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Artistique Face Brush by Surratt Beauty – Review, Thoughts, Pictures Galore, and Comparison to the Chikuhodo Z-1 Powder Brush

Preface
If you are interested in the Surratt Beauty Artistic Face Brush,  you are likely no stranger to high end brushes or Fude (Japanese made brushes). If you are new, I think this review will still be easy to digest for you and (hopefully) informative. I think when most people see the price tag ($230 in USD) on Sephora, or where ever there are browsing, they go “WDF, WHY?!” then move on. Brush hounds will look at the price, raise an eyebrow, look for the  brush head material (it’s squirrel) then instantly start tail wagging + salivating, and look for the magic words: made-in-Japan, artisans, hand-crafted, etc. Or maybe that’s just me. >_> As always, feel free to skip the preface to get to the review.

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I’m actually quite surprised that I can’t find that many reviews on this brush. Lately, There seems to be a culture of “@#$%^!!! $$$Obscenely-Priced-Item! See MAH REVIEW!!!!!” (Wow I’m such a hypocrite. Anyways…) It’s even more surprising considering that this brush is quite easy to stumble upon, and buy in the Western market compared to some of the other sticker-shocking brushes out there. The Surratt Brushes also aren’t brand new, though they are newer players in the world of high end brushes. It seems like most of Troy Surratt’s line is a copy pasta of Addiction Beauty’s aesthetic which is perfectly understandable because he says that his brand is inspired by Japanese cosmetics and seems to serve as the bridge between markets across continents. From Surratt Beauty’s website (I normally don’t complain about typography but I haaaate that font):

after visiting japan for the first time, troy fell in love with the unparalleled skill of japanese methods, and began a decade-long journey that led to the creation of surratt beauty, now comprised of 200 bespoke products. while developing surratt beauty, troy traveled back to japan countless times, seeking out the top tier of artisans, materials, and formulas, and then elevated each product to the next level of innovation.

I wouldn’t be surprised if his color cosmetic products have the same OEM as Addition Beauty or Three Cosmetics because things like the blushes and eyeshadows just look so darn similar. The Addiction line of brushes are OEM’d by Chikuhodo, so perhaps his makeup manufacturing contacts are the same as Addiction’s. In case you are confused, Addiction [Beauty] by Ayako is not on that list because the brand falls under the Kose Corporation umbrella. Fun fact. Troy Surratt worked under Kevyn Aucoin. And my favorite foundation from Kevyn Aucoin Beauty, the Sensual Skin Enhancer, is made in Japan. Perhaps, he retained some of his mentor’s contacts. This article suggests otherwise though,

Anyways, I didn’t get this brush at full price thanks to the winter Sephora 20% off sale and some gift cards but I will be reviewing it as if I did. If you think I am being too generous to it, please feel free to tell me off. I am not without bias though I try my best to be.

 

Presentation
Yup, presentation gets it’s own section. The brush may be Japanese made, but the packaging is everything you’d expect from a luxury beauty brand: cardboard. French cardboard to be specific. Hey, an actual box is miles better than the plastic slip that most Japanese brands deliver their brushes in, but I can’t help but wonder how much the fancy box added to the end cost. Then again, Surratt is targeting the Western markets and people here expect a certain level of niceness in presentation when shelling out any more than $50. Let’s be honest. I do too. The brush still comes with the plastic slip that keeps all the hairs in place and prevents the head from rubbing against the lining of the box and getting frizzy when it is brand new. I’ve had mine for near half a year before I even got around to taking pictures so that plastic slip is long gone. These pictures are heavily edited because I took these non-essential pics in the shittiest lighting possible. Sorry.

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Paper Sleeve, Box, Back of Sleeve

Anyhow, the box has a cover that slides off to reveal a velvet lined, slightly plush, removable insert equipped with an elastic band to hold the brush in place, should you choose to store and travel with it. I personally do not use the box because it’s too bulky and takes up too much space on my already chaotic vanity. It’s stored away in an obscure corner of somewhere, probably getting chewed up by moths. The only boxes I use and keep on display are the recycled-paper-shell-with-fabric-lining Koyomo ones and the wooden ones from some special Koyudo’s.

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Brush Specs
The Artistique Face Brush is a medium size powder brush made of grey squirrel hair. On my cheeks, it works as a blush brush. The brush head completely round from the ferrule, starts tapering from around halfway up the brush head, and ends in dome crown.  I’ve previously described the Chikuhodo Z-1 powder brush as an egg on a stick. Well the Surratt Face brush is even more like an egg on a stick as it is more tapered tip and has a pointed dome, like what you would find on the apex end of an egg. (See comparison section) Do keep in mind that I store and wash my brushes with a brush guard so it will be have a smaller width measurement than many other people’s. The Artisque Face Brush can puff up to about 30% more volume if you allow it to air-dry naked.

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Posted by on April 20, 2017 in Brush Reviews

 

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Koyudo Fuwafuwa vs Chikuhodo Z-1 Mini Reviews + Comparison (Guest Post on Of Toys and Co.)

Preface
This post is for people who want to splash out on a luxury, handmade Japanese makeup brush but have no idea where to start. I’ll be comparing two round powder brushes – the Chikuhodo Z-1 Powder Brush and the Koyudo Fuwafuwa Powder brush – in an abbreviated form with a shoddy info-graphic and pictures.

Z-1 (left) Fuwafuwa (right)

Z-1 (left) Fuwafuwa (right)

You can find the fleshed out version of this post at Of Toys and Co. which i originally wrote this as a guest post for. That post actually has stuff written out and explained so go check it out! This post is to serve as a backup in case anything ever goes wrong at Blogger. A lot of pictures at one of my favorite blogs, Brightest Bulb in the Box (on Blogger), are broken and can’t be viewed anymore so i thought a back up was a good idea.

Summary of Post
FZ Summary ExcelAvailability
Both of these brushes were purchased from CDJapan. Shopping overview guide here if you are new to the world of Japanese makeup brushes and are considering your first purchase.

**Edit June 2016: The Fuwafuwa will run you somewhere around 115-124 USD while the Z-1 Powder will run between 152-168 USD. CDJapan is offering a free shipping promo (details here) so it’s best to make a list of things you want and get them altogether. As always, if buying form outside Japan, the purchase is tax free. The exchange rate is kind of shit right now (almost 100 yen per 1 USD and seems to be getting more unfavorable everyday… so get your fluffies while it hurts less.

 

Pictures (Backup)

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2015 in Brush Reviews, On the Fence

 

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Pure Grey Squirrel Brush for $25 + Review and Thoughts

This generically named Koyudo 100% gray squirrel powder brush popped up on CDJapan some days ago and i couldn’t help but notice that it looked an awful like the BP009 in more than a few ways. **Edit July 20, 2015 All gray squirrel brushes are sold out but there is always the BP009. 🙂

Me thinks someone effed up the handles. The over all length of the brush is different but the length of the hairs are the same 50 mm or 5 cm or 2 inches. The brushes are too similar. There could be other things wrong with it but still, pure squirrel for less than a normal goat brush? I’ll take one to try.

The only thing that i can see wrong is that the “fit” of the ferrule to the handle is not seamless/smooth like the BP009 that I’m comparing it to. Also, the Koyudo logo is not printed on the handle so I think it was the finishing step that got messed up. Maybe machine scratched the ferrules? We shall see. I don’t believe CDJapan or Koyudo would dare to tarnish their name by selling a brush if something was wrong with the glue or the hairs (shedding, brittleness, blunt-cut, breakage, etc.).  More updates to come when i receive my order. If i like it a lot I’m definitely getting a back up at this price, if there are still any left. **EDIT July 14th, 2015. I have received my brushe 😀 review and pics below.

Specs and Comparisons
I’m just going to call this the Ditto brush (after the pokemon) for reasons that you will see in a sec. As always, click on the pics to enlarge them if you can’t easily see the measurements. This is all post wash so it looks nothing like that wimpy thing in the pictures on the CDJapan site.

In Neutral state, the brush head is circular. The bristles flare from the base, start tapering about 2/3’s of the way up, and end in a rounded edge. Simple enough. It’s dense at the base and takes overnight and a bit more to dry completely. Ditto actually takes longer than my Z-1 to dry. The core is still damp long after the outer guard hairs are dry. My theory for this is that the Z-1 starts tapering from halfway so there are fewer guard hairs to impede the drying of the core hairs.  Anyhow it is quite airy at the tip. So airy that it’s floppy. There is very little resistance and spring in the body. This lets the brush take on a number of … configurations. I can groom with my fingers to give it a tip (Picture 1 Top), shake it out to neutral state (Picture 2 Middle), or helicopter-twirl it into a massive beast-puff (Picture 3 Bottom).

**Edit July 15, 2015 I’M SO SORRY I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WAS DOING. I labeled the diameters all wrong. They are all 1 cm bigger than they are supposed to be and the inch measurement is wrong too because I just converted. Actual Diameters: 3.3 cm or 1.3″ — 4.1 cm or 1.6″ — 4.8 cm or 1.9″

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Top 5 Brushes Over Time – Installment 1

First Installment – June 2015 – This Is going to be a running series that i will update periodically. It’ll be interesting to see which brushes can withstand the expansion of my collection and remain in favor as i amass and learn more. Each category names 5 brushes, gives information like notes + material, and the reason that brush deserves its spot. Think of it as a mini review that doesn’t take price into consideration. If i have written a full blown review on a brush, it will be linked in the brush name. Brushes are listed in no particular order for each category and may appear more than once (re-apperances alone might tell you how much i adore a certain brush). This post is littered with fragments to cut down on length so it’s a less than ideal read for Grammar Nazis.

Grab the coffee. Grab the munchies. Here we go.

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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Brush Reviews, On the Fence

 

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