If you follow makeup updates regularly, you may have noticed a new type of brushes becoming more and more popular: the “toothbrush” foundation brushes.
Ok, they’s not officially named liked that, but the similarity is definitely there. They aren’t a new concept, in fact they are quite the vintage item. MAC also released a set a couple of years ago, but they have slipped under the radar a bit, and Besame Cosmetics have a bigger one that almost looks like a hair brush. But now they’re coming out in all shapes and sizes by different companies (Artis have the biggest and fanciest selection) but the one that first caught my attention was this offering from Etude House.
As I’m currently all about exploring the Asian beauty market, it was the logical choice. (And a budget friendly one compared to the ones I listed above!)
It comes packaged in a sturdy, transparent plastic case, featuring a pink, white, and gold design. It’s very girly, typical of the brand which I love. There are some instructions on the back with a couple of pictograms and Korean text.
What sets this brush apart from others is a handy feature of the brush head: you can pop it off and exchange it with a mini sponge that comes with the package. Every brush can leave streaks when you’re applying your base (depending on what kind of foundation you’re using, how fast you’re working, and your skin type). I personally always bounce a beauty blender on my skin after using a brush as it makes the finish look more natural, and with Etude House I can do both steps with a single product.
The handle is something that took me a little while to get used to working with, but that’s to be expected after years of doing everything with a regular brush. It is rounded and lightly textured, which makes it very ergonomical and generally nice to hold (also gold is my favourite colour).
The main focus are the bristles, which are quite short but very very densely packed. They’re also really soft, I’d say they remind me of the Ecotools Bronzer Brush as they seem to be made of a similar material and thickness. This is supposed to make the foundation blend like a dream and give your skin that highly sought-after airbrushed appearance.
The instructions say to lightly dip the brush into the foundation, then sweep it in one direction. For me it worked best when I used short strokes combined with light patting motions, but I should mention I have very large pores and acne bumps so brushing with any type of brush in only one direction never works too well for me.
If I see any streaks or if I notice my foundation looking too heavy in some areas, I switch to patting it with the sponge and it soaks the extra product in while giving an even smoother finish. The sponge itself is “firmly soft” if that makes any sense, I find it just right.
I tried it with BB creams, liquid and cream foundations, and even powder/mineral, and it worked great with all of them. It did struggle slightly with higher coverage bases that have thicker formulas and dry faster – it wasn’t unmanageable, but the results weren’t quite as perfect, especially if the surface of your skin tends to be on the rougher side. I’d say it was suited best for use with low to medium coverage in mind.
One thing to point out is that this brush is surprisingly small as you can see in the image below. It doesn’t take away from its performance – actually it works really well if you have a small face or prefer to work in smaller areas at a time. This size means it can also double as a contouring brush, I used it for that purpose a few times and it turned out quite nicely.
At the moment, I’m in two minds about this product to be honest. There were days when it made my skin look flawless, but then there were others when it didn’t and I used the same foundation, so not sure what that’s about. I still use it because I love the idea and I’m trying different ways to use it, but I also feel like I’m quicker using my Zoeva duofibre brush because I’m so accustomed to holding it in a conventional way and don’t have to move my arm as much … Nearly all other reviews I’ve read say it’s absolutely brilliant, though, but none of them had to deal with problematic skin/acne so I’m guessing that’s why I’m not as thrilled as I expected – but I don’t regret buying it either. EDIT: Of course it worked absolutely perfectly like never before the moment I posted this, and made me doubt my previous imoressions *eyeroll*
I got the brush on eBay for around $13. If you’re interested, Missha also has their own version, and after doing some more digging, I found a very similar knockoff for under $2 that looked like it could be of decent quality based on the pictures (just search for “toothbrush foundation” on eBay). I obviously had to order it for the sake of comparison, I’ll do a mini review when it arrives!
Thank you for reading! 😊