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Monday, November 14, 2011

Review: Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer Brush

From Left to Right: MAC 187 Brush, Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer Brush, MAC 131 Brush

I only use my foundation brushes once before putting them off to the side with my other dirty brushes and I usually do my brush cleaning at the end of week. So, I'm always on the hunt for a foundation brush. (I don't reuse brushes that are used with "wet" products, such as cream eyeshadows, eyeliner & liquid/cream foundation, liquid/cream blushes, & liquid/cream bronzers because of hygienic reasons. Damp brushes allow bacterial and fungal growth; therefore, reusing damp brushes can cause acne, rashes, irritation & eye infections. I strongly recommend washing brushes after each use if you are using them for liquid/cream products.) 

Anyways, I decided to get the Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer brush because there are many postive reviews online and Coastal Scents was having a 30% off sale.

From Top to Bottom: MAC 187 Brush, Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer Brush, MAC 131 Brush

  • feels soft when I run my fingers through the bristles & when I use it in a buffing motion
  • bristles are dense & firm
  • able to reach into all crevices of the face
  • doesn't streak when buffing or stippling liquid foundation
  • ideal for buffing in liquid/cream products, if you don't mind shedding
  • no shedding when used with powder products or when stippling liquid foundation
  • not expensive
  • no dye bleeding
  • no funky smell after a few washes
  • dries within 4 hours
  • easy to wash when used with powder products

  • feels prickly when used in a stippling motion
  • sheds at least 1 hair when buffing in liquid/cream products
  • takes at least 2 washes for all the liquid/cream product to get out
  • too dense for applying powder blushes, bronzers and setting powders

From Top Left, Clockwise: Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer Brush, MAC 187 Brush, MAC 131 Brush

Like I mentioned in my other posts, if you stipple and swirl any liquid product, such as foundation with a duo fiber brush (a brush that is made with a blend of synthetic and natural fibers), then the foundation will come in contact with the bottom part of the bristles where the black natural fibers are, and that will cause the brush to shed. If you only stipple with a duo fiber brush, which is its intended use, then it will give you an airbrush finish & there will be no shedding whatsoever because the foundation will only be in contact with the white synthetic fibers.

The problem with the Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer brush is that I can't use it to stipple liquid foundation because it feels too prickly when I use it in a stippling motion. The only option is to use it in a buffing motion and we all know what happens when we buff in liquid foundation with a duo fiber brush. It sheds! It doesn't bother me that much because it only sheds 1 hair each time I use it to buff in liquid foundation. I've had this brush for a few weeks and it's still looking good and feels just as dense as when I first got it.

Overall, I like using this brush for applying liquid foundation because the bristles are firm & dense. It's the perfect size for foundation application because it can get into the small crevices of the face and it's quick & easy to use. It's not your average duo fiber brush because of it's density. Think of it as a "duo fiber kabuki" brush.

I find it too dense to use for buffing in blushes, bronzers, and setting powders. However, if you really want to use this brush for applying blushes or bronzers, then you must take the extra steps to make it work by tapping the product onto the cheek area and then lightly blend downwardsIf you buff in the product in a circular motion, then it can "move" or mess up your foundation. Also, remember to apply setting powder (with a fluffy brush and not the Coastal Scents one) on top of liquid/cream foundation before applying any powder product in order to make blending easier. (The technique that I mentioned in the beginning of this paragraph only works for sheer and regular pigmented products. Do not use this brush with highly pigmented products because this brush is simply too dense and will place a concentrated amount of product onto the cheek area; thus, making it difficult to blend out.) 

As for maintenance, it's super easy to wash when used with powder products and it dries super fast. However, when used with liquid/cream products, it takes at least 2 washes to get all the product out. It is important to note that I have to do this with all my other foundation brushes.

As for packaging, the handle is a little too thick to store in my brush holder. It doesn't stand upright unless I jab it in because I use sand to fill my brush holder. Also, I would much prefer the handle to be matte and the ferrule to be nickel because it'll look more professional.

From Left to Right: MAC 187 Brush, Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer Brush, MAC 131 Brush

MAC 187 Duo Fibre Brush $42 (full review): This brush is longer, wider and not as dense as the Coastal Scents one. It's ideal for stippling liquid foundation, applying highly pigmented powder products, such as blush and applying a light dusting of setting powder. (The Mac 187 brush that I'm referring to is the old version. The new version (review) is flimsier and not ideal for stippling liquid foundation.)

Mac 130 Short Duo Fibre Brush $40 (full review): This brush is denser than the Mac 187 brush, but it's not as dense as the Coastal Scents brush. It's also significantly smaller and takes more time to apply liquid foundation with. If you're contouring or highlighting with a liquid/cream product, then the Mac 130 brush would be ideal; however, if you want a brush for buffing in liquid/cream foundation, then the Coastal Scents brush would be more suitable since the head is bigger and it takes less time to apply the foundation onto the whole face.

Bottom Line: I love my MAC 187 and Sephora #44 brush (full review) for stippling liquid foundation because they give me an airbrush finish; however, stippling requires more time. So, if you're always in a rush, I recommend getting the Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer brush to buff in liquid/cream foundation as long as you don't mind some minor shedding. It's also firm enough to stipple liquid foundation & it doesn't shed when using that technique; however, the bristles feel prickly when I use it in a stippling motion as opposed to a buffing motion. It also doesn't shed when used with powder products; however, if you're a makeup beginner, I recommend using "traditional" brushes, such as the Studio Gear #13 brush (mini review) & the Mac 168 brush (full review), for applying powder blushes & bronzers because it takes more work and technique to use the Coastal Scents brush for that type of application.

Note: The Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer brush measures 6.25 inches and retails for $14.95 on Coastal Scents' website

Have you tried the Coastal Scents Divine Powder Buffer Brush?
Do you prefer it over "traditional" duo fiber brushes, such as the MAC 187?

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.


  1. Ive been looking over your blog for a while now and I must say that this is one of THE BEST, most informative, interesting and comprehensive beauty blogs Ive ever had the pleasure to read. Im wow'd! Please keep it up, I look forward to new content! (Superb Pictures and swatches too! A+++)

  2. Thank you very much for your wonderful comment, Stacy. =) It really motivates me to keep writing and I recently invested in a new camera so that I can provide better quality pictures for all my readers.

  3. I love it when you do these review and comparison posts! You have a very nice brush collection.

  4. Can you explain the difference between a stippling and a buffing motion?

  5. Stippling is when you tap the bristles onto your skin, while buffing is when you swirl the bristles in a circular motion onto your skin. I find that it's much quicker to apply foundation in a swirling/buffing motion, but the tapping motion leaves a slightly more airbrush finish. =)


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