oil. For that reason, I’ll sometimes use a drop of an oil cleanser to clean any foundation brush (including this one).
Also, I find that I use more foundation with a brush (1 1/2 to 2 pumps), perhaps because some of the liquid is lost to the brush. In this respect, Shiseido’s Perfect Foundation Brush was no different.
The bigger question is how the Shiseido Perfect Foundation brush compares to more traditional foundation brushes, am I right? When I first used it, I did not find the experience terribly different. After a few tries, I realized that there were some important differences.
First, Shiseido’s Perfect Foundation brush seems to grab foundation well, then lay it down quickly. In other words, you can get medium-to-dense coverage in less time. When I use a traditional paddle-shaped foundation brush, it takes more patience to build up coverage. Shiseido’s Perfect “dab dab” technique and density allows me to quickly pick up and distribute more product more rapidly. Second, for some inexplicable reason I really got no brush marks with it. It really does give an airbrushed, smooth finish.
This brush really does seem designed by a makeup artist, in that coverage is quick, flawless and pleasant. Believe me, it made my foundation look better. Highly recommended.