Kabuki brushes are essential in everyone's makeup kit, regardless if you're a professional or not because they allow a more smooth, even and flawless application. Typically, a kabuki brush has a short handle with a round dense head, which makes it ideal for buffing out excess product or applying a concentrated amount of product, such as mineral foundation.
There are so many kabuki brushes in the market, ranging from $5 to $216. o_o If you're not ready to fork out an arm and a leg for a kabuki brush, then keep reading because I've got a few affordable options for you to consider. ^_^
Posh Kabuki Brush
Posh Kabuki Brush
Posh Kabuki Brush: It retails for $40 on Posh's online store, but it's available at Bed Bath & Beyond, Kmart and Harmon Face Values for around $13. The brush is made from natural hair and it feels extremely soft, just like the MAC 182 brush, but the Posh brush is significantly larger and the bristles are not as densely packed. However, it is by no means flimsy. It works well for applying setting powder if you prefer light coverage, but it is mostly suitable for body application, such as adding shimmer or bronzer to the decollete or any other large area on the body. It also comes with a faux leather case, but because the brush fluffed out and widen after the initial wash, it no longer fits in the case without it pinching the bristles. Also, it takes about 14 hours to completely dry, but if you use a paper towel to absorb the excess water, then it'll take about 8 hours to dry. (The brush head measures 1.90 inches and it's 3 inches at the widest point. It stands 2.90 inches tall.)
MAC 182 Gareth Pugh Version $60 (full review): The bristles are made from natural hair and it is the densest brush out of the bunch. It is ideal for buffing out over-applied products, such as blush and for applying setting powder. It can also be used for applying mineral foundation if you don't want heavy coverage, but I prefer the Sonia Kashuk Small Kabuki brush for that type of application because it offers better coverage and precision. Also, the Gareth Pugh brush dries within 6 hours. (The head of the brush measures 1.50 inches and it's 2.30 inches at the widest point. It stands 3 inches tall.)
ELF Studio Kabuki Face Brush $6: The bristles are made from synthetic material and they feel soft, but it's not as dense as the MAC 182, Sonia Kashuk kabuki or Posh kabuki. I find it too flimsy for applying mineral foundation and for buffing out over-applied products, but it is good for applying a light dusting of setting powder, if you prefer light coverage. However, most of the product gets absorbed into the brush because it's made from synthetic material; thus, I end up wasting product. Moreover, the handle is pretty small. I get a better grip with the other brushes. Also, it takes at least 14 hours to completely dry, even if you use a paper towel to absorb the excess water. (The brush head measures 1.65 inches and it's 2.25 inches at the widest point. It stands 2.5 inches tall.)
Posh Retractable Kabuki
Posh Retractable Kabuki: It retails for $35 on Posh's online store, but it's available at Bed Bath & Beyond, Kmart and Harmon Face Values for around $12. The brush is made from natural hair and it feels extremely soft, just like the MAC 182 brush. This is the least densest brush out of the bunch and I love using it to apply a light dusting of setting powder because it distributes the product evenly and nicely. The MAC 182 is denser, so I have to tap the setting powder onto my skin. If I buff in a circular motion, it actually moves my foundation. I prefer using the Posh Retractable Kabuki because I can buff in a circular motion with no issues and it glides onto my skin effortlessly. Also, if you retract the brush half way like in the picture shown above, the bristles become extremely densely packed and great for buffing out over-applied products and for applying mineral foundation. It gets into the small crevices of the face really well and it offers excellent coverage. Moreover, it's great for travel because it comes with a cap and it dries within 5 hours. (The brush head measures 1.5 inches and it's 2.40 inches at the widest point. It stands 4.25 inches tall.)
Sonia Kashuk Small Kabuki Brush $17.19: The brush is made from natural goat hair and it feels soft, but not as soft as the other brushes. However, it is by no means scratchy or uncomfortable on the face. The bristles are densely packed and it is the 2nd densest brush out of the bunch. This brush is perfect for buffing out over-applied products and for applying mineral foundation because it offers excellent coverage and precision. It gets into all the nooks and crannies really well. Also, it's travel friendly just like the Posh Retractable Kabuki because it comes with a cap and it dries within 6 hours. (The brush head measures 1.20 inches and it's 2 inches at the widest point. It stands 3.5 inches tall.)
Shedding: I've had the MAC 182 brush for over 4 months now and I have not experienced any shedding. I've had the other brushes for almost 2 months and there was some minor shedding during the 1st month, which didn't bother me because it was easy to remove the hairs from my face. Moreover, it wasn't like there were chunks of hairs coming out. Only 1-2 hairs would shed after each use. Also, they have all stopped shedding after 1 month of use and the density of each brush still feels the same as when I first got it.
Bottom Line: If you are on an extremely tight budget and prefer a vegan friendly kabuki, then the ELF brush is for you. If you are ready to invest in a higher quality kabuki and want a shed-free brush, then you need to purchase the MAC Gareth Pugh brush. However, if shedding is not an issue for you and you want a brush that's more versatile, but still affordable, then I highly recommend getting the Posh brushes and the Sonia Kashuk kabuki.
Note: The Posh brushes are available at Bed Bath & Beyond stores, Kmart and Harmon Face Values. The Gareth Pugh is limited edition and is still currently available at Nordstrom. The ELF kabuki is available at ELF's online store and Target. The Sonia Kashuk brush is available only at Target.
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What kabuki brush do you use?
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