Preamble out of the way, I have several blending brushes which are more than good. They are really excellent brushes. So how does the Tom Ford Blending brush compare?
|Hello, you sexy beast|
It has a round ferrule, with densely packed hairs so you have a relatively rounded top. The hairs are long and do open up slightly to have a slightly larger circumference around the top of the hairs. I'm sure you've heard me talk about the hairs before, but in case it's your first time landing in my blog, it has incredibly fine, soft and high quality hair. It's excellent at picking up evenly distributed amount of pigment from powdered eye shadow and from cream ones and wonderful as a general task brush for applying color. I have very limited lid space and a shallow crease, and its relatively narrow shape makes quick work of depositing an even amount of color into the crease. As a blending brush, it is fluffy, dense and soft, which allows it to perform brilliantly for a blending brush. It has been holding its shape well after many washes.
Glowing review yadda yadda yadda. BUT, there are so many other contenders for the general eye shadow/ blending brush. For instance:
- MAC 217 - which for me is the grand daddy of blending brushes. It is accessible, certainly not cheap, but with a more friendly price point. I believe it is also made my Hakuhodo, though the goat hair doesn't seem as fine and soft, it is a major work horse. I've heard newer MAC 217 seem to have some quality control issues, but my own, which is a few years old continues to perform beautifully.
|some crinkly hair differences here|
|density looks about similar to me|
- Hakuhodo J5523 -- this is a recent purchase for me because it's been discussed as a potential dupe for MAC 217. I believe Hakuhodo is also the manufacturer for Tom Ford, so this was an intriguing purchase indeed. The shape of the brush head is different from the Tom Ford or the MAC 217. The ferrule is clamped so the head is more oblong and less rounded than the Tom Ford. It is also slightly less dense, but with a similar level of softness has the Tom Ford and still much softer than the MAC 217. It's shape might make it a really excellent brush for someone looking to place into the crease more precisely than the Tom Ford can. As blender, it is excellent.
- Edward Bess Luxury Eye Blending Brush - Another goat hair blending brush with sleek black lines all around. Somehow over the last year or so, the head has expanded a bit, which bugs me a bit, but I use this very often for blending. I don't think it is as good for general placement because the head is large (and poofy), but still places sheer washes well. I also find that for an item with "luxury" in the name, the hairs are slightly scratchy!
- Suqqu Eye Shadow Brush L -- this puppy is all squirrely soft goodness. Squirrel hair in itself is more floppy and soft than goat, so the effect and feel on your lids is completely different. However, if I were comparing apples to apples and not goats to squirrels, functionally-wise it gives a radically different effect. For instance, the head is quite large on this brush but flatter at the head than the Tom Ford. It is very good at sheer color washes and blending softly. It's not one that is going to work on super blending as say a MAC 217, the Tom Ford or even the Edward Bess. Though I love this thing to death, with my limited lid space, I don't use very often. It looks nice nestled among the rest of my Suqqu brushes, though. (Hoarder)
Final recommendation? Tom Fords are pure luxury. By all means run out and get it because it's an excellent brush and will perform well. If you are screwing up your face and sticking your tongue out at me because this is a ridiculously expensive brush, I greatly recommend both the Hakuhodo J5523 or the MAC 217. You will find them to be worthy contenders for blending brushes.
What about you guys, my resident experts? Which blending brushes are rocking your world right now? Is it the Tom Ford, your MACs, you Hakuhodo or your Paula Dorfs?